Rumors are growing in the world of LoL esports. Thereâ€™s always been rumors regarding specific player swaps, especially after major events or when tensions seem high, but never anything as major as whole team restructures. However the League of Legends rumor scene has been growing lately. First with the EU SUPER TEAM rumors from the the past couple of months, and more recently with rumors regarding Evil Genuises buying Velocityâ€™s LCS Relegation spot. These rumors show an interesting growth of League of Legends esports. Itâ€™s not just about the hype of live events, but fans are going to great lengths to unravel whatâ€™s going on behind closed doors. Even if the rumors are false, the discussion of â€œWhat Ifâ€ scenarios helps develop perspective on the intricacies of LoL esports.
The Evil Geniuses to Velocity Rumor
The EU SUPERTEAM rumor faded away as rosters shuffled and players seemingly confirmed that change was going on, but not what was predicted. There was a twist though: what if the EU SUPERTEAM was still going to exist, but across the pond in North America? This is a quick summary of the Evil Geniuses to Velocity Rumor. Note: nothing here is confirmed by this article. The rumors are still rumors.
EG has supposedly bought a slot in the North American LCS Qualifiers from Velocity. Velocity currently has no team and very few North American prospects are likely to beat the strongest challenger team (expected to be Quantic). EG would transfer three of its players to the newly purchased Velocity slot: Â Krepo, Yellowpete, and Snoopeh. They would then be joined by two Americans: Pobelter (Mid), and Innox (Top, former Napkins in Diguise player). There are some variations on this rumor. For example it may be the organization Alliance that ends up with the spot, but both Alliance and Evil Genuises have the same owner and aren’t too far apart in terms of organization.
EGâ€™s roster would be Shook, Wickd, Tabzz, Nyph, and Froggen.Velocityâ€™s final roster would be Yellowpete, Krepo, Snoopeh, Innox, and Pobelter.
Is this rumor true?
It hasn’t been confirmed. However thereâ€™s quite a bit of theorycrafting going on in r/leagueoflegends and a bulk of the theories can be found in this thread. A question still stands: is this a logical choice for EG? Interestingly enough, yes. This is a viable route for EG Â as these changes help them maintain a successful European squad, give them a high possibility of adding an American LCS team, and maintain the personalities that made EG so successful.
Successful European Squad
The general opinion of EG last split has been â€œGood, but could be better.â€ During the LCS Summer Split season they finished in third place. This would show success, but they were still tied with three other teams and close to the Win/Loss rate of every team except Meet Your Makers. The ties showed that the majority of the European LCS was on equal terms . Worse for EG they placed fourth during the Summer Split playoffs and were unable to qualify for Worlds. While EG could carry on without major change and stay in the LCS, they likely want to jockey for a first place position. If they want to make that move theyâ€™re going to have to buff up the EU squad, either through new players or a breakthrough in the teamâ€™s structure.
EG is under a lot of pressure to stay at number one. This makes stalling to see what happens in the spring split difficult. There is also additional pressure coming from their competition as many teams have beefed up their teams with their own sets of roster changes. For exampole Gambit Gaming has Edward back and Fnatic has Rekkles. There are massive roster swaps going on in many EU teams and Evil Genuises are likely to lose even their fourth place position if they can’t show improvement. Unfortunately EG is an older team, and as a result there are less options to bring significant improvement to the team. More structure can always help, but itâ€™s possible that EG with itâ€™s current roster is starting to cap out on how well theyâ€™ll perform. Players get older, competition gets better, relationships get strained, and itâ€™s hard to maintain a number one position without looking for fresh blood or major change. So it goes in the world of sports, and so it goes in the world of esports.
The “Snoopeh Stare”
League of Legends has major differences compared to traditional sports when it comes to fandom. Tim Tebow brought a lot of controversy to the fans of the Denver Broncos, but when he left the team there wasnâ€™t a mass exodus of Tebowites following him in his pursuits and watching him stream. However, if CLG released Doublelift or Dignitas released Scarra there would be huge repercussions in the teamsâ€™ respective fanbases. A lot of this is due to very few teams being regional, and very few fans having regional pride. Coloradans fans will root for the Broncos since theyâ€™re the home team, but TSM fans are worldwide.
Fans tend to be attracted to skill, history, and personality. All of EGs members have these traits and itâ€™s in better interest for both the players and the organization to avoid severing ties. EG knows how to take care of its players with sponsorship and the players bring a lot of good will, Â more sponsors, and fandom to EG. There are a lot of great LoL players out there, but there arenâ€™t too many that have over 100,000 twitter followers and bring hype to a team just by being on it. EG splitting their team up helps bring a lot of new energy to both the American and European team, while maintaining the personalities that have built up EG in the League of Legends scene.
Can they even make NA LCS?
If the new North American Evil Geniuses Squad was going up against an unstoppable super team, this swap would just throw away a bunch of solid players. Velocity took 8th place in the NA Summer Split Season and as a result they donâ€™t have a choice for their opponent during relegations. Velocityâ€™s expected opponent is Quantic, a team of Korean players that moved to North America. Quantic had a rough start when their first streamed match had them playing on sub-30 accounts, but the team has been improving dramatically over the past few months. Itâ€™s hard to judge how well Quantic will perform versus EG since none of their competition has been European and itâ€™s unknown if they win scrims consistently versus LCS teams. Results arenâ€™t the best showing either as theyâ€™ve been able to beat Coast in a best of three, but still lost in the group stages of the first LCS Relegations Qualifier. Theyâ€™re looking incredibly scary though, and most teams feel that theyâ€™ve just been getting progressively stronger and are likely to face whoever is in that Velocity slot.
American EG has one major issue: The team is composed of five players that havenâ€™t played together as a team for a huge amount of time. Snoopeh, Yellowpete, and Krepo all have their past, but communication between the solo lanes and jungler has always been crucial. Innox and Pobelter arenâ€™t necessarily the most consistent players either. Pobelter is hard to judge since he hasnâ€™t seen a significant amount of competitive play recently, but Innox had quite a few feast or famine games while playing in the NACL. However, with the backing and structure of a major organization like Evil Genuises or Alliance itâ€™s very possible that Innox and Pobelter could be whipped Â to gel with their European counterparts quite quickly. There isnâ€™t a clear answer as to which team is stronger, especially with the 3.14 patch completely changing vision, support, and jungling. Will Gunza be able to step up carry from the support position? How will Innox and Pobelter merge with their new foriegn friends? What about viable champions: Nasus is considered powerful, but will teams know what tricks to bust out compared to their counterparts? Answers to these questions will have to wait until game day, but both the theoretical North American Evil Geniuses and Quantic could win the best of five.
