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Posts Tagged ‘league of legends’

PBE Round-up: Patch 5.2

January 24th, 2015

 

PBE Roundup Patch 5 2 Banner

Patch 5.2 will hit live on January 27th, assuming there are no delays. Here are its contents:

 
[ !!! ] Deathfire’s Grasp will be removed in Patch 5.2. Click here to pay respects.


Store Content

Champion Updates

New Game Mode

Balance

Visual Updates

Other

 

 

Arclight Vel’Koz will be available for 1350 RP in the store after Patch 5.2 hits live.

 

Arclight Vel’Koz Skin Preview

 

Velkoz_Splash_2

Velkoz_2

 

Arbiter Velkoz Model 1

Arbiter Velkoz Model 2

Arbiter Velkoz Recall

Arbiter Velkoz Recall 2

For his recall, Arclight Vel’Koz pulls out his eye and light pours out of him.

 

Arbiter Velkoz Basic Attack

Basic Attack

 

Arbiter Velkoz Q 1

Arbiter Velkoz Q 2

Arbiter Velkoz Q 3

Plasma Fission [ Q ]

 

Arbiter Velkoz W 1

Arbiter Velkoz W 2

Arbiter Velkoz W 3

Void Rift [ W ]

 

Arbiter Velkoz E 1

Arbiter Velkoz E 2

Tectonic Disruption [ E ]

 

Arbiter Velkoz R 1

Arbiter Velkoz R 2

Lifeform Disintegration Ray [ R ]

 

 

Firecracker Jinx

Firecracker Jinx will be available for 1350 RP in the store after Patch 5.2 hits live.

 

Firecracker Jinx Skin Preview

 

Jinx_Splash_2

Jinx_2

 

Firecracker Jinx Model 1

Firecracker Jinx Model 2

 

Firecracker Jinx Updated

Firecracker Jinx Recall

For her recall, Firecracker Jinx… fires firecracks.

 

Jinx Skin Q 1

Jinx Skin Q 2

Jinx Skin Q 2 Explosion

Switcheroo! [ Q ]

 

Jinx Skin W 1

Jinx Skin W 2

Zap! [ W ]

 

Jinx Skin E 1

Jinx Skin E 2

Flame Chompers! [ E ]

 

Jinx Skin R 1

Jinx Skin R 2

Jinx Skin R 3

Super Mega Death Rocket! [ R ]

 

 

Warring Kingdoms Katarina

Warring Kingdoms Kata will be available in store for 975 RP.

 

Warring Kingdoms Katarina Skin Preview

 

Katarina_Splash_8

Katarina_8

 

Warring Kingdoms Kata Updated

Kata Skin Recall

For her recall, Warring Kingdoms Kata throws one of her knives high in the air, catches it and spins it around between her fingers.

 

Kata Skin Q 1

Kata Skin Q 2

Bouncing Blades [ Q ]

 

Kata Skin W 1

Kata Skin W 2

Sinister Steel [ W ]

 

Kata Skin E 3

Kata Skin E 1

Kata Skin E 2

Shunpo [ E ]

 

Kata Skin R 1

Death Lotus [ R ]

 

 

Warring Kingdoms Nidalee

Warring Kingdoms Nidalee will be available in store for 975 RP.

 

Warring Kingdoms Nidalee Skin Preview

 

Nidalee_Splash_7

Nidalee_7

 

Nida Skin Model 1

Warring Kingdoms Nida Updated

Nida Skin Model 3

Nida Skin Recall

For her recall, Warring Kingdoms Nidalee spins her spear over her head and then rotates it clockwise along the ground.

 

In her kitty form, Nidalee chases around a ball of light and leaps after it before recalling.


Nida Skin Q 1

Nida Skin Q 3

Nida Skin Q 2

Javelin Toss [ Human Q ]

 

Nida Skin Cougar Q

Takedown Hunted

Takedown [ Cougar Q ]

 

Nida Skin W 2

Nida Skin W 1

Nida Skin W 3

Bushwhack [ Human W ]

 

Nida Skin Cougar W 1

Pounce [ Cougar W ]

 

Nida Skin E 1

Primal Surge [ Human E ]

 

Nida SKin Cougar E

Swipe [ Cougar E ]

 

 

Sweetheart Annie

Sweetheart Annie will be available in store for 750 RP after Patch 5.2 hits live.

 

Sweetheart Annie Preview

 

Annie_Splash_9

Annie_9

 

Sweetheart Annie Model 1

Sweetheart Annie Model 2

Sweetheart Annie Model 3

Sweetheart Annie Model 4

 

 

Firecracker Ward Skin

The Firecracker Ward Skin will be available in store for 640 RP.

 

Firecracker Ward Skin 1

 

Firecracker wards have a neat smoke animation when they’re placed.

Firecracker Ward Skin 2

Firecracker Ward Skin 3

 

 

New Summoner Icons


 

Two new Lunar Revel Summoner icons will be available in the store:

profileIcon770 profileIcon771

 

You can earn this icon during the Ocean Week event.

profileIcon773

No news on how to get this one (yet!).

profileIcon774

 


Tristana Champion Update

Tristana and all her skins have been visually updated:

 

Classic Tristana

Classic Tristana Model 1

Classic Tristana Model 2

Tristana Classic Recall

For her recall, Tristana does a somersault into the air and lands on her cannon.

 

Tristana Death Animation

Saddest death animation this side of Bandle City.

 

Classic Tristana Q

Rapid Fire [ Q ]

 

Rocket Jump 1

Rocket Jump 3

Rocket Jump 2

Rocket Jump [ W ]

 

Explosive Shot 1

Explosive Shot 2

Explosive Shot 3

Explosive Shot [ E ]

 

Buster Shot 1

Buster Shot 2

Buster Shot [ R ]

 

Riot Girl Tristana

Riot Girl Tristana Model

 

 Earnest Elf Tristana

Earnest Elf Tristana Model

 

Firefighter Tristana

Firefighter Tristana

 

 

Firefighter Trist is a legendary skin so all her spells got new effects! Check them out below:

Trist Skin Q 1

Trist Skin W 1

Trist Skin W 2

Trist Skin E 1

Trist Skin E 2

Trist Skin E 3

Trist Skin E 4

Trist Skin R 1

Trist Skin R 2

Trist Skin Death Animation

 

Guerrilla Tristana

Guerrilla Tristana Model

 

Bucaneer Tristana

Bucaneer Tristana Model

 

Rocket Girl Tristana

Rocket Girl Trist Model

Rocket Girl Trist Model 2

 

vCFDEys

 

Tristana Final Portrait

  • Base AD increased from 52.5 to 54.5
  • Attack Speed-per-level decreased from 2.5% to 1.5%
  • Base Health decreased from 634 to 624
  • Base Armor decreased from 27 to 25

 

Rocket Jump Final IconRocket Jump [ W ]

  • Damage decreased from 70/115/160/205/250 (+ 0.8 AP) to 80/105/130/155/180 (+ 0.7 AP)
  • Rocket Jump deals 25% bonus damage per stack of explosive shot (new mechanic), caps at +100% damage at 4 stacks

 


Explosive Shot Final IconExplosive Shot [ E ]

Cost: 70/75/80/85/90 mana || Cooldown: 16/15/14/13/12 seconds || Range: 550

New Active (replaces old): Places a charge on target enemy or tower that explodes after 4 seconds, dealing 60/70/80/90/100 (+ 0.5 Total AD) (+0.5 AP) physical damage to nearby enemies. Tristana’s basic attacks against the target increase the charge’s damage by 25%, stacking up to 4 times. If Tristana hits her target 4 times, the charge is detonated automatically

 

 

Buster Shot Final IconBuster Shot [ R ]

  • Cooldown decreased from 100/85/70 seconds to 60 seconds at all ranks
  • AP Ratio decreased from 1.5 to 1.0

 

Trist has a brand new voice to complement her visual and gameplay update! Here are all her lines, courtesy of SkinSpotlights:

 

 

Lore

“Greatness comes in all shapes and sizes, as proven by this diminutive, cannon-wielding yordle. In a world fraught with turmoil, Tristana refuses to back down from any challenge. She represents the pinnacle of martial proficiency, unwavering courage, and boundless optimism. For Trist and her gun, Boomer, every mission is a chance to prove that heroes do exist.”

 

 

Nemesis Draft

A brand new featured game mode will be up on the PBE; the basic rules are you get to pick champions for the enemy rather than for yourself.

 

L4T3NCY Final PortraitHi everyone!

Our first Featured Game Mode for the year, “Nemesis Draft”, is on its way to the PBE. This time around, you’ll be choosing the champions for the enemy team, then making the champs you’ve been given work in battle on the Summoner’s Rift. Let the ‘creative’ comps begin. :)

Some notes:
– Nemesis Draft is a 5v5 featured game mode played on Summoner’s Rift.
– Nemesis Draft allows each player to choose 1 champion for the enemy team for a total of 5 per team.
– Each team will still get 3 bans. Do you bans champs do DON’T want to play, or leave them up to give to the other team? It’s up to you. :)
– Available champions for you to give the other team are allowed from the collective pool of champs on your allied team.
– There is a free trading period after all champs have been locked in, allowing you to organise amongst your team who would be best playing which champs. Even if you don’t own a champion, you’ll still be able to trade and play anyone you’re given.

Known issues:

Play flow artwork is still a placeholder.

Nemesis Draft will be live on the PBE soon™. We’ve paid special attention to the champion select phase this time, to make the picking & trading phases as clear as possible, so feedback on that flow will be welcome. Also “Thanks!” again to you PBE guys that always help us catch things early. Even if we can’t respond to every bug or report individually, we do read EVERYTHING and fix as much as possible.

SO.. we’re excited to see how scheming & creative you guys are. Are we about to uncover some diamonds in the rough? Will it be, “Give them all melee champs!” or “Give them all AD so we can just build armour!”. And then the inevitable, “Ok guys. We’ve got 4 junglers and a support.. but so do they! Let’s do this.” I can’t wait. :)

See you on the Rift. ^_^

[ Link to Post ]

 

Here’s a short overview. You  ban champions for your team; the goal is to eliminate possible “bad picks” the enemy could make for you. Then you choose the enemy’s champion and vice versa.

Nemesis 1

 

You can trade champions after selection is done, akin to ARAM.

Nemesis 2

That’s all, really. The goal here seems to be to get players playing champions they wouldn’t otherwise pick.

 

 

Champion Changes

 

 

Ahri Final Portrait

 [ Context ] Deathfire Grasp, a core item on Ahri, is being removed in Patch 5.2.

 

Orb of Deception Final IconOrb of Deception [ Q ]

  • Ahri gains a massive movement speed buff while the Orb is travelling

 

PBE Ahri MS Buff

MS buff seems pretty significant and static across level-ups; at level 1, it raises Ahri’s MS from 330 to 545 and then decays over the duration of the orb’s travel.

