Posts Tagged ‘snowdown’


Dev Blog Art of Snowdown Banner

Riot’s latest dev blog shares some of the concept art used to craft the Snowdown event:



League of Legends doesn’t need to be all grimdark, all the time. There’s more to life than slugging it out on the Rift; putting champions in less-than-serious situations is one of the things that makes League so uniquely… League. Where would we be without Pool Party Graves, Sinful Succulence Morgana, or AstroNautilus?

We knew that we wanted to keep this sense of fun front and center with this year’s Snowdown. And since nothing is more fun than a snow day, artists and visual designers started with one simple question: What happens when League’s champs take a day off to engage in a little snow-to-snow combat?

School’s canceled!

“When I was a kid, I was all about snowball fights,” says visual designer Kelly Aleshire. “Snow days were awesome. There’s a sense of, ‘I was supposed to do something today, but now I get to have fun instead.’” Communicating that feeling to players was key goal for the teams working on Snowdown. Whether through Syndra’s oversized earmuffs, Bard’s penguin-ified meeps, or the somewhat-goofy snowplow super minions, the main focus was on making things feel uniquely fun.

Bard’s Snowdown concept finalised and ready for production

Concept artist Wesley Keil explains, “It’s one of those light-hearted, zany things where you can step away from the serious stuff.” With this year’s Snowdown, “the team wanted to create something really playful,” emphasises Aleshire, “so the feedback was mostly centered on hitting that ideal without going too over-the-top.” Each concept went through several iterations as artists worked to find something that felt right for the overall theme but still fit the champion. Gnar might wear a winter cap, for example, but he still needs to feel like Gnar.

Skins ideation often involves creating several concepts for each champion

This year’s Snowdown was made more complicated by the inclusion of Snowdown minions. While minions are less complex than champions, their simplicity brings its own flavor of difficulty. Says Keil, “They have to read clearly; there are a lot of gameplay ramifications — what happens when there are a ton of them on screen, etc.” Just as the team needed to balance the skins between the Snowdown theme and the core personality of each champion, the minions needed to be clearly Snowdown without hampering actual gameplay. Fun’s no fun if it creates confusion in the game, after all.

Early concept work shows different ideas for Snowdown minions

Finally, the splash is perhaps the most clear distillation of Snowdown as an idea, showing off the skins while capturing the personality of each champion and communicating the overall theme of fun in the snow. “Bard, for example, is kind of aloof,” says Aleshire. “He’s not super worried about humans or the universe as we see it, so he’s just in his own little world sharing some cocoa with a Meep. Gnar has a hyperactive attitude, so he’s distracted and chasing a Meep instead of helping.” Syndra, a more focused champion, is ready to start the next volley and/or claim victory. The splash bears the responsibility of bringing everything together in one image that tells the whole story.

    We have this moment every now and then, where a bunch of serious characters take a day off and play in the snow.


The result is a collection of skins and goodies that embody the idea of a laid-back winter hangout. “We have this moment every now and then, where a bunch of serious characters take a day off and play in the snow,” concludes Aleshire. “Hopefully we capture that and give players the same feelings I remember from tossing snowballs at my friends.”


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

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FOLLOW UP Pathing aka Minion Blocking Update

Reinboom Final PortraitHeads up: since we’re going to be heading out for the night, just wanted to give some context up front.

Riot Reinboom here to bring a quick update on the state of pathing and upcoming changes (read: revert) to it. 🙂

Pathing What?

In 5.22 we did a hefty rebuild of one of the systems that guides pathing (particularly through minions), with some tweaks in 5.23.

Our goal was to make pathing through minions more predictable, with a specific focus on champions that could get ‘stuck’ while passing through. We also wanted to ensure we had full transparency on both sides of the ‘code’ fence – a player knows why they got stuck on the minions and we, as developers, could peek under the hood to see what’s going on.

So why did these changes go out?
If you think of the League of Legends game (note: not things like the client) as large ‘layers’ of functionality, you will get three major layers.

  • Engine: The thing that comprises the fundamental building blocks to build everything else. This has been cleaned up pretty extensively (and we’ll continue doing work here!) over the last couple years. You can think of the Engine layer as the foundation that we’re building everything on top of.
  • Game: The ‘house’ we’ve built on the foundation of the Engine. You can think of each Game system in League like an individual room in the house, with one for, say, pathing, or another one for minion AI, etc. Since most systems are self-enclosed (to a degree), we’ve basically been going from room to room to clean up where possible.
  • Content: Maybe the… interior decoration and furniture in the house? These are the individual things you interact with. Champions. Items. Maps. This isn’t much actual code, but more scripts. Stuff built with the tools provided on the layers before it. This is still messy, but we’re not really talking about content today.

Pathing sits in its own very isolated system within the ‘Game’ layer, and that system is a bit of a mess inside itself. Pathing also has some of the largest implications for how you play the game. When doing cleanups to the system, due to the risk of disruption and unknowability, we targeted preseason to keep it all (somewhat) contained.

So we did.

Did anything work with this?

From an implementation standpoint, yes! In natural pathing situations, the new system appropriately identifies whether or not a unit should be stuck or not, or could get stuck if it goes a certain direction. In other words, it’s knowable and predictable. A minion wall will act like a minion wall. If you jump to an area with lots of units around, you will be held there more surely.

But there were things that didn’t work.

Knowable doesn’t necessarily mean better, and more-so it doesn’t necessarily mean understandable when it interacts with other systems like pathfinding. Sure, minions make walls appropriately now, and stuck detection works. That said, behavior like that sucks when the shortest route the pathfinding system gives you is the longer way around. Additionally, from a direction standpoint, knowing that you’re definitely going to be trapped is annoying when your expectation is simply not to be trapped at all. Blegh.