Quantic – The Major Threat
No one knows if this rumor will go through. Even if it was true when posted, itâ€™s very possible that words and money behind the scenes cancelled the deal. Hell, this rumor surfacing could be the nail in the coffin for the EUROPEAN AMERICAN SUPER SQUAD. Itâ€™s not like EG hasnâ€™t had a new LoL team leaked in the past, and the they may not stand for it again. Regardless, until Velocity fields their team for the LCS Relegations nothing is known. Read a rumor, toss out some theory, and always remember that until a rumor actually happens: itâ€™s unconfirmed.
First off, what is something unknown or that very little people know about you?
Alex Ich: Dunno, not sure if everyone knows yet that I am married, I have a beautiful child and his name is Dmitry.
Thoughts on the teams at worlds and did everyone make it as far as you expected? Did any of the outcomes surprise you?
Alex Ich:Â I donâ€™t think that outcomes surprised me, only Samsung Ozone did worse than expected, but everything else was ok, I think we could have done better though.
Who do you think is the current strongest team in the LCS? Who do you expect to be the best in Season 4?
Alex Ich:Â With all the current changes I cannot answer this question. Time will show
Zed, Kassadin, and Ahri recently received changes. What would you have done differently, if anything, to tune these champions?
Alex Ich:Â Kassadinâ€™s obvious nerf should be increasing ult cd, I would say the same for ahriâ€™s ult and zedâ€™s ult. All these heroes power is from their ultimates, so you should nerf them but not their kit overall. They can assassinate too often and it is bad.
What is it like playing under pressure for you, how do you handle high pressure situations?
Alex Ich:Â I think I just got used to it.
What is your opinion of Faker?
Alex Ich:Â I think that he is good, LOL.
What do you think seperates your playstyle from other mid laners? Is there a “best” way to play the role, or is it based on your teams overall plan?
Alex Ich:Â I think that my playstyle is a bit farm oriented, not sure if it is the best way to play but it is strong, my goal is to farm and become beast until the lanephase ends. I think that I excel at playing mobile assassin heroes
Are there any champions you want to see return to competitive play? Who, and what would make them viable?
Alex Ich:Â I would like to see a Ryze buff so he can get more playable for me. I donâ€™t think that he is that good at the moment.
Do you think the mid lane is more important in EU than other regions? What about EU’s midlaner playstyle is different?
Alex Ich:Â I think that jungle is the most important role and most of the time junglers get mid lane rolling, but people give less credit to jungler and more to mid laner because he has a better score.
Who is the shotcaller within the team and how are things like objectives handled? Is there always a goal in mind or do you just takeopportunities as they come? Â
Alex Ich:Â We have everyone speaking, I think it is one of the best ways to handle it, though has some flaws. Most of the time you canâ€™t see all the game yourself so itâ€™s good that people say their opinions, you only need to filter and help so there will be no mess.
What should a mid laner do to make the most impact on the game for his team?
Alex Ich:Â He should farm, roam, not feed, play good champion, good positioning. For example if you play orianna, u need to stay on range, use all your skills, save your ad carry, land op ultimate and not get caught, its hard.
What champions are you current favorite to play as? Who is your least favorite to play against right now? Who do you think the strongest mid champion is currently?
Alex Ich:Â My favourite champion to play is Khaâ€™Zix though I am not sure if I want to play him competitively. Least favorite to play against is Riven and the strongest is Orianna/Gragas/Nidalee, something like that.
Who is the toughest mid laner you have faced?
Alex Ich:Â I would say Xpeke, dunno why but I got most problems with him in lane.
How have you and the team been spending the offseason?
Everyone is spending his time with the family, so we donâ€™t spend the time together. We are still training though, preparing to IEM.
Is Froggen still one of the best mids in the world?
Alex Ich:Â Yes he is
What do you like to do in your free time?
Alex Ich:Â I like spending my time with wife and child, play soloq and play some other games.
Looking into Season 4, do you think the current top teams will stay on top, or new ones emerge as we have seen in the past? Do you think SKT can stay as dominant as they have been?
Alex Ich:Â I donâ€™t know, I am not oracles, everything can happen, I would say there will be a lot of changes.
Do you feel the NA region is weaker than other regions overall? Will they emerge in Season 4? What prevents them from growing as rapidly as other regions?
Alex Ich:Â I think that NA region is not weaker than other regions, they have C9 who are really strong and Â TSM can get big with Bjergsen, so I would say they should be ok.
How do you feel about the roster changes announced so far in Europe? What team will they impact the most?
Alex Ich:Â Dunno every team will be hugely impacted because of changes. We should just wait and see how it goes.
Reginald recently retired as a player, and Ocelote stepped down from the main roster of SK gaming.Â We’ve seen your thoughts on them, but what was it like playing against them?
Havenâ€™t played against Reginald for ages so donâ€™t really remember, but tbh both Ocelote and Reginald were good midlaners, so playing against them was fun. In tournaments I got an edge most of the time though.
How do you feel about the current format of the LCS and World Championship? Do you think there should be changes for Season 4?
Alex Ich:Â I think that travelling every week for teams is bad thing. I would say that travelling just once every 2 weeks would be much better. And I think that games should be bo2 because the game is hugely dependent on side and pick and it can change in the next patch.
What do you think has been the biggest issue so far when finding a new support player? What are the biggest obstacles you have faced while trialing other players? What are you looking for in your support?
Alex Ich:Â We need a Russian speaking support that plays well. We have little time, so you should just pick and go. Most of the time we cannot just change support during the season, because we cannot take a Russian support, due to the fact that it takes around 1 month to get him passport+visa.
This was actually supposed to say “Will Edward ever return to Gambit?”, however it was recently announced that he is returning to your roster. What led to this decision? Not being able to find other supports that were as good or fit the team, or something else?
Alex Ich:Â I think that he knows that he will do the best in our team and we will do better with him, I would say it is just synergy.
Now that Edward has returned, do you expect Gambit to be back in top form?
