Riot Games has announced that LCS Head Coaches will be receiving a salary from Riot of $12,500 per split, and teams will receive an additional $12,500 per split to spend on their coaching staff as they see fit, which may be used to hire analysts, a sports psychologist, or simply pay more to the coach. Head Coaches will be able to communicate with the starting players live, during Pick and Bans to direct their champion choices. Lastly, Riot will only accept a certain LCS week’s starting roster from the Head Coach. Meaning, if a team were to run a 6-man roster, the Coach would have to communicate with Riot who’s playing.
Here’s a part of Riot’s statement regarding the announcement:
As we’ve seen teamwork, synergy, and strategy become increasingly core to successful LCS play, we’ve also seen the infrastructure around teams, including coaching, become a critical component to their in-game success. Effective coaches can provide guidance to players and instill and reinforce values such as discipline and teamwork, the benefits of which can extend far beyond the confines of an LCS match or a pro player’s career.
As we previously announced, we’ll be officially recognizing the Head Coach of each team beginning with the 2015 Spring Split. Along with this recognition come many new privileges and expectations for Head Coaches.
With officially recognizing coaches, Riot has outlined some more rules for Coaches and teams to follow:
All prospective Head Coaches must pass the same behavioral checks that prospective players do in order to be admitted into the LCS, and will be held to the highest standard of conduct both in and out of game.
All teams will be required to have their Head Coach physically present at all of their LCS matches, barring emergencies.
Coaches will not be subject to the Interregional Movement Policy, however, they may only coach for one organization at a time.
Edward: Well, it feels great. Playing at LCS is a part of my life and I didn’t really want to be stripped of it. I decided to become a pro gamer and nothing else, so that was really important for me.
What was your mindset after being relegated? How did you approach the series against SKP?
Edward: We knew that we will get relegated around the 7th or 8th week of EU LCS Summer Split. So we were already trying to develop a good mind set for The Promotion Tournament, it’s hard to explain. We only had a 5-day break after the final Super Week prior to resuming 5v5 practice.
After losing the first game, were you worried? What did you do to rally back to a 3-1?
Edward: I don’t think we lost due to SKP being a better team. From my perspective, we lost because we were overconfident and had a poor ban/pick phase. After that loss, we did our research and we already knew what to ban and to pick, so it was way easier for us to play against them. Besides, we haven’t played vs jungle Fizz jungle at all, so Diamond didn’t know that he can punish him early game so hard, but it wasn’t the case the next time they picked Fizz.
You put up a strong performance throughout the series, reminiscent of your days as the “Thresh Prince”. How do you feel about your play and where do you think you stand now compared to the other supports in the EU LCS? In the World?
Edward: It’s that hard to say. It’s hard for me to say that I know a player in Europe who is way better than me at playing support. Our team went through so many problems and we couldn’t do much about them, therefore everyone was playing bad compared to how they used to before. Team was struggling so much and u couldn’t see a lot of good individual plays. Alex left afterwards, so we picked up new players with only me and Diamond remaining from our original rosters. It’s a really weird feeling, like we joined a completely new team. You want to move forward and improve even more, just to prove everyone that you are still worth something. Also it’s hard to compare two supports in isolation from their teams, it’s a 2v2 match-up and, in my opinion, Europe and China have some of the strongest bot lanes in the World. Korea is doing really badly in terms of their bot lanes right now, they are just going bot to farm and they don’t punish each other, they don’t risk often enough. At least that’s how I feel after watching a couple of BO5’s from OGN.
What’s it like playing with Krislund vs. Genja? Are there any old habits that you haven’t kicked yet?
Edward: Genja and I were 2 bosses on bot lane and we didn’t listen to each other a lot even though we have good synergy.
With Krislund, it’s more like I am a boss and he is always listening to me. He trusts me completely, he always listens to what I have to say, and I think its better.
The issue of a gaming house has been a recurring topic for you, are you planning to move into a house for the next split of the LCS?
Edward: I don’t have any info about getting a gaming house or boot camp or w/e it is. We will see in the future. I hope we will get one, so I don’t have to fly for more than 20 hours every week to play a few LCS games.
How strong do you believe the current iteration of Gambit is? Do you believe you can once again become a top team with the current roster?
Edward: To be honest, I didn’t think much about it as I was fully focused on our BO5 against SKP. Right now I think we will be in a better position than before.
What is your favorite support champion on the current patch? (4.16) What is your least favorite thing about 4.16?
Edward: I haven’t played much on 4.16, since we were scrimming on Tournament Realm as our match against SKP was on 4.14. But I like to play Alistar, Thresh, Braum, Sona and Janna – they are currently my favorite support champions.
What, if anything, would you change about the state of support?
Edward: I would change Ancient Coin and Talisman of Ascension, since they are too weak right now (expensive, but not beneficial) even though they are good for your team. I also think that they should increase a variety of support items, because the choice right now is rather limited.
How strong of a contender is EU on a global stage? Do you believe they have a shot at the title? Edward: Well, European teams are definitely better than last year, I think some of them will advance to playoffs, but won’t make it to semis. Who knows though, everyone is practicing in Korea. Time will tell.
What do you plan to do during your vacation?
Edward: I think we will take a small break. For now, I’ll play Solo Queue and stream almost every day, so you can come and watch me play on Twitch.
Edward: I said it so many times and I will say it again, thanks to every fan who sticks with us in spite of our struggles this year.
About the author: Tim Kimbirk is an eSports Journalist and writer with Solomid. Stay up to date on the latest interviews and features by following on twitter: @CaymusNoL
Soooo as some of you may have heard, we’ve been working on some pretty big changes to Soraka. Hopefully this post will help you guys see some of the challenges we faced with her as a character and how we are looking to resolve them while creating a really deep and interested play experience that no other character in LoL can offer.
Right then, so first thing first. We wanted to carve out a really specific niche for Soraka so that we could make her really strong and unique in that role. The role that we identified for her was as the core healer of the League of Legends roster. So, I’m sure that raises a bunch of alarm bells for a number of you. “Wait a second, hasn’t Morello said in the past that he hates healers in LoL? What changed?”
Well, there’s a difference between healing with and without meaningful costs and interaction. Let’s talk about that for a second. With Live Soraka (and especially season 1 Soraka, if you were around for that), heals tend to “undo” action at the cost of mana. Specifically, being a sustain fountain that clicks your ally until they are healthy doesn’t create a very compelling gameplay space, and certainly doesn’t feel like a fair interaction to enemies. After all, all they can do is keeping harassing until Soraka runs out of mana. So then, what would feel fair?
That was the core problem I was looking to solve when I started on Soraka. After some early iterations, Morello pitched something crazy to myself and RiotScruffy. What if Soraka had to pay her own health to heal allies, but could then get it back through a separate enemy-interactive spell? ; This became the driving vision behind the new Soraka, and I’m really excited to share what’s going to be hitting PBE in the next cycle with you guys. This is not going to be a tl;dr post (if you want that version, I’m sure you can wait for blakinola’s). I want to get in depth about every choice that was made and why we felt it was necessary. So without further to do, here’s the kit. (This is going to go in the order most conducive to walking you through my process, so don’t get confused when I start on W).
PLEASE PLEASE note that all of these numbers are definitely not final. We will be doing a lot of tuning over the next couple of weeks.
This is the core of Soraka’s new kit. It’s a 4 second (scaling down to 2) heal that she can use to constantly direct her attention to the ally that needs it most. We are trying to really capture the feeling of the core healer that is constantly managing her allies’ health bars and keeping people alive. As I mentioned previously, the % health cost is necessary to allow Soraka to have such insane potential healing. Using this spell, you can easily heal an ally from almost dead to full health, but you will pay a heavy cost for doing so if you aren’t actively engaging in your offensive loop (Starcall). The Max Health cost was chosen very specifically over a flat health cost so that Soraka would not be able to increase her overall healing potential by stacking tank items (especially warmogs). If Soraka is going to be allowed to keep people alive in fights, she needs to be vulnerable in doing so. Soraka’s positioning and decision making will be a huge point of mastery. That reminds me, the cast range on this spell will be rather short. This is necessary to make sure Soraka is accessible when she chooses to heal and can’t sit 800 units behind the back line and heal from total safety (seriously, this is the most frustrating thing ever to have to deal with). Good news though, she will have other tools on her kit to help her here.
This passive we called “Astral Ambulance” internally. Because Soraka’s cast range on W needs to be constrained, we need to give her another way to reliably reach the targets she wants to heal. This new passive allows Soraka to keep up with the fight and make clutch saves by sprinting across the river to get that heal off.
The second potion of this passive allows Soraka to get the cool bonus effects off items like Frozen Heart while making your healing and damage stronger. This should open up a couple cool new itemization choices for her. It also serves a potential release valve in a future where mitigation itemization allows Soraka to be too tanky. This way we can tune how strong Soraka is in certain areas (healing/damage) without just flat out nerfing her if she is ever able to become too tanky.
That brings us to the new Starcall. I don’t think you guys need much of an explanation of why the previous starcall needed to be cut. It was essentially a ramping damage PBAoE ability on a character that is supposed to be a support focused around her ally. A ramping damage pattern like this is really indicative of tanks, and if we wanted Soraka to be an interactive and fair healer, we had to give her opponent a way to be successful against stopping her healing.
Ideally, we wanted this spell to be very reliable at close range (when Soraka is at extremely high risk) while be equally as powerful but less reliable at long ranges (so that if Soraka is poking with it her opponents can dodge). This led us to a targeting paradigm similar to Corki Q or Twitch W (basically a missile that doesn’t have any effects until the end where it blows up in an AoE). To really accentuate the reliable-when-close paradigm, we also added a small sweet spot in the middle of the AoE (think Leona ult style). If Soraka hits an enemy with the sweet spot, the enemy takes 150% of the damage and is slowed for 2 seconds. You’ll see why this slow is really important to her offensive pattern when we get to E, but one other thing I wanted to point out was that this is one of the few tools she has to stay safe when she’s by herself.