In other words, we have a predictable system that isn’t playing nicely with other systems, and when it does work it’s a little more frustrating than we’d like.

So what we’re doing

We presumed things could go bad. We haven’t done fundamental (and I mean, very fundamental beyond light tweaks) work on pathing in… 5 years?

The new system was built with the assumption that it might cause issues with the old. As such… we’ll be switching it back to the old behavior in all of its unknowable glory while we work on and dig more into the pathing system.

This will be in 5.24 for everyone, but we’ll test it first on EUW to make sure nothing goes crazy.

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What direction will the balance team take Shen with his rework

Shen Banner Single

Meddler Final PortraitThe plan is to keep Shen as a tank, though we’ll be trying to find ways to have that make at least a little more sense thematically (so potentially a bit more evasion instead of just soaking/shielding damage).

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When will Mages receive an update scope of Juggernauts Marksmen

Meddler Final PortraitMages, immobile ones especially, are probably the class we’ll look at next. That’ll be a while off though, preseason’s currently our biggest priority and then there’s also some disruption during the holiday period in December. I’d imagine a PBE date 2-3 months into 2016’s the sort of timeframe we might be looking at, that’s very much a guess though and depends on how many champions we end up tackling at once (small batch could come slightly earlier, broader changes like with Marksmen would be much later).

In terms of AP items that’s not something we’ve talked about much yet. I’d imagine we’d look at itemization if doing mages of course, almost certainly a much smaller set of changes than those to marksmen/general AD itemization though (AP’s in a better starting point, especially after the 5.13 changes).

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Yorick only has two skins
Yorick Single Banner

KateyKhaos Final PortraitHey!

Wanted to pop in here and explain what’s going on with Yorick!

You’re right that he hasn’t received a skin since launch and his skin catalog only has two skins. We aren’t ignoring Yorick, although from the looks of the amount of skins he has, it may appear that way.

For a bit of context here, Yorick needs a rework/update before the Skins team takes him under our wing and gives him more skins.

But why can’t you make a skin and give him the rework after? That’s the most common question I see when I explain the rework/update situation, and it’s a totally valid question.

When a champion is updated (let’s use Sion as an example for this), there are a ton of changes made, both in model, as well as the kit. If we were to create a skin for him now, the Champion Update team would need to rip apart the work we did to make it work for the update they create. This could mean making a new set of particles, a new model, etc. It’s basically like doing the work twice. So, rather than doing that, the Skins team creates other skins for other champions while we await the go-ahead to work on a new skin. This rule also applied to Poppy (she’s eligible for a skin now)! and currently Taric.

The other big reason for doing this is because we don’t want players to become attached to a skin and then have it completely re-imagined. So, let’s say we put out a Crazy Cat Lady Yorick skin (Rito pls), but with the rework, he didn’t have a spell that used your favorite cat model. That may ruin how cool the skin is to you, which is a pretty crappy situation. So, rather than taking away things you love, we hold off on creating them until we’ve got a solid, shiny, new base to work from, which means the skins you purchase won’t be changing any time in the near future.

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What if you made a Chroma pack for Yorick instead

KateyKhaos Final PortraitUnfortunately not – similar rules apply. It’d be twice the work in terms of creating the chroma packs.

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What if you released a new Yorick skin together with his rework

KateyKhaos Final PortraitIt’s not impossible – we did something similar with Fiora’s update by releasing PROJECT: Fiora shortly after.

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What about Sion Will he receive a new skin in the near future

Sion Single Banner

KateyKhaos Final PortraitHe did have a huge rework, and it’s eligible for a skin. Unfortunately, I’m not able to drop details as to if he has something in the works or not. :c

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Security Reminder Beware of scams this Snowdown

Riot Cluvie Final PortraitHey y’all!

It’s that time of year again — scams, scams everywhere!

Any promotions or events ran will be announced and confirmed by Riot —,, or

General Questions:

Q: I was sent a suspicious link from a friend I trust but I don’t recognize it, what should I do?
A: USE CAUTION! If it’s not hosted on one of the websites above, we cannot ensure your computer’s security if you visit them. Remember, facechecking the web is dangerous, so use your best judgement. Be sure to have your antivirus programs up-to-date.

Q: But I entered my username and password into this website! Should I change my password?
A: YES! Please change your password immediately. You can change your password by logging into your account management and clicking on change password.

Q: Is there any harm going to these free skin/RP generator websites but not doing anything?
A: YES! You never know what scripts are running in the background. If you’ve visited any suspicious websites, I would strongly suggest you go ahead and scan your computer with your preferred antivirus program.

If you cannot log into your account at all, you can recover your password by using the password recovery here. Still having issues? Please contact player support.

We also have an extensive Knowledge Base article available with additional tips and tricks on what you can do to ensure your account is secure: – Please give this a thorough read if you have a chance!

Happy Snowdown! May your aim ever be true!

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Janna Main Janna Mechanics

Janna Mechanics Banner

Riot Jaws Final PortraitThere’s nothing like your first main. That connection with a champion and the excitement of locking them in game after game can be difficult to put into words.

Janna Mechanics, a Master-tier Janna main with over 5000 games on the Storm’s Fury stopped by to share his origin story as well as talk about how he keeps up with his competition while juggling schoolwork and managing a collegiate LoL community. He also broke down a TL;DR for Janna players looking to peel, bounce, and shield their way to victory.

How did you get into League of Legends?

I was introduced to League of Legends by an internet friend of mine who also introduced my best friend to the game. They had both been playing for a week, and encouraged me to give it a try and play with them. I quickly fell in love with the game, and LeBlanc, who was my first main champion. I started playing League of Legends at the same time Yorick was first released in the summer of 2011.