Alex Ich:Â Yes
What are Edwards biggest strengths and what does he bring to the team that other supports can’t? What does he lack or need to improve in?
Alex Ich:Â Edward has one of the highest percentage of skillshots landed, he has huge experience and he is not stressful. I think his temper is explosive so he needs to work a bit on that, but overall I think he is a beast support.
Do you ever wish you could play a different role? If so, what would it be?
Alex Ich:Â I like to play ad and jungle in soloq, but I would say that mid suits me the most, though sometimes heroes get out of my meta.
How does the team plan to prepare for Season 4? What types of improvements overall does the team need the most? How about you individually, what would you like to improve on the most and what do you feel you are currently weakest in?
Alex Ich:Â I think we need to see the changes of season 4 first to know what we and I myself should change. I would say that we need to know next yearâ€™s LCS system and depending on that plan better our training because it is the weakest part of our team.
Thoughts on Mandatorycloud? Do you feel he is the best mid laner in NA?
Alex Ich:Â Not with Bjergsen been there. I think he is mechanically good , though he lacks experience and his or rather his team transition into mid-late game is not that good. He needs to improve on that part of game.
Predictions for the upcoming Battle of the Atlantic?
Alex Ich:Â I donâ€™t do predictions, we should win our games though
Are there any item changes you want to see? Or perhaps a new type of item for the mid lane?
Alex Ich:Â Zhonyaâ€™s nerf please, thank you.
Bjergsen was recently the latest European player to head to NA by joining TSM. How much of an impact do you think he will have on the team, and will he live up to the standard TSM has set the past 3 seasons? How good of a mid is Bjergsen compared to other NA mids? Do you expect to see more international team rosters as the game progresses?
Alex Ich: Â The more the game progresses â€“ more money included â€“ more transfers like in professional gaming. I would say that Bjergsen is really strong mid and if not strongest then one of the strongest in NA. TSM should do better with him because Reginald will control them and will have more time for handling TSM as organization so there will be five players fully related on game.
Alex Ich:Â Dunno, delete Riven from game? Tired of playing against her.
Alex Ich:Â I want to thank Gambit, BenQ, Steelseries, Pringles and Twitch for helping and supporting me and my team. Also I want to thank all our fans all over the world for watching our plays and rooting for us. I hope we will do even better now and in season 4 with Edward and I hope our team wonâ€™t have any more changes and internal problems.
From LCS underdogs to contenders on the World Stage, Lemondogs surprised everyone when they took 1st place in the EU summer split and bested Gambit Gaming to finish second in the playoffs. I had a chance to talk with former mid-laner and FizzÂ extraordinaire, Erik “Tabzz” Van Helvert, AD Carry for Lemondogs.
First off, what is something unknown or that very little people know about you?
Tabzz:Â I play piano as a hobby.
What was it like coming back from the 4-6 start you guys had during the LCS? What do you think the biggest changes were that contributed to your success and helped you to place 2nd in the playoffs?
Tabzz:Â The biggest change was definitely the patch in which AP top laners were meta, we took heavy advantage of this and managed to get high in the league because of it. Switching supports helped a lot too.
What was it like playing on the world stage and making it to worlds after being considered underdogs earlier in the year? What was your favorite experience at worlds?(best game, delicious food, etc)
Tabzz:Â It was certainly a great feeling, as nobody expected us to be there. Best experience was laughing at how ridiculously stupid American TV commercials are.
Thoughts on the teams at worlds and did everyone make it as far as you expected? Did any of the outcomes surprise you? Who was the strongest opponent you played against?
Tabzz:Â The tournament went just as expected in my eyes. The strongest opponent we played against was SKT and they ended up winning the whole thing.
Thoughts on SKT’s bot lane? What is the hardest thing about playing against SKT?
Tabzz:Â SKT botlane is very hard to trade with, they will always punish you. The best thing to do is to just equal farm them if you have an equal matchup. Beating them in trades is almost impossible.Â The hardest thing about playing SKT is their jungle and map control. Once they grab a tiny advantage in jungle or midlane, they can easily snowball it into a win for them.
We saw the rise of Corki recently, being picked or banned nearly every game. What makes him as strong as he is? What do you feel the current state of AD carries are and what kinds of changes do you want to see in season 4?
Tabzz:Â Trinity force change just boosted his power by a lot. I hope AD carries will be auto attack carries instead of casters in season 4, because I like that play style more. Buffs to phantom dancer and infinity edge would help in making that a reality.
What should an AD carry do to make the most impact on the game for his team?
Tabzz:Â Get as much farm without losing towers, and then play teamfights correctly later in the game. Using summoner spells correctly is also very important.
Going into worlds what was your preparation like and your expectations of yourselves and other teams?
Tabzz:Â We had a very hard group and were not sure if we could make it through, we tried our best but fell short against the Asians. All in all, I think the tournament went pretty much as expected.
What champions are you current favorite to play as? Who is your least favorite to play against right now?
Tabzz:Â Vayne and Ezreal are the most fun to play as. Least favourite to play as and against would be Corki, because heâ€™s incredibly OP with very low skill requirements.
We have seen incoming changes on Zed/Ahri/Fizz. What do you think of Fizz current status and what do you think needs to or will be changed, if anything? What do you think the best way to balance Fizz would be?
Tabzz:Â I think the main unbalance with fizz right now is that there is no way to counter his late game. Increasing his early game damage while nerfing his lategame cooldowns would tone him down a lot. But as it is right now, I donâ€™t think fizz needs any nerfs. Other champions just need buffs. Or there has to be an AD item that gives invulnerability to magic on active in season 4.
How have you and the team been spending the offseason? Is there a lot of time spent outside of the game together?
Tabzz:Â Weâ€™ve basically not talked to or seen eachother since worlds.
Looking into Season 4, do you think the current top teams will stay on top, or new ones emerge as we have seen in the past? Do you think SKT can stay as dominant as they have been?
Tabzz:Â League of legends changes all the time and as a result so do the teams. I donâ€™t think a single team will stay on top for a very long time.
How do you feel about the current format of the LCS and World Championship? Do you think there should be changes for Season 4?
Tabzz:Â Iâ€™d like games to be bo3 instead of just 1 game in the season. Bo1â€™s are pretty boring and their outcome often feels like it doesnâ€™t carry any weight. That means the games are less interesting for the viewers aswell.