Finally, let’s talk about the E. Soraka’s previous E was one of the better decision points on her old kit, but a targeted silence just wasn’t as satisfying as it could have been. A lot of the time you don’t even realize how much you have or haven’t hurt your opponent. Tryndamere and Riven are both AD stacking melees. If you use it on Tryndamere, it might not be a big deal, but if you use it on Riven she literally can’t do anything. What we really wanted to do here was give Soraka a much bigger moment when it came to play making that still fulfilled the power of quickly silencing a dude quickly
Equinox is an incredibly powerful spell. An AoE silence zone is no laughing matter, and the root at the end allows her to make some really cool plays (dropping it where Lissandra is about to blink to, or underneath an incoming enemy teleport, etc.) The root will scale with level, but once again try not to focus on numbers since these are all subject to change with tuning.
Wish is largely unchanged, but because her old passive was removed (more healing at lower ally health), this scaling was kept on wish but concentrated into a clear threshold.
This change allows Soraka to understand exactly how many “bonus heals” she is going to get when she presses the button, and also makes the spell just generally more powerful when it matters (anytime the ally is below 40% they get the equivalent power of being at 1% with the wish on Live currently). We kept the healing scaling on Wish and not on W because we didn’t want Soraka to allow her ally to drop to dangerously burstable levels just so she could get a slightly better heal on a basic ability. Soraka should always want to keep her allies at the safest health she can (while also managing her own health) and we felt that a bonus heal on W not only encouraged play that was often wrong, it also felt really baity for the enemies. Keeping the “flash heal” button and the big saving cooldown separate allows us to make sure each has a clear and satisfying purpose. So that’s the kit.
I guess I want to close by talking about how this Soraka is not going to play like anything else in League of Legends. We’re taking a lot of risks by basically allowing Soraka to put herself at near death, but the gameplay experience of the core healer is something we really want to explore. We’re willing to try some risky stuff to accomplish a cool niche champion like this, and we will be watching her really closely on PBE to make sure she isn’t doing anything overly abusive.
We’re really excited about what this champion could provide to players who love to play combat healers, and we’ll be doing plenty of tuning on PBE to make sure she’s in the best place possible upon release. Please remember that regardless of whether she is strong or weak on PBE (or even on release) that we are building a champion that we are comfortable buffing up even if she is weak, so bear with us as we get her into a good spot in the coming weeks.
I’ll be around to discuss all of this stuff with you guys, so fire away with any questions you might have!
Hi everyone, a couple of weeks earlier I shared some preliminary peeks into what the Viktor gameplay update will bring. Today I am here to talk in more detail regarding the kit changes as we near completion.
OBLIGATORY THIS IS NOT FINAL THINGY
Evolving Technology [ Passive ]
We’ve already talked about the passive, and not much has changed from what I spoiled back then. Viktor is able to upgrade his Hex Core 3 times, and each upgrade will allow him to augment a basic ability & grant AP and mana. The completed item will be certainly slot efficient and grant a load of AP in the late game.
Power Transfer [ Q ]
We talked about the Q somewhat in intentionally vague terms. The Q is gaining a significant increase in range in exchange for significant reduction in damage. The lost damage will be made up as Viktor will gain a strong damage modifier on his next basic attack, akin to Lich Bane.
This is intended to divorce the utility portion of the Q from the damage portion while keeping it a targeted spell. Viktor should be able to gain access to his shield and speed boost (with augment) from a safer distance, and decide whether he can risk coming in closer to deal the bulk of his damage.
but Viktor’s autoattack sucks!
Not THIS one
The augment on the Q remains the speed boost. The divorce of the utility and damage opens up offensive use cases of the augment (to get closer to land your other spells with higher accuracy), and should be a strong contender for 1st augment.
One last thing, the shield, speedboost and on next hit are all granted upon cast. You can finally shield an enemy’s spells on reaction.
Gravity Field [ W ]
This is all in all a fine spell with very strong potential. However its lack of range makes it very difficult to utilize in non-defensive ways. The spell has also had its range increased significantly (but not as much as live Augment W) to clarify Viktor’s engagement range to be around his R range. In exchange, the enemies will be warned earlier that the trap is opening beneath them. This should both increase usability of the spell for Viktor but keep it feeling fair for the enemy.
The W augment no longer increases range but sucks in enemies that are stunned by it to its center. This will allow Viktor to both function as a very strong follow up AOE burst (someone else probably needs to initiate for him) and enhance his kiting gameplay against the front line of the enemy who he ends up fighting against due to lack of jumps. This is probably the 3rd augment to take in most situations but if you need to kite a lot or foresee a mid level teamfight it could be taken earlier.
Death Ray [ E ]
The Lazer of Death is an iconic spell on viktor and we have fought very hard to keep its numbers intact on the base spell. Nothing much has changed, it is still the thing we all love and hate.
The E augment on the other hand, has undergone significant changes. It will no longer apply a DOT on hit, but instead an explosion will follow the initial laser’s wake. If Viktor hits both the laser and the explosion, Viktor will deal more damage than the Augmented E on live. This will be a net nerf as the reliability hit is significant, and the spell will be weaker as poke, but stronger for waveclear or in combination with other spells .
Chaos Storm [ R ]
I said back then that the R is also undergoing a big change, unfortunately the change we planned did not pan out and the R will stay very similar to what it is on live. Not much more to talk about here.
So there it is, the updated Viktor should become a strong followup mage that excels as a secondary AOE wombo, and deals strong sustained damage against the front line with his Q and R. Hopefully we will meet again soon when phase 2 of the Glorious Evolution commences as I will leave you with one last tease.
Next season, we’re excited to officially announce that we will be expanding the NA LCS and EU LCS to 10 teams. We’re looking forward to this team expansion to bring more diversity of talent and new gameplay into the professional scene in North America and Europe.
In order to fill these new team spots, we’re introducing a onetime event called the Expansion Tournament. The tournament will take place after Worlds and will pull teams from the ladder. Teams that lose in the Promotion Tournament will still have another chance to qualify for the LCS as they will automatically be entered into the Expansion Tournament. We’ll confirm official dates, tournament structure, and format soon, but we wanted to let everyone know it was happening before we all get swept up into the excitement of Worlds.
POSSIBLE CIRCUIT POINTS
We also wanted to share that we’re seriously considering introducing some form of circuit points to the LCS tournament structure. Points would bring more weight to the Spring Split and help make every playoff match more significant due to the awarding of these valuable points. We do have some concerns about the intuitiveness of this point system, specifically as it pertains to new viewers.
We want to ensure the point system enforces that teams should always play their best as well as gives all teams from both splits a fighting chance at advancing on to the NA Regionals and Worlds. We’re currently running simulations to find the ideal solution, but we’d like to open it up to the community for point distribution suggestions and feedback. Tell us what you want to see around potential LCS circuit points.
Based on more teams entering the LCS, we will be updating the format and some policies for next season, and we’ll share the final details after Worlds. We’ll continue to provide insights into some of our thinking and considerations for 2015 along the way to Worlds.
Don’t forget to share your ideas for potential circuit point systems in the comments below. We’ll also be watching the forums and other community channels.
Yeah I highly doubt we’ll be implementing blind pick in a bo5 series. Teams earn side choice advantage during the regular season and we want that to be an incentive to finish higher in the standings.
Also the team has certain issues with the validity of the format in that it’s a much different type of strategic planning that rarely is used during the season – doesn’t seem like a great way to end an epic best-of series.
Decided to go for a set of high confidence changes and then assess how they’ve affected Urgot before looking at more experimental changes such as the W mana scaling. Urgot still has some core issues unaddressed, lack of sufficient counterplay at times in particular, so we need to be cautious about just giving him raw power.
We’ll do a rework and it’ll almost certainly include some substantial changes. That’s still quite a long way off though, hence these smaller changes in the meantime to try and get Urgot into a better spot until then.
There are a lot of champions that we need to update. Many factors to into determining what the order of attack is, including art resources, coordination with visual updates, waiting for engineering support, or sometimes just the passion of the designer or having a clear idea for how to update someone.
Combining reworks and VUs together is both more efficient and gives us a lot of more options in terms of how we can improve a champion’s kit. A VU means we’ve got the freedom to create new spells, get different animations, get new sounds etc. Without that we’re working within a much narrower space. Sometimes that’s fine – some champions just need numbers adjustments (even if substantial). For a champion like Warwick though that’s not the case, there are some solid changes we’d like to make but they require a combination of both art and game design changes.
Yeah, we’re going to test out a more consistent version of the ult, hopefully for a patch soon (needs some visual adjustments since the timing’s changing a bit, so can’t commit to an exact timeline). It’s a change that’s part of his rework and has tested well that’s probably a good fit for being pulled forwards by itself.
Vlad’s Q is often the example we also use of an ability with no decision making. Shameless plug: I think we mention it in the design PAX panel this Saturday. It’s the kind of thing we are likely to eventually update.
Not every decision needs to be a huge decision and not every interesting decision needs to have huge consequences for using it wrong. As an example, many Qs are on a pretty short cooldown, because while it is rewarding to use an ability at the right time and feel smart for doing so, it also feels unrewarding to not be able to hit hotkeys very often.
Just wanted to clear up what’s going on here. All regions are getting 3 days of double IP. NA is 8/30 – 9/1 while all other regions are 8/29 – 8/31. NA is pushed back a day so people can take advantage of the Monday off for Labor Day.
The post referenced is an error on our end, so we apologize for the confusion. It should be corrected shortly.
This is an experimental series where I’ll try to cover pro-level games, going over picks, bans, a summary of the game, highlights, winner/loser. Everything you see here is MAJOR SPOILERS! The series is for people who have limited time to follow eSports and want to know interesting matches they can rewatch, standings and so on. Any feedback is greatly appreciated, as I’ll likely do more than a few changes to the format.
This is a work-in-progress article I’ll continue to update as games progress.
Team Comps: Fnatic’s pick comp is a standard this season: strong focus on single-target lockdown and laners that can bully early, deny gold and snowball by midgame. Roccat’s comp is more late-game rounded, with solid utility and front-liners to keep Kog’Maw safe and tearing down Fnatic.
Roccat’s relentless invades pushed soAZ and Cyanide away, but a late response to an invasion in their own jungle left Jankos without a blue buff.