 

Fox Fire Final IconFox Fire [ W ]

  • Base damage increased from 40/65/90/115/140 to 50/80/110/140/170

 

Charm Final IconCharm [ E ]

  • Damage increased from 60/90/120/150/180 (+ 0.35 AP) to 60/90/120/150/200 (+ 0.5 AP)
  • No longer amplifies Ahri’s damage against Charmed targets by 20% for 6 seconds

 

 

Akali Final Portrait

 

Crescent Slash Final IconCrescent Slash [ E ]

  • No longer procs Mark of the Assassin

 

Shadow Dance Final IconShadow Dance [ R ]

  • Range decreased from 800 to 700

 

 

Annie Final Portrait

 

Molten Shield Final IconMolten Shield [ E ]

  • Armor and Magic resistance granted by the shield reduced from 20/30/40/50/60 to 10/20/30/40/50

 

Summon Tibbers Final IconSummon: Tibbers [ R ]

  • If Annie casts Molten Shield while Tibbers is active he will receive the shield and a short decaying speed boost

 

 

Azir Final Portrait

 

Azir Q New IconConquering Sands [ Q ]

  • Range increased from 800 to 875

 

 

 

Cassiopeia Final Portrait

 

Noxious Blast Final IconNoxious Blast [ Q ]

Mana cost increased from 40/45/50/55/60 to 40/50/60/70/80

 

Twin Fang Final IconTwin Fang [ E ]

Mana cost increased from 35/45/55/65/75 to 50/60/70/80/90

 

 

 

Fizz Final Portrait

 

Urchin Strike Final Icon Urchin Strike [ Q ]

  • Magic damage decreased from 10/40/70/100/130 ( +0.6 AP) to 10/25/40/55/70 ( +0.3 AP)

 

Seastone Trident Final IconSeastone Trident [ W ]

  • Base damage on passive decreased from 30/40/50/60/70 ( +0.35 AP) plus 4/5/6/7/8% of target’s Missing Health magic damage over 3 seconds to 20 ( +0.45 AP) magic damage over 3 seconds (to clarify, % damage is removed)
  • Damage on active changed from 10/15/20/25/30 ( +0.25 AP) to 10/20/30/40/50 (+ 4/5/6/7/8% of target’s missing HP)

To sum up, the % damage went from the passive to the active, couple of number tweaks as well.

 

Seastone Trident Updated

 

Chum the Waters Final IconChum the Waters [ R ]

  • Now amplifies Fizz’s damage against the target hit by Chum the Waters by 20% for 6 seconds

 

Chum the Waters Updated

 

Fizz now has a trident symbol to indicate he’ll deal amplified damage.

Fizz Amp Buff 1

Fizz Amp Buff 2

 

 

Nidalee Final Portrait

 

Prowl Final IconProwl [ Passive ]

  • Nidalee can now hunt monsters as well as champions
  • When Nidalee procs the Hunted mark on a monster, it becomes rooted for a short duration

 

 

 

Reksai Final Portrait

 

Queens Wrath Prey Seeker Final IconQueen’s Wrath [ Unburrowed Q ]

  • Base damage decreased from 15/30/45/60/75 to 15/25/35/45/55

 

Burrow Unburrow Final IconUn-Burrow [ Burrowed W ]

  • Base damage decreased from 60/110/160/210/260 to 40/80/120/160/200
  • Enemies can now be hit by Unburrow’s knock-up and damage once every 10/9/8/7/6 seconds, decreased from once every 10 seconds at all ranks

 

 

Riven Final Portrait

 

Broken Wings Final IconBroken Wings [ Q ]

  • No changes, the auto-cancel of Broken Wings’ animation has been removed =)

 

 

 

Zed Final Portrait

  • Attack Speed-per-level decreased from 3.1% to 2.1%
  • Base Attack Speed decreased from 0.658 to 0.644

 

 

Item Changes

 

Hunter’s Machete Upgrades

  • Cost increased from 750 Gold to 850 Gold (recipe cost up from 350 Gold to 450)

Includes Poacher’s Knife, Skirmisher’s Sabre, Stalker’s Blade and Ranger’s Trailblazer.

 

 Devourer Enchantment Final IconDevourer Enchantment

  • Recipe cost decreased from 600 Gold to 500

 

Juggernaut Enchantment Final IconJuggernaut Enchantment

  • Recipe cost decreased from 250 Gold to 150

 

Magus Enchantment Final Icon   Magus Enchantment

  • Recipe cost decreased from 680 Gold to 580

 

Warrior Enchantment Final IconWarrior Enchantment

  • Recipe cost decreased from 163 Gold to 63

 

Aether Wisp Final IconAether  Wisp

  • Cost decreased from 950 Gold to 850 (note; cost of items that build out of Aether Wisp is unchanged)

 

Aether Wisp Updated

 

Hextech Gunblade Final IconHextech Gunblade

  • AD decreased from 45 to 40
  • AP increased from 65 to 80
  • Lifesteal decreased from 12% to 10%

 

Giants Belt Final IconGiant’s Belt

  • Now builds out of a Ruby Crystal (400 Gold)
  • Added recipe cost of 600 Gold, total cost unchanged

 

Zzrot Portal Final IconZz’Rot Portal

  • Now grants the first and every fourth Voidspawn 100% of the user’s Armor and MR as bonus magic damage, changed from every third;
  • Voidspawns now have 50 base health, up from 40, 115 Armor, up from 60, and 20 Magic Resist, down from 40

 

 

Objectives

 

Dragon Final IconDragon

  • Base damage decreased from 230 to 120
  • Attack range increased from 350 to 500

 

 

Visual Update to Tower Shield

The shield provided by the second outer turrets has been visually updated.

 

Updated Shield PBE

 

The Bloodthirster also has a similar shield now.

Bloodthirster Shield Update

 

 

Updated Platform Walls

 

The Summoner platforms on both side now have similar relics to those found on the base gates. Of course, after 15 seconds they disappear.

Platform Update Blue Side

Red Side Updated Gate 2

 

 

Texture Rebalances

Dr Mundo, Irelia, Jarvan IV, Swain, Vayne, Nunu and Yorick have received texture updates.

 

Classic Dr. Mundo

Classic Mundo Model 1

Classic Mundo Model 2

 

Executioner Mundo

Executioner Mundo Model

 

Corporate Mundo

Corporate Mundo Model

 

Mundo Mundo

Mundo Mundo Model

 

Classic Irelia

Irelia Model 1

Irelia Model 2

 

Nightblade Irelia

Nightblade Irelia Model

 

Aviator Irelia

Aviator Irelia Model

 

Infiltrator Irelia

Infiltrator Irelia Model

 

Frostbutt Irelia

Frostbutt Irelia Model

 

Classic Jarvan IV

Classic Jarvan Model 1

Classic jarvan Model 2

 

Commando Jarvan IV

Commando Jarvan IV Model

 

Dragonslayer Jarvan IV

Dragonslayer Jarvan Model

 

Darkforge Jarvan IV 

Darkforge Jarvan Model

 

Classic Nunu

Nunu Classic 1

Classic Nunu 2

 

Workshop Nunu

Workshop Nunu

 

Grungy Nunu

Grungy Nunu

 

Nunu Bot

Nunu Bot

 

Demolisher Nunu

Demolisher Nunu

 

Classic Swain

Classic Swain Model

Classic Swain 2

Classic Swain 3

 

Northern Front Swain

Bilgewater Swain 1

Bilgewater Swain 2

Bilgewater Swain 3

 

Bilgewater Swain

Bilgewater Swain 4

Bilgewater Swain 5

 

Classic Vayne

New Vayne Classic 1

Vayne Classic 2

 

Vindicator Vayne

Vindicator Vayne

 

Aristocrat Vayne

Aristocrat Vayne

 

Dragonslayer Vayne

Dragonslayer Vayne

 

Heartseeker Vayne

Heartseeker Vayne

 

Classic Yorick

Classic Yorick 1

Classic Yorick 2

 

Undertaker Yorick

Undertaker Yorick 1

 

Pentakill Yorick

Pentakill Yorick 1

 

 

New Friend Discovery Feature

If you have a Facebook account and friends there who play League, this new feature will give you an easy way to find each other in-game.

 

AddFriend

 

MattEnth: Hey everyone,

In an upcoming patch, we’re introducing a new series of features that’ll help you find and add your IRL friends in League. We’re designing a hub for these features that’ll grow over time. The first of these helps you add fellow League players from your Facebook friends list. Many of you are on Facebook, and already use it to find friends in gaming networks. To us, it makes sense to start there.

When the new hub goes up, you’ll have the option of finding friends in League through Facebook. To clarify, you must choose to activate and use this feature. If you do, you’ll start seeing friend suggestions near the bottom of your League friends list. From there, you can add your friend or dismiss the recommendation.

You’ll only see suggested friends under all of these conditions:

  1. Both you and the suggested friend have activated and approved the Facebook connection
  2. You aren’t yet friends in League
  3. You are friends on Facebook
  4. Neither you nor the suggested friend have ignored the recommendation

When you add a suggested Facebook friend to your LoL friends list, you’ll still see them by their summoner name. In this implementation, their Facebook name will be prepopulated in their friends list note so you remember who’s who. You can still change the note afterward if you like.

We recognize that this isn’t a feature for every player. A key design tenet for the feature is that nothing changes for players who choose not to use it. We want this feature to be easy to ignore, while still valuable for those who want to beef up their friends list. We also want to make it easy to opt out of the feature at any time and for any reason.

Another key design tenet is privacy. We’ve taken extra steps to ensure that your Facebook info will never be shared with players if you haven’t explicitly activated the feature. If you do authorize and activate the feature, only your Facebook friends will ever see you as a suggested friend. Your Facebook info won’t be shared with strangers, won’t interact with your Facebook feed and will never post to your Facebook Timeline for you.

This feature is going to be on the PBE for a while so that we can gather feedback and iterate. We’re not quite finished yet, but we wanted to make sure to get the word out early. I’ll be around in the thread with Limely, a designer on the feature, to answer any questions!

MattEnth

[ Link to Post ]

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

the tested

The Tested – Team Liquid, Team Dignitas, Counter Logic Gaming, Winterfox

 

Team Liquid Banner

Team Liquid (formerly Team Curse) – 4th Seed

History:

Team Liquid, formerly known as Curse quite possibly has had the most amusing history of all the LCS teams. For those new to watching the LCS, “Team Curse” was quite possibly the most fitting name they could have had. At the end of almost every major tournament they have played in, Curse has had a very good habit of placing fourth, regardless of roster or competition. Furthermore, since Season 2, Curse has fielded many of CLG’s benched players, with their roster at one point being almost completely ex-CLG. Given this history, they have always been a team that has hovered beneath the best.

Their roster since then has now changed drastically. They now field an extremely hyped up roster, with Season 3 World Champion Piglet as their AD Carry, and a good amount of star players in their other roles. Their new mid laner FeniX is rumoured to be hidden talent from Korea, having insane solo queue stats but having not had an opportunity to perform yet. In addition to their old players Quas, IWillDominate, and Xpecial, Team Liquid hopes to break free of their curse, and not just in name either.

