Posts Tagged ‘league of legends’



Riot’s latest dev blog explains why numbers often don’t determine champion balance:

Succeed while playing what you want


Hey everyone! I’m Jules and I help the balance team leverage data to make smart changes to the game. I wanted to offer some insight into how we evaluate champion balance and discuss the nuances of power, win rate, play rate, and ban rate. Getting started: our primary goal is to empower you to succeed with any champion. When you’re picking a champion, ideally, that decision is agnostic of power. Situationally, some champions will always be stronger than others due to team compositions, synergies, and counterpicks – all of these are an integral part of League of Legends. All else equal, our philosophy is you shouldn’t feel compelled to pick a champion because it’s OP.

Power is destroying the enemy Nexus


Power is the degree to which a champion is capable of winning. Champions might specialize in late game scaling or teamfights or pentakills or objective control, but those are simply tools to achieve the primary objective: destroying the enemy Nexus. Power is not constant. In a given game, it is a function of the champions being played and the skill of the players with those champions. Kog’Maw isn’t powerful in every situation, but he’s incredibly powerful with the correct team composition in the hands of skilled players. Just as one could use KDA to measure a champion’s ability to score kills and avoid death, we leverage win rate as one way to measure a champion’s ability to win, or power.

50 doesnt mean balanced

If a champion’s power is analogous to true accuracy, a champion’s win rate is akin to empirical accuracy. Win rate is the probability of winning given the current ecosystem of champions and players. It tells us something about the power of the champion (powerful champions are more likely to win), but it alsotells us something about the skill of the player (skilled players are more likely to win). More powerful champions tend to have higher win rates, but win rate is an imperfect measure of power because it’s conflated with player skill. We can validate this by observing that a champion’s win rate tends to drop during the free-to-play rotation, due to an influx of inexperienced players. One implication of this is that champions can be balanced above or below 50% win rate. According to our data, only a fraction of Azir players are highly skilled with him, so we expect his win rate to be sub-50% in a balanced state. Conversely, a large proportion of players playing Heimerdinger are die-hard mains, so we expect his win rate to be above 50%.

We balance around skillful play

We take into account the impact of changes at all levels of play, but that doesn’t mean we pretend all players fit one mold. Skilled players make decisions with greater information and execute on those decisions with greater precision. We’re comfortable saying that we look closely at these players to best understand the metagame and balance of League of Legends. We believe balancing around a skillfully – but not perfectly – played game creates the best competitive experience for everyone. It also encourages mastery. Sure, Twisted Fate is challenging to play, but as we better learn his kit, we realize what he’s capable of and start pulling off crazy plays. It feels good and makes the investment well worth it.

Its not a popularity contest

Play rate is the likelihood a champion is picked in an individual game. If players were robots that optimized only on winning, play rate would be highly indicative of power. In reality, players care about winning, but they also care about having fun and playing what appeals to them. Ahri is more appealing than Urgot for most players, so we expect Ahri to be more popular than Urgot. Play rate trends can teach us something about power, but the signal is blurry. We also care about champion variety (e.g. not seeing Jinx every game), but one of our tenets is to avoid sacrificing balance just to promote variety. In other words, we won’t nerf champions just because they’re popular and we won’t buff champions just because they’re unpopular.

We keep an ear to the ground

Listening is another way we evaluate balance. When everyone is complaining about Nidalee, we don’t act rashly, but we do refocus our attention. While it doesn’t replace reading the boards or communicating directly, ban rate does complement anecdotal evidence with a more objective lens. One caveat of ban rate is that it is highly influenced by play rate. Even if Rumble is strong, he’s probably not worth a ban if the opposing team is unlikely to pick him. As a rule of thumb, optimal ban strategy (i.e. the strategy that maximizes your probability of winning) is to ban champions that are both high win rate and high play rate.

In reality, ban rate is not only a function of win rate and play rate, but also of perception of power, transparency of power, frustration, and risk-aversion. A few months ago when LeBlanc held the title of most banned, she was a suboptimal ban outside of Master/Challenger. Janna, statistically one of the best bans in the game, was banned in less than 1% of games. With that understanding, we keep a close eye on ban rates but don’t let them single-handedly drive balance decisions.