You are currently a full-time student at McMaster University, a Master-level player AND a co-founder and Co-President of McMaster’s League of Legends Association! What are you studying and how do you maintain your high level of play while juggling all of these responsibilities?

I am studying Computer Science. The main goals I have with this degree is a future in game development. I hope to work at Riot Games someday; a degree in Computer Science is extremely valuable in helping me achieve that dream.

Keeping up with everything is definitely a juggling act! Because I’ve had time to hone my skill at League of Legends, hovering in Master tier is actually pretty easy. Once you learn to identify the weaknesses of high diamond players, climbing through that tier does not require too much time commitment. However, if I wanted to approach Challenger in solo queue, I would need to take time away from my studies and running my club. Because Challenger requires weekly commitment and consistency, I’m happy just chilling in Master tier while I’m in school. During the Holidays and summer, I definitely push hard and strive for Challenger.

With respect to running my club, I am not alone. I have two co-presidents — two people I met the year I founded the club (my co-founders) that help me organize and sustain the club. We each bring different skills to the table. Through struggles and hardship we have learned to work together effectively and efficiently. Sophia and Dennis are the reason I can run the club, keep up with my studies, and squeeze in some solo queue games. I am definitely guilty of sacrificing my studies to play one more game of solo queue at 2 am though.

What got you hooked on Janna?

As I mentioned above, my first main was LeBlanc. I had consistently picked her (she was one of the free week champions at the time) throughout my quest to level 30. At some point before level 30, I realized the only champion I ever really struggled to play against was Morgana, so naturally I started playing her. I began playing strictly Morgana until level 30, and played her for my first few ranked games in season 1. After hitting level 30 and playing some ranked games, I realized that getting to play mid lane was a frustrating experience, so I turned to the least-sought after role at the time: support.

Janna happened to be a free champion that week, and I had recently come across my firstfunny league-related video on YouTube which happened to be about Janna. While the video was funny, it intrigued me enough to give her a try after seeing her kit in action. Janna’s Monsoon is an ultimate that has an impossible to reach skill ceiling. After over five thousand Janna games, I still mess up my monsoons. There is always room to improve on how I use my ultimates, and that leads me to locking her in champion select game after game.

What do you do if Janna gets picked away or banned?

During last season’s North American Collegiate Championship (NACC), I expected Janna to be banned/taken away from me every single game. Now I’ve adapted and prepared other champions, so I get excited when the enemy team picks up Janna, because I know how exactly to ruin her day. In response, I tend to pick Soraka, Morgana, or Nami.

Morgana especially gives Janna a frustrating game, as a binding is a death sentence to Janna, and black shield nullifies her peel. Soraka will win laning phase against Janna and keep up with her roams through the use of Wish, as well as being able to silence that game-changing monsoon or shield. Nami is able to out-trade and out-lane Janna, and easily engage on her through tidal wave — which is also great for stopping that monsoon heal.

If you could describe Janna’s playstyle in a sentence, what would it be?

Janna’s playstyle focuses on reaction-based gameplay.

Knowing what your opponent is capable of, and responding to it correctly defines a good Janna player.

  • Howling Gale (Q) is most powerful when used to disrupt your opponent’s channels, dashes, jumps, and cut off their pathways.
  • Zephyr (W) must be used cautiously, as it slows Janna as well.
  • Eye of the Storm (E) requires the Janna player to constantly re-calculate their opponent’s damage output and potential, and determine the best target to shield.
  • Monsoon (R) has immense utility which generally is most effective when used after the team fight has begun already – it’s a reaction.

That’s not to say Janna is incapable of making plays. A well placed Howling Gale can catch people in clumps and set up a wombo, and Monsoon can definitely be used aggressively (Flash ult to isolate someone!). Janna generally shines when reacting to her opponents in skirmishes and teamfights.

If someone is playing Janna for the first time, what is the most important thing to bear in mind?

The best advice I can give to any Janna player is to never use your ultimate without a specific purpose in mind. Are you trying to push a specific enemy away? Are you trying to isolate an opponent? Are you cancelling a channel? Are you simply healing your team mate?

Knowing exactly what you want to do with Monsoon reduces the number of messed up/useless ones. There are team fights where an opportunity to use Monsoon doesn’t come up. Generally players recommend just dropping ultimates in a teamfight. I agree with that on most champions, but certain champions (Janna, Bard) have ultimates which are pure utility and can benefit your opponents if used incorrectly. To ensure you aren’t saving your opponents accidentally, know what you want to achieve with a Monsoon before using it.

Janna’s laning looks pretty passive on the surface. How do you exert pressure in a Janna lane?

Auto attacks are free to use, and whittle down your opponents slowly. When it is safe to do so (did your opponents just use their main engage tools? Are they going in for CS and can’t attack you?), get some auto attacks in! Janna’s auto attack range is fairly low however, so don’t spend too much time trading with someone who has a higher attack range.

Outside of auto attacks, Eye of the Storm can be used when your ADC wants to aggress. Janna generally doesn’t aggress on her own, it’s a team effort. If your ADC wants to exert some pressure, back them up – that’s how Janna exerts pressure. Alternatively, if you really want to make awesome plays pre-6, charging up a howling gale can be a death sentence to your opponents. Place it from the side, be unpredictable about it. If you master the technique of landing charged howling gales, you’ll set up ganks and exert pressure you wouldn’t normally anticipate from a Janna. Just make sure you don’t spam it – Howling Gale is expensive to use!

What is Janna’s main role in teamfights?

In team fights, Janna must identify three things:

  • The teammate that needs immediate saving,
  • The teammate that is important to keep alive
  • The opponents that need to be peeled.