A level 4 set-up on mid from xPeke’s long-range stun, followed by CC from Cyanide and Jarvan IV made for a successful dive at level 4. Roccat promptly reacted by moving top and securing their first tower of the game.
First Blood – 4:43 (in-game timer)
Shortly after, a 4-man rotation from Fnatic took out Roccat’s bot lane tower. VandeR’s attempt to put deep jungle wards as a follow-up, however, resulted in his death and evened out the gold for Fnatic. (11.2k to 11.3k)
Another brilliant show of coordination from xPeke, Rekkles and YellOwStaR on mid lane set Overpow even further behind, as he was again dove, despite the revive.
First Dragon fight: 9:30 (in-game timer)
A messy fight on dragon cost Fnatic dearly, as they underestimated the speed at which Roccat could rotate to the pit. With Celaver backing them up, Roccat won a 2-for-1 exchange, pushed Fnatic away and secured the objective.
Top and bottom towers were traded for both teams at 12:30 and Roccat set up a long siege on the second-tier bot-lane tower.
Second Dragon fight: 17:30 (in-game timer)
A hook from VandeR onto xPeke started another engage onto Fnatic. Between Kha’Zix’s AoE slow and the speed of Roccat’s comp, they cleaned up a 2-for-0 and secured the second dragon.
Xaxus overtended on top lane and wandered into a full burst from xPeke. His death, however, pulled the majority of Fnatic on top lane and Roccat once again correctly rotated and took out the inhibitor bot lane tower. One by one, members of Fnatic dived in to protect the base, but their lack of coordination left them without an inhibitor.
Baron attempt: 26:30 (in-game timer)
Roccat meticulously set up vision control around Baron, but the threat of Tidal Wave and Fnatic circling around them made them abandon the objective.
Teamfight: 31:00 (in-game timer)
With vision around the Baron area swinging in Fnatic’s favor, they set up an ambush in the mid lane brush and caught Roccat off-guard and a successful engage from xPeke and SoAZ won them a decisive battle. But the decision to chase after Roccat instead of going for a siege forced them to fight in a terrible chokepoint near blue buff. VandeR landed hook after hook, followed-up by a clean-up from Kha’Zix and Nidalee and yet another dragon for Roccat.
Fnatic’s vision control paid off and caught Roccat in a bad spot.
Fnatic overextended after winning an engage and paid everything for it.
Baron taken: 43:00 (in-game timer)
Despite gaining the momentum, Roccat were indecisive around Baron, constantly giving up vision to Fnatic and falling back. Their patience paid off in the end, when VandeR baited Fnatic into another disastrous fight in the jungle. They pushed two members away and piled on Baron, bursting it down before any meaningful retaliation. Fnatic stuck around for way too long and xPeke and soAZ were both picked off.
An ace for Roccat near the bottom lane inhibitor decided the match and Roccat picked up their first win in a best-of-5.
Game ends: 44:00 (in-game timer)
Verdict: Absolutely spot-on rotations from Roccat. Fnatic maintained the pressure even after losing the first dragon, but Roccat were one step ahead throughout the whole match. Even though Fnatic managed to successfully shut down attempts at split pushing with the Twitch pick, they couldn’t hold up to Roccat’s relentless map control.
Roccat controlled the momentum of the entire game, removing vision from Fnatic, forcing fights for objectives and decisively winning them. They identified the purpose of Fnatic’s comp – creating picks – and, for the most part, denied them opportunities to lock down a target. When fights weren’t going their favor, they kited and landed poke until they felt they could gain the upper hand. They got every single dragon and played fights to the strength of their comp.
MVP of the game was definitely VandeR, who was an absolute beast on Thresh, securing picks and saves with the lantern left and right, winning all of Roccat’s crucial fights practically on his own.
Team Comps: A heavily AoE-focused comp from Fnatic, focused on overwhelming damage in the late game and control of waves. Roccat fell back to a more pick-oriented comp with Fizz and Tristana, but still kept their focus on late-game strength.
Standard 2v2 and 1v1 lanes on top and bottom. Solid roaming from Jankos forced flashes from Fnatic on both top and bottom and denied Cyanide his second red buff.
First dragon: 11:00 (in-game timer)
Despite the map control, however, Roccat found themselves struggling in all lanes. Aggressive pushing from soAZ pulled Jankos to top without much result, but his position opened a clear dragon take for Fnatic.
Continued ganks from Jankos ultimately helped Roccat’s bot lane take the first tower of the game. But the struggling Xaxus was left without support and was soon dived by Cyanide and soAZ.
Cyanide chased deep into Roccat territory for the kill on Xaxus and was welcomed by a full combo from Overpow.
Overpow dies to soAZ and YellOwStaR; on the other side of the jungle, xPeke gets caught and dispatched of by Jankos.
First dragon fight: 19:30 (in-game timer)
Fnatic tried to pull dragon and switched to Roccat’s mid towers. An awkward rotation put 3 people on top lane, leaving the defending side of Roccat without any wave-clear. Overpow sacrificed himself to stall the push from Fnatic, who followed an inhibitor tower with a dragon. Roccat went all-in with Jankos and managed to shove Fnatic back. Accidentally, the chase left Roccat completely split and Rekkles managed to pick off two free kills while kiting.
Roccat went deep and fell into a slurp of void ooze and burst from Rekkles.
First inhibitor: 24:40 (in-game timer)
Fnatic turned on the aggression and grouped for the exposed inhibitor in mid. A quick pick-up on Celaver secured the objective and Fnatic rotated to Baron.
A brilliant play from xPeke clearing a ward while his team was hiding in the pit baited Xaxus, who had no vision and was quickly sniped.
After an unsuccessful attempt at Baron, Fnatic chose top lane as their next focus. A couple of mistimed engages from both teams left both teams without crucial cooldowns and, in the process, Rekkles was instantly deleted by Overpow.
Roccat fell back to defending their respawned inhibitor, but couldn’t find an opportunity for a pick with Overpow and abandoned the objective.
Second inhibitor: 34:33 (in-game timer)
Fnatic again switched to pushing top lane. A long-ranged stun from xPeke secured a kill onto Celaver and, without their AD, Roccat were forced to fall back and play without two inhibitors.
Baron: 35:30 (in-game timer)
The troubles for Fnatic started after Baron was taken. YellOwStaR was hooked and bursted down, leaving the rest of Fnatic trapped in the pit, with a blood-thirsty Roccat closing in on them. With no way to jump the wall and barely any health, Fnatic grouped patiently and waited for the engage. But what was sure to be an ace for Roccat ended with a twist.
xPeke came out huge in the fight, landing a stun and instantly dealing with two of Roccat’s surrounding members. The clean-up from Fnatic left Roccat outmanned and the momentum of their game slipped from that point.
Fnatic were cornered in the baron pit in a 3v5 and managed to swing the fight.
xPeke turned the tables with a spectacular stun onto Roccat’s back-line.
A desperate attempt at an ambush from Roccat backfired horribly; they leaped onto soAZ, only to be caught around a Zhonya’d Swain and a turn-around from the rest of Fnatic.
One Zhonya and Roccat’s seemingly certain pick-off resulted in a wipe-out from Fnatic.
Team Comps: Roccat went with Nami and Aatrox, both of which strong laners who ca. Fnatic correctly counter-picked the Fizz and Aatrox picks with Morgana, who can easily deny an engage and peel for the squishy Kog’Maw.
Both top laners and junglers invaded on opposite sides and Roccat rotated for a 4-man-push on the top lane tower, securing their first objective at the 4:22 mark.
First Blood: 5:10 (in-game timer)
xPeke blew his flash very early in a poor engage with Overpow, which cost him his life later on. With his defensive summoner on CD and no escsape on Ahri, he was an easy kill for Jankos and Overpow.
A timed bait from Xaxus made soAZ stick around after he had popped Blood Well and exposed himself to Jankos right after losing vision. Fnatic’s reaction was immediate – a gank onto bottom lane which quickly had VandeR killed – but they mistimed their recalls after they’d stayed to push the lane, which gave Roccat plenty of time to secure dragon.
With just a few minutes until the next dragon, Jankos moved to establish vision control. Caught by xPeke and Cyanide, he ran deep into Roccat’s jungle, baiting both members of Fnatic into a brilliant Tidal Wave from VandeR and two kills secured at the cost of none. Over-commiting for Jankos cost Fnatic the second dragon of the game.
Jankos tried to sweep-clean a ward and was immediately engaged on by xPeke and Cyanide.
A perfect Tidal Wave sealed the deal on xPeke and Cyanide, who’d chased into no-man’s-land for Jankos.
The persistence of Fnatic to split-push with soAZ and xPeke paid off and both tier 2 towers for Roccat were taken down with failed response.
Third dragon: 23:40 (in-game timer)
Roccat were denied vision of the dragon area and Xaxus facechecked just as Fnatic were moving to secure to objective. Mid-way, he fell in love with xPeke’s Ahri and his death gave Fnatic an uncontested dragon.
Fnatic switched their tactics to careful probing around Roccat’s defense, managed to find an opening and took bot lane’s tier-2 tower, leaving Roccat without vision of all their jungle entrances.
soAZ overstayed his welcome on top lane and was hunted down by Overpow and Xaxus, dragging xPeke in the grave with him. A few minutes later, his overly aggressive split-pushing again cost him his life.
The trend of Fnatic committing to pushing continued to feed Roccat kills, as YellOwStaR was cornered and quickly taken down. However, the results of Fnatic’s suicidal runs were starting a landslide- Roccat’s base was low on health.
Even YellOwStaR paid for Fnatic’s over-zealous split pushes without proper map vision.
A careless chase from Roccat found Celaver snared to the ground, with soAZ walking along the flank to turn the fight and wipe out the fleeing members of Roccat.
Roccat commit without thought and soAZ is there to swing the fight.
Another wonky engage from Roccat; Overpow went deep into Fnatic’s jungle for a kill onto YellOwStaR and Roccat lost two members in the process. Fnatic’s bottom inhibitor tower was taken down by Xaxus in the process, but the team was already in a dominant position to pressure Roccat. VandeR and Celaver tried to take dragon on their own, but were promptly punished and hunted down by xPeke and Cyanide. Xaxus, caught in the cross-fire of the chase, also died, as Roccat’s control of the game quickly crumbled.
