Riot Games has entered the courts once again, this time filing a lawsuit against a website for its involvement in selling stolen League of Legends accounts.
“DivineSmurfs.com” is accused of pretending to be a legitimate business while defrauding the League of Legends player-base and ultimately violating Riot Games’ intellectual property.
The lawsuit claims that Zachary Kaufman, owner of the website, lures unsuspecting users with the promise of bonus in-game content. The players are then left “holding the bag when Riot Games discovers the theft”.
According to the developer, “thousands, if not tens of thousands” of stolen League of Legends accounts have been sold so far. In its defense, the website stated that all accounts sold were generated internally, meaning that a dedicated team was responsible for leveling up multiple accounts to be sold later on.
The developer disproved the statement by revealing that an unnamed Riot Games’ employee personally bought an account from the same website to better understand its illegitimate operations. After examining its login history, Riot Games was able to confirm that it was stolen and not generated like the defendant claimed.
Riot Games also revealed that it contacted Kaufman when the website was operating under another name. In the face of legal persecution, he initially agreed to comply but later changed the website’s name to DivineSmurfs to continue trafficking accounts like before.
Following the filing of the lawsuit on Friday, in the United States District Court for the Central District California, DivineSmurfs has gone offline.
There is a vast black market that deals in the sale of League of Legends accounts. Players who are either banned or interested in starting over, head to such avenues to acquire an account for a minor fee. The accounts are then renamed and shoved back into the player-base.
DivineSmurfs is just one fish in a big pool. It’s an uphill battle for Riot Games but taking down one helps to send a message to the rest.
The latest lawsuit follows just days after the court ruled in favor of Riot Games and slammed a popular League of Legends scripting website with a hefty fine of $10 million for conducting damaging services. The script-maker was also forced to handover all of its assets over to the game developer and shutdown operations.