If a teammate is close to death and interception from Janna will keep them alive long enough to win the fight, they are worth saving. Otherwise, Janna should focus on keeping her most valuable teammate alive. She must also consider her opponent’s threats: do they have dashes that need cancelling (Jarvan, LeBlanc, Kha’Zix, Gragas, Diana etc.)? Do they have champions who channel abilities that need to be disrupted (Vel’Koz, Miss Fortune, Galio etc.)? Do they have a hard-diving champion that can’t re-enter a fight once they burn their main engage (Irelia, Nocturne etc.)?

Generally, I’ll recommend Janna players to determine where they can place a charging Howling Gale that will benefit them in three seconds, and if they really need it (or it will miss because they mis-predicted), launch it instantly. Slow the opponents who burned their dash cooldowns and are trying to re-engage, and constantly shield the appropriate target.

Monsoon is her back-up. When your howling gale wasn’t enough to keep your opponents away, or your entire team is in a position where healing them will win you the fight — use your ultimate! It can achieve all that howling gale achieves, but more effectively and with a neat heal attached.

Who is your favorite AD to lane with as Janna?

Nothing compares to a good Vayne player. If I am laning with a good Vayne, we will win laning phase very easily through outplaying our opponents with slippery mechanics and chaining Condemn and Howling Gale. Monsoon works amazingly with Condemn, and Vayne loves that eye of the storm AD. If we get rolling early-game, nothing can stop Vayne with a Janna. This does however require the Vayne player to understand our potential, and know how to play the champion. Flash tumbling into the enemy Riven probably isn’t going to work out for us.

If someone is looking to climb the ladder as a support main, what should they focus on improving?

With respect to support specifically, the greatest advice I could ever give to a support player is DO NOT DIE WHILE TRYING TO GET VISION! This gets more important as the game goes late. You will lose objectives, pressure, and the entire game for getting caught while warding. Understand when it is safe to ward, and when you should wait until you have more team mates ready to back you up. If there are enemies missing, and you are unsure of their last position, do not go out to ward. When you have a good understanding of your opponent’s positions, go ahead and ward the safe spots. Getting caught less means you’ll be around to make those game-winning team fight plays.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! If readers want to reach out, where can they find you?

I appreciate your interest in my experiences! I had a ton of fun answering the questions, so thank you for taking the time to create this article!

Readers who are interested in reaching out to me can contact me here on Twitch at

I tend to have a full friends list so I can’t add everybody who sends me a friend request, but if you really want to contact me, twitch is great! I stream more often when I am off school, so keep an eye out for when I go online. I answer every question I see in twitch chat, so that’s the best option!


Janna Mechanics is going to hang out in the comments to answer your questions for a couple of hours, so ask away!

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Incoming Some Introductions

Pwyff Final PortraitHi gang,

As we’re getting to figure out dev corner content for 2016, we thought it would also be good to get some of our more prominent designers and design leads introduced so you can get a feel for what we’re working on and who’s focused on what. We’re doing this to set the foundation for a series of personal dev blogs on evergreen topics like our balance philosophy, champion design, systems interactions, and so on.

Over the course of the next few weeks, you’ll hear from some of the team with a rundown of their interests, past work, and what they’ll want to write about next year. They’ll also stick around for a bit during the day to field questions or source any topic inspiration from you!

So if you really want to hear more about designing Cinderhulk from our lead systems designer, or what went into the recent batch of marksmen updates, hang out!

I’ll try to keep you updated every Monday on the upcoming schedule of designer introductions. All in all, before the holidays kick in, you should at least hear from:

  • Greg ‘Riot Ghostcrawler’ Street – Design Director, League of Legends
  • Andrei ‘Meddler’ Van Roon – Lead Designer, League of Legends
  • Mark ‘RiotScruffy Yetter – Lead Designer, Champions & Champion Update
  • Joseph ‘Fearless’ Graylock – Lead Designer, Gameplay Systems
  • Brian ‘FeralPony’ Feeney – Lead Designer, Live Gameplay
  • James ‘Statikk’ Bach – Lead Designer, Champion Update
  • Jeevun ‘RiotJag’ Sidhu – Designer, Live Gameplay & Champions
  • August ‘gypsylord’ Browning – Designer, Champions & Gameplay Systems
  • … and me.

See you soon~

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Illaoi community creations

Jynx Final PortraitThe community has spawned an impressive collection of creations to welcome Illaoi to the rift. So get kraken and check out some of the awesome pieces, and don’t forget to click the artists’ names to see even more of their work!











Mechanical Bunnies





Raspbeary Art


Rokusan Cosplay



Jojo 한

Blondynki Też Grają

Still looking for more? Take a look at the awesome entries from the Illaoi chibi contest held on the League of Legends Philippines site!

We know there’s still more creations out there though, so please share your art and favorites in the comments below.

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



The holiday sales will launch on December 10th. Scroll below for more details or check out Riot’s official promo site:


A chill in the air; A handful of ice

A present for you; How lovely, how nice!

It’s round and it’s cold; Packed tight and frozen

A face full of frost for the unlucky chosen

The battle starts now; Put some cold in your fist

Snowdown arrives with an aerial twist

So throw on some gloves and step into the sun

This Snowdown’s about snowballs and friends having fun!


975 RP UNTIL 1/10 AT 23:49 PST



[ Note ] You can find a full preview of the skin HERE.






SNOW DAY BARD – 975 RP UNTIL 1/10 AT 23:49 PST



[ Note ] You can find a full preview of the skin HERE.



skin-gnar SNOW DAY GNAR – 975 RP LEGACY 


[ Note ] You can find a full preview of the skin HERE.








skin-malzahar  skin-singedskin-ziggs



New Summoner Icons

10/12 – 07/01

















These little guys are feeling the cold and bundling up before hitting the battlefield. Snowdown minions slide into lane starting December 10. Spend some time with these frost-ready friends before they shed their cold weather gear once this patch ends.