Do you ever miss the mid lane? What is your favorite thing about each role? (AD/Mid) Which do you personally feel you are better at?
Tabzz:Â I think I can be at the top 3 players of both roles in EU. What I like most about Mid would be that I can lane, engage and make a lot of things happen on my own, whereas the AD role is more reliant on teammates. The AD role is more fun in teamfights, and it feels very rewarding to position properly and dodge important spells while killing your enemies.
Tabzz:Â Shoutout to all my fans and everyone who supports me!
You can follow Tabzz on twitter, or catch him streaming on twitch.
With the 2013 World Cyber Games just about a month away and the upcoming launch of Riot’s Japanese server, it’s time to bring some attention the LoL scene in Japan. I had a chance to talk with Takuya ‘Aotaka’ Fujita’, the top laner of Japan’s WCG representative, Team Rampage.
Take a second to introduce yourself for those who may not be familiar with the Japan LoL scene.
Aotaka:Â Hi my name is Aotaka and Iâ€™m playing for the Japanese team: Rampage.
What was preparation like going into the WCG qualifiers?
Aotaka:Â We are scrimming against SEA teams and trying to improve our communication and the team moves. It sounds basic but we need to learn from this since we donâ€™t have experience like other region does atm.
How would you describe your play style?
Aotaka:Â My play style is aggressive and trying to win the lane. I love the feeling when you can beat someone in lane and dominating.
Who is your favorite current champion? Who do you feel is the strongest Top lane champion currently?
Aotaka:Â Irelia and Jax are my favorite champions. I like more aggressive champions that can dominathe e in lane like season 2 more than Shen/Renekton. Sadly the champions I like arenâ€™t good picks with tcurrent Meta.
You defeated Peachserver Allstars as well as Detonation FM, the winners of JCG Premier League Season 2. Do you think you have improved since JCG season 2 and are stronger than those teams?
Aotaka:Â We didnâ€™t play the games against PA in JCG S2, we forfeited. In a tournament setting, we have never lost against PA or Detonation FM in tournament since Rampage was formed.
You are not playing in JCG season 3 despite winning the WCG qualifiers. Will we see you in Season 4?
Aotaka:Â There’s a deep background to this. The biggest reason is because JCG tournament side got threatened by Rampages opponents team manager so the opponent team and JCG organization were trying to change tournament dates many times. We said no multiple times but they wanted us to change our rosters. So because of how JCG acted, Rampage decided to not play in S2 and S3.
Aotaka:Â Currently it’s fine. JCG posted on their homepage that they made a Â mistake so we are going to play if they are not going to do same mistake again which they promise to us. (Tournament Organization that can’t follow their rules are not acceptable, they need to respect players more). Yes, we are going to play in S4.
Thoughts on AF1A/B and The Beastmitai?
Aotaka:Â I have no idea around Japanese team, so I donâ€™t have any kind of image to tell about those teams. Our manager is normally just giving us how our opponent plays when we are going to play any Japanese team so I have never cared about the Japanese teams.
Who do you think is currently the strongest Top laner in Japan? Strongest Team in Japan?
Aotaka:Â I think Iâ€™m the strongest Top laner in Japan, and my team is the strongest Team. If thereâ€™s any stronger team, they would have won the WCG Japanese qualifier.
Do you have obligations outside of LoL? What is it like trying to balance these things with competitive gaming? Do you have plans to make a living from professional gaming?
Aotaka:Â Iâ€™m spending my free times on Solo queue, Iâ€™m always inside LoL. I enjoy the game and without LoL, I canâ€™t keep the balance. I would like to play as professional gamer but itâ€™s hard without a Japanese LoL scene.
What server are you currently playing on? Do you feel that Japanese teams are at a disadvantage currently without their own server?
Aotaka:Â Japanese teams are are playing on NA server; I think we have a disadvantage. Making scrim against NA teams are hard because of time zone and itâ€™s hard to grow the Japanese scene without an official Japanese community.
Aotaka:Â I heard you are scrimming teams from SEA/GPL. How are those going, and what are your thoughts on the teams from those regions?
Aotaka:Â Yeah, we scrim a lot and I would like to thank to all the manager and teams. The games are going good, there are of course many teams that are better than us and everyone is friendly there. We are getting great help to improve us self.
How much of an impact do other regions have on your gameplay? What region do you follow the closest?
I love KR scene, Iâ€™m always watching the OGN. Iâ€™m a big fan of KR scene.
You are working on finding a second player for each position. What type of role will the secondary players have in the team? Will there be constant swapping, or is it more of a sub position?
Aotaka:Â The reason why we are looking second player in each position is to improve together and schedule problem for tournaments and scrims. Thereâ€™s many people working at the same time so we just need more players to keep as an organization, we donâ€™t have an income by playing LoL.
Do you have any favorite players or role models in the game? Who?
Aotaka:Â Cj Entus Blaze’s top laner Flame. Iâ€™m already excited to meet him at WCG. My dream was to meet him.
Did you follow the World Championship? If so, who did you think would win season 3? Who do you feel the strongest team in the world is currently?
Aotaka:Â Yeah I followed the WCS, I have been watching SKT from the OGN scene so I really wanted them to win. Iâ€™m happy that they won and I still think SKT is the strongest team.
Heading into season 4, what types of changes would you like to see to top lane, or the game in general, if any? Do you feel any champions need tweaking currently?
Aotaka:Â More aggressive lane with more 1 v 1 laning phase, I hope Irelia gets more buffed.
Are you planning on forming a B team? Do you feel having a secondary team offers an advantage against teams without one?
Aotaka:Â PA is old Rampage B team, we would like to form a B team but in Japan we lack on players to do that so we have to take it slowly atm. We donâ€™t think secondary team will offer us an advantage; the reason why we had B team was lack of scrim partners in Japanese scene 1 year ago. Currently with nice support from other regions and people, we can scrim with good teams to improve now without a B team.
Are you planning to scrim Korean teams?
Aotaka:Â We would like to play against any Korean teams, but we donâ€™t have the way to do that right now.
What do you hope to improve on the most individually? As a team?
Aotaka:Â Team fighting. We need to communicate more and learn the strategy to make our game easier. Communication is a key point but itâ€™s really hard.
Do you think Japan should have been in the Wildcard for Season 3 World Championship? Do you believe they will be able to compete in the S4 World Championship?