Fnatic knew they needed little to tumble over Roccat and went for a push on the bottom lane. A critical positional mistake from Xaxus snowballed the fight beyond control and Fnatic proceeded to tear down Roccat’s base and take the win.
An overly greedy soAZ falling prey to Roccat, but without consequence- the match was already sealed.
Team Comps: Fnatic put all their bets on a strong late game, with Vayne and Kassadin, backed by Jarvan and Shen on the front line. Vayne needs a 2v1 lane to come out the early game with a gold lead, and Roccat properly counterpicked with Tristana and Nami, both of which can pressure and deny a 2v2 lane.
Fnatic were quick to establish control of Roccat’s red-side jungle. Clever mind games from Roccat baited a few recalls from Fnatic’s bottom lane, who wanted Vayne put in a 2v1 lane. Ultimately, Fnatic managed to have their bot lane go against Irelia, but at the cost of experience and minion gold.
Roccat weren’t going to have their way with a Vayne free farming and Jankos put heavy pressure on the top lane; first time he was kited back, but after a cheeky teleport from Xaxus, they secured first blood on YellOwStaR, putting Vayne further behind and forcing her away from gold and XP.
Teamfight: 15:30 (in-game timer)
Jankos and VandeR went deep into the jungle for a pick onto YellOwStaR, but a clutch Wild Growth prevented his death. Cyanide, with a perfect Cataclysm, trapped Roccat in their retreat as xPeke flanked from the side. Despite solid positioning, however, Fnatic’s AoE comp was promptly overpowered by Roccat’s assassins, who even took down Rekkles on the other side of the blue buff area.
Perfect positioning by both Cyanide and xPeke; unfortunately, not enough to halt the engage.
Rekkles caught over the wall in a 1v3; flashy kiting secures him a kill on Celaver.
A costly mistake from Jankos and Xaxus on the top lane: both assassins dived past Cyanide onto Rekkles, only to be trapped in a Cataclysm and chased down by 3 members of Roccat.
First Dragon fight: 23:00 (in-game timer)
Fnatic rotate to secure dragon, taking the objective before Roccat could intervene. Regardless, both teams clash, and Roccat once again went way too deep against a Jarvan that quickly punished them for playing over-aggressive.
A seeming advantage for Roccat turns into disaster…
as they are once again caught and punished for their terrible positioning.
Second dragon: 30:00 (in-game timer)
Fnatic secure the next dragon and take Jankos along with it, as he dives for the last-second smite.
Baron: 31:00 (in-game timer)
With a numbers advantage they head for Baron and a classic over-commitment for an objective they can’t kill in time. Jankos respawns, Overpow goes ham in the pit and the resets and mobility of Roccat wipe out stragglers. Only Rekkles survives to tell the tale of Fnatic taking Baron.
Fnatic secure baron, but Roccat are on top of them and Jankos is coming from the side.
With Fnatic low on life and fleeing, Roccat’s trio of hoppers can chase and wreck.
Second Baron: 39:13 (in-game timer)
Fnatic try to find an opening, but only their front liners can jump into a fight quickly, with xPeke and Rekkles dangerously behind and exposed. A fight breaks out on the bottom lane and a deceptively strong engage from Cyanide goes wasted; the rest of Fnatic couldn’t follow up and they’re chased down and killed, one by one.
What looks like a good engage ends in shambles; Fnatic are all burned out on resources to follow-up.
Roccat follow-up on the ace with a mid tower and inhibitor.
Third Baron: 47:30 (in-game timer)
Overpow and Xaxus get a sneaky gank onto soAZ, blowing Stand United and rushing for the inhibitor. Rekkles and YellOwStaR flank from the side and take out Xaxus, but the damage has been done and Fnatic lose an inhibitor and key map control.
With bot lane being constantly pushed, Roccat rotate to the top lane. Cyanide tries out a last desperate engage and is countered mid-flight by a Buster Shot; with the front liners left alone and the back line being murdered by Overpow and Jankos, Fnatic lose the game after almost an hour of back-and-forth fights.
Team Comps: Fnatic’s comp is the new flavor of Season 4 – Rengar in the jungle, helping deliver Orianna’s ball in the middle of a teamfight, with Lulu and Nami’s utility backing Kog’Maw against back-line divers. Roccat’s comp is more thinly spread across controlling fights with Alistar and Jarvan and creating picks with Tristana and Fizz, while scaling into late game with both damage and utility.
Standard lanes and lack of early jungle invades, with bot teams playing the farm game. With both summoners on Xaxus on cooldown, Jankos rotates for a gank and gets soAZ dangerously low.
First Blood: 4:45
Jankos and Xaxus push onto the tower, diving soAZ and securing a kill for Jankos. But Cyanide leaped from the side brush, rooting Xaxus under the tower and evening the trade. From top, Jankos rotated for a dive onto xPeke and got a second kill with Overpow.
Roccat’s bot lane baited a bubble engage from YellOwStar, with a ward behind them ready for Xaxus and Overpow to join the fight. A clean 2-for-0, followed by a dragon for Roccat.
Right when Rekkles is turned into fish food.
First Dragon: 16:10 (in-game timer)
soAZ went further and further behind, as Jankos kept camping his lane and diving him with Xaxus. Eventually, the response from Cyanide came and a successful gank on Celaver allowed Fnatic to siege the tower and take dragon afterwards.
Without a Statikk Shiv on Tristana, the troubles with Roccat’s comp began go creep up; with Fnatic grouping up to push mid lane, Roccat had no opportunities for picks and, without any wave clear, were forced to leave their tier-2 mid tower uncontested.
Second Dragon: 24:30 (in-game timer)
Fnatic were in place for the second dragon, took it without retaliation and rushed to clear the Baron area of wards. With Overpow sitting in the brush on top lane waiting for an ambush, he chose a risky route to escape and found himself chased by a balled Cyanide. As Roccat were retreating, an amazing ult from xPeke held them in place and got Fnatic a clean 2-for-0.
xPeke flanking from the side to land a perfect Shockwave.
Roccat dived onto xPeke in mid in a 1-for-1 trade, but had to flee with Fnatic looking for revenge. YellOwStaR and Rekkles found themselves alone in mid lane, flanked by a teleporting Overpow and YellOwStaR bit the bullet for his carry. But an overextend from Overpow onto Cyanide threw the advantage Roccat had built that fight and cost them a mid inhibitor.
First inhibitor: 34:57
A dangerous dive on xPeke is more than Overpow can chew off.
A messy fight broke out in Roccat’s red-side jungle and Fnatic ran scattered, with Cyanide scrambling to enter stealth and save Baron.
Terrible place for Fnatic to be fighting and Cyanide lives by the skin of his teeth.
Fnatic shifted towards the bottom lane and set up a siege. Cyanide was hooked and Roccat went for the opportunity, but through Lulu’s ultimate and a plethora of shields, Rengar survived. Despite Celaver not dying in that engage, the difference in health bars was enough for Fnatic to shove down the inhibitor.
Cyanide survives the engage and a greedy Celaver almost dies chasing.
A desperation Baron from Roccat was a reflection of the ends to which a team determined to go to Worlds would go; but Fnatic were in position and aced Roccat, securing a spot in Seoul.
An all-or-nothing attempt at Baron from Roccat ends in a (predictable) ace for Fnatic and the game.
Team Comps: Alliance knows there’s no reason for risky comps; with Ahri and Twitch, they have solid teamfight potential at any point in the game and good wave clear, and Lee Sin in the jungle is enough to keep them safe from ganks early on. SK’s comp is also not reinventing the wheel, but a mix of mobility and CC means they are capable of standing up to Alliance in teamfights. Of the two teams, Alliance’s comp can more easily create picks, while SK’s comp is more about controlling the field and having a safe back-line.
First Blood: 3:00 (in-game timer)
An invade from Alliance on SK’s red-side jungle forced a flash for fredy, making Shook an easy victim for a dive.
First Dragon: 3:34 (in-game timer)
The response from SK was spot-on – a level 2 dragon.
Alliance continued their effort to shut down Fredy on the bot lane. On the second attempt at a gank, Wickd pulverized Aatrox mid-flight and Fredy’s escape route was cut off by Shook. But with amazing juking around the minion wave and life stealing with the triple life steal bonus on Blood Thirst, Fredy got his passive back during the fight and flashed away, surviving against all odds.
A well-timed Pulverize stops Fredy mid-flight and Shook Safeguards in.
Masterful micro from Fredy keeps him alive as he dances around the minion wave, life stealing at no health.
Teamfight: 19:00 (in-game timer)
With Alliance ahead in kills but lacking in objective gold, they head to secure dragon and find a wandering SK. Wickd dove and the positioning from Alliance seemed to outpace that of nRated’s wall. But, as is common for regionals today, the chase went too deep and SK eventually apprehended the low-health members of Alliance.
A well-split Alliance set up for a teamfight with Wickd in the front.
Alliance push on, but Jesiz is coming to swing the fight in SK’s favor.
Third Dragon: 19:45 (in-game timer)
Teamfight: 26:30 (in-game timer)
Another dragon fight where Alliance seem to be reacting to SK’s movement rather than initiating objectives on their own. They’re out of position and relentlessly chased down by a full Blood Well Fredy.
Shook jumps in, but Elise beats him to the execute on dragon and a fight breaks out.
Teamfight: 32:00 (in-game timer)
Yet another fight for dragon breaks out in a repeating pattern: Alliance trying to get a free pick and being poked hard after very exposure. Another objective went to SK and Alliance were again forced to run away, incapable of dealing with Fredy.
Fredy dives in and stays a threat for Alliance who can’t commit much to killing him.
A timed engage from Froggen onto Candypanda sniped the carry of SK and got Alliance a tier-2 mid tower. At the same time, however Fredy pushed down the top inhibitor tower. A fight for control of the Baron pit area created another pick for Alliance, but with no chance to gain anything from it.