10/12 – 07/01

Show your friends you love them with a snowball to the face! You can throw four new Legacy Snowball icons at your pals for 100 IP each all through Snowdown. Each time you toss a Snowball icon, whoever it hits will get to keep one of the four randomly selected icons and rack up a one-win IP boost!










A grand decree from his eminence, the Poro King:


The Poro King has spoken!

Let it be known!





PORO KING 101 Banner


The poros are back and they’re joining your side in Legend of the Poro King. Jumping into a match, you’ll see two poro pals flanking you in combat. Each one grants a summoner spell that will help you call forth and aid the majestic Poro King!

The Poro King is a mega-classy super minion that heals your team, regenerates mana, and deals AoE damage while handing out royal beatdowns to enemy towers on the Howling Abyss. Summon the mighty Poro King by landing Poro Toss ten times. The King will serve as a sieging dynamo for you until he is killed by the enemy team in a regicide most foul.



Activate Poro Toss once to toss your teeny poro pal across the map. If the lil’ fella hits a target, trigger Poro Toss again to Poro Dash, which will send you soaring towards an unlucky enemy. If your team lands ten Poro Tosses, his excellence the Poro King will plop down and begin his royal wreckery.




When the Poro King hits Howling Abyss, activate To the King! to transform into one of the King’s loyal (fluffy) subjects and fly to his majestic side.







Pick up a poro icon for 250 RP and grab a special skin for your poro pals in Legend of the Poro King for a limited time. To trick out your poros, follow these handy steps:

  • Buy any poro icon
  • Equip your new icon before launching into a Legend of the Poro King match
  • Enjoy the skins worn by your two poro buddies in Legend of the Poro King



Poro 1



Poro 2



Poro 3



Poro 4



Poro 5



Poro 6






12/16 – 1/7

A storm’s rolling in, carrying with it an icy torrent of Legacy skins so massive you’ll need a snowplow to move it. Read more about the Snowstorm Sale below!

[ Note ] You can find the Snowdown sales HERE.







12/23 – 1/7

When you buy a Legendary skin this Snowdown, you’ll unlock a free Mystery skin! If that Mystery skin happens to be a Legendary, it unlocks another Mystery skin and can continue to snowball from there.






11/29 – 12/7

Why brave the cold when you can stay indoors with something warm and a little extra bonus RP? Get into the Snowdown spirit and pick up extra bonus RP whenever you buy RP from now until December 7 at 23:59 PST!





FAQ Banner



Q: How does this work again?

A: When you send your friend a Snowball icon, they will receive one of the four icons chosen at random. If they own any of those icons already, they will not get it again and instead receive an unowned icon and a one-win IP boost.

Q: Do my friends get to keep the Snowball icons I throw at them?

A: Yep! They will own that Snowball icon once you throw it at them.

Q: Can I send my friend all four Snowball icons?

A: Yes. You can send them up to all four icons as long as they don’t own them already.

Q: Can I buy myself Snowball icons?

A: You cannot buy yourself Snowball icons.

Q: Do Snowball icons count against my daily gifting limit?

A: Yes, but we’ve raised the limit to 20 gifts per day for the duration of Snowdown.



Q: What is your Snowdown shop?

A: It’s a new in-client Snowdown store outfitted with deals unique to you.

Q: How long will these deals last?

A: Each deal will be available from December 16 to December 30 at 23:59 PST

Q: How long will Your Snowdown Shop be open for?

A: Your Snowdown Shop will be open from December 16 to December 30 at 23:59 PST

Q: When I purchase a deal, does a new one take its place?

A: A new deal won’t take the place of any skin or champ you buy in Your Snowdown Shop.

Q: Can I get a different set of discounted skins and champs?

A: We’re only offering the current displayed skins and champs in Your Snowdown Shop.

Q: What happens if I purchase all of the deals from Your Snowdown Shop? Will it refill?

A: Then you’re all done! Once all available champs and skins are purchased, Your Snowdown Shop will be empty.



Q: How does this work again?

A: From December 23 until January 7 at 23:59 PST, whenever you pick up a Legendary skin, you’ll get a free Mystery skin. If that Mystery skin is a Legendary, you’ll get another Mystery skin and so on.

Q: Is there a limit to how many Legendary skins I could unlock?

A: Nope. You can snowball any amount of Legendaries if you continue to unlock them through Mystery skins until Legendary Snowball ends.

Q: What if I buy five Legendaries, will I get five Mystery skins?

A: Yes. Yes you will.

Q: What is a Mystery Skin?

A: Picking up a Mystery skin guarantees a random unowned skin worth 520 RP or more for a champion you own.



Q: How long will the Legend of the Poro King be available?

A: The grand Poro King will grace Howling Abyss all through Snowdown!

Q: If I have poro icons from last year’s Legend of the Poro King, will the poro skins carry over this year?

A: Yes! Your poro icons will work exactly as they did last year.

Q: Where can I find Legend of the Poro King?

A: The game mode will be available to select in the game mode queue of the client.

Q: I saw a PROJECT: Poro icon on PBE, will it be available for Snowdown this year?

A: Yes, the PROJECT: Poro icon will be available for Snowdown this year. We’ll updatethis site with it soon.

Q: Will the PROJECT: Poro icon have all the features of the other Poro icons?

A: Yes, it will be a Legacy icon that you can pick up for 250 RP during Snowdown. If equipped during a Legend of the Poro King match, the PROJECT: Poro icon will unlock a PROJECT skin for your poro pals within the game mode.