Aotaka:Â No, I donâ€™t really think so because we donâ€™t have a server. Rule is a rule, the requirments for Wildcard was server so I canâ€™t really say yes. But I wish we could have played there. We have played teams qualified on Wildcard and we played the games fine with them, Iâ€™m taking this positive but we need to improve more to compete in the S4 World Championship for sure.
What steps do you feel need to be made in Japan to promote LoL, and LoL esports? When an official Japanese server is released, do you expect a large increase in the competitive scene?
Aotaka:Â I canâ€™t really image how itâ€™ll become since computer games arenâ€™t that popular in Japan, people prefer to play arcade games more like Street fighter. Japanese people understanding about E-sports is really low, we need something to change about this and I think Japanese server would be a good step for that.
Does having a manager living in Sweden make it difficult?
Aotaka:Â Itâ€™s difficult since I have to wake up really early in the morning when I need to watch the scrims on live because Iâ€™m coaching the team too, but I enjoy it. Iâ€™m helping the team with English part, making scrims and training the team with my experience and so far it has been working great.
Will the team ever look to move into a Gaming house? What type of effect would a gaming house have on the team?
Aotaka:Â Every Rampage member would like to have a Gaming house, but we canâ€™t see the possibility in current scene in Japan so it would be difficult. I think it would affect the team positive, mostly the communication part and understanding in team mate will improve.
What are your goals for Season 4? What is your preparation like heading into the new season?
Aotaka:Â Rampage was made since MizuRussian wanted to have more preparation into Season 4 when Japan is getting a server. In Japanese scene, teams are disbanding too often, so he wanted to make an organization that would stop it somehow or make a team that could play in the long term.
What is the meta like in Japan compared to other regions?
Aotaka:Â Japan Meta is like season 2. One of the reasons why our Meta doesnâ€™t improve is because that team is disbanding way too often as we mention before. We are trying to watch the VODs from world-class team but it hasnâ€™t been successful enough to form our own meta yet.
What is the teamâ€™s preparation like heading into WCG?
Aotaka:Â Trying to improve our individual skills is needed but we are trying to focus more on communication and how to work as team, especially when playing against strong teams.
Aotaka:Â Thank you to everyone for the interview. We would like thank to all the fans, it helped us a lot to keep our motivation.
We will try our best at WCG, I hope everyone will enjoy the tournament and thanks again for reading. Iâ€™m streaming solo queue sometimes and when I do I tweet on Twitter. If you have time please take a look. Arigatou!
If thereâ€™s any organization or company willing to help us, we would appreciate it.
Still that one passive your duo buddy says is good when he/she picks Heimer support.
H-28G Evolution Turret ( Q )
Science: They’re definitely a lot tougher this time around, but they don’t have the special upgrades-per-level anymore. At level 1 Heimerdinger can only store one turret in reserve, but he easily can drop the maximum (3) before minions have spawned. These new turrets hit slower and deal less damage, but to compensate, they occasionally fire lasers automatically which can hit both enemy creep and Champions. They do so once a gauge below their health bar is filled. It takes 12 seconds for a turret to build up to a laser shot, but the first one can be fired as early as 2-3 seconds after the turret’s been placed. The activation range of the laser is around 650-675 (the laser itself is much bigger) and is displayed via an AoE circle around Heimerdinger’s turrets. If Heimerdinger isn’t within 1200 range of his turrets for 8 seconds, they will shut down.
Gameplay: The added laser beams allow Heimer to both bully melee Champions out of lane and discourage assassins from jumping on him. Even though the additional attack is a skillshot of sorts, it’s really hard to dodge by just walking to the side and it actually travels way further than its shown range. Aside from that the turrets are very much similar – less sustained damage but more resists, they can still easily push most Champions to their tower… and they can still get eaten/thrown/smited. One neat feature is a sound that plays whenever turrets hit a Champion off-screen – this can be heard only by whoever’s playing Heimer and it greatly encourages the use of turrets as wards. An awesome map-awareness feature all-around – place one near Dragon’s cave to warn your teammates of any grouping there. Max this ability if you want to just farm up and push, old-school Heimer style.
Hextech Micro-Rockets (W)
Science: A unique skillshot – Heimer’s rockets now cluster at the location of your cursor and spread out afterwards. Like most multi-hit abilities, consecutive hits on the same enemy deal less damage (20% on Champions, 60% on minions). The rockets outrange most mids, but they cost a lot of mana.
Gameplay: The projectiles become slower the longer they travel – Heimer players will need to get a feeling for how much they have to lead their targets based on distance. The rockets don’t actually deal AoE damage, so you should place your cursor in front of creeps when farming to fan them out. Heimer’s new W is similar to Nidalee’s spear in that it gets blocked by the first target hit – pressure the enemy with your turrets to force him to leave the safety of his minion wall before harassing with rockets (don’t overextend to aim). During laning this is a poke-trade tool – max this first if you’re against someone who’s gonna jump at you often and leave it second if your opponent is passive.
When dealing with tower-huggers, spread the ability a bit towards the end so there’s less chance it can be dodged. During teamfights it’s best to consider this a single-target nuke- the weird skillshot makes it difficult to aim at several enemies. Overall this is a really cool ability to use and it deals some impressive damage – hitting all 5 rockets is near-equal to Malzahar’s E.
CH-1 Electron Storm Grenade ( E )
Science: Instead of blinding, the grenade now slows targets hit. Enemies in the center are again stunned. The projectile is significantly faster but deals less damage than its old iteration. Also, it no longer flies in a straight line – it’s instead lobbed in the air (you know, like an actual grenade).
Gameplay: You can now hit enemies who aren’t DC-ed with a grenade! It really is Heimer’s most considerable change as it makes the ability so much less situational – it’s a great initiator to a gank, a viable poking tool in lane and a reactive escape mechanism. The damage is less, however, meaning you won’t be nuking with the grenade as much as you’ll be using it for its slow/stun. Take one point in the ability for the control it provides.
UPGRADE!!! ( R )
Science: The next ability is Empowered and free-to-cast. This doesn’t reset Heimerdinger’s existing cooldowns. UPGRADE!!! is only considered used when an Empowered ability is actually fired – it will otherwise be canceled after 3 seconds or if the ability is reactivated before that.
Gameplay: Heimer’s new ult carries a sort of Karma-esque vibe, with a lot of decision making and game-changing abilities, but less of that passive power the old ult’s CDR provided.