Were players too

Data matters, but it’s only one part of the equation. Believe it or not, we play League of Legends too. We feel it just as quickly as you when Skarner is in every game and, more importantly, winning every game. We want a fun and balanced game not just because it’s our job but because we’re players. We acknowledge we’re human and susceptible to a plethora of cognitive biases. That’s exactly why we leverage information from all angles. Ultimately, everything we do is an effort to make League of Legends the most fun it can be. In the next dev blog, Jag will discuss how we examine champion balance from a design perspective.

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


PBE 07 10 Banner


[ 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.


PBE Reference 29 09 Banner

Check out Demon Vi, Spirit Fire Brand and Cosmic Reaver Kassadin!



New Splash Arts

Six new splash arts have made their way on the PBE:



Masteryi_Splash_1 (1) MasterYiLoadScreen_1



Masteryi_Splash_2 MasterYiLoadScreen_2


DEMON VI Banner 1

Vi_Splash_4 ViLoadScreen_4



Ezreal_Splash_3 (1) EzrealLoadScreen_3



MonkeyKing_Splash_3 (1) MonkeyKingLoadScreen_3 (1)



Brand_Splash_2 BrandLoadScreen_2



Champion Changes


Teemo Final Champion Portrait


Buff BoxNoxious_TrapNoxious Trap [ R ]

  • Cooldown decreased from 35/31/27 seconds to 34/28/22
  • Mushrooms now take 1 second to activate, decreased from 1.5





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

2015 Season Banner


Over the course of the season, you felt both sides of a stolen Baron. You carried hard and took the occasional ride in a teammate’s backpack. The struggle is real, but victory is sweet. Now it’s time for one last push.

Ranked rewards return with Victorious Sivir, new division markers atop loading screen borders, and an evolving ward skin for ranked teams. Make your mark and be Victorious before November 11.






  • Summoner Icon



  • Summoner Icon
  • Banner Trim
  • Loading screen border (with new division markers)


GOLD Banner

  • Summoner Icon
  • Banner Trim
  • Loading screen border (with new division markers)
  • Invite and friend request flair
  • Victorious Sivir (and Sivir if unowned)


Ranked rewards based on your end of season ranking, not peak ranking.



A new evolving ward skin unlocks exclusively for those who hit their squad goals and rack up wins as part of a ranked team.


  • 20 Points
  • 45 Points
  • 75 Points

How to earn points

  • 1 point for a ranked team win on the Twisted Treeline
  • 3 points for a ranked team win on Summoner’s Rift

Keep in mind, you play in the win to earn the point(s)—just being on the roster won’t score you anything.


Here’s a wallpaper-sized version of the recently teased Victorious Sivir:




FAQ Banner

When does the season end?

The 2015 season wraps up at the end of day (in your territory) on November 10—technically this means 12:01AM on November 11.

When do rewards hit my account?

Rewards will arrive by end of day on November 17.

I don’t own Sivir, can I still use the skin? ;-;

If you’re Gold+ and don’t own Sivir, the champion will be unlocked alongside your new skin.

Are ranked borders queue specific?


Can I use my borders from previous seasons?

Nope. Borders reflect your most recent seasonal ranking.

Will I still decay in the pre-season?

You won’t! We’ll disable decay alongside the season’s end. We’ll turn it back on once the 2016 season begins!

Are there any eligibility requirements for these rewards outside of ranked results?

  • Yes, some players are ineligible for rewards because of negative in-game behavior. This applies only to the 2015 season. Here are the details:
  • Players with bans or chat/ranked restrictions active when the season ends are ineligible for this year’s rewards
  • Players banned for seven days or more in the three months prior to the end of the season (July 10) are ineligible for this year’s rewards.
  • Players banned for boosting during the 2015 season remain ineligible for rewards
  • Players who experienced fraud-related and erroneous bans will still be eligible

All players will have another chance at future ranked season rewards.

Do wins from different teams count towards my point total?