Fredy goes wild and gets kited and blown up. Again, Alliance can’t take an objective
Teamfight: 41:40 (in-game timer)
Another oddly familiar fight begins with Fredy recklessly diving onto Froggen, almost taking him out as the rest of SK struggle to catch up. Skirmish after skirmish found Tabzz alive and healthy, swinging every fight in Alliance’s favor.
Fredy dives for another Baron fight but Tabzz and Froggen abuse their mobility and wreck face.
Tabzz gets the jump onto Candypanda and afterwards walks to top lane to clear up an overcommitted SK.
First Baron: 52:10 (in-game timer)
Alliance won the vision control battle and secured Baron, catching an overextended Candypanda and continuing their chase. A perfect disengage from nRated meant SK’s ADC would be the only victim of that poor trade.
A solid Tidal Wave starts a dive for Alliance and opens the inhibitor.
Alliance seemed to be getting pushed back, but a stealthed Tabzz with red buff turns around the initiative.
With SK’s base bleeding health on both Nexus turrets, they went for an ambush from the brush onto top lane, the obvious target for Alliance to close the game. Unfortunately, it was Wickd who facechecked and SK couldn’t disengage before losing two members, which proved enough to decide the end.
An all-or-nothing fight from the brush catches Wickd, but the cow is too tanky for SK to handle and they get dismantled all the way to the Nexus.
Game ends: 56:21 (in-game timer)
Spoiler Inside: Alliance vs SK Gaming, Game 1 Winner
Maokai – the latest of the top laners to emerge in pro play – fell in the hands of Wickd. A strong mid-lane comp from Alliance, with good area control from Xerath, Corki and Morgana. SK’s comp was a mix of strong engage with Morgana and Elise and safety to fall back on, with Kayle’s Intervention.
First Blood: 3:37 (in-game timer)
An easy flank from Shook caught Jesiz from the right side of mid lane. Jesiz wisely didn’t blow Flash, as he was already left without room to escape. Shook continued to set up map control by forcing a flash on top lane.
Past 6, Froggen was caught by Svenskeren from the side and tried to flash over the Wraith wall to escape, but a quick follow-up from Jesiz’s Spirit Rush secured the kill.
Bot lane gank: 12:20 (in-game timer)
An aggressive Flash into Soul Shackles from Nyph started what was seemingly a 3v2 on bot lane, when Svenskeren joined the fray and quickly dealt with Alliance’s support.
A gank from Alliance goes ultimately in SK’s favor, as Svenskeren leaps with Intervention to kill Nyph.
First Dragon: 17:15 (in-game timer)
A completely out-of-position Alliance gives up dragon to SK without getting an objective in return.
Second Dragon: 25:11 (in-game timer)
As teams closed in on the dragon pit, Candypanda ate two crucial Dark Bindings from Nyph, the second of which almost cost his life, even through Intervention. Those skillshots were enough to push SK away from the objective and Alliance got an uncontested dragon.
A binding lands onto Candypanda and SK runs scared and at half health.
Teamfight: 26:40 (in-game timer)
A binding engage from Nyph started a fight and Candypanda was caught in a chain of CC by a Flash-Cocoon from Shook. This time, however, the engage baited Alliance and SK began to push back. But the follow-up split Svenskeren from the group. SK lost their jungler and had to fall back.
A 3-for-o Dragon fight ended in a landslide for SK as they cleaned up a way-out-of position Froggen. With Intervention being used aggressively on Fredy, Alliance couldn’t deal with the front line of SK.
Fredy dives in and Intervention keeps him healthy and swinging as Alliance scramble for room to retreat.
First Baron: 37:30 (in-game timer)
A terrible engage from Wickd left Alliance unable to follow-up and the tree was left to be chopped down by SK. Without a front-liner, Alliance are forced to give up Baron.
Wickd dives with Twisted Advance, but look at where the rest of Alliance are.
A desperation attempt at catching Candypanda overextending on the bot lane resulted in disaster as Living Artilery scouted the attempt and Froggen was hunted down and killed. With the main wave-clearer for Alliance down, SK were free to take out the rest of Alliance’s base and secure the win.
Game ends: 38:00 (in-game timer)
Spoiler Inside: Alliance vs SK Gaming, Game 2 Winner
Team Comps: Alliance’s comp is about poking and then going for picks with Shook and Froggen. SK is more focused around snowballing early game, with two stealth champions to catch people off guard. Both comps can teamfight really well; however, Alliance can afford to take more risks due to the mobility of their comp, whereas SK are more reliant on finding the right moments to engage.
With the fear of Swain countering Maokai, SK went for a surprise 2v1 lane and forced a level 1 Flash from Wickd with the threat of Morgana and Twitch. A level 2 roam from Nyph also burned the Flash of Jesiz.
First Blood: 3:35 (in-game timer)
The ambush comp quickly paid off for SK and Evelynn and Twitch piled onto Nyph on the bottom lane, who was locked down by a binding from nRated. The retaliation from Alliance was a kill onto Jesiz, who already had Flash down and made an easy target for Shook and Froggen.
First Dragon: 8:40 (in-game timer)
An uncontested dragon went the way of SK.
A fight for the second dragon broke out with nRated and CandyPanda finding an out-of-position Nyph. Despite a numbers advantage, SK couldn’t find an opportunity; a Nevermove from Wickd caught two people and zoned the rest and Alliance got dragon in exchange for Nyph.
Fredy goes deep, but Wickd zones the rest of SK and Alliance secure dragon.
While both teams fought for objectives, Froggen was trying to make plays on his own, Spirit Rushing aggressively to get the jump on Jesiz. Eventually, his persistence paid off and he took out Fredy on the top lane.
A dragon fight started, but SK were woefully out of vision and Alliance abused that lack of wards to bait SK into fog of war and pick them apart.
SK try to finish off Wickd, but Ravenous Flock outheals everything and SK lose control of dragon.
First Baron: 31:30 (in-game timer)
SK caught Alliance without vision of the Baron pit and with Froggen pushing bot lane. An uncontested Baron went without response, as Froggen was unable to kill the inhibitor.
First inhibitor: 36:25 (in-game timer)
With the Baron buff ticking away, SK grouped up to pressure bot lane. Wickd teleported to defend the turret but was immediately hit with Dark Binding and bursted down. SK continued their push and took out the bot inhibitor.
Second Baron: 40:25
SK established map control around Baron and set up an ambush in the brush. In the ensuing fight, they traded a support for jungler and felt confident taking Baron afterwards. But they were dropped dangerously low and Alliance, instead of defending their base, went on the initiative and killed everyone on SK safe for Candypanda and Svenskeren.
SK set up an ambush near Baron and trade a 1-for-1.
SK overcommit for Baron and, despite taking it, die in the retreat.
From there it’s a predictable outcome; Alliance pushed to the Nexus and with some fancy kiting around the structure, secured the win.
Game ends: 41:40
Spoiler Inside: Alliance vs SK Gaming, Game 3 Winner
Team Comps: A double AD comp for Alliance, backed by the safety of Lee Sin’s early jungle and Alistar and Braum’s peel says one thing – Alliance want a drawn-out game where they can siege and set the pacing. SK’s comp is assassin and reset-focused – they need to dive on priority targets and get kills, relying on just the peel from Morgana to keep CandyPanda safe.
An invade from Alliance forced an Flash from CandyPanda. A level 3 gank on top lane from Shook traded Flashes, but overall early aggression was non-existent. Bad news for SK, who had a mid lane to babysit as Froggen’s Tristana mercilessly pounded on Jesiz trying to farm under tower.
First Dragon: 11:45
An uncontested Dragon went the way of Alliance.
First Blood: 14:11
A bottom lane gank from Svenskeren caught an overly aggressive Nyph.
SK set up a siege on mid and Svenskeren spotted Froggen on the side and went for the kill. However, Alliance quickly established control of the fight and zoned SK from advancing onto Froggen while the rest of Alliance flanked from the side.
Froggen baits Svenskeren onto the side and Alliance trap SK in a narrow jungle path.
A zoning ultimate from Nyph keeps SK in place while Alliance clean up.
A prolonged fight on bot lane split both SK and Alliance in opposite directions. Froggen was forced to run, but later turned around as Shook and Tabzz made wonderful plays on their own. In the resulting overcommit from SK, Froggen got himself a quadra kill and his bounty was swiftly cashed in by Jesiz, who cleaned up a triple kill.
Froggen with the resets on Tristana secures a quadra kill.
First Baron: 33:22
A fight around Baron started as Wickd was caught near the golem area. His ultimate kept him healthy while the rest of Alliance ran to assist. SK were fighting in a choke against Braum and Lee Sin and lost decisive control of Baron.
SK collapse onto Wickd, but Alistar’s ultimate is enough to get him back to his teammates and turn the fight around.
First Inhibitor: 35:10
The rest of the match was witnessing SK collapse into a pool of bad calls and getting caught left and right; Alliance pushed their way into SK’s base by brute force and after countering a final engage from SK, wrapped up the game and secured their place in the finals against Fnatic.
Spoiler Inside: Alliance vs SK Gaming, Game 3 Winner
A new tier called Master Tier will be implemented in Ranked to deal with past grievances of Challenger players being demoted shortly before the season’s end, CLGwill be fined $1250 per member for account sharing in Korea, Veshcontinues his discussion on Soraka’s infuse-healer rework, Gnar’s Champion Spotlight has been released, the next Champion/Skin sale for NA will be delayed due to maintenance and an explanation on why icons from the Sugar Rush event won’t be available for IP.
Image was taken from a tweet by Snoopeh, here’s what it states:
As one of the best League of Legends players in the world…
Your spot in Diamond 1 or Challenger tier means we wanted you to be among the first to know we’ve updated the design of our ranked play system specifically to address feedback around the end of Season 3 and Challenger.
We take ranked competition seriously, and we know challenger immunity caused issues with transparency around standings at the end of last season. Not knowing whether or not you were about to get kicked out of the tier you’d worked so hard to reach, or earning 0 LP three times in a row sucks.