H-28Q Apex Turret (R+Q)
Places a giant freaking turret on the ground. This one doesn’t cut into Heimer’s existing turret cap, charges its laser two times faster, hits in an AoE, slows enemies, deals more damage with both its auto attacks and automated beam and pays your bills.
Hextech Rocket Swarm (R+W)
Fires 4 waves of rockets, each with its own (increased) damage cap. They’re shot almost immediately, but they all follow the first one’s skillshot path. Late game (~600 AP) this ability can deal more damage than Syndra’s ult if she had 7 spheres up.
CH-3X Lightning Grenade (R+E)
Lobs a grenade that, after landing, bounces 3 more times, dealing damage and slowing each time. The slow %, area of effect and base damage are all increased. Enemies can only be affected by the slow/stun of the ability once. The bounce is uncontrollable – the grenade will always bounce in the direction it was thrown.
Why this new Heimer is a step forward
As the video suggests, the new kit allows Heimerdinger players a lot more decision-making during games -Â should I use my turrets to scout, place them in the back so I can farm at peace or perhaps pressure the enemy laner with lasers so he can expose himself to rocket hits? This kind of organic strategy translates into teamfights – should I use my ult to make a bigger turret for higher DPS, fire a Rocket Swarm to quickly nuke down an enemy or lob an upgraded grenade into the fray to help with CC?
With the remake of his grenade, we can finally see Heimer’s E being used consistently and successfully. No longer is the Turret Master forced to wave his wrench awkwardly whenever his jungler ganks the enemy laner – now he can set up the gank himself. Aside from that, a lot of counterplay has been introduced into Hextech Rockets – though they can potentially deal much higher single-target damage, they can now be dodged, limiting the frustration that laning against Heimer often imposed.
What do you guys think of the new Heimer? Do you think you’ll enjoy playing him? Will he be a competitive pick? Share below!
A fellow Summoner has released an impressive number of spreadsheets and graphs showing Ahri’s performance pre- and post- PBE changes.
Phreak: As a math nerd, I have a few bones to pick with the data you put up:
1. You are showing “difference in damage” and not “total damage dealt.” It’s really easy to make a super biased graph that says, “LOOK GUYS, FOUR HUNDRED DAMAGE DIFFERENT” except that when your full burst is 4,000 damage, no one cares that you killed TWO Ashes. She’s already dead. Showing the numbers in context of actual damage dealt gives a much fairer view of “pain.”
2. There’s a lot of extraneous useless points on the graphs. Tracking Ahri’s 800 AP burst at level 5 is disingenuous because that’s actually impossible in a real-game situation. I realize some cropping may make the graphs harder to track, but showing, “Damn -140 on a level 4 Q-W combo?” is extremely bias-inducing.
3. Your choices in data are disingenuous. What I saw from your graphs are that in almost every single case, your single target damage goes up if you land charm. That’s the intended behavior. Showing “GUYS SHE DOES SEVEN HUNDRED LESS DAMAGE (if you count ambient damage to targets you don’t actually care about because they’ll hit minions most of the time anyway and she still one-shot your ADC) is really, really, really poor form. You sought out the worst possible situation, one that actually doesn’t ever happen in game, and then said, “LOOK HOW BADLY SHE GOT RAPED GUYS!”
Now, here’s the thing about Ahri’s design that we’re looking to change.
1. A freaking ton of her damage comes from non-skill shots. That’s why the nerfs are aimed at W and R. Because you don’t get to outplay Ahri. If she has the stats on you, you just die. You can’t outrun her. You can’t CC her for long enough. You can’t even juke her. You just die if she hits her buttons in the right order.
2. As a result of this, we are saying “Okay well your guaranteed damage isn’t very high unless you land a skill shot first.” Suddenly, counterplay! And with the fact that her single-target burst goes up in every single situation but one, I’m pretty sure the numbers are close. Your graphs also support this. The problem is, you’ve clouded that by saying, “But she does less damage to minions 95% of the time!”
Are these changes not nerfs?
Phreak: I am not denying that we’re nerfing Ahri.
I’m denying the sevrrity of the nerfs to Ahri. I’m denying that she’s nerfed at all if she lands Charm.
The point of the changes is to condition her high damage upon landing Charm.
Morello jumps on the forums to explain the team’s decision to leave Sivir struggling to reach the creep wave.
Â Â Morello:Â There’s a lot of moving pieces on the Sivir rework, for sure. Let’s talk about a couple of points (this is a well-reasoned, if long, post so I want to highlight it as a good way to have a discussion).
I do want to address the “the only way to fix her is to make her have equivalent attack range”. My core stance is that Sivir now has a number of levers we can use to tune her correctly. I’m actually not terribly interested in what the current tuning is because that can be fixed quickly as long as the core gameplay is good, but we’ll talk about where that’s true and not on the new kit.
1) Sivir’s short range is largely a cost she pays to allow ricochet to be more aggressively tuned.Â This wasn’t the case before the VU because of ricochet being more basic and not adding a ton of pressure on its own, but the new ricochet allows for higher-pressure haraass while wave-clearing to create a more claustrophobic lane for enemies. Original Sivir had a long range and an uncapped ricochet, which basically prevented her from exposing herself to opponents at all. It was like a super-Caitlyn!
The new W looks to go back closer to that paradigm. While not uncapped still, ricochet is core to Sivir’s power and should be tuned as aggressively as we can manage – it is, afterall, the most defining, non-power feature of the character. The nice part of the new one is that its built as a variable number of shots.
For example, let’s say 3’s too low. Sivir is likely insane if we made that number “your next 300 shots.” There’s a number between 3 and 300 that makes this skill satisfying and balanced, and we’ll be looking for that number (along with other tweaks that make Ricochet do its job better). It has a cooldown window and resets attacks, providing at least basic decision-making and counterplay to use.
2) Sivir’s core strategic strengths are pretty unique; marksman-level AOE damage, high mid-game burst thanks to Q double-hitting, and a team-based engage/disengage skill.Â That means we should (and are) going to embrace those unique factors, while providing costs in other things other people do well. This likely places Sivir in a place that’s more niche than a Vayne, but that’s part of what having a a character stand out and be something that feels different is about. Balancing Sivir through homogenization is very possible, but not the direction we generally want to go wherever we can avoid it. If she’s not doing these things, then she has the hooks to tune them.