Yep! As long as you participated in the win, you’ll earn the point(s).

I transferred servers, do I keep the points I earned on my old server?

No, that data is lost in the transfer. Sorry :(

Do my ranked team’s placement wins count toward my point total?

They sure do!


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

Kindred Champion Spotlight

October 5th, 2015


Kindred Champion Spotlight Banner


Kindred’s Champion spotlight has been released:


You can find extra resources about Kindred in the following posts:

Kindred QA Banner

A good Death Banner


Kindred’s a new champion. She’ll be available for 7800 IP/975 RP for the first week, after which the price will drop down to 6300 IP/975 RP.

Below you can find in-game previews of both Kindred and her release skin – Shadowfire Kindred:


Kindred_Splash_0 KindredLoadScreen_2




Kindred Model 1 Kindred Model 2


From left-to-right and top-to-bottom: Joke, Taunt, Dance and Laugh.


Recall Banner

Kindred Recall 1 


Here’s her Champion Select quote:


Kindred Final Portrait

General Box

  • Base Health: 530 [+85 per level]
  • Base Health-per-5: 10 [+0.55 per level]
  • Base Mana: 300 [+35 per level]
  • Base Mana-per-5: 6.95 [+0.4 per level]
  • Base AD: 49 [+2.2 per level]
  • Auto-Attack Range: 500
  • Base Movement Speed: 325
  • Base Armor: 26.5 [+3.25 per level]
  • Base Magic Resist: 30



Mark of the Kindred Final Icon

Lamb can choose a champion to hunt by clicking the champion portraits above the inventory.

Wolf periodically hungers for and hunts enemy jungle monsters.

Gaining a kill or assist on a hunted target permanently empowers Kindred’s attacks against all targets, causing them to deal 1.25% of the target’s current Health in bonus on-hit physical damage.

Current Damage = X%

Wolf will no longer mark jungle monsters after you reach 6 stacks.


Kindred Passive 1




Kindred Auto Attack 1



Dance of Arrows Final IconCost: 30 mana at all ranks || Cooldown: 9 seconds at all ranks || Range: 340

Kindred dashes in a target direction before firing at up to three nearby enemies, dealing 60/90/120/150/180 [ +0.2 Total AD ] damage to each target.

Casting this spell while inside Wolf’s Frenzy or dashing in the spell’s area reduces the cooldown to 2 seconds.


Kindred Q 1



Wolfs Frenzy Final Icon

Cost: 40 mana at all ranks || Cooldown: 18/17/16/15/14 seconds || Range (of zone): 900

Passive: Kindred build stacks of Hunter’s Vigor as they move around, up to a maximum of 100. Once fully stacked, Kindred’s next basic attack heals for 60 + 3-per-level.

Active: Wolf temporarily splits from Lamb, creating a large spirit zone around him for 8 seconds and attacking whoever Lamb attacks, or his closest enemy, dealing 25/30/35/40/45 [ +0.4 Total AD] + 40% of Mark of the Kindred’s stacked damage per hit.


Kindred W 1



Mounting Dread Final IconCost: 70 mana at all ranks || Cooldown: 16/15/14/13/12 seconds || Range: 500

 Kindred initially slows a targeted enemy by 70% for 1 second. If Lamb attacks the marked target twice, on the third hit Wolf will instead pounce, dealing 80/110/140/170/200 [ + 0.2 Total AD ] + 5% of the target’s Health as physical damage [capped at 300 vs monsters].


Kindred E 1



Lambs Respite Final IconCost: 100 mana at all ranks || Cooldown: 150/130/110 seconds || Range: 500

Kindred creates a large zone beneath itself or a targeted ally for 4 seconds. While active, Lamb’s Respite prevents ALL units from dropping below 10% of their maximum health. At the end of the spell’s duration, Lamb’s Respite heals for 200/250/300.



Here is Kindred’s login theme from FrostyNinja:


And the music from the animation:



”Tell me again, little Lamb, which things are ours to take?”

“All things, Dear Wolf.”