So we’ve developed a new ward to challenge your skills, The Master Tier, which brings with it some improvements to the old system. Master Tier will share the same LP ladder as Challenger, but unlike Challenger, there is no hard player limited to Master tier. Once released, players who reach their promotion series at the top of the Diamond 1 will enter Mater Tier if they are successful. And yes, that means that on release there will be no players in Master Tier, but it will begin to fill as soon as players start winning their promos.
When Master Tier Launches, players in Challenger will remain in their current position but the competition kicks off right away as Challenger will now rotate on atwenty-four hour schedule with no immunity.
Each time the clock hits zero, it will recalculate the top 200 players or 50 teams; promoting any players from Master who are now in the top 200 or teams in the top 50 in LP, and removing players who have fallen below the top 200 and demoting them to Master.
We’ll be making a wider announcement in the coming weeks ( for example we’ve also eliminated LP clamping ) along with more about the end of the season, but as one of the players most impacted by this change, we wanted to each out to you directly.
Thanks for playing ranked, and GLHF for the rest of the 2014 season.
Hey all, to clarify on one point: there is no hard limit to the number of players in master tier like the current challenger 200 spots. This doesn’t mean these players will be immune from demotion once they achieve the tier. So master tier could be the top 511 or 534 players in a region based on the amount of participation in ranked, etc. Players who achieve Master tier will have a short immunity period and then be vulnerable to demotion if they don’t maintain their performance at that level.
Organization: Counter Logic Gaming Players: Austin “Link” Shin, Marcel “dexter” Feldkamp, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black Region: North America Date of Ruling: 8/12/14 Subject: Fine; Violation of LCS Ruleset
During Week 11 of the NA LCS, Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) sent five of their team members to Korea to practice for upcoming live events. On the day prior to their departure, CLG management requested live accounts from Riot.
At this time, Riot miscommunicated to CLG that, according to standing policy regarding Korean accounts, CLG could receive Tournament Realm (TR) accounts, but not live accounts. Further internal investigation revealed that this was actually not the standing policy. The correct policy is to give teams visiting Korea for non-tournament purposes Live accounts, not TR accounts. This policy is necessitated by the potential instability of the Tournament Realm and security exposure entailed by giving non-OGN teams access to Korean TR accounts.
Recognizing our error and CLG’s urgent practice needs in Korea, we provided CLG with provisional TR accounts within 24 hours of their landing as a temporary measure for practicing while the error was corrected.
During this time, it was brought to our attention that members of CLG were engaging in illicit account sharing despite having a legitimate practice option pending in the provisional TR accounts while also being aware that such an action was against the rules.
After the correct policy was ascertained, Riot granted CLG official live accounts and retracted the TR accounts in accordance with standing Riot policy.
Section 10.2.7 of the official LCS ruleset states:
If LCS or Riot determines that a Team Member has violated the Summoner’s Code, the LoL Terms of [Use], or other rules of LoL, LCS officials may assign penalties at their sole discretion.
The following players will be fined $1,250 each for their transgressions:
I also play healers in every game I play. I think one of the core things that make healers feel awesome is getting to make giant impacts on the health bars of your allies. If we want to allow Soraka to heal a guy from 1% to 50% or more, she is going to have to make some serious tradeoffs for that kind of (particularly frustrating) power. She will need to put her self at more risk the more crazy her healing is on a target.
I was particularly skeptical of this type of healing pattern at first too, but as I started implementing and testing stuff I was really excited by how fun it was. It feels really great to heal someone crazy amounts, and this paradigm allows her to do that in a healthy way that enemies can feel is more fair (because they can just switch to Soraka and kill her if she starts dumping heals on someone)
If we had a champion that had no abilities except a 1 second cooldown “heal ally for 50″ button, would that be a fun or satisfying character in our game?
Sure we could give her tradeoffs by giving her NOTHING else, but that would not create good gameplay. The game as a whole would be worse off. What we want to give her are meaningful tradeoffs that create fun and engaging gameplay for all 10 players in the game.
Due to some store maintenance, we’ve had to delay the regular champion and skin sales for 24 hours. Instead of starting 8/12 and going through the 8/15, they will begin 8/13 and run through the 8/16. Thanks for your understanding.
1. If you are in game and say nothing that is toxic but get reported. The warning, is that because of player reports or because of the system thinking you are toxic?
Warnings are given for a string of games. A common misunderstanding is that the warning was for the immediate last game, so players wonder how they got a warning if they never chatted or did anything the immediate last game. However, if you do get a warning, it means you’ve been reported and the system thinks you’ve been trending negatively in your last stretch of games.
2. Follow up to question 1. How does the system filter between actual toxic and troll reports?
Every report is basically validated by the Report System. If the system believes a behavior is toxic, and you reported it, your report weight goes up. If you report a behavior that isn’t considered toxic, your report weight goes down. There’s a lot of nuance to this system, but that’s the simple explanation.
3. Once chat restricted, do you have to communicate or can you finish your chat restriction without saying anything? So if you finish, your 10 chat restrictions without saying a word, will that count as improvement and free you of the chat restriction or no will you get the same amount as before?
It’s possible to finish your chat restriction without communicating anything. Most players don’t type much in games and just use smart pings, and that’s a perfectly OK way to play League.
4. In the past we had 1 day, 3day, 7day, 14day followed by perma banned i believe. Is now the only thing 14 day into perma banned?
In the future when Tribunal comes back up, we’ll probably only have a few tiers of punishments. We generally see that players willing to improve do so in the first 2 tiers of punishments.
Right now and in the future, if your offenses are severe enough, you can get escalated straight to a 14-day punishment, or even a permanent ban.
5. In regards to the new system, i went 0- something one game with barely any assists, had a terrible day. How will it tell if i am having a bad day or trolling? Especially if i am NOT communicating anything.
We won’t be going too much into detail for the intentional feeder system yet, but one of the main goals is to avoid punishing players just having a regular bad game.
[ Context ] Over on the forums, a Summoner expressed criticism that eCommerce associate WizardCrabpromised in a past comment that event-based Summoner Icons would be available for IP but the latest ones, from the Sugar Rush event, aren’t.
This thread is a bit of a minefield so I’ll probably only post in here once (although I’ll continue to read it).
I would like you to look back and read the post that I wrote. I still stand by every single word I said there. I did not make you a “promise” there. I made it very clear that I wasn’t making a promise. The only thing I didn’t outright say is “This is not a promise” but I don’t feel I need to say that. If I’m promising you something, I promise you that I’ll use the phrase “I promise.” I very clearly stated that we are forming a strategy that is “malleable” and would likely take a form similar to what I said.
And I stand by that it still takes exactly that form. This is why I tried to explain that an “event” that would cause us to put an IP price on an icon was more than a promotional site or themed skin release. Do you really think Sugar Rush is like the Freljord event, one with a big lore tie-in? Or Harrowing/Snowdown/Lunar Revel, events related to real world holidays that many people participate in? Or something truly special like the release of a full-on, in house music album? Or on the scale of something like possibly the biggest global sporting competition that only happens every four years? When I said that an event “for just this context” is more, I meant that. AND the reason I added that bold phrase about it being for that specific context in my original post is because I meant that it was for just that specific context. The word event can be used by anyone at anytime to mean anything. PAX is an event, but it doesn’t apply here, because I’m only talking about this context. The super moon yesterday was an event but it doesn’t apply because I’m only talking about this context. I’m begging that you read the words I’ve written and take them at face value, because I 100% will not lie to you because I just don’t ****ing do that.
I will also try my best to be as clear as I can so I don’t mislead you by accident, which it appears that I’ve done here. I’m sorry that I unintentionally misled you. I really did not mean to. But don’t come in here and tell me that I’m lying to you when I’m not. I really don’t appreciate that.
For this particular candy-themed adventure, you can purchase one icon for RP, and unlock another through participation in gifting. There will be many more icons, many of which will be available for IP. If you don’t feel that the RP only icon is worth the money, please don’t buy it. Buy the stuff you like, leave the rest on the (virtual) shelf.
This is your second split with TSM. What has been your favorite moment with the team so far?
Bjergsen: I think some of my favorite moments are when we net a really important victory against top teams like C9/CLG. The atmosphere in the team is great, everyone is happy and feel like we achieved a common goal. Always a great time catching dinner with the team after a hard fought game.
How do you stay focused in the midst of multiple roster changes and periods of less than optimal performance?
Bjergsen: If anything I feel like everyone gets more motivated once there is a roster change. Everyone feels the pressure and want to show they deserve to be on the team and wanna set a good example for the newcomer. For the hard times, again, I think it’s just a big motivation boost for everyone to improve as fast as possible. We all want to be the best, and we all want to win. If we don’t succeed it means we didn’t do a good enough job, and we all work hard to change that.
It seems that when you are on fire, so is the rest of the team. Is this just a result of all the gears working together? Do you feel pressure to carry games, or does it come naturally as the team performs as a unit?
Bjergsen: Mid lane champions usually have a lot of control over the game, especially if ahead. I’m also the primary shotcaller so it’s easy for me to communicate what I need to snowball and carry the game. If we are in a period of losing a lot I tend to return to champions where I’m more independant and feel like I can affect the game more as a single player, but that’s not always the best way to play the game. We just all need to trust each and each others abillities to do their job.
How has it been playing with Amazing in the jungle?
Bjergsen: I really enjoy playing with Amazing, he’s probably the jungler with the most raw skill I have been in a team with. Raw skill mainly being great mechanics and early game desicion making. He loves making aggressive plays and playing strong champions that can impact the game from the get-go. I really admire that style since it’s one I like myself, so we mesh very well.
You lost to LMQ and Cloud 9 in week 11, both teams you will potentially need to beat in the playoffs. What do you feel was most lacking? What do you think has been the biggest issue in facing these teams throughout the split? Do you think you will be ready for them when playoffs roll around?
Bjergsen: I think our biggest issue was working on a lot of problems we had going into the week and then forgetting our basics and just what we were already good at. We lost games the way I haven’t seen TSM lose games in a while, we got outplayed from the early game and laning phase and lost the games from there. It’s hard to say what were our problems vs them during the split. I don’t think they had some kind of great counter to our gameplan, we had issues as a team and LMQ played extremely solid every time we faced them.