3) Sivir might be bad in some metas, and good in others. This is not only fine, but preferable.Â This goes a lot in-line with my above point, but this is more similar to Kog’Maw – other game states and comp choices will change the viability of that champion, especially as we’re thinking Sivir’s likely harder to play than some other characters.
So is Sivir perfectly balanced? Probably not – but that’s not the meaningful issue, especially as a character like her who has needed some work to be usable for quite awhile. Now, however, we have tuning points available to us to make sure we get her in the right spot, for the right reasons, all while making sure she has a space that’s all-her-own within LoL.
[Zerglinator]Â Why didn’t you make Ricochet a toggle?
Â Â Morello:Â That version was untunable, because mana is not a good enough gate in both early and late game. X shots is, and allows us to give her an AA reset that can improve overall damage in all situations.
[RockMan EXE]Â Why are Sivir’s base stats so low?
Â Â Morello:Â Not sure (Statikk might!), but that’s very, very simple to fix. We can change base stats easily if it’s needed!
[Arlunn] Has the cast time on Sivir’s ultimate been removed?
Â Â Morello: We were happy to fix that too!
[Typhnox] Was Sivir’s auto-attack reset a balance concern when you were reworking her W?
Â Â Morello: For cooldown, yes, but for number of shots, they’re independent. That gives us a lot more control over this spell so we can balance it as we see how it goes.
[Blaine Tog] Why, then, is Jinx allowed to have so much range on her Rocket Launcher?
Â Â Morello: Might be hard to tune, haha. But bounces are more wild – they scale very differently in different situations, where AOE/Range is more concrete.
[HigeR] Why was the team AS aura buff removed from Sivir’s ult?
Â Â Morello: We talked about that, and this was a tough choice here. We agree the AOE AS buff gave her really cool synergy with certain team comps. MS is more universal, and thought that might also help her be useful on a wider variety of teams (something we thought she could use with her other specific power set).
[RockMan EXE] Will you make Sivir easier to last hit with?
Â Â Morello: Especially important that last-hitting feels good on marksmen, for sure. I’ll see what Statikk thinks (as he mentioned in his post, we’re worried good players on internal tests caused some conservatism on numbers).
[Ratastok] You should listen more to seasoned Sivir players
Â Â Morello: We did listen – we removed the cast time on her ult and allowed her to fill the lanes with bouncing missiles again, commonly-requested Sivir changes.. We just don’t do every single suggestions because we’ve given a laundry list of reasons why we’re choosing not to.
Remember we have a whole ecosystem to think about, and what “X champion players want” can be at costs to overall good health. We do what we can, but it’s rarely “everything.”
[HigeR] Can you decrease the CD on Sivir’s E to help her early game?
Â Â Morello: Shield is mostly tun-able through CD – easy to do and valid.
[Irish Red Cap] Sivir doesn’t have a gap-closer
Â Â Morello: Her ult’s a gap-closer – a pretty good one at that!
Are you really worried about the lane matchups, or teamfighting? It seems people are really focused on laning to me on this.
EDIT: So her team movement speed is NOT a gap-closer? dafuq.
[I am Trynda] Suggestion: Increase the number of bounces on W, reduce the bounce speed to introduce more counterplay
Â Â Morello: Very true. If we can get away with more, I’d like to push on that when we see actual balance.
Balancing the right way: emphasizing on unique mechanics
Â Â Morello: OK, forums. Let’s talk.
I’ve seen more weird downvoting of informative posts lately, and in this case the message that sends to me is;
We want homogenized power, stop trying to carve out unique spaces for stuff because it might not be super powerful. “Just make it strong!”
Because if you’re telling me “don’t do what you just did,” that IS what is left over by default. Every single piece of power has a cost, and 50 range is a lot of power budget.
So what is the alternative? We can make Sivir “not quite as good Corki” at 550. Her ricochet would need to be nerfed, her ult less fight-changing, and ultimately, a pretty flat character who would be easy to replace with other marksmen.
I know that cost isn’t apparent because power is apparent, and there’s a lot of examples of powerful characters that do this. It’s like saying a mage is weak if it can’t burst.
[Luscious Lenny] Suggestion box
Don’t buff her range
Her W needs base damage. (heavily nerfed her crit sustain damage) 250 plus a crit.
AA animation needs to be cleaned up. (like you did with Ryze)
Base attack speed needs to be buffed back up. (6.2 come on man)
Do this and she will be a damm good adc
Â Â Morello: Agreed – she’d be really strong like this.
Â Â Morello: And this is why so much thrash happens on GD. There’s little understanding the difference between balanced and balancable. If it’s not the strongest, it’s trash, and its design is trash.
FFS. The disagreements don’t bother me (those can be very good!) the anger doesn’t bother me, it’s that I don’t have time to teach 10’s of millions of people about game design, but they want to tell you how much they know about how to do it. And without it, it will be a lot of posts like this that taunt me into posting on them instead of something good.
This goes towards the vocal minority that overshadows legitimate feedback. Simply telling off the developers on their work is no way to conduct a conversation. Please understand that Rioters are people, they’re just as easily affected by negative comments as you are, only they’re less inclined to show it. If you disrespect their effort to provide you a better experience at every turn, then how do you expect to be treated the next time around? Shallow complaints and whining doesn’t help the balancing team, it doesn’t help readers gain a perspective on the matter and it doesn’t help you feel any better about whatever change has happened.
I appreciate substantial comments on this site and I’ve started re-directing some of them to NA forums. Thanks to everyone who voices his/her concerns in a civilized manner!
[emTmyclipin2u] The missiles are a great skill to level up first in certain scenarios
Â 20thCenturyFaux: Yay! That’s exactly what I want to see. I put a bunch of effort into making sure Heimer could level W first if he queued a blind pick and ran into someone like Kart–a mage who can easily and efficiently destroy turrets.
[Echeerie] Can Heimerdinger move while casting R+W?
Â 20thCenturyFaux: Yes.
[RainbowTrenches] How far does Heimerdinger have to move for his turrets to shut down?
Â 20thCenturyFaux: It’s the same range as passive, so you can make it visible by mousing over the passive icon, if that helps any.