 

Lineup:

Liquid-Quas Liquid-Fenix Liquid-Dominate Liquid-Xpecial Liquid-Piglet

Top Lane: Diego ‘Quas’ Ruiz

Quas’ career began in solo queue and gained traction after constantly appearing in popular streams. He’s one of the newest players on the scene and has seen a great deal of success. He was brought into the LCS by Team Curse at the beginning of Season 4 Spring Split, and at the beginning struggled to adjust to the tank metagame at the time since he played mostly carry champions. However, as the summer split progressed, so did Quas’ abilities. It became clear to spectators that he was no longer the solo queue star who struggled in competitive, but was becoming an absolute monster in the top lane that the best teams started to fear. He ended up finishing Season 4 with some of the best stats of top laners in the NA LCS. He may have had a slow start coming into the LCS, but now he is nothing short of a god. He is looking to continue his upwards trend coming into Season 5. If he does so, he may soon be considered the best top laner in North America, if he isn’t already.

Middle Lane: Jae-hoon ‘FeniX’ Kim 

As mentioned above, FeniX is rumoured to be hidden talent from Korea. FeniX was brought in to replace mid laner Voyboy, whose skill was falling off near the end of Season 4. He was previously on the Jin Air Falcons, one of Korea’s worst teams. As a result, he never had much of an opportunity to show what he was capable of. His only laurels are stacks of insane solo queue stats from Korea, and now North America. FeniX’s ability to mesh and do well on Team Liquid depends on how well he adjusts to his new environment and learn English to communicate with his new team. Many look forward to being able to see if his hype was well deserved coming into this new season.

Jungle: Christian ‘IWillDominate’ Riviera 

IWillDominate began his career in Season 2, replacing Jatt on Team Dignitas as their jungler. After being labelled as toxic in game by Riot, Dominate was banned from the LCS an entire year. After this ban, he created a new account and managed to climb to a high rating again. He played in a few amateur tournaments during the ban, but did nothing major. Since then, he has reformed his raging ways and re-entered the competitive scene at the end of Season 3 as the jungler for Team Curse. Dominate has always been a solid jungler, but has rarely been considered as one of the top. He’s a decent all-rounder, with good mechanics and shotcalling, but he wouldn’t be considered great.

Bottom Lane: Gwang-jin ‘Piglet’ Chae and Alex ‘Xpecial’ Chu 

Piglet famously played on the SK Telecom K squad, with the legendary Faker. The highlight of his career was winning the Season 3 World Championships, where his team dropped a total of three games throughout the entire tournament. Piglet is a highly accomplished AD Carry with some of the best mechanics on the scene; mechanics obtained through thousands of hours of practice and dedication. After SKT K was unable to meet its former success in Season 4, Piglet was released, and picked up by Team Liquid soon after. Piglet seeks to dominate the rest of the competition in North America and show that he is still one of the best players in the world.

Xpecial was once the support player for TSM, having been one of few players to have qualified for three different World Championships. After a very dramatic release from TSM, Xpecial was soon picked up by Team Curse which had been struggling to obtain a good support at the time. Xpecial has been regarded as one of the best support players in North America since the start of his career. He has excellent mechanics and game sense and rarely ever gets caught while fighting for vision. His Thresh play is exceptional, in addition to play many other supports at an extremely high level.

Team Liquid’s bottom lane’s largest hurdle is communication. With Piglet and Xpecial speaking primarily different languages, their ability to communicate to each other is completely stunted. While they’re individually some of the most talented professional players in the scene, to play a lane based on cooperation without the ability to communicate clearly is something that skill cannot make up for. However, if Piglet and Xpecial find a way to make this work, they could very possibly be the best bottom lane in all of North America.

 

Team Outlook:

As mentioned, Team Liquid has a very strong roster individually. Paired with historically decent decision making, they have two questions to answer if one is to make predictions about how they will do in the coming season. If FeniX proves himself and lives up to the hype, Liquid will have gained an extremely powerful mid laner. With the mid lane competition in North America having grown miles since Season 2, having a strong solo laner who can hold his own and influence the rest of the map is crucial to any team’s success. The second question is if they are able to overcome the language barrier within the team. FeniX and Piglet are both Korean, and the rest of the team speak English. Furthermore, Piglet has been shown early in the pre-season to not be adjusting well to his move to North America. However, Team Liquid has been shown to be extremely supportive in helping him adjust to the move. If these issues prove to be a non-factor, Team Liquid may very well field one of the top rosters in North America.

A small thing of note is that Team Liquid now has P to the D (the coach of last season’s third place team LMQ) as their coach now. This adds another small layer of communication issues, but as the coach it shouldn’t be too bad. If he is able to replicate his success again in this season, Team Liquid will have an extremely good chance of being rid of their curse, in more than just their name.

Prediction for end of split standings: 3rd place.

 

 

Team-Dignitas-Banner

Team Dignitas – 5th Seed

History:

Dignitas made its spotlight into the League of Legends professional scene back in 2011, right after the first World Championships. They were originally Rock Solid, which had barely failed to qualify for said tournament, and were known at the time as an up and coming team. Their performance in the preseason was fantastic, having beaten the top teams at the time CLG and Epik Gaming for first place in their debut tournament. However, since then, they have not quite had the same success since. In every tournament back then where Dignitas, CLG, and TSM participated simultaneously, Dignitas would cheese CLG into the loser’s bracket, lose to TSM, and lose the third place match to CLG. This solidified them as the third best team in North America for a long while.

Like CLG, Dignitas has not achieved the same success since. In fact, one might say they have a rock solid history of only doing the opposite of what fans expect. Records have shown them winning when their fans have lost hope, and losing when their fans have fully built the hype train. Furthermore, they have had an extremely poor record with the Baron Nashor objective in game. They come into Season 5 as the fifth seeded team in North America after a gigantic roster change. After a poor showing at IEM Cologne, many question their ability to maintain their position as a relevant team in the LCS this split. However, given their track record, it’s quite impossible to ever predict how they will do.

 

Current Lineup:

Dignias-Gamsu Dignitas-Shiphtur Dignitas-Crumbzz Dignitas-CoreJJ Dignitas-Kiwikid

Top Lane: Yeong-Jin ‘Gamsu’ No

Gamsu is a Korean player who is practically unknown. He was a substitute player for Samsung Blue in the last season, but never saw any play. He is rumoured to be extremely good in the top lane and has excellent solo queue stats. Gamsu is coming in as a replacement for ZionSpartan, one of North America’s carry top laners. Given the lack of information on Gamsu, it is hard to say if he is an upgrade. However, his solo queue stats demonstrate that he is at least mechanically sound, as he hit master with a 72:5 win/loss ratio upon entering North America. In order to prove himself, Gamsu must be able to translate his success on solo queue to the LCS, and overcome the language barrier that plagues all the Asian imports.

Middle Lane: Danny ‘Shiphtur’ Le

Shiphtur is one of North America’s more well-known mid laners. His career began as the mid laner for Team Coast. Due to the fact he was on a team that did quite poorly, Shiphtur went relatively unnoticed for quite some time. However, as the LCS progressed, more and more people started noticing things. Perhaps it was an insanely well played teamfight that brought his team back into the game; maybe it would be ridiculous Ziggs play that singlehandedly stalled a loss until the fiftieth minute. Shiphtur’s strong play, despite his team’s winning or losing generated some of the best stats in the LCS, and put him into the spotlight. He is nothing short of mechanically gifted, with a wide champion pool and is able to play almost every champion he wants to.

Shiphtur’s only flaw is in his team play. While he has made some very monumental and game changing decisions that have often won his team the game as an individual, he tends to play extremely selfishly. Many people argue that his high stats are due to his conservative style, only making an action if he deems it beneficial to himself as opposed to his team. If he is able to become more of a team player, his career might see better success, even at the possible cost of his KDA.

Jungle: Alberto ‘Crumbz’ Rengifo

Crumbz is another player who has been around since the beginning of League of Legends. He entered the spotlight as the jungler for Team Curse near the end of Season 1. Curse at the time was arguably the best amateur team, always placing fourth just behind the titanic TSM, CLG, and Dignitas. It was within this team that Crumbz started to become recognized as a strong player. Halfway through Season 2, Crumbz was picked up by Dignitas as a part of a three way roster change between CLG, Dignitas, and Curse. After this switch, Crumbz role swapped to the top lane.

Crumbz returned to the jungle role, where he has been since, after IWillDominate’s infamous ban. As the most experienced player on the Dignitas roster, many expect Crumbz to play the role of a team leader. He has historically proven himself to be able to be an excellent shotcaller. However, he is not the most consistent in the role. He is also a very strong jungler mechanically. He is one of the lights for Dignitas fans to look to in this coming split, but with his career length and record, that light may be slowly fading.

Bottom Lane: Yong-in ‘Core JJ’ Jo and Alan ‘KiWiKiD Nguyen

Core JJ is another Korean import coming in this season to replace the famous imaqtpie. The story of how he got the role is quite funny; upon hearing of qtpie’s retirement, he made a post on Inven (the Korean version of our League subreddit) asking how he may obtain the newly opened position on Dignitas. Soon after, Dignitas contacted him and, as they say, the rest is history. Core JJ was one of the top 10 AD Carries in Korean solo queue before the move. He played for Bigfile Miracle, which had an awful 0:6 showing in OGN Champions. As a result, many question Dignitas’ decision in picking up Core JJ, considering him a “reject AD Carry” from Korea and not worth creating the issue of language barriers.

KiWiKiD has had a very lacklustre career. He joined Dignitas before Season 3 as their top laner. While his first split was Dignitas’ most successful in LCS history, things did not proceed so smoothly after. KiWiKiD once had the unfortunate record of having the most deaths in a single LCS split, although that record has been surpassed since. Nonetheless, it is unfortunately the most notable aspect of his play, even after having been role swapped to support at the beginning of Season 4. KiWiKiD is known for a highly aggressive style, which is one of the reasons for his high amount of deaths every single split. Furthermore, he constantly gets caught out while warding and fighting for vision.

With KiWiKiD’s poor record, Core JJ’s less-than-stellar record, and the language barrier between the two players, very few people expect this bottom lane to actually do well. Not only does KiWiKiD have to really step up his game, but he will have to learn how to communicate properly with his Korean AD Carry as well. Core JJ most likely is strong mechanically, but few would consider him one of the best. If KiWiKiD is unable to play his role properly, Core JJ may very well regret his desire to join Dignitas as their AD Carry.

  

Team Outlook:

Dignitas has some extremely large issues coming into this split. Unlike many teams who have brought in foreign players at the sacrifice of communication, Dignitas did not bring in players who could be considered stars. While Gamsu and CoreJJ have been shown to be incredibly strong individual players, Gamsu is untested, and CoreJJ had an awful showing within OGN. This means that Dignitas has introduced a communication barrier within its team, while making extremely risky pickups. Furthermore, continued poor performances by KiWiKiD in his LCS career have left many fans wondering why he has not yet been replaced. While the bottom lane of Dignitas shares the same problem as the bottom lane of Team Liquid, the skill gap between both pairs is so large that the inability to communicate well for Dignitas seems like much more of an issue.