Separate, but never parted, Kindred represents the twin essences of death. Lamb’s arrow offers a swift release for those who accept their fate. Wolf hunts down those who run from their end, delivering violent finality within his crushing jaws. Though interpretations of Kindred’s nature vary across Runeterra, every mortal must choose the true face of their death.”


Kindred’s backstory also includes a full length story titled “A Good Death“:

A good Death Banner




Shadowfire Kindred will be available for 1350 RP and will be on sale for 975 RP for the first 4 days after Kindred is released.


Kindred_Splash_1 Kindred_1


MODEL Banner

Shadowfire Kindred Model 1 Shadowfire Kindred Model 2


Recall Banner


Shadowfire Kindred Auto 1



Shadowfire Kindred Passive 1



Shadowfire Kindred Q 1



Shadowfire Kindred W 1



Shadowfire Kindred E 1







Free Champion Rotation October 6 to 13 Banner

The following Champions will be free-to-play until October 13th:


Warwick Final Portrait

Twitch Final Portrait

Lulu Final Portrait

Leona Final Portrait

Irelia Final Portrait

Fizz Final Portrait

Ekko Final Champion Portrait

Dr Mundo Final Portrait

Brand Final Portrait

Ashe Final Portrait


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


Champion Skin Sale 06 10 09 10 Banner

The following Champions and Skins will be 50% off until October 9th:


Jinx Final Portrait

Orianna Final Portrait

Shaco Final Portrait


Hazmat Heimerdinger – 487 RP



Lunar Goddess Diana – 487 RP



Mercenary Katarina – 260 RP



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


QA with Lyte Banner

This is a work-in-progress post. I’ll continue to add answers here.


Lyte Final PortraitHey everyone,

We recently launched a set of features in the 5.18 patch that upgraded the Instant Feedback System. You can read more about the design of these features in a blog by Neurocat here:

1) We introduced Intentional Feeder Detection to the Instant Feedback System for the first time, and now intentional feeders can be banned within 15 minutes of matches. We’ve started the settings relatively conservative to start because figuring out whether a player is intentionally feeding or just having a bad game is a tough problem, so we’re not catching ALLintentional feeders today.

2) We introduced Reform Cards in the client, and for Chat Restrictions for the first time. Reform Cards are basically summaries that show evidence for behaviors that led to your ban, whether it’s match histories for Intentional Feeders, or chat logs for Restrictions/Bans.

3) We introduced a new version of the penalty escalation system. Now, punishments in League of Legends work like this:

  • First Offense: 10 Chat Restrictions
  • Second Offense: 25 Chat Restrictions
  • Third Offense: 14-Day Ban
  • Fourth Offense: Permanent Ban

However, if a player is showing more severe behaviors, it is possible to be escalated straight to the 3rd Offense Tier, and immediately get a 14-day ban for your first offense. This also means that if you get another offense after that (even if it’s a less severe behavior!) you will be escalated to a permanent ban. By showing neutral or positive behaviors, it is possible to improve your account standing and drop punishment tiers as well.

So what are we doing here? Well, because player behavior systems have changed A LOT over the years, there’s a lot of questions about what’s current, what’s coming in the future and what’s no longer true for player behavior systems in League. We’re also getting questions to review chat logs for players who believe their punishments are undeserved. Neurocat and I will be happy to answer any questions about player behavior in this thread, so let’s get started!

IMPORTANT CAVEAT: If you ask a question related to your penalty (Restriction/Ban), you will be consenting to us discussing your chat logs or in-game data publicly. Please use Player Support tickets if you wish to have your questions answered privately.

[ Link to Post ]



Have you ever had to talk to a Rioter for being toxic ingame

Lyte Final PortraitYes. Sometimes Rioters have bad days too, and go a bit off rails. We take it pretty seriously though, so there haven’t been many cases.

[ Link to Post ]




When reviewing a report do you guys see the rest of chat as well

Lyte Final PortraitThe Tribunal voting system will have full chat logs with scrubbed identifying info.

[ Link to Post ]




Follow Up Banner

Lyte Final PortraitYes, we can check chat logs from pre-game and post-game lobbies.