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



[ Link to Official Post ]





… A Snowstorm sale is forecasted to bring one-day Legacy sales everyday all through Snowdown…Details below…

*HAZARD TYPE… Daily Legacy skin sales

CONDITIONS… Six different Legacy skins will go on sale everyday, starting December 16 until January 7 at 23:59 PST.

Skin Sale Date Price Sale Price
Noxus Hunter Anivia 12/16/2015 520 260
Prototype Viktor 12/16/2015 520 260
Recon Teemo 12/16/2015 520 260
Firefighter Tristana 12/16/2015 1820 910
Scuba Gragas 12/16/2015 975 487
Secret Agent Miss Fortune 12/16/2015 975 487
Sun Goddess Karma 12/17/2015 750 375
Imperial Lux 12/17/2015 975 487
Stinger Akali 12/17/2015 520 260
Frozen Shen 12/17/2015 520 260
Swamp Master Kennen 12/17/2015 520 260
Challenger Ahri 12/17/2015 975 487
Matador Alistar 12/18/2015 975 487
Time Machine Zilean 12/18/2015 520 260
Badger Teemo 12/18/2015 520 260
Coral Reef Malphite 12/18/2015 750 375
Sheriff Caitlyn 12/18/2015 520 260
Vandal Gragas 12/18/2015 975 487
Red Baron Corki 12/19/2015 1820 910
Road Warrior Miss Fortune 12/19/2015 520 260
Infiltrator Irelia 12/19/2015 975 487
Vandal Vladimir 12/19/2015 975 487
Crimson Akali 12/19/2015 520 260
Guerilla Tristana 12/19/2015 975 487
Obsidian Malphite 12/20/2015 975 487
Nottingham Ezreal 12/20/2015 520 260
Spectacular Sivir 12/20/2015 975 487
Dragon Knight Mordekaiser 12/20/2015 520 260
Almost-Prom King Amumu 12/20/2015 520 260
Pharaoh Amumu 12/20/2015 520 260
Highland Tryndamere 12/21/2015 520 260
Vandal Brand 12/21/2015 520 260
Blacksmith Poppy 12/21/2015 975 487
Freljord Ashe 12/21/2015 520 260
Sinful Succulence Morgana 12/21/2015 975 487
Winged Hussar Xin Zhao 12/21/2015 975 487
Annie In Wonderland 12/22/2015 1820 910
Workshop Shaco 12/22/2015 975 487
Viking Tryndamere 12/22/2015 750 375
Hot Rod Corki 12/22/2015 520 260
Kingpin Twitch 12/22/2015 520 260
Executioner Mundo 12/22/2015 520 260
Exiled Morgana 12/23/2015 975 487
Caterpillar Kog’Maw 12/23/2015 520 260
Queen Ashe 12/23/2015 975 487
Galactic Renekton 12/23/2015 520 260
Vindicator Vayne 12/23/2015 520 260
Nightmare Cho’Gath 12/23/2015 520 260
Glacial Olaf 12/24/2015 520 260
Muse Sona 12/24/2015 975 487
Count Vladimir 12/24/2015 520 260
Fiddle Me Timbers 12/24/2015 750 375
Void Nocturne 12/24/2015 520 260
Sailor Gangplank 12/24/2015 750 375
Rune Wars Renekton 12/25/2015 975 487
Defender Leona 12/25/2015 750 375
Bilgerat Rumble 12/25/2015 520 260
Noxus Poppy 12/25/2015 520 260
Alien Invader Heimerdinger 12/25/2015 1820 910
Professor Ryze 12/25/2015 975 487
The Magnificent Twisted Fate 12/26/2015 1820 910
Deadly Kennen 12/26/2015 520 260
Jailbreak Graves 12/26/2015 975 487
Explorer Ezreal 12/26/2015 750 375
Ruthless Pantheon 12/26/2015 520 260
Longhorn Alistar 12/26/2015 520 260
Phantom Karthus 12/27/2015 460 230
Mad Scientist Singed 12/27/2015 750 375
Red Riding Annie 12/27/2015 520 260
Safari Caitlyn 12/27/2015 975 487
Deep One Kassadin 12/27/2015 520 260
Sasquatch Nunu 12/27/2015 520 260
Primal Udyr 12/28/2015 975 487
Vandal Jax 12/28/2015 520 260
Unmasked Kayle 12/28/2015 975 487
Yellow Jacket Shen 12/28/2015 520 260
Toxic Dr. Mundo 12/28/2015 520 260
Angler Jax 12/28/2015 975 487
Major Ziggs 12/29/2015 975 487
Hextech Sion 12/29/2015 520 260
Perseus Pantheon 12/29/2015 750 375
Feral Warwick 12/29/2015 975 487
Vizier Malzahar 12/29/2015 520 260
Masquerade Evelynn 12/29/2015 520 260
Sonoran Kog’Maw 12/30/2015 520 260
Marble Malphite 12/30/2015 520 260
Shamrock Malphite 12/30/2015 520 260
Prom Queen Annie 12/30/2015 520 260
Hextech Galio 12/30/2015 520 260
Butcher Urgot 12/30/2015 520 260
Vandal Twitch 12/31/2015 975 487
Tempest Janna 12/31/2015 520 260
Tribal Ryze 12/31/2015 520 260
Desert Trooper Garen 12/31/2015 520 260
Sabretusk Sejuani 12/31/2015 975 487
Baron von Veigar 12/31/2015 975 487
Big Bad Warwick 1/1/2016 520 260
Emerald Taric 1/1/2016 520 260
Molten Rammus 1/1/2016 975 487
Leopard Nidalee 1/1/2016 520 260
Viscero Xin Zhao 1/1/2016 975 487
Mr. Mundoverse 1/1/2016 520 260

Experts are recommending bringing all poros indoor while the Snowdown Snowstorm sale is active to prevent any confusion between massive amounts of snow and massive amounts of fluff.