Gamsu and CoreJJ will have to far exceed anyone’s expectations of them if Dignitas hopes to compete for a high standing this split. In addition, they will need to fix the communication issues that were ever so present at IEM Cologne, where they crumbled before Gambit Gaming. Things are looking grim for the once fan-adored team. But then again, it’s Dignitas, and for whatever that’s holy, you can really never know with them.

 Prediction for end of split standings: 8th place.

 

 

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Counter Logic Gaming – 6th Seed

History:

CLG exists as one of the oldest competitive League of Legends brands in the world that is still currently active in the professional scene today. Founded by George “HotshotGG” Georgallidisback in 2010, CLG throughout the ages has fielded some of the most recognizable names in League of Legends history such as Brandon “Saintvicious” DiMarco, Steve ‘Chauster’ Chau, and its current captain Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng. In the stages of its conception, CLG was widely regarded as one of the best teams in the world, placing first in many of the major tournaments during Season 1.

Since then, CLG has experienced a very gradual fall from their former glory. The past few seasons have been filled with disappointment and manic roster changes. They have failed to qualify for the World Championships in the last two seasons despite the highly touted “potential” many of the fans have come to joke about. After a very narrow relegation series against Curse Academy, CLG have requalified for the 2015 NA LCS Spring Split, and is looking to regain its former place amongst the best in the world.

 

Current Lineup:

CLG-Zion CLG-Link CLG-Xmithie CLG-Doublelift CLG-Aphromoo

Top Lane: Darshan ‘ZionSpartan’ Upadhyaha

In their recent acquisition of ZionSpartan for this season, CLG has placed a large investment into the veteran top laner, who has been playing competitive League of Legends since season 2. ZionSpartan is widely known as one of the few “carry” top lane players in North American scene, having been known to single-handedly influence the tide of games on signature champions such as Jax and Jayce. Despite this, his critics have frequently commented on his consistency as player, as his impact in a carry role has garnered erratic results.

However, especially in his recent showing at IEM Cologne 2014, Zion has demonstrated that his mechanical prowess extends to any champion and is willing to play according to his team’s needs. With this acquisition, CLG hopes to make amends to the communication issues CLG experienced with former top laner Seraph, and to obtain a second threat to relieve pressure on their star bottom lane.

Mid Lane: Austin ‘Link’ Shin

After two long and disappointing seasons on CLG, Link is something of a prodigal son to the organization. When signed for the 2013 LCS Spring Split to replace Bigfatlp as CLG’s mid laner, fans heralded his acquisition as a new age, citing his mechanical prowess in solo queue as a turning point in the ill-fortunes of the team’s ability to secure a first place LAN tournament finish. Even though the hype behind Link was immense, his performance in the past four splits has been lacking. Rather, he has been consistently inconsistent – showing up and living up to his expectations in one game, then being irrelevant or even a detriment in the next four. Even after a questionable showing in their relegation series and a lengthy tryout for mid laners, CLG and its members have once decided to place their faith in him for another split. Faith that fans feel is misplaced after a recent less-than-stellar showing at IEM Cologne.

Despite his doubters, Link has often been cited as the driving force behind CLG’s strategic play by his teammates, which played a large part in CLG’s regular season success in the 2014 Summer Split. Another shred of hope that fans may cling to is the signing of his former CLG.Black teammate, Xmithie, with whom Link has previously been shown to perform with. A large factor in CLG’s performance this season will be the ability of Link and Xmithie to work together to control and influence the map. While only time will tell if CLG has made the right decision in placing their faith in him once again, the immense amount of pressure on Link to perform this split is certain.

Jungle: Jake ‘Xmithie’ Puchero

After quite the fall from grace following the Season 3 World Championships, Xmithie has re-emerged from the obliteration of what was once team Vulcun as CLG’s new jungler. In his glory days, Xmithie was known to be an excellent support jungler, having secure many early game leads with a solid mid-laner in Mandatorycloud. He was known to play an excellent Lee Sin, even having won the Best Lee Sin NA tournament back in 2013.

For the fans, the acquisition of Xmithie is both a breath of relief and an eyebrow-raising decision. As CLG has a track record of signing non-jungle players into the position, the fact they got an actual jungler itself passes the first test. In addition, as aforementioned, Xmithie was once a previous teammate of Link, which theoretically is a positive for the all-important jungle-mid synergy that is instrumental to every team’s success. On the flip side, Xmithie has been absent from League of Legends for over a year following a very systematic destruction of his once world class team Vulcun.  Many wonder if his abilities are still up to par for a team whose ultimate desire is to once again rise to the top.

Bottom Lane: Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng & Zaqueri ‘Aphromoo’ Black

The re-signing of the highly acclaimed bottom lane, monikered “Rush Hour”, is one of the few unquestioned decisions made by CLG in the pre-season. Tried and tested again and again, Doublelift and Aphromoo have constantly proven themselves throughout Season 4 to be top tier players in their positions in the west.

Doublelift, who once had claim to the title of “Best AD Carry in the World” is now striving to regain his former glory by earning a spot to the Season 5 World Championships where he could compete amongst the best. His mechanical skill is amongst the best in the western hemisphere of the world, and CLG often defaults to “protect Doublelift” strategies when backed into a corner.

Despite a shaky spring split in Season 3 and absence from the summer, Aphromoo returned to CLG in Season 4 with a zeal that catapulted him into a reputation as one of the best supports in North America. The pair are known for their especially strong and aggressive laning abilities, and often obtain a strong advantage which form the basis for CLG’s wins.

While I sing praises of this bottom lane, they are not without their faults. They play extremely aggressively during the laning phase which is a kind of gameplay that puts them in dubious positions. This is a trademark that many of the top tier teams try to abuse, often coordinating ganks to punish and deny them any momentum. Furthermore, the price to Doublelift’s inhuman mechanical abilities is a tendency to make poor decisions with his positioning and throw leads. However, in spite of these flaws, they are still the lynchpin of CLG, and are the members who are always an integral part of their team’s success.

 

Team Outlook:

Due to the major roster change in which two of their players and their coach were changed, one would have to question their team cohesion coming into the spring split. There are also questions of whether or not Link can step up his game and play at the level CLG needs him to in order to reach the top, and if Xmithie is still able to perform or if he’s a washed up version of his former self.

Nevertheless, CLG possesses a few large advantages this split. All five team members have played at a high level in their careers for more than a year. Furthermore, they are one of the few teams in the NA LCS where all five players speak English fluently due to the massive influx of Asian players. Also, their acquisition of a new live-in coach William ‘scarra’ Li serves as an upgrade to their former coach MonteCristo, who was unable to settle team disputes due to his inability to stay in California. While they currently may not be the best team in North America, they certainly have the capability to do well and make a good show.

 Prediction for end of split standings: 4th place.

 

 

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Winterfox (formerly Evil Geniuses) – 7th Seed

History:

In order to speak of Winterfox’ history, we have to talk about Evil Geniuses, and to a lesser extent the long extinct CLG.eu.

Evil Geniuses, one of the largest and oldest eSports entities in the world, acquired the famous CLG.eu roster at the advent of Season 3. At this point, CLG.eu, along with Moscow 5 dominated the European scene and were the only western teams at the time able to stand up to the Korean players. However, after the organization switch, the close-knit CLG.eu roster was unable to achieve its former success, resulting in a roster split with the players Krepo, Yellowpete, and Snoopeh after leaving Europe in hope of better success in North America at the beginning of Season 4.

It is interesting to note that the three listed players have since retired and left the LCS through the two long and arduous splits which involved playing two relegation series to earn a spot back in the regular season. After sweeping Team Coast in the 2015 LCS Spring Promotion Series and a small roster change, Evil Geniuses was rebranded as Winterfox, with all its original members having moved on to different ventures, and a new starting lineup. Winterfox is coming into the 2015 Spring Split after spending the preseason bootcamping in Korea.

 

Lineup:

Winterfox-Avalon Winterfox-Pobelter Winterfox-Helios Winterfox-Altec Winterfox-Imagine

Top Lane: Donghyeon ‘Avalon’ Shin

 One of the new offseason acquisitions on the Winterfox roster, Avalon hails from Korea as a replacement for the former top laner Innox, who had very lacking performances. Little is known about Avalon; he is the brother of Helios and he is Diamond 1 in Korean solo queue, hovering around 50 LP. Back in Season 2, when Reapered was booted from Azubu Blaze, Avalon was a placeholder for the top lane position until he was ultimately replaced by Flame. Due to the lack of knowledge about Avalon and his relatively low solo queue ranking, it is hard to say whether or not he will be an improvement over Innox. In addition, the move from Korea to the US may pose certain difficulties for him as well. However, with his brother Helios with him, and three others on Winterfox speaking fluent Korean, the transition may not be as difficult as it was for other players such as Team Liquid’s Piglet.

Middle Lane: Eugene ‘Pobelter’ Park

Pobelter, Throwbelter, the Notorious P.O.B., or Young Pob are amongst the many affectionate nicknames given to the up and coming player. Having finished Season 4 with three accounts in the top five spots of NA Challenger, Pobelter is amongst one of the most hyped players in the coming Spring Split. Pobelter is an extremely versatile player, having fielded ten champions of varying roles across the twenty eight games in the 2014 Summer Split. Furthermore, during the Winterfox Korean bootcamp, he was frequently asked if he was Cool or Faker (who are amongst the best mids in the world). This story ends with the fact that Pobelter achieved top 30 with a 72% winrate in Korean soloqueue, which is an extremely impressive feat.

While his performance in the LCS has had rough patches (usually citing high school and tilt for inconsistent showing), he has since graduated high school and is finally able to dedicate the entirety of his time to becoming a professional player. His strength mechanically in combination with his young age and strong performances in his last several competitive games, Pobelter is starting to ascend to the ranks of the great mid laners in the hearts of many.

Jungle: Dongjin ‘Helios’ Shin

Helios has been playing in competitive League of Legends since Season 2 as a part of the MiG/Azubu/CJ Entus organizations (mostly the same rosters, just different brands). Helios boasts the most experience of the current Winterfox roster, with achievements going back to when Azubu Blaze roster which systematically obliterated Team Solo Mid (the top North American team at the time) in the MLG Summer Arena tournament of 2012. However, after poor results in the Korean scene and disappointing placements, he developed a reputation of not being good enough for OGN. Nonetheless, he was recruited to EG after a trial period, replacing Snoopeh and has displayed a relatively respectable performance in the North American LCS since.

Helios demonstrates an early aggression jungling style, prioritizing getting his laners ahead. This is demonstrated in the recent Summer Split, where his most picked champions were Elise, Lee Sin, and Evelynn, all of which have excellent early game pressure. While he may be a foreign import, it is important to note that he has been shown to get along extremely well with mid laner Pobelter in interviews and streams, which reflects brightly on their synergy. His English is quite well developed in comparison to other Korean players, being able to do interviews without a translator at hand, which would mean that his ability to communicate with his teammates would better than one would imagine.