[ Link to Post ]





Is it wrong that I vent by reporting bad teammates for being unskilled

Lyte Final PortraitWe’re in the process of re-making the Report System and cleaning up the report categories, so apologies for some of the jankiness in the current system. But, reporting for Unskilled Player does not affect your report weights, and the report is never used to directly punish or ban a player. However, Unskilled Player reports are used by the matchmaking system to tune the system and help us figure out weird cases where a player was accidentally propelled to an inappropriate skill level.

[ Link to Post ]



Will you let players vent in some way without taking it out on other players

Lyte Final PortraitWe definitely understand the need to “vent” and how filing a Report helps resolve some of the frustration of playing in that particular game. We have some elements of the new system that help players understand more about where their reports are going and their impact, to help players feel better about what just happened.

[ Link to Post ]



Have you considered punishing toxic players by lowering how much IP they earn

Lyte Final PortraitNot exactly, but we’re considering bonuses to IP for positive players. This is part of a feature in the new Tribunal voting system that we’ll talk more about in the future.

[ Link to Post ]




How well has your Intentional Feeder Detection system been working so far

Lyte Final PortraitThe intentional feeder detection system is tuned pretty conservatively right now, so it’s just catching the more egregious intentional feeders. Not surprisingly, there aren’t many true intentional feeders in League anymore like the ones that buy 5 Zeals and just run down mid over and over. Sure, some players find examples and post them on Reddit, but you only see a dozen or so of these in a game with 67+ million players playing games nearly everyday.

The system isn’t tuned yet to perfectly catch the more nuanced feeders, who play normal 80% of the game, then suddenly walk into towers or run away from a team fight on purpose. These more nuanced behaviors will require more research and advanced machine learning to tease apart, and are being punished by Rioter manual reviews today.

[ Link to Post ]


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


PBE 02 10 Banner


[ 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.

PBE Reference 29 09 Banner

Check out Demon Vi, Spirit Fire Brand and Cosmic Reaver Kassadin!

The glow on Cosmic Reaver Kassadin’s W is now slightly brighter:

Cosmic Kassadin W 1 Cosmic Kassadin W 2



Champion Changes


Dr Mundo Final Portrait


Change BoxMasochism [ E ]Masochism Final Icon

  • Next basic attack no longer deals 5/20/35/50/65 bonus magic damage [revert on the change in this PBE update]
  • The Maximum Health ratio of Mundo’s next attack has been increased from 2% to 5%



Riven Final Portrait

Revert BoxRunic Blade Final IconRunic Blade [ Passive ]

  • Riven’s “Edge” resource has been reverted [revert on the mini-rework in this PBE update]




Vayne Final Portrait

General Box

  • AD per level decreased from 3.5 to 3.25 [revert on the change in this PBE update]



One For All SR featured game mode coming soon to the PB

L3T4NCY New PortraitHeya ^.^/

It’s been awhile since we saw the original One For All on Summoner’s Rift. A number of new champs have come out since its last run so we thought: why not bring back the OFA funtimes? :D

A bit of trivia for those of you collecting random League knowledge: One For All was the very first featured game mode we ever made (almost 2 years ago this month!) o.O

One For All is a 5v5 battle played on SR where everyone on your team uses the same champion, decided by a vote during champ select. Some champs have amazing synergy with themselves (Kalista? Kalista! :D) so enjoy exploring the possibilities.

There’s been quite a few new champions (and many others reworked) since the last time we did OFA. We’d like some help from you guys specifically testing out the following champions here on PBE before the mode goes live. We’ll be temporarily disabling all other champions in OFA for the first few days on PBE, just to help focus the initial testing on these below champs.

  • Azir
  • Bard
  • Brand
  • Darius
  • Kalista
  • Kassadin
  • Kindred
  • Ekko
  • Fiora
  • Gangplank
  • Garen
  • Gnar
  • Kennen
  • Morde
  • Mundo
  • Rek’Sai
  • Rumble
  • Ryze
  • Skarner
  • Soraka
  • Tahm Kench
  • Tristana
  • Twitch
  • Vi
  • Zilean

To reiterate, when OFA goes live, ALL champions will be available to play. We’re just limiting the pool here on PBE to help focus testing on the newer script-worked champs.