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

Snowdown Fan Art Roundup

January 9th, 2015


Snowdown Fan Art Banner

Let’s send the holidays away with a round-up of fan art!


Jynx Final PortraitAs another Snowdown comes to an end, let’s welcome the new year with an awesome collection of seasonal community creations!

[ Link to Post ]









































Moon Mun


















xXSnowFrostXx, Zack The Ripper Cosplay, Zombelina Cosplay, and Bridoof Cosplay



We know this is only a portion of the amazing work that you guys created, so share more of your favorites in the comments below.



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



News 06 01 Banner


News 06/01


Recent News Banner





NA Ping Banner



 NA Server Roadmap Update Optimizing the Internet for League and You

Ahab Final PortraitUPDATE: Thanks for all your questions and joining in on the discussion, that’s it from us for now. If you haven’t already, please fill out the survey. And keep an eye out on Boards for future updates from the NA Roadmap team!

Hi everyone,

Riot Ahab here again to share more updates on what we’re doing to address East Coast ping problems. By now, you may be familiar with the NA Server Roadmap, which outlines our approach to addressing ping disparity across the US and Canada. You can check it out here.

Today, I want to introduce Riot WizardOTL (formerly Riot WizardoftheLake), who has been busy leading the charge on Phase 2 of the Roadmap: building a dedicated network for League of Legends traffic.

Why are we doing this? Currently, ISPs focus primarily on moving large volumes of data in seconds or minutes, which is good for buffered applications like YouTube or Netflix but not so good for real-time games, which need to move very small amounts of data in milliseconds. On top of that, your internet connection might bounce all over the country instead of running directly to where it needs to go, which can impact your network quality and ping whether the game server is across the country or right down the street.

This is why we’re in the process of creating our own direct network for League traffic and working with ISPs across the US and Canada to connect players to this network.

There’s a lot of fine-tuning to do as we bring additional parts of the network online, and we could use your help. Some connections can misfire and run a longer route than necessary to get to this network, so If you have experienced a sudden spike to your connection since November, please let us know by filling out this short survey.

There’s a lot to cover, so we thought this would be best served as a Q&A. We’ll hang around this thread for the next 4 hours to answer questions and get into the nitty-gritty should anyone be curious.

[ Link to Post ]

You should keep the community informed of your progress

Ahab Final PortraitAgreed – we’re talking on our end about ways to keep the community informed as we go along these steps. As pieces of the network come online, maybe we post an update to a thread and explain what happened (what went right, what didn’t). There are of course some things we can’t talk about for security concerns in the nitty-gritty, but still it could be worthwhile to outline the project into steps.

[ Link to Post ]


If the Roadmap is complete how will gameplay improve

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitMany players should see improvements in network quality as our new North American network rolls out. These improvements could be less ping time, less network packet loss, and more stable connections (less disconnects). Ping, packet loss, and stability may not all move in the same direction for all players depending on location within North America, their ISP (how their ISP connects to Riot’s network).

Ping, packet loss, and stability are not always tied together and can be affected by many things. When it comes to network quality we prioritize stability, reduced packet loss, and ping time pretty much in this order. You can’t play the game if you are not connected, you will see more lag with more packet loss, and ping can become a problem when it gets significantly high or is unstable (shooting up and down all the time in the middle of the game).

The game client only reports ping time to players but it also tracks stability and packet loss to Riot (and in client log files) on a near real time basis (though it can take us a day to crunch all the data from all the game clients before we see a troubling trend developing so we are not yet at real time detection of some network problems). Sometimes packet loss will show up in your ping time, usually you will see it jump up and down quickly which often indicates packet loss is happening or if severe packet loss will show up as lag in the game.

Faster ping time is often reported by players to “feel” better and is often something that is reported to be more meaningful the better you are at playing a game. How fast ping is before you feel the difference is likely dependent on the individual but it is generally thought the lower the better (diminishing returns apply, going from 160 ping to 90 ping is more impactful than going from 110 ping to 40). Lower ping time can also help mitigate packet loss since the game can recover missing packets faster. Because the Internet is a loose collection of various private and public networks, ping time is something that will constantly change for players. Some players could see slight increases in ping times while others can see significant reductions as our new network comes online. Our goal is benefit the most players and then troubleshoot ISPs that still have players with poor network quality.

EDIT: Formatting

[ Link to Post ]


Ahab Final PortraitThis network should bring a marginal improvement for everyone – coast to coast. West coasters are impacted by this as well – we’ve seen traffic in San Francisco get bounced across the country before finally getting to the server.

[ Link to Post ]



When will this be ready

Ahab Final PortraitThe full network is slated to be built by the end of March this year. 

[ Link to Post ]




Does that mean itll be fully functional or just that the network will be ready

Ahab Final PortraitThe hardware will be functional — the agreements may take a little extra time (since contracts always do), and there will be extra work hammering out individual hiccups and making sure as many players as possible have their connections pathing correctly to this network.

[ Link to Post ]

Ahab Final PortraitThe March goal should include getting the agreements done (and we are currently on schedule in that regard), but the back-and-forth on contracts never fails to amaze me on how long it can take!

[ Link to Post ]



So youre setting up your own Tier 2 or 1 network

Ahab Final PortraitExactly, we’re focused on peering directly — technically we may not meet the classification of a Tier 1 network, but you’ve got the idea.

[ Link to Post ]




How will you involve NA ISPs in the process

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitIt can take us many months to work with large ISP companies to achieve even modest results. Gaming is currently not a priority for most. However we are investing a lot of time in educating the ISPs that have LoL players as customers. It is very company dependent and we expect it will be a long road to travel but ultimately great for gamers.