Bottom Lane: Johnny ‘Altec’ Ru and Hyeonsu ‘Imagine’ Jang

Alongside with long-time friend and teammate Pobelter, Altec is another up and coming star in the professional League of Legends scene. He is constantly praised as one of the best AD Carries in North America, finishing the 2014 LCS Summer Split with the second highest KDA of all players, despite EG having an 11-13 win-loss with him on the starting roster. Given that Altec is also currently the youngest player in the NA LCS, many believe in his potential to become one of the best AD Carries in the world.

Imagine is high rated challenger in Korean soloqueue with over 1000 games on Thresh, and pretty much zero competitive experience. He was brought into Winterfox as a replacement for Krepo, a player with extremely good game knowledge and was an excellent support player in his own right. With the current information on Imagine, it would be hard to predict how he well he could fill the gap left behind by Krepo’s retirement. However, if we consider his rank alongside the fact that he had yet to be picked up by a Korean team, one might bring into question his abilities on champions other than Thresh.

In addition to the fact that Imagine is untested, there is a slight language barrier between Altec and Imagine that could cause potential problems for the young talent. Imagine speaks about as much English as Altec understands Korean (which to his credit is a fair bit to my understanding), and communication issues are a hurdle the pair will have to jump coming into this coming split.

 

Team Outlook:

Winterfox is a team with a lot of unanswered questions. While their main carries have excellent reputations to their names, they have a lot of excitement to live up to in the coming season. Avalon and Imagine are completely untested players in competitive, and it’s always extremely hard to tell how one’s performance will be given their solo queue results. However, if Altec and Pobelter manage to play as well as they possibly can, Winterfox will surely be a force to be reckoned with, even if Imagine and Avalon are merely subpar.

A very interesting note in all this is that while Pobelter and Altec are from North America, Pobelter speaks fluent Korean, and Altec is familiar with the language. This means that even with three Koreans on the team, the language barrier may not be as problematic as one might think. In addition, due to the Korean bootcamp, the current Winterfox roster has already had over a month of practice together, which is more than a lot of other LCS rosters could have a claim to.

Prediction for end of split: 5th/6th/7th Place with Gravity and Impulse as the others

 

 

 

Read more:

The Challengers – An overview of the challenger NA LCS teams coming into Season 5 (T8, GV, CST)

 

Written by: Kevin ‘SoullessFire’ Lee

Graphics by Ling Gu: @vpnviper

 

All player photos and logos have been taken off the web. We do not own or hold responsibility for these images whatsoever.

Article-Cover-(T8,-GV,-CST)

The Challengers – Team 8, Gravity, Coast

 

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Team 8 – 8th Seed

History:

Team 8 is arguably the newest team entering the LCS this split, fielding an extremely inexperienced roster compared to all the other teams. Only one of its members (frommaplestreet) has played in the LCS, and for an extremely unfortunate run on the team Velocity. They’re a group who have been playing in the amateur scene for about a year, and have had decent placements in all the tournaments they’ve played in, mostly in the top 3. Their LCS debut was won in a best of 5 series versus Complexity Gaming in the Spring Promotion tournament, going 3:2 against their fellow challengers.

 

Lineup:

T8-Calitrlolz T8-Slooshi T8-PorpoisePops T8-Frommaplestreet T8-Dodo8

Top Lane: Steven ‘CaliforniaTrlolz’ Kim

CaliTrlolz actually has a pretty interesting story with his team’s qualification of the LCS. Not only did he just win a once in a lifetime opportunity, he also was granted acceptance to a Pharm D program which are devilishly difficult to get into. With a little help from reddit, he was able to defer his admission for a year to play in the LCS.

Despite the community hype, CaliTrlolz is a relatively average player in terms of individual skill. Although he has proven himself to be able to perform on standard picks, it is highly likely that his fundamentals will pose as a brick wall against the likes of star players Dyrus, Impact, and Balls. His real strength lies in some of his more unconventional picks such as Kha’zix top, which have the potential to cheese and upset other top laners who may not have experience or the knowledge on how to play strange matchups. For example, the old LMQ was dropped a game against his Vladimir when playing against Team 8 in the Season 4 Spring Challenger Series. The key point for CaliTrlolz to address is the improvement of his individual abilities. With the increased practice against high calibre players, it is very possible that CaliTrlolz could transition from a wild card to a reliable top lane player.

Middle Lane: Andrew ‘Slooshi’ Pham

Slooshi has been an amateur mid laner for the past few years, and was one of the original founders of Team 8. He usually hovers around the lower end of the challenger ladder. Although he does quite well within the Challenger scene, his track record calls into question his ability to stand toe-to-toe with the mid lane superstars such as TSM’s Bjergsen or Team Impulse’s XiaoWeiXiao. Unfortunately for Slooshi, the mid lane competition coming into the current LCS is vastly improved and quite frankly on a completely different level than in the amateur scene.

To Slooshi’s credit, he constantly adapts to game changes and learns to play what is perceived to be the best champions on each patch. Notably, this is something that balances out his weaker individual capabilities, and quite frankly is something a lot of LCS players have had problems with in the past. Much like the rest of his teammates, he has a large gap between him and his competitors. If Slooshi manages to improve and stand his ground against the large tide coming against him, he will have proven that his entry to the LCS was well deserved.

Jungle: Braeden ‘PorpoisePops’ Schwark

Porpoise is an extremely new player by LCS standards. His appearance within the League of Legends scene began in 2014 with the advent of Team 8’s rise to a significant amateur team. Given his lack of experience, Porpoise is a relatively average jungler. He played a lot of jungle Kha’zix, Elise, and Nocturne in Team 8’s passage through the Challenger series. While his play throughout the Challenger Series can be considered alright, his entry into the LCS calls for a great deal of improvement on his end.

Bottom Lane: Ainslie ‘frommaplestreet’ Wyllie and Jun ‘Dodo8’ Kang

For those who don’t know, Maplestreet is the younger brother of the former TSM jungler TheOddOne. Having played for Velocity in the 2013 LCS Summer Split, Maplestreet is the only member of Team 8 to have once been a part of the LCS (albeit on a team that went 5:23 in the regular season). He has shown the capability to be strong mechanically, but very rarely so. In addition, Maplestreet is known to go on tilt quite easily, and is constantly harassed even in solo queue to throw his game off. In the past he had a leaning towards stranger picks like Draven and Varus, but his recent performances in the Challenger Series have proven that he’s able to play more than a couple of niche picks.

Dodo8, along with Slooshi, was one of the original members of Team 8. While he’s been playing for a long while now, the most noticeable thing about him is his large amount of Thresh games. Throughout most of the Challenger series, Dodo has stuck primarily to only Thresh and Nami as his comfort picks. While a large champion pool is not necessarily the most important attribute of a support player, one might worry about how he would perform in the regular season if teams were to take away his comfort picks.

After a weak showing at IEM San Jose playing as substitutes for Latin American team Lyon Gaming, Maplestreet and Dodo have a lot to show coming into this split of the LCS. In a region known for extremely strong bottom lanes, Maplestreet and Dodo are pitted against titanic odds. If Maplestreet manages to keep his emotions in check over the course of the season, and Dodo becomes a more versatile player, they may very well find a small place in the competitive scene.

 

Team Outlook:

The primary issue with Team 8 is that all five players have a large gap in individual skill between them and the more prominent teams in the LCS. Furthermore, they have not yet exhibited the same kind of strategic prowess that Cloud 9 possessed when they broke onto the scene. When their only hope of winning stems from cheese strategies and unconventionality, Team 8 has a long split ahead of them. However, the LCS has proven its ability to help lesser known teams improve and develop the potential they have within them. While the outlook is grim for Team 8, there is much they could get out of playing at the highest level North America has to offer. And, at the very least, they may be able to squeeze a few upset victories and keep the top teams guessing what surprise is next.

Prediction for end of split: 10th Place

 

 

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Gravity (formerly Curse Academy) – 9th Seed

History:

Curse Academy has been a challenger team that’s been around since the beginning of 2013 and has constantly played in amateur tournaments and the Challenger series. Incidentally, the team’s starting roster included Team Liquid jungler IWillDominate, and Winterfox mid laner and AD Carry Pobelter and Altec. As a small no-name amateur team, it cycled through numerous high rated players over the years, amassing a gigantic list of solo queue stars who have played for the team at some point in time, and even a decent number of LCS players before finally arriving at the current roster it fields today.

In the time leading up to the promotion tournament, Curse Academy performed quite well, placing consistently top 3 in most of the Challenger Series events. After making their way to a narrow and dramatic loss to Counter Logic Gaming in the 2015 Spring Promotion Tournament, Curse Academy blazed through the LCS Expansion tournament, dismantling Fusion Gaming of which the star players Nientonsoh and Maknoon played for and securing their spot in the LCS as the 9th seed. Due to Curse deciding not to continue sponsoring their League of Legends teams, Curse Academy rebranded as Gravity in their entrance to the 2015 LCS Spring Split.

 

Lineup:

Gravity-Hauntzer Gravity-Keane Gravity-Saintvicious Gravity-Cop Gravity-Bunny

Top Lane: Kevin ‘Hauntzer’ Yarnell

Hauntzer’s been an amateur player since the middle of Season 2, and has been trying to get into the LCS ever since. Despite the amount of time he has played competitively, he has stayed relatively under the radar. He started as a mid laner, but made a generally positive transition to the top lane role later into his career. Hauntzer plays as a solid top laner, preferring to play safe champions and tanks. With this being said, he has displayed the ability to adapt to game changes and playing according to each patch, and has thus accumulated a very large champion pool. The largest question that he needs to answer is whether or not he can translate his success in the Challenger scene to the LCS.

Middle Lane: Lae-Young ‘Keane’ Jang

Keane has had quite an interesting career history for someone making a debut in the LCS. Originally from Korea, he studied in New Zealand and played League of Legends in the Korean servers back in Season 2, and was noticed by the ex-Azubu Frost player Woong, and played for an amateur Korean team MiG Wicked for a little while. He was then picked up by the Australian team Little Wraith, where he easily hit rank 1 in the Oceanic servers. During mid-2014, Curse acquired the Little Wraith roster, where Keane caught the eye of Liquid and was offered a place on Curse Academy.

Keane is one of the up and coming mid players in the NA LCS, and is strongly believed to be one of the hidden talents coming into the North American scene. Although having garnered a reputation for unconventional picks a la mid Hecarim, Keane is proficient with many of the commonly picked champions in competitive play and is far from a one trick pony. During the promotion series versus Counter Logic Gaming, Keane constantly outfarmed and dominated veteran player Link, providing a strong basis for their first two wins despite their downfall at the end of the series. While not as hyped as the Young Pobelter, Keane is another strong mid laner coming into the NA LCS that many are excited to see perform.

Jungle: Brandon ‘Saintvicious’ DiMarco

Saintvicious is quite literally one of the most well-known players in professional League of Legends. Having started the main bulk of his career on CLG (when CLG actually still won things), Saintvicious in Season 2 was once known as the best jungler in the world. Nowadays, fans look to him as an old grandfather past his prime, which in many ways is true. However, few active players in the scene today could even claim to have the same amount of competitive experience as Saint, who has been consistently active since the beginning of Season 1.