Thanks guys. Now to try out that matryoshka Tahm Kench. :D

[ Link to Post ]





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



The Season ends on November 11th and, with it, comes another Victorious Skin for players ranked Gold and above:


Socrates New PortraitOver the course of the season, you felt both sides of a stolen Baron. You carried hard and took the occasional ride in a teammate’s backpack. The struggle is real, but victory is sweet. Now it’s time for one last push.

Make your mark and be Victorious before November 11.

[ Link to Post ]

Here’s the full-resolution teaser. Feel free to speculate on Victorious Sivir!


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


Welcome to “Chasing Glory,” a recurring feature where I will discuss the top narratives and key moments from each day of the 2015 League of Legends World Championship. After nearly a year of competition in leagues across the globe, 16 teams have emerged at the top of their respective regions. Now, they travel to Europe where they will battle through the finest international competition for a shot at taking home the Summoner’s Cup  at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin on October 31st.

Opening day featured plenty of interesting matches from groups A, B, and C of the tournament, with some teams going about business as usual and others stumbling to find ground on the tournament’s newly implemented patch 5.18. I’ll be recapping the matches in order starting with the ever so consistent Fnatic facing off against the hit or miss Invictus Gaming.

Maintaining The Status Quo

Coming off a perfect Season and a 5-2 run to win the split, Fnatic was riding a wave of both confidence and hype heading into this World Championship. Led by veteran support player and 5 time worlds attendee Yellowstar, reunited with Rekkles in the botlane, Fnatic would be among the many Western Teams to bootcamp in Korea in hopes of redeeming their lackluster Season 4 worlds performance, and seeks to continue their dominance into the World Championship.

iG, or Invictus Gaming, is a different story. Known for their inconsistency, the third place LP team comes into this event on a positive note, with a 3-1 upset over serious title contenders EDG in the third place match of the LPL Summer Playoffs and then a perfect 3-0 set against Qiao Gu for the Korean region’s final ticket to Paris.

With the recent changes in patch 5.18, carry style top laners have fallen more into favor than ever, giving a boost to both Zzitai and Huni. Locking in Riven, iG top laner Zzitai looked to snowball his lane early, prompting a Hecarim pick in reply from Huni. Leading the game by a tower and securing First Blood in the top lane, Reignover took advantage of a passive KaKAO and the duo completely negated the impact of Zzitai’s Riven.

Surrendering at 30 minutes after Fnatic ravaged through their base, iG will look to redeem themselves in their day 3 match against Cloud 9. With a rematch against Fnatic looming down the line, iG needs to pick up as many wins as they can to ensure their top 2 placing in the group. As for Fnatic, their pick and ban phase showed that they can adapt on the fly, completely shutting down iG’s composition with their own picks. Reliant on a farming Skarner that never took off iG crumbled to the European kings, and Fnatic and showed us there is something to the hype.

Cool, Calm, And Collected

After squeaking their way into a Worlds qualification with a cinderella run from 7th place to winning the Regional Qualifiers in North America, Cloud 9 was supposed to come in, lose six games, and get out. Facing off against LMS champions AHQ, who took a game from Fnatic at the Mid-Season Invitational and are known for their aggressive early play, the third seeded North American’s fate was all but sealed as Mountain’s Rengar handed First Blood over to Westdoor on Fizz.

Going back to his roots and a champion he was originally known for, Cloud 9 mid laner Nicolaj “Incarnati0n” Jensen headed into his first ever appearance in international play with the recently buffed Veigar. AHQ seemed lost against the tiny master of evil, constantly finding themselves locked up in Veigar’s Event Horizon in teamfights. Stacking his way to over 500 AP at the 22 minute mark, Incarnati0n’s 100% kill participation Veigar thwarted the early aggression of AHQ. Doing what he does best, C9 team captain and newly transitioned Jungler Hai stepped up big time, orchestrating a 23 minute victory in convincing fashion and showing us once again that his shotcalling is nothing less than world class.