Curse. They seem to be doing incredibly well lately, and they are 8-1 in their last 9 matches against top teams. What do you think it is about Curse that causes them to do so well against top teams and suffer a bit against lower ranked teams? How big of a threat are they in playoffs?
Curse is a wildcard team, they have good pick and bans and a lot of pocket picks, you never know what they will play. I think they are a really interesting team that people may have been underestimating some games during the season. I always thought it was just a matter of time before Curse started performing since they had been doing well in scrims since the beginning of the split, they are gonna be a force at playoffs. Their games are definitely gonna be exciting to watch!
Going into playoffs, what do you hope to improve the most individually? As a team?
Bjergsen: Individually I just wanna further improve my shotcalling and plays in high pressure situations such as important teamfights/gamebreaking picks. Both things also come with comfortabillity in champions since it’s a lot easier to focus on everything else if you have 100% control over your champion and you need to put in little thought to actually play your champion. We have a lot of things to work on as a team, I just think we need to be more conscious about every desicion we make in scrims so we can replicate it better in the LCS. We lost very little scrims and felt confident going into superweek, but were unable to replicate the same plays we made in scrims. So personally I would like to work on making every decision conscious and make sure very little things happen out of the blue.
You had a rough time with Dignitas during the regular season and pulled off a close win against them in week 11. Do you expect it to be a close matchup in the quarterfinals?
Bjergsen: Dignitas is an interesting team to play against. We have two games during the season where we either had a bad pick/ban or a bad approach to how to play our teamcomp. I think we are at least better at those things now, and overall better as a team than we were in the middle of the season. It’s definitely gonna be close games vs Dignitas, but if we can get productive practice going into playoffs I’ll feel confident going into the match.
TSM included, do you think an NA team can improve to the point of being title contenders at worlds? Is NA still playing catch up with other regions?
Bjergsen: I think there is a chance an NA team can win worlds, but to be frank it’s very slim. The Korean teams are looking stronger than ever, but I do believe all a team needs is a patch that fits them and good practice going in and even a western team can win worlds. I wouldn’t say NA is behind all the others regions, I think NA/EU are very close right now, and I can’t wait to watch the top teams from each region play each other at worlds. I think the SEA and Chinese teams are wildcards, since they have their own kinda meta and have different priorities.
What are your thoughts on CLG going to Korea to bootcamp? Do you think it will have a noticeable impact on their game? How strong do you expect them to be when they return?
Bjergsen: I think under the circumstances CLG’s choice was smart and probably the best thing they could do. I really don’t know how much it will impact their gameplay. They could come back as the best team in NA, or they could come back still trying to adjust to the way the Korean plays, and not finding their place yet.
You are known for your assassin play, though we haven’t gotten to see much of it lately. Do you expect to see assassins making a comeback with the most recent changes?
Bjergsen: Assassins are definitely a lot better now than they were earlier in the season, and you might see me playing some. I can’t tell you too much but I guess time will tell!
Orianna is a champion who seems to thrive regardless of whatever the meta may be. We have seen you play her a bit, how important is it to have her in your arsenal?
Bjergsen: Orianna is just a great solid pick, it’s a champ you can pick in pretty much every situation and she’ll do great in your team comp. Just a solid pick that’s very versatile which is why she’s so popular. Also a great blind pick champions since she has little to no counters.
Without giving anything away, do you think we’ll see any surprise or pocket picks looking into playoffs and potentially worlds?
Bjergsen: Haha, we might. I see a lot of pros picking up different kinds of champions in soloQ. Could be a lot of surprises with the new patches!
Who would you play if you were allowed to pick anyone for one match?
Bjergsen: If the situation is just right, I think the fans would love to see the return of Zed. Every time I stream I’m constantly getting asked to play him. There’s nothing I love more than making my fans happy, so I would probably go with Zed!
About the author: Tim Kimbirk is an eSports Journalist and writer with Solomid. Stay up to date on the latest interviews and features by following on twitter: @CaymusNoL
Coming from Korea’s OGN league and jumping straight into competitive play in North America, I had a chance to sit down with Lustboy after defeating Evil Geniuses in his LCS debut with Team SoloMid.
Lustboy, how was your trip from Korea?
Lustboy: It was good. On the plane I thought about the game and about bot lane in general.
What is your favorite thing that’s happened so far while in the US?
Lustboy: Wildturtle jumping forward into the enemy team!
How are you getting along with the team so far? Who do you think you are most alike?
Lustboy: We are all getting along well. I think me and Amazing have the most in common.
Playing with Wildturtle, what is the biggest thing that stands out to you in his play?
Lustboy: I like playing with Turtle because he has great mechanics and can out play the enemy adc reliably.
Do you think WildTurtle is the best AD Carry in NA?
How strong are you as a bot lane right now compared to how strong you could be?
Lustboy: We are very strong right now and we have a lot of room to continue growing and be even stronger.
How was your first LCS match? Was there a lot of pressure to perform? How do you feel about your performance?
Lustboy: It was good. We mostly played defensively because we knew we were playing for top lane. I felt like Krepo did not play as aggressively as he should have. There was no stress, but a lot of pressure coming into a team where you have high expectations to perform, especially when people already expect you to perform. I gave my best and feel like I did well, but I performed at about 30% of my potential.
Who do you want to face the most? Why?
Lustboy: I like playing against CLG because they have a very strong bot lane.
Do you feel you are the best bot lane in NA?
TSM now has 3 players that came from another region. What are your thoughts on regions importing talent?
Lustboy: I believe that except for EU, only top players are traded to other regions. I believe it is good for top talent to be able to move freely. That said, I think when an entire team transfers from one region to another, it makes cheering for them a little less genuine. Not to take away from any teams, all of them are just as hard working as the next and deserve to play and compete where they wish. I just don’t want it to become an issue of oversaturation of foreign talent to the point where a single region takes over the entire international scene.
Anything else you would like to say?
Lustboy: When I first arrived I was anxious and felt a lot of pressure. Once I saw how motivated the rest of the team was I started to feel more relaxed, and after the most recent games I feel like the weight has been lifted. I am ready to prove that I am a top player and will only get better.
About the author: Tim Kimbirk is an eSports Journalist and writer with Solomid. Stay up to date on the latest interviews and features by following on twitter: @CaymusNoL
Hello I am Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski, I am Polish and I play Jungle for Team ROCCAT in the European LCS.
You finished 3rd in the playoffs, but you’ve had a rough season so far? What’s going on?
We are underperforming because we did not really adapt to the new meta, but we are playing a lot right now which hopefully will lead with us catching up and managing to fight for the top spots
What do you think are the biggest issues in the team? What influences your play the most?
Our individual decision making is currently not on par with the other teams. Our team fights are lacking the microgame, so we are trying to improve it.
Do you think the team can recover? Is going to worlds still in your crosshairs?
We are doing our best to recover, I think we are on the way on getting back competing for the best slots, and I definitely think that we will be fighting for a worlds spot at the playoffs!
How does the team operate in game? Who is responsible for primary shotcalling? What is your mindset like entering a game?
I think main shotcallers are me and Overpow, but everyone has its calls and ideas in game. We do not limit ourselves to one or two persons, we all have our tasks during the game.
And about the mindset – #ROCCATFIGHTING
How do you deal with criticism on social media/from fans? Is it hard or demotivating, or do you take it and use it positively?
Lately people are actually trying to help us rather than criticize and bash on us. Which i think its quite helpful for us. People are trying to cheer us up on our social media rather than flaming us for losing. And usually those things dont really affect me in a bad way.
The tables seemed to have shifted quite a bit. How big of a skill difference do you believe there is between the top half of teams and the bottom half?
I think SK and Alliance are ahead of the rest right now, but most of the teams right now are able to catch up with them with the time if they continue adapting the way they are right now. I think we are one of those teams that can catch up to them.
How strong is Alliance? Do you think they are still only warming up? What’s it like playing against Shook, who shares a similar champion pool to you?
Alliance is currently the best team in Europe. Most of their players solo skills are the best in the region and not only that but right now they are even good with their team play and rotations. I don’t see anyone beating them for now in EU. Shook is the best jungle in European LCS and I really like to play against him because i learn new stuff, and it is always a challenge.
You seem to be relying on old favorites in the jungle. Is this personal or team preference?
I think everyone right now is relying on the old champions like Elise, Lee and Eve. They are just the best options right now for the jungle, and those are anyways my personal favorites.
What do you feel are the most viable junglers right now in competitive play, and do you think we will be seeing anything new?
If the 3 OP’s are not available, we might see Rengar, Jarvan, Vi, Skarner – but you need to build a team around them specifically for them to be as useful in game.
I want to thank all the people that support us even when we are losing – that means a lot to us! Also i would like to thank ROCCAT and AMD for the continued trust and support, without them we wouldn’t be able to be where we are. Also a big thanks to my girlfriend for supporting me and being there for me!
As promised yesterday, Lead Champion Designer Meddler has shared an outline of QoL changes to look forward to for Urgot as well as plans for his rework. Also, Phreakjoins Xelnath‘s discussion about the limited champion pool in LCS from yesterday. As a bonus, an awesome collection of super-detailed pencil sketches by artist Nathelm!
Long delayed update here and a change of plans. My original hope had been that we’d be able to rework Urgot’s gameplay without needing substantial art support. That’s proven to be too optimistic however, with the sort of changes we’d like to make including some new skills and other functionality changes that need animation, spell effects, sound and potentially model changes.
Urgot is on our list for such a full rework, that’s a ways off though (Sion’s up next for major reworks, and we’ve been tentatively discussing Poppy as an option for after that, though that’s not yet certain). As a result the new plan’s to do some much shorter term work on Urgot that, while it won’t fix everything, should help out on some of his issues and get him into a better spot until we’re free to do larger scale work on him.
That shorter term work’s potentially going to be split into a couple of patches. The first (and I’m guessing that would be around patch 4.15, though not certain on that yet) focusing on some general cleanup and quality of life, with a possible follow up set of changes to add in a bit more power if appropriate.