[ Link to Post ]


Isnt collaborating with ISPs for a service against Net Neutrality

WizardOTL Final BannerNo and yes. So we are forced to do this because of the way the Internet is architected, not because the ISPs are forcing us to. Net Neutrality is not in play here, this is just the way any network would have to be built to achieve our goals.

[ Link to Post ]


Why was there a huge packet loss around December 29th 30th

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitThere was a lot of DDoS activity targeting the game industry the last 2 weeks of the year. While it may not be your specific cause, DDoS can create congestion for more than just the target. Congested pipes create packet loss. Hard to tell for a specific player though.

[ Link to Post ]



Will you address the other connection issues players are dealing with

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitNetwork quality has been a big focus for us in 2014 with a ton of planning and work being accomplished. As work continues into 2015 players should see improvements in network quality for many of the LoL services though game play is our biggest focus. It might be worth contacting player support about your specific frequent issues with PvP chat disconnecting.

[ Link to Post ]



Should I stick it out with Verizon or switch to another provider

WizardOTL Final BannerGreat question! We are working as fast as we can with Verizon to peer with them, and are not aware of any issues (though I just reached out to their VP of network infrastructure). We are also working to make sure that we are not going to get throttled, our traffic is really low (300k or less) so that shouldn’t be a problem. I really don’t think the VPN service is worth it, but it does not hurt to try.

Thank you for playing ! Even if you are a Cisco guy 😉 Seriously though, great post.

[ Link to Post ]



Why havent the NA servers been moved to a more centralized location

SonicDeathMonk Final PortraitNetwork quality is the foundational thing in any online service (online being the key word). Once we have a handle on being able to firmly control the quality of the Internet between player ISPs and LoL data centers we can tackle the issue of what is the best location for the servers. With the big changes in the Internet business model going on since 2013 (net neutrality, rise in huge DDoS attacks, popularity of online video exploding which has created unprecedented Internet congestion, etc.) we have had to take a step back and really think about the foundation first. Network first is the right long term strategy for players throughout North America.

[ Link to Post ]


Are you having trouble finding T1T2 lines in various parts of the country

WizardOTL Final BannerNo, we have our own all optical network and we are asking the ISPs to send League traffic through that.

[ Link to Post ]




Will you manage the network yourselves or let an outside company do that

WizardOTL Final BannerWe manage it internally. We have a great core team and we are actively recruiting to grow that group.

[ Link to Post ]



How did you as a company react when an employee suggested doing this

WizardOTL Final BannerHonestly, it took us a while to digest and wrap our heads around it. We had to meet with outside groups, and recruit people that have dealt with “service provider” networks versus data center networks. And then we ran some tests and found that this was the right path.

[ Link to Post ]



How long do you think itll take for the investment this will require to pay off

WizardOTL Final BannerWe don’t really look at it that way, this is the best for the players, so it is just something we need to do.

[ Link to Post ]




Snowdown Positive Awards Banner


Pabro Final PortraitsSay farewell to your friends, for Snowdown has passed.
The Legend of the Poro King conquered at last.
We won some, we lost some, we tossed many poros.

Some landed and some missed, that is just how it goes.
Who really won this Snowdown? Only the poros know.
Every single game, a unique Snowdown surprise.

The year may be over, but only Amumu cries–
Even if it’s over, we learned one thing at the end:
Snowdown gathers strangers, but we all leave as friends.

Thank you! Together we’ve had another incredible year and we’ve enjoyed taking a few big steps in League’s evolution with you. While Snowdown may be over, there’s one more thing we wanted to do to commemorate 2014.

Over the next few days, we’ll be rewarding positive League of Legends players with a classic Mystery Gift as thanks for being such an awesome part of our community. If you haven’t received a chat restriction, ranked restriction, 14-day ban or permanent ban in 2014, and you meet the requirements to receive a Mystery Gift (you’re Level 5 or higher and there are at least 10 skins you don’t own), you’re on our list!

Thank you again for a fantastic 2014. Share what you unlocked in your Mystery Gift below, and we’ll see you on the Rift in the new year!

[ Link to Post ]

Free Mystery Gifts for positive players

Lyte Final PortraitHope everyone had a good holiday and New Year. I’m seeing some questions about this new announcement, so hopefully can help out.

One, a few players are wondering why we are giving out an extrinsic (tangible!) reward for positive behavior when they might have heard we were against it in the past. This is a misunderstanding! We’ve always said that our player behavior philosophies include punishment, reform, and positive reinforcement. There’s no silver bullet to improving player behavior in online games, and you always need a mix of punishments and rewards. You can read more about our design philosophies here:

However, to give more context about this extrinsic reward, the key is that it is a surprise and not deterministic. What I mean by this is that it isn’t some kind of achievement system where you are sportsmanlike for your next 10 games, then directly unlock a mystery gift. If you design a system like this, players will simply behave for 10 games, unlock their mystery gift and go back to their normal ways.

This current design is something we’re trying out in 2015 and will surprise players once in awhile for their positive behavior. Because players aren’t sure what the next reward is (or when it is), players will strive to be sportsmanlike in a larger range of games to try to get all the surprises. For positive players in the game, this won’t really affect them and they’ll just get surprises every so often for being awesome. For neutral players, this effort might convince some of them to put in that extra effort in a few more games to get the next surprise. For toxic players, this effort might also encourage a few to change their ways though we expect the biggest impact to be with the neutral players. It’s important to note that we did 2 tests of this design before (with Santa Baron icon and IP Boosts), but in future roll-outs it will be possible for players to earn the next surprise if they’ve been positive since the last surprise was awarded. So, if you were chat restricted and missed a