Grand Challenge

Aside from the anticipated rematch of Ryu vs. Faker, expectations were low for H2K heading into this game. After SKT picked up a few early kills, H2K kept the game relatively close until a 23 minute fight in the river sent SKT barrelling ahead off the back of a Marin Triple Kill. In control of the map and a 3k gold lead, SKT would go on to close out the game systematically in a 31 minute win over Europe’s second seed.


No Mercy

For the better part of the year, EDG has been cited as one of the top teams in the world, and a contender for the title of World Champions. With the Bangkok Titans coming from one of the weaker competitive regions, it was apparent from the beginning that there was a huge mismatch in skill. Getting three kills in the first four minutes, Deft set the pace of the game with a double kill less than three minutes in. EDG quickly dispatched the Bangkok titans in a surrender at the 20:20 mark, never slowing their pace from the early First Blood.


In Doublelift We Trust

Before this match, most would agree that Zionspartan is a cut above his Top Lane counterpart on Flash Wolves, Steak. Despite this, Steak impressed holding his own and having a hand in 100% of his teams kills as CLG’s Zionspartan fell to his fourth death without an answer. With a 7k gold lead and 3 towers over North America’s first seed, the Taiwanese Flash Wolves were poised for victory. Until they overstayed in the bottom lane, netting CLG their first in a series of teamfight wins peppered with Flash Wolves misplays. Clawing their way back on the shoulders of Doublelift’s Jinx, CLG managed to walk away with a win they probably shouldn’t have.

Taking advantage of an enemy’s mistakes is the mark of a superior team, but CLG has a lot to work on if they want get any farther than the group stage, let alone win the tournament. Their next match against Brazil’s PaiN Gaming will be a good indicator of if they can bounce back after a loss and pull off what should be a fairly easy victory.

Wild Style

The Koo Tigers are in a funny spot in terms of how they are perceived. On one hand, they pulled off 1st and 3rd place finishes in one of the toughest regions of play. On the other, the innovation they showed in the first half of the season hasn’t been as apparent. That said, the Koo tigers sport a talented roster backed by solid strategy, especially when playing with a lead.

Viewed as the weakest team in the group, PaiN Gaming enters worlds on a high note, being 15-0 since the CBLoL playoffs. With star Mid Laner Kami at the forefront of their play, the Brazilian squad needs to capture the same macro play they showed in the Wildcard Qualifiers if they want to stay alive in the tournament.

When PaiN managed to slowly pull ahead, Koo’s Gorilla started to pull himself ahead, along with the rest of his team mates. Setting up plays across the map, Gorilla showed why he is often in the conversation of best support player in the world. With their newly found lead, Koo Tigers made quick work of PaiN in a 30 minute finish, playing a very clean second half of the game and showing why they are one of the best teams at worlds once the late game hits.

Day 1 MVP: Hai



In choosing the MVP, I looked at a lot of factors. Individual performance, impact on game, role in team, and so forth. While there were definitely cases to be made for the fantastic playmaking of Koo’s Gorilla or the endlessly entertaining Deft Show against the Bangkok Titans. However, as great as those players were, it’s Hai who stood out as the truly most valuable player of the day.

Coming into the tournament as the last seed from North America, Cloud 9 was written out of the event before they left California. With an underperforming top laner, a rookie mid, and a returning player transitioning into a new role, there were a lot of reasons to not think much of the NA squad. Hai quickly silenced any critics with a Lee Sin performance any jungler could be proud of. Putting his signature shotcalling into action, Cloud 9 maneuvered the map, taking objectives as AHQ trailed behind. Hai also put up an impressive display of mechanics, setting up enemies and kicking them to their certain death.

The success of Cloud 9 since Hai’s return can be attributed to a lot of things. Improved shotcalling, a more comfortable mid laner, a better team environment, but above all, there is one constant: Hai.
images via Riot Games/lolesports

Tim Kimbirk is a journalist at TSM. You can find him in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.