With his laurels having been listed, it should still be noted that Saintvicious is no longer the player he once was. The size of the competitive scene and talent pool since Season 1 has grown exponentially. Furthermore, time has worn his abilities, and while he is still a strong player, he is nowhere close to what he once could claim to be. Instead, his strength lies in his shotcalling and massive game knowledge garnered over the many years of play. As such a veteran player, Saintvicious plays a crucial role in leading his team of green players to victory.

Bottom Lane: David ‘Cop’ Roberson and Michael ‘BunnyFuFu’ Kurylo

Cop is another player on Gravity with a vast amount of experience, although not nearly as much as Saintvicious. His career began in Season 2 playing on the original roster for Team Curse, which was constantly at the top of the amateur scene back in those days. However, Curse was never able to breach the top three spots in major North American tournaments where TSM, CLG, and Dignitas were present, constantly placing at best 4th. As such, Cop has reputation of being a B rated player, constantly playing at a level higher than amateurs, but never quite reaching the level to be considered amongst the best. Despite his imperfections, Cop performs consistently as a solid AD Carry, and underestimating him is not amongst the best of ideas.

BunnyFufu broke into the professional scene when he was replacing Saintvicious in the support role (the counter logic never leaves you). He is known for his exceptional Thresh play, landing some of the most impressive hooks recorded and generating a long list of highlight reels on reddit. Nonetheless, his play on other champions are far less impressive, giving him a reputation as a one trick pony. His ability to land skillshots is arguably unparalleled, but his performance in other areas of the game such as vision control and decision making are quite flawed, leaving much room for improvements. As few other champions have skillshots as game changing as Thresh, Bunny has a very visible weakness that most teams will exploit.

 

Team Outlook:

If Bunny is able to fix his weaknesses and become nearly as influential on other champions besides Thresh, Gravity’s bottom lane will be a very solid backbone for the team, relying on Keane and Saintvicious to make plays and carry the game. In spite of all their strengths individually as a team, Gravity’s only player to perform at a superstar level is Keane, which is unfortunately not enough to compete with the all-star lineups of the higher seeded teams. Furthermore, despite Saintvicious’ game knowledge and experience, he is but a mere shadow of his former self with increasingly deteriorating mechanical skill. He has yet to demonstrate the same strategic brilliance of Cloud 9’s Hai, which would be instrumental in Gravity placing much higher than their given prediction.

Nonetheless, Gravity is looking to be a competitive team, and is expected to place in the middle of the pack of the LCS, perhaps taking a game or two off the best teams in the LCS and providing a strong potential for creating upsets.

Prediction for end of split: 5th/6th/7th Place with Team Impulse and Winterfox as the others

 

 

Team-Coast-Banner

Coast (10th Seed)

History:

Coast was once the team GGU, consisting of the star players ZionSpartan and Shiphtur. While GGU had a surprise 2nd place finish in the 2013 Spring Playoffs, its rebranding as Coast started a very disappointing history. Coast has had to play in three consecutive relegation series, finally losing their spot in the LCS in their third relegation series during the 2014 Summer Promotion Tournament. Nonetheless, their position granted them an automatic seed into the NA Challenger Series, where Coast obtained a new roster in Rhux, Goldenglue, Santorin, DontMashMe, and Sheep. This roster performed very well in the Challenger Series, qualifying for the 2015 Spring Promotion Tournament.

A point of drama in the events leading to their promotion was when their management swapped out Rhux and Goldenglue for Korean players, causing a significant uproar amongst the League community. Furthermore, the swap created communication problems contributing to EG’s 3-0 sweep over them in the promotion tournament. After this embarrassing gaffe, the Korean imports were replaced by Cris and Jesiz, and Santorin who left following an offer from TSM was replaced by Impaler, creating their current lineup today. Coast then edged out a narrow 3:2 victory over Fusion Gaming, securing their spot in the NA LCS during the 2015 LCS Spring Expansion Tournament.

Lineup:

Team-Coast-Cris Team-Coast-Jesiz Team-Coast-Impaler Team-Coast-Mash Team-Coast-Sheep

Top Lane: Cristian ‘Cris’ Rosales

Cris is something of a caricature in the professional League of Legends scene. He has somewhat of a notorious reputation within the community for being a high profile flamer in solo queue. Nonetheless, he has been around the scene for years, having played for Velocity eSports for a period of time, with constant appearances in the amateur scene after.

Cris’ origins stem from solo queue in Season 2, where he was quite infamous for only playing Riven, flaming quite a bit, and for rumours of ghosting other players’ streams. The rumours have been unverifiable, but to his credit he now streams to when playing as evidence for his innocence. Since then, his champion pool has expanded, playing tank champions and initiators. Despite the amount of experience he has in competitive play, Cris has yet to prove himself to be at a high professional level. He constantly gets caught out in poor positions, and at times forgets to use item actives, facets of play that shouldn’t exist in the environment he’s playing in. The coming LCS split will either provide him with a good chance to prove himself and demonstrate his capabilities, or cement his dodgy reputation.

Middle Lane: Jesse ‘Jesiz’ Le

Jesiz is one of the two European imports in the coming LCS Split, coming to North America from Denmark. Before Coast, Jesiz was the mid laner for SK Gaming, the third place European seed at the 2014 World Championships. After an unfortunate circumstance caused by Svenskeren and a very poor showing, Jesiz and the rest of SK Gaming were eliminated in the group stage.

Even though Jesiz was the mid laner of the third best team in the last European LCS Split, his showing at Worlds and led many to believe that he is merely an average player, and not worth the relocation effort. His showing during the Spring Expansion Tournament has demonstrated that he is at least stronger than most amateur players and able to make it into the LCS. However, his performance in the expansion tournament could only be described as “reasonable”, as he was unable to make big plays and was reliant on Impaler to influence the course of the game. In order to prove his doubters wrong, Jesiz will have to show that he is capable of making game changing ultimates and roams, and that he isn’t just a passive supportive player.

Jungle: Matt ‘Impaler’ Taylor

Impaler is the other European import joining the NA LCS this Season, coming to North America from England. He has been playing competitively in the amateur European scene since Season 3, and qualified for the European LCS Spring Split in Season 4 on the team SUPA HOT CREW (yes, the name is entirely capitalized). Although SHC had a weak showing in the Spring Split ultimately finishing 7th, Impaler and the rest of his team managed to win their relegation series and catapulted to finishing 3rd in the regular season of the Summer Split. At the time of his acquisition, Impaler already had quite the reputation as a solid jungler.

It turns out that Impaler would become the shining star of Coast, having played the largest role in turning around their promotion series against Fusion Gaming with several absolutely heroic smites. In that series particularly, Impaler was responsible for many of the key and game swinging plays that allowed Coast to triumph over their opponents. To put it bluntly, the man is capable of carrying extremely hard. However, considering how narrow Coast’s win was over Fusion Gaming, it would be extremely difficult to predict how much Impaler would be able to influence the course of Coast’s games against the better teams.

Bottom Lane: Brandon ‘DontMashMe’ Phan and Jamie ‘Sheep’ Gallagher

MashMe has been one of those players who have been around since Season 1. In fact, he was one of the very first players to be considered high rated. Despite this, his early career consisted of a lot of hopping around many of the better known amateur teams at the time, doing well in online tournaments but quite poorly at LAN events. He played on multiple amateur teams until he was picked up as a replacement to Zig on Team Dynamic, which was later rebranded GGU. His time on GGU was his one claim to fame, where he and his team placed 2nd in a close best of 5 versus TSM during the 2013 Spring Season Playoffs. He is very similar to Jesiz in the regard that he is a remarkably average player, doing as well as his team, but never making the game winning plays.

Sheep’s career is markedly shorter than his AD Carry’s, having been brought into the spotlight during the implosion of Team XDG to replace BloodWater. Unfortunately for Sheep, XDG was falling to the bottom of LCS standings faster than Lindsay Lohan was able to destroy her public image. After losing their relegation series to LMQ, Sheep was picked up by Coast where he’s been playing since. Sheep’s most remarkable performances have been on Thresh, but he has been shown to play a variety of other supports as well.

MashMe and Sheep round off to being a solid, but average bottom lane. They usually don’t do exceedingly poorly, but they also rarely create the same kind of impact on the game of the top tier bot lanes have in the world. While this may not be the worst thing in weaker competition, North America happens to have some of the stronger bottom lane pairings in the world. Much like Jesiz, they will have to step up their game in order to prove themselves worthy of being in the LCS, and not rely on Impaler to make the big plays to win games.

Team Outlook:

Throughout this overview, there is one word that consistently appears when discussing Coast: “average”. Cris has been at best an average player in his career, MashMe and Sheep are average players, and even Jesiz, while having decent mechanics, is still a remarkably average player. Throughout the Expansion Tournament, Coast’s four laners play relatively passively, waiting for Impaler to instigate and pressure the map through ganks. In such a team oriented game, Impaler will have his work cut out for him if Coast expects him to constantly carry each game. He will require assistance from his teammates in creating openings and finding plays to make. If even just Jesiz manages to step up in doing so, Coast will have a much better chance of success in the current split. Coast has decent players, they just need to rise above their mediocrity to make a good show.

Prediction for end of split: 9th Place

 

 

 

Written by: Kevin ‘SoullessFire’ Lee

Graphics by Ling Gu: @vpnviper

 

All player photos and logos have been taken off the web. We do not own or hold responsibility for these images whatsoever.

 

PBE 22 01 Banner

 

PBE 22/01

 

[ Reminder ] The PBE is a testing ground for changes. What you see here may not reflect what you see in Patch Notes. Remember that developers want your feedback so if you disagree with a change, you can always submit your thoughts on the PBE Community Forums.

 

 

New Splash Arts


 

Arclight Vel’Koz

Arclight Vel’Koz will be available for 1350 RP in the store after Patch 5.2 hits live. Check here for a preview of the skin.

Velkoz_Splash_2

Velkoz_2

 

Firecracker Jinx

Firecracker Jinx will be available for 1350 RP in the store after Patch 5.2 hits live. Check here for a preview of the skin.

Jinx_Splash_2

Jinx_2

 

Sweetheart Annie

Sweetheart Annie will be available for 750 RP in the store after Patch 5.2 hits live. Check here for a preview of the skin.

Annie_Splash_9

Annie_9

 

Warring Kingdoms Katarina

Warring Kingdoms Katarina will be available for 975 RP in the store after Patch 5.2 hits live. Check here for a preview of the skin.

Katarina_Splash_8

Katarina_8

 

Warring Kingdoms Nidalee

Warring Kingdoms Nidalee will be available for 975 RP in the store after Patch 5.2 hits live. Check here for a preview of the skin.

Nidalee_Splash_7

Nidalee_7

 

Classic Tristana

Tristana has received a visual & gameplay update which’ll ship with Patch 5.2. You can find a preview of all the changes to her here.

Tristana_Splash_0

Tristana_0 Tristana_Square_0

 

 

New Summoner Icons


 

You can earn this icon during the Ocean Week event.

profileIcon773

No news on how to get this one (yet!).

profileIcon774

 

 

Champion Changes

 

Tristana Final Portrait

  • Base Health decreased from 634 to 624
  • Base Armor decreased from 27 to 25

 

 

Item Changes

 

Hunter’s Machete Upgrades

  • Cost increased from 750 Gold to 850 Gold (recipe cost up from 350 Gold to 450)

Includes Poacher’s Knife, Skirmisher’s Sabre, Stalker’s Blade and Ranger’s Trailblazer.

 

 Devourer Enchantment Final IconDevourer Enchantment

  • Recipe cost decreased from 600 Gold to 500

 

Juggernaut Enchantment Final IconJuggernaut Enchantment

  • Recipe cost decreased from 250 Gold to 150

 

Magus Enchantment Final Icon   Magus Enchantment

  • Recipe cost decreased from 680 Gold to 580

 

Warrior Enchantment Final IconWarrior Enchantment

  • Recipe cost decreased from 163 Gold to 63

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

Champion Skin Sale January 23 to 26 Banner

The following Champions and Skins will be 50% off until January 26th:

 


Champions


Caitlyn Final Portrait

Tryndamere Final Portrait

Zac Final Portrait

 

Abyssal Nautilus – 487 RP


Nautilus_1


 

Junkyard Trundle – 375 RP


Trundle_2


 

Sheriff Caitlyn – 260 RP


Caitlyn_2


 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

PBE 21 01 Banner

 

PBE 21/01

 

[ Reminder ] The PBE is a testing ground for changes. What you see here may not reflect what you see in Patch Notes. Remember that developers want your feedback so if you disagree with a change, you can always submit your thoughts on the PBE Community Forums.

 

Here’s all the major content you’ll see in Patch 5.2 (updated every PBE Patch):

Arbiter Velkoz Cycle Banner

Firecracker Jinx Cycle Banner

Warring Nida Cycle Banner

Warring Kata Banner

Tristana Update Cycle banner

Sweetheart Annie Cycle Banner

 

 

New Summoner Icons

 

Here’s Gravity’s icon for this season.

profileIcon772

 

Also, CLG’s icon has been updated from black to white.

profileIcon758

 

 

Champion Changes

[ Note ] The changes to Alistar’s W in yesterday’s PBE update have been reverted.

 

 

Akali Final Portrait

 

Crescent Slash Final IconCrescent Slash [ E ]

  • No longer procs Mark of the Assassin

 

 

Annie Final Portrait

 

Molten Shield Final IconMolten Shield [ E ]

  • Armor and Magic resistance granted by the shield reduced from 20/30/40/50/60 to 10/20/30/40/50

 

Summon Tibbers Final IconSummon: Tibbers [ R ]

  • If Annie casts Molten Shield while Tibbers is active he will receive the shield and a short decaying speed boost

 

 

Azir Final Portrait

 

Azir Q New IconConquering Sands [ Q ]

  • Range increased from 800 to 875

 

 

Fizz Final Portrait

 

Urchin Strike Final Icon Urchin Strike [ Q ]

  • Magic damage decreased from 10/40/70/100/130 ( +0.6 AP) to 10/25/40/55/70 ( +0.3 AP)

 

Seastone Trident Final IconSeastone Trident [ W ]

  • Base damage on passive decreased from 30/40/50/60/70 ( +0.35 AP) plus 4/5/6/7/8% of target’s Missing Health magic damage over 3 seconds to 20 ( +0.45 AP) magic damage over 3 seconds (to clarify, % damage is removed)
  • Damage on active changed from 10/15/20/25/30 ( +0.25 AP) to 10/20/30/40/50 (+ 4/5/6/7/8% of target’s missing HP)

To sum up, the % damage went from the passive to the active, couple of number tweaks as well.

 

Seastone Trident Updated

 

Chum the Waters Final IconChum the Waters [ R ]

  • Now amplifies Fizz’s damage against the target hit by Chum the Waters by 20% for 6 seconds

 

Chum the Waters Updated

 

Fizz now has a trident symbol to indicate he’ll deal amplified damage.

Fizz Amp Buff 1

Fizz Amp Buff 2

 

 

Nidalee Final Portrait

 

Prowl Final IconProwl [ Passive ]

Nidalee can now hunt monsters as well as champions

 

 

Reksai Final Portrait

 

Queens Wrath Prey Seeker Final IconQueen’s Wrath [ Unburrowed Q ]

  • Base damage decreased from 15/30/45/60/75 to 15/25/35/45/55

 

Burrow Unburrow Final IconUn-Burrow [ Burrowed W ]

  • Base damage decreased from 60/110/160/210/260 to 40/80/120/160/200

 

 

Tristana Final Portrait

 

Explosive-Shot-Final-IconExplosive Charge [ E ]

  • AP scaling decreased from 0.7 to 0.5

 

Buster Shot Final IconBuster Shot [ R ]

  • AP Ratio decreased from 1.2 to 1.0

 

 

Item Changes


 

Aether Wisp Final IconAether  Wisp

  • Cost decreased from 950 Gold to 850 (note; cost of items that build out of Aether Wisp is unchanged)

 

Aether Wisp Updated

 

Hextech Gunblade Final IconHextech Gunblade

  • AD decreased from 45 to 40
  • AP increased from 65 to 80
  • Lifesteal decreased from 12% to 10%

 

Zzrot Portal Final IconZz’Rot Portal

  • Now grants the first and every fourth Voidspawn 100% of the user’s Armor and MR as bonus magic damage, changed from every third;
  • Voidspawns now have 50 base health, up from 40, 115 Armor, up from 60, and 20 Magic Resist, down from 40

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

Worlds 2015 Banner

This season’s Worlds will be held in Europe! Here’s the official announcement:

 

 

worlds1

After sharing a memorable 2014 Championship with truly incredible esports fans in Taipei, Singapore, and Korea, we’re looking forward to 2015’s final showdown more than ever. Today, before the LCS season kickoff, we’re excited to announce that the 2015 World Championship will be coming to Europe this October.

We can’t wait to head to Europe and bring the best League of Legends pro teams from around the world to fans across multiple cities and countries. Europe has been a home for LoL esports since the very first steps in our journey. It’s the setting for the EU LCS, the host for many memorable esports tournaments and events, (including our inaugural World Championship in 2011, IEM, Dreamhack, and last year’s All Star tournament) and the home of some of the most talented players to dominate the game. It feels great to bring the 2015 Championship back to players and fans who have played such a big part in our story.

8_4

Continuing a pattern we began last year, Worlds 2015 will be a multi-city, multi-country event — with our Group Stage, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Final showdown held in different cities within Europe. Our goal is to bring live esports action to a broad base of fans across Europe and to provide an exciting and diverse backdrop for fans watching at home. Last year’s multi-city journey to Worlds was a fast-paced and exhilarating ride – we learned a ton about the kind of experience we want to offer to competing pros, fans in the stadiums, and viewers at home. We’re ready for an action-packed month in Europe.

It’s still too early to share exact details — we’re currently confirming venues, timing, format, and more — and we’ll be sharing those details in the next few months. In the meantime, tune in to cheer on your favorite LCS teams this week as they take their first steps towards Worlds 2015.

For players in Europe and beyond, we can’t wait for you to join us on this journey. See you at Worlds!

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

Categories: Esports, Riot News Tags:

 

PBE 20 01 Banner

 

PBE 20/01

 

[ Reminder ] The PBE is a testing ground for changes. What you see here may not reflect what you see in Patch Notes. Remember that developers want your feedback so if you disagree with a change, you can always submit your thoughts on the PBE Community Forums.

 

Here’s all the major content you’ll see in Patch 5.2 (updated every PBE Patch):

Arbiter Velkoz Cycle Banner

Firecracker Jinx Cycle Banner

Warring Nida Cycle Banner

Warring Kata Banner

Tristana Update Cycle banner

Sweetheart Annie Cycle Banner

 

 

Changes to Alistars W

Alistar’s W is now a skillshot. It also knocks back all targets caught in the hitbox.

 

Alistar W Change 1

Alistar W Change 2

 

Also, Infernal Alistar now has the updated visual animation on his Q again.

Alistar Infernal W Update

 


Visual Update to Tower Shield

The shield provided by the second outer turrets has been visually updated.

 

Updated Shield PBE

 
The Bloodthirster also has a similar shield now.

Bloodthirster Shield Update

 


Champion Changes


 

Akali Final Portrait

 

Shadow Dance Final IconShadow Dance [ R ]

  • Range decreased from 800 to 700

 

 

Zed Final Portrait

  • Attack Speed-per-level decreased from 3.1% to 2.1%
  • Base Attack Speed decreased from 0.658 to 0.644

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

News 20 01 Banner

 

Summary

Game Systems analyst ricklessabandon shared a list of tentative changes to Katarina on Twitter. Also, Lead Champion Designer Meddler held a Q&A together with Xypherous, talking about the balance of certain mid mages, the state of Gangplank’s rework and how crit damage on ADC items can be tuned. That plus a sweet conceptual kit for Nautilus.

 

Recent News

Challenger-Ahri-Banner

 

 

Single Posts 20 01 Banner

 

 

Tentative changes to Katarina coming soon to the PBE

 

I’ve formatted the changes below:

 

Katarina Final Portrait

  • Base Attack Speed decreased from 0.658 to 0.625
  • Attack Speed-per-level decreased from 2.74% to 2%
  • Sped up Katarina’s auto-attack animation by 46%

 

Bouncing Blades Final IconBouncing Blades [ Q ]

  • Damage on initial hit decreased from 60/85/110/135/160 ( +0.45 AP) to 60/70/80/90/100 ( +0.3 AP)
  • Mark damage increased from 15/30/45/60/75 ( +0.15 AP) to 20/55/90/125/160 ( +0.4 AP)

 

Sinister Steel Final IconSinister Steel [ W ]

  • Damage changed from 40/75/110/145/180 ( +0.25 AP) (+ 0.6 Bonus AD) to 60/75/90/105/120% of Total AD ( + 0.25 AP)

 

Shunpo Final IconShunpo [ E ]

  • Damage removed (live value is 60/85/110/135/160 ( +0.4 AP)
  • Damage reduction increased from 15% at all ranks to 10/15/20/25/30%
  • (Also fixed a bug which caused Shunpo’s damage reduction duration to be 1 second instead of 1.5 seconds)
  • Cooldown increased from 12/10.5/9/7.5/6 seconds to 15 seconds at all ranks

NEW: Now refunds 80% of Shunpo’s cooldown after blinking to champions Katarina hasn’t Shunpo’d to in the last 9 seconds

  • Cooldown refund will trigger on both enemy champions and allied champions
  • The 9-second lockout is removed if Katarina gets a reset via her Passive

NEW: Now resets Katarina’s basic attack timer

 

 

Too many people dodge in Nemesis Draft

[ Note ] Nemesis Draft is a new Featured mode that was released in a recent PBE update.

L4T3NCY Final PortraitWe sure can. :) There are actually already some changes in place to discourage dodgers, but they aren’t testable on the PBE environment, which is why I didn’t detail them above. As many people have brought up dodging in Nemesis Draft though, let’s get into them right now.

 

1) Dramatically increased dodge penalties of up to 2 hours for recurring dodges. We can also change these numbers on the fly once live, and we’ll be keeping an eye on them. As many players here have pointed out, Nemesis Draft is an opt-in experience, so there should be no surprises in champ select.

2) In the spirit of rewarding good behaviour, we also have a special reward icon planned for players who don’t leave or dodge any games of Nemesis Draft throughout the mode’s run. There will be a low minimum game requirement, but the goal is to give players who loved Nemesis Draft a badge of honour to display afterwards. This reward will be delivered after the game mode has ended.

For anyone curious on the detection of AFKs, leaving, etc, this recent LeaverBuster FAQ has all the details.

https://support.riotgames.com/hc/en-us/articles/201752714-LeaverBuster-FAQ

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Concept Art for Bloodmoon Elise

 

 

Champion Design QA Banner

 

 

QA on Champion Design

Meddler Final PortraitHey all!

Anyone want to talk about LoL, game design, how we make champions etc? Going to be around for a couple of hours and looking forward to chatting with some of you folks.

 

To give you a quick bit of background I’ve been at Riot for about three years now. I’ve previously worked on Ziggs, Varus, Syndra, Lissandra, Elise and Gnar. A lot of my time these days is spent looking at the year ahead, working with other Rioters to figure out what sort of champions we want to make, what our goals are etc.

Edit: Xypherous, from the Systems Team that handles stuff like the Preseason changes, is also going to drop by to chat. If you’ve got questions about that sort of stuff should definitely throw them in too! He also worked on Nautilus, Lulu, Orianna, Fizz and Renekton before that as well, so if you’ve got questions about them he’s the guy to hit up.

Edit 2: Thanks for the chat all, I need to head off and grab food. Will drop back later tonight though and add in a few more replies.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What change coming into this season is your favorite

Meddler Final PortraitI really like how dragon’s now an objective that matters throughout the game, that teams plan around and fight over, rather than something that, late game, someone just does on the way past at times.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

 

Are there Champions you feel shouldnt had been released

Meddler Final PortraitThere aren’t any champions I don’t think should be in the game at all, I think they’ve all got a solid core to them. In some cases though that’s not very well executed on though. Urgot and Yorick for example have cool underlying ideas (undead cyborg war machine and gravedigger with pet ghouls) that aren’t well realized.

Oh, yeah, then there’s Teemo. Teemo should burn.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Was the idea behind designing Fizzs troll pole E

Xypherous Final PortraitI’m totally responsible for Fizz’s ‘E’ – and the intent was to make a frustrating skill that conveyed that aspect of Fizz’s personality. I think my goal was something like ‘Let’s aim for something that feels like Shaco in terms of trickery/frustration without going too far.’ In retrospect – it’s probably worked too well in a lot of regards with that.

The idea for Fizz’s ‘E’ was primarily to allow him to evade opposing damage without actually being durable – so that every now and then his opponents can choke Fizz and obliterate him and feel good about that.

Fizz was really meant to be a character that felt slippery enough so that you experience a moment of catharsis when you finally catch the jerk and annihilate him.

As to lane functionality, it was meant much more for the ‘lower the poke he takes’ rather than the ‘instantly annihilate you with Q’ that it’s become. In hindsight, I wish there was way more incentive to stay on the pole rather than instantly double-tap to move faster.

[ Link to Post ]

 

Follow Up

Do youve plans to tweak his E along the lines youve described

Xypherous Final PortraitI don’t work on live balance directly these days, but the incentives to staying on the pole (and perhaps less damage on the double jump part of it) are generally good directions I think. I’d also love to trim Mana costs from his other abilities and shove it even more into the ‘E’ to punish spamming it recklessly like you’ve pointed out.

However, again, don’t work on balancing directly. There’s a bunch of super smart live designers whose job it is to make sure things look okay from a competitive angle.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Will you change Annie to compensate for the removal of DFG in Patch 52

Meddler Final PortraitWhat we’re currently looking at (note this is experimental, so could well change tomorrow) is slightly lower resistances on Molten Shield, with Tibbers also getting the resistance bonuses as well plus a brief movement speed boost. One of the big goals there, in addition to balance changes, is to make casting Molten Shield a bit more interesting and add a bit of extra depth to how you micro Tibbers.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What do you think of AD carry itemization currently

Xypherous Final PortraitFor the short term, there’s a wide range of ADC itemization paths depending on the ADC. However, there is little variation on the items that an individual ADC buys.

There isn’t a whole lot of range on a specific ADC for the items they can buy – but at least they’re buying different things (I see 3 or 4 main builds that vary across type – and then there’s Hurricane on Kalista – so there’s variance across ADCs but not in an ADC.)

That’s in an okay spot for now – but in an ideal world lots of things would be different in terms of reactive purchases and such but I think the other classes’ itemization deserve a touch up before we delve back into ADCs.

For an example of more long term stuff – critical strike is eventually going to have to be looked at to prevent AA based carries from forever being the norm, for example – but that exploration will take a while.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Where do you see crit damage as a mechanic in the future

Xypherous Final Portrait(Warning – the following comment is entirely Pie in the Sky and not going to happen in the near future.)

I’d kind of like to envision a world where every ADC has a special ‘Crit Damage’ skill like:

Vayne – Silver Bolts (Every 3 hits, deal X + Y% of the target’s maximum Health as true damage. Every critical strike does Z% of the target’s maximum Health)

-or-

Varus – Blighted Quiver (Critical Strikes automatically apply full Blight stacks to the target).

That way, every carry would look at crit a little differently – based on their pattern and what they think they could accomplish etc.

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What are your thoughts on Essence Reaver at the moment

Xypherous Final PortraitWe could fork Essence Reaver off Brutalizer – and the item would be immensely more popular and bought more – you’re absolutely right on that.

Unfortunately, making Essence Reaver’s build path and build up good is something that would most likely send a certain class of AD assassins (whose gates are early/mid-game Mana) into somewhat crazy levels. Pantheon/Talon, etc – would get the lion’s share of benefit until ER was nerfed to be suitable for them.

Ultimately, ER will always kind of be bad until Assassin’s have their own itemization and have their inherent power reduced.

The weird part about items is always that we can always make an item good or powerful – but making that item good and powerful on the people we want it on and not cause side effects elsewhere is the tricky bit.

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How has female champion design in League evolved over the years

Meddler Final PortraitSomething we’ve been aiming for is to get a greater variety of appearances/tones for champions of both genders. There were a couple of years there where many of our female champions especially ended up looking pretty similar and we’ve been making an effort to try and avoid that. That’s not to say we won’t continue to make attractive champions, male and female, where appropriate for their character, but that we also want a wide range that includes champs like Kalista and Rek’Sai as well.

I can’t speak with personal experience about the intent around the game’s initial release, that was well before my time at Riot. Certainly there seems to be a lot of support internally for the greater variety we’ve been exploring recently though.

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Why did you design Varus with no escapes other than his ultimate

Meddler Final PortraitThe intent with Varus was to make a champion with strong poke, a lot of utility by ADC standards and reasonable auto attack damage, in exchange for low burst and mobility. Fitting into the gap between Ashe at one end of the immobile spectrum (heaps of utility, lowest ADC damage) and Kog’maw at the other end (heaps of damage and poke).

Been thinking recently we might want to strengthen his poke a bit (possibly by tying his passive into more than just his auto attacks). Haven’t had a chance to bounce any thoughts about that off the live balance team yet though, see what their current thinking is.

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How did Nautiluss development go Any scrapped abilities

Xypherous Final PortraitA ton of moves were scrapped in the making of him – he started out as being very light in CC because he had the hook but… yeah.

Off the top of my head, here’s the things I remember trying:

A punch which knocked back anyone but the primary target (Xin Zhao’s current ult).

Passive X-Ray eyes that could see through walls in a cone.
Cage of Pain, which brought up a giant circular shock/slow ‘fence’ – like a super big wall of pain.
Bullrush, where you got MS and flung anyone you moved through (multiple times, charging bull kind of deal)
Throw – where you impaled someone on the anchor and then flung them and the anchor to a point of your choice
‘Enrage’ when a nearby ally got attacked (yeah…)

I tend to cycle through skills a lot – I’m sure there was more that I can’t remember. I just remember a long phase of Nautilus being ‘A bull who sets up cages that he then chases people in.’

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Follow Up

Meddler Final Portrait“Bullrush, where you got MS and flung anyone you moved through (multiple times, charging bull kind of deal)”

Man, that was a memorable playtest. I recall one team fight near dragon, where Naut ulted and ran back and forth, juggling 3-4 of us in the air for about 5 seconds until we all died. I still wake up screaming occasionally…

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How did you decide Syndra would need her Q for all other spells

Meddler Final PortraitTook a little while to hit upon the Q as the foundation of the kit, though then felt obvious in retrospect since her original concept art featured her spheres so prominently. Once the basic idea of ‘Q generates objects, other spells manipulate them’ came together things were relatively smooth.

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How did you guys come up with the idea of her incredibly bursty ult

Meddler Final PortraitThe intent with her ult was to give her a reliable tool (given her other abilities were all skillshots) and allow her to punish someone caught out of position or diving into her team (theory being that as a non mobile mage she’d have limited target selection). Ended up being a bit more of a ‘burst down a key target after stunning them’ ability than originally intended. It’s counterplay’s a bit lower than I’d like in that regard, though having said that champs do often need tools like that if they’re to compete with other highly mobile options.

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How separate are the Systems team and Balance team

Xypherous Final PortraitThey’re two different teams. We both have a strong focus on the state of the live game but systems tends to take a longer view on game flow and game health while Balance tends to look at the immediate things affecting champions.

For example, systems might think about whether or not we want more or less snowballing in the game and adjust things like jungle gold or laner experience to accommodate while Live might look at a specific champion and whether or not he should be changed in the upcoming patch because he’s too snowbally.

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What kind of qualifications resume do you look for in the field

Meddler Final PortraitSome of the most useful skills:

  • Analytical abiliity
  • Communication skills (both written and verbal)
  • Demonstrated ability to drive on/own projects
  • Understanding of both LoL and other competitive multiplayer games

That stuff can be hard to demonstrate on a Resume sometimes, past work/study, pet projects, gaming background, written design tests etc come together to give a fairly good initial read on applicants though.

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Any news on a Gangplank rework

Meddler Final PortraitBit early to say much alas. We had a crack at a GP rework last year that had some interesting stuff in it, but didn’t quite hit the mark so didn’t get shipped (or talked about after a while, our bad, we should have mentioned it was a project that had been put on hold). We’re going to give him another look this year, wouldn’t expect anything for a while though, a number of other reworks will come out beforehand that are further along already.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

 

Free Champion Rotation January 27 Banner

The following Champions will be free-to-play until January 27th:

 

 

Ashe Final Portrait

Azir Final Portrait

Fiddlesticks Final Portrait

Gnar Final Portrait

Lissandra Final Portrait

Morgana Final Portrait

Shaco Final Portrait

Singed Final Portrait

Sona Final Portrait

Twitch Final Portrait

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.