[LordFacepunch] Suggestion: Passive rework – Heimerdinger’s turrets heal themselves and Heimer for 10% of the damage dealt
Â 20thCenturyFaux: Hmm, interesting. It gives the same resistance to mistakes and it doesn’t require concentration. It forces you to max Q in lane, but it wouldn’t take much fiddling to let you max W too. I’ll need time to think, but there’s potential here for sure.
[LordFacepunch] How tanky is the R+Q manmode turret?
Â 20thCenturyFaux: It actually does get a bunch more hp than normal turrets, and in fact is big enough to live through Smite, Consume etc. It might still be too squishy, just like the other turrets, but I figured I’d point it out :3
[Vakarian Garrus] Will Heimerdinger get a visual update?
Â 20thCenturyFaux: I’ve heard from players who follow the art bros that Heimer VU is likely, so it’s probably more a matter of when than if. I don’t have a ton of visibility into that stuff, I’ve been pretty absorbed into Heimerland for the last quite a while.
[SonicTheHedgedawg] How about adding a ranged damage reduction to turrets?
Â 20thCenturyFaux: Our ADC playtesters got so mad at me when they couldn’t kill the turrets, so much rage you have no idea lol
I had a really hard time figuring out a damage reduction value that wouldn’t create “corki shoots turret twice, turret still alive” some of the time :[
[exec3] Why do turrets shoot slower now?
Â 20thCenturyFaux: Slowing the attack speed down lets you pick its damage out of a crowd more easily. It also makes it feel bigger, which is cool, and more like a tower, which is awesome.
[SonicTheHedgedawg] Are you worried players will use turrets as wards?
Â 20thCenturyFaux: Worried? I added a special sound to make them better wards ^^
Heimerdinger is all about invention and creativity, imo. I will do anything I can to support as much weird diversity as the Dinger can manage.
List of known bugs
Â 20thCenturyFaux: Hello! Just wanted to pop in and say I’m still reading every post, I’m just focused on wrangling all the bugs that PBE testing turned up.
Turret resists not scaling with Heimer level (non-linear, basically only matters at levels 11+)
Tooltip on RQ slow incorrect
Tooltip on RQ duration bugged
Range indicator on Q placement as well as turret range size
Range post-deploy circle for RQ
Maaaaaaybe a way to check what turret was the last one placed? Not sure how doable this is, gonna be barking up this tree though
The weird thing about the resists bug is that it hasn’t proven as problematic as I thought. We’re definitely getting reports that they feel too squishy, but the impact is less than imagined and people are finding clever ways of playing around it. I’ll be checking in fixes for most of this stuff today, resists included, and I’ll be watching how they change the Heimer turret game very closely.
Specific stuff I’m looking for data on:
The special Heimer-only ‘turret hits champ’ sound. Annoying? Useful? Thoughts pls!
Turret tankiness at champ levels 11+. How fast are they dying? How fast are you replacing them? At how much CDR?
Turret AI bugs! I’ve heard scattered reports of the AI being dumb, but it’s hard to pin down.
Wacky playstyles! If you come up with a way to Dinger like no ding has donged before, please share it! This is way more important than it seems. Heimer is a bit of an oddball in that his balance depends hugely on how he’s played.
Thanks for all the kind words and feedback! I’m blown away by how big/awesome this thread is and I can’t wait for this to go live.
[Aerophobia] Doesn’t the shutdown range prevent Support Heimer from using the turrets as wards?
Â 20thCenturyFaux: Yeah, I’m curious about this too. It’s my hope that it won’t be too oppressive to go within range every 8 seconds or so, specifically because the times when you can’t are also times when you’re pushed to your own tower, making the ward less necessary anyway. Support Heimers, is this true? Why or why not?
[NegativeZ3ro] Where does the new Heimer fit in terms of damage output?
Â 20thCenturyFaux: Heimer is a bit of an oddball. He puts out huge damage and can reduce a champ to dust very quickly, but he can’t do what Ahri type champs do in terms of jumping someone and killing them. His kills are more about forcing people to fight in his turrets or following up an ally’s engage with a rowdy RW.
How does Banner of Command interract with Heimer’s turrets?
Â 20thCenturyFaux: It works on turret autoattacks but not turret beams. Note that this does include the Apex RQ turret’s autoattacks.
Missed any recent updates? Check out the latest topics below!
Disclaimer: While I am a law student,Â I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
California has recently passed a lawÂ that will allow minors to effectively “take back” statements they say online. The bill, which will go into effect starting January 1, 2015, will require
the operator of an Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application to permit a minor, who is a registered user of the operatorâ€™s Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application, to remove, or to request and obtain removal of, content or information posted on the operatorâ€™s Internet Web site, service, or application by the minor
Reading further into the bill, it is important to note that “remove” doesn’t require deletion – it does, however, require the service provider to restrict public access to the statement. California State Senators have called this an “eraser button” for minors, who may not fully understand the damage they could do to themselves by making spur-of-the-moment, off-the-cuff posts that they don’t mean. Many speculate this is a response to the Justin Carter case, to help protect hot-headed children and increase online privacy.
What does this mean for League of Legends? The biggest glaring possibility is that the California bill could give California minors an “out” to tribunal action. Riot is an operator of an online service (self-admitted in their Terms of Service), and all users are, by Riot’s own terms, required to register in order to use Riot’s services. So, in theory, California minors should be able to request the removal of comments they write in-game – never to see the public eye.
This would probably include the removal of content on tribunal reports.
Even the purpose of the California bill seems to be to allow this type of removal – toxic comments are typically made in the heat of the moment – I don’t know anyone who hasn’t typed something they haven’t meant, without thinking, say when a teammate throws their silver-to-gold 5th promotion match. So does that mean California minors have a “get out of the tribunal free” card?
Possibly. The tribunal has a couple things backing it. First, Riot could argue that minors have waived that right by agreeing to the ToS. This is a weak argument, since it is unlikely a California court would allow a minor to waive this right at all. Second, Riot could argue that the fact that the chat is anonymous protects the privacy of the minor. This could work, depending on things like a.) the purpose of the tribunal action, b.) the impact and degree of the minor’s language, and c.) whether the courts view LoL as a social media outlet (unlikely).
What do you think? Should the California law give minors an out to tribunal action? Or should Riot still be allowed to post content by minors to be judged by the community?
Like the read? Follow me on Twitter @VCDragoon for more posts! (yup, I just gave in)
I always prefer duo-queue to solo. Feel free to add me in-game!Â