Tentative list of changes we’re looking at for that first patch (note, not yet in testing, so may well change):
Basic attack missile speed increased to 1600 (from 1300)
- Given Urgot’s short attack range a more responsive auto attack’s appropriate for the risk he’s often putting himself in
Recommended item update
Some minor visual effects clean up
Acid Hunters now check for Noxian Corrosive Charge on both start and end of Acid Hunter cast
- Currently only checks at start of cast, penalizing swift follow up shots after firing the E at long range and attempts to sneak in a final homing shot as Noxian Corrosive Charge is close to expiring)
Mana cost increased to 50 (from 40), half mana cost refunded on kill
- Primary goal here is to punish Urgot less for last hitting with Acid Hunters when he needs to. Slight increase in cost to maintain a bit more harass cost, though still aiming to have this be a net buff to Urgot’s mana usage.
CD reduced to 120/110/100 (from 120)
- Adding a bit of late game power, without increasing his potential lane bully case
Mana cost reduced to 100 (from 120)
- Standardization with standard ult mana cost
As above this is an initial set of changes targeted at feel and clean up more than power. Assuming these don’t spike his power substantially (think it’s unlikely they will, but been wrong before) we’ll then look into whether there are some other safe buffs we can throw his way too. To be clear however Urgot’s still got some substantial game health issues in his kit so we’re not going to just keep throwing raw power at him until he’s back to his previous problematic state.
Just some minor changes aimed at convenience for existing Urgot players/better starting point for new Urgot players (Last Whisper in, Doran’s Blade start, Mercurial out, Brutalizer/Tear/Glacial Shroud in explicitly not just as components etc).
Note: Your Summoner Name might be cool, but it will never be Potato Jesus cool.
Yeah, would definitely want to add some compensatory power somewhere if we go ahead with those changes and they cut significant power off Urgot. Not sure what form that would take yet though, few things such as a the possible mana scaling above, I’d want to look into to help make that decision.
One change I’d like to test, but have only limited confidence in at present, is having his shield scale with mana instead of AP. Doing so would offer some additional build distinction for Urgot (tanky mana build versus raw AD/pen build) and supports using Tear which I feel’s fun and synergizes well with the Q refund change if that sticks. Potential downsides are a risk of forcing Urgot down a single build path, damage and tankiness from one stat via Manamune/Muraman (snowball issues) or alternatively, if the Muramana changes go through, a lack of appropriate mana items to support such a passive.
Next major rework (so full visual update, really big kit changes, lore update etc). Might well see some smaller reworks and/or visual updates first though, not certain on the timing of those off the top of the head.
Context: This is a follow-up on Xelnath‘s yesterday response about why few Champions see competitive play.
I’d like to chime in too, if you don’t mind:
Also realize that the LCS is only eight teams per region. Not everyone plays every champion. Thinking back to last season, it took people a long time to pick up Zed, despite being a ridiculously strong champion. Players often justdon’t find the champion, despite being an awesome pick overall.
I remember replying to a thread on this very forum where a player was like “Dude wtf look how bad Zed looked in this Korean game. Come on Riot, buff Zed. He missed his Q and did no damage. Clearly a trash champion.” That thread existed. It was upvoted. On early Season Three Zed: A champion we nerfed multiple times and was STILL #1 pick/ban at the World Championship last year. Just sayin’.
It’s also much easier to imitate than to innovate. A lot of players look to the Korean teams and say, “They’re the best, we’ll just follow in their footsteps.” Unless LCS teams are willing to step out and find their own powerful picks, you’re just only going to see the small set of champions that highly-regarded teams like Samsung Blue or SKT T1 K play. Last week we barely saw any Kog’Maw played in the LCS. This week, we have him played almost every single game. Because people realized, “Oh right, Kog’Maw’s really strong.” The game didn’t change in the LCS over the past seven days: LCS players’ perceptions did.
Thanks, David, that was a really great contribution.
Kog’maw is a great example of where a team must choose to play protect-the-kog’maw – but that might be impossible vs a team composed of the right set of divers/assassins/vi, etc.
These strategies exist – the people that are capable of practicing them? Less available until popular.
We want to enable these kinds of things – Yasuo Knockup comps are a new example of a specific synergy type. AoE Wombo Combo, etc. We don’t go out hunting for any specific comp usually, but instead try to ensure that the potential for them to exist does.
… and by the way, for every strategy that survives to LCS play – there’s 10 times as many that still work just as well at lower levels of play.
Context: Summoner Locoangel is doing a series of Learn-the-League Youtube videos where a Diamond player assesses common low ELO scenarios. You can check out their announcement here.
Awesome content! Love the concept of a diamond and bronze player talking. He’s like your Counselor Troy!
Best thing that will help people learn is to summarize and reinforce at the end. Run through a list of tips on screen as you’re doing your closing gameplay reel, put a list of lessons in the video description, etc. One thing we definitely learned in our testing is that just telling someone something once doesn’t make it stick. Using speech, action, and text can help people retain things. Ultimately though, doing it yourself works the best. You can also bring back lessons in the future to help people recall things they’ve learned in the past and reinforce again.
Nitpicky feedback, the color balance/contrast/etc. of the play capture changes. You should try to get that to be consistent. Not sure if it’s from different capture sources or a side effect of the overlays you add.
Lead Champion Designer Meddler explains the thought process behind nerfing Ziggs, the state of Lee Sin and Elise, why Lissandra‘s E deals such high damage and why Urgot would benefit more from a complete rework than just a texture update. Also, Systems Designer Xelnath discusses the limited Champion pool in LCS and why there haven’t been updates on Yorick‘s rework. Finally, a community suggestion about allowing enemies to report for verbal abuse only if the person they wish to report has used all-chat in that match and why Public Chat Rooms were not included in Patch 4.11.
The minefield’s duration is indeed long. Something we’re aiming to do more now when balancing champions is supporting their strengths and accentuating their weaknesses however. Cutting off the most obvious source of power by contrast risks homogenizing characters. We’re looking at Lee Sin at the moment for example, with one of our goals being to see if we can find a way to preserve his mobility – it’s what enables great plays with him and really distinguishes him from most other champions.
Context: Ziggs’s Q detonation range was nerfed in Patch 4.11. You can read a comprehensive explanation of the nerf here.
Regarding the changes to Ziggs in patch 4.10 we’ve seen a noticeable impact on Ziggs from them so far. A radius cut from 180 to 150′s pretty solid, since we’re dealing with the area of a circle, not just a line, and 150′s pretty small (Lay Waste for example is 200). Not sure whether we’ll want to make follow up changes (buffs or nerfs) to Ziggs yet, the live balance folks will be monitoring him though of course and adjust again if needed.
We’re looking at Lee Sin and Elise at the moment. It’s not that we don’t feel they need some work, but that they’re more complicated to solve and we don’t want to just cut power without focus – we’d like to amplify (or create) a weakness and preserve their intended strengths. Ziggs by contrast was a relatively straightforward case of cutting unnecessary power (safer than intended, more reliable than intended).
Lissandra’s E’s a risky, and often hard to land, tool to use for damage and she’s not balanced around the expectation she’ll have access to that damage all of the time. As a result being able to pull off useful mobility and damaging an enemy at the same time or sacrificing movement for extra damage occasionally can have a decent reward attached to it, giving another way to sometimes optimize your play. Her W by contrast is a high reliability spell, so if we were to strip damage off her E we’d have to put significantly less than we removed onto the W (and, as above, we’d be simplifying her kit in the process too).
I think Urgot’s a great candidate for a full overhaul of both his visuals and gameplay. Not certain he’d benefit as much from a texture update alone though as some other champs (Rammus and Skarner for example) have though.
I’ll post some more details on Urgot tomorrow. Short version is doing a significant gameplay rework’s going to take a lot more art support than I’d originally hoped. As a result a full rework’s quite a long way out and so we’ll look into some other changes we can make to help him out with his existing assets in the short term.
Honestly, no, I’m afraid that he’s not a priority right now. Some other unloved champs will get some love before ol Yorick. This is mostly my fault – I was working really heavily on him until I got distracted and didn’t find another designer to take over Yorick soon enough.
Feel free to blame me for the delay. That said, Riot’s making good calls about which champs get updates next in my opinion.
I’ve seen several potential skin ideas for a lot of champs, our bug friend included. Let’s just say that everything that I see gets me super excited. When we announce stuff, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
I LOVE our artists. Like seriously, I would just run around the floor hugging them all of the time, if it wouldn’t completely interfere with their drawings.
After Lissandra’s release I shifted to a team lead role, rather than working as much on individual champions directly. The next champ up’s one I did get a chance to do some hands on work on however, splitting some of the design work with Gypsylord, which has been good fun.
I realize how LCS not showcasing your favorite champion can be frustrating. It sucks to not see played by a pro and believe that somehow you’re not playing the game right.
However, the nature of LCS is to play the champions those players can play well at the razor’s edge of skill- this is distinctly different from the rest of the world. Take look at Gambit gaming a few seasons back – they shook the world up by pulling out some impressive team comps that were well-executed.
That said, yes, we do look at under played champions and ask “Are these guys in a good place? Do they have a clear role?” If not, we think about appropriate actions relative to the amount of work they need. Full rebuilds (Sion) require the most, followed by Gameplay Updates (Rengar, Skarner, Sona) followed finally by Visual Updates (Sivir) and lastly Balance Updates (Lucian next patch). However, all of these require a certain amount of testing to be sure they are of a quality level that won’t damage the game.
This is why these things take time. Full rebuilds might take two years. Gameplay updates between months (no art required) and a year (vfx, no model required).
But… there’s always champions lurking below the current OP meta tier who are waiting to surge up and overpower the rest. This is why you see things like the full ADC item rework – we want to try to fix problems on the whole CLASS of characters (Marksmen most recently) rather than just singularly bump a single champion up.
Sorry, I know that’s not the answer you want to hear, but we believe that many of our problems are deeply rooted in tough discussions, experimentation and so on. We are being careful to not damage the competitive quality of our game while pursuing the heart of these issues.
Context: Chat Rooms will be completely overhauled. You can read more on the topic here.
At times we may decide to make some minor adjustments to the patch notes. For example with the chat rooms. We decided we didn’t want to turn them off at this stage so we removed them from the notes and have informed the team they need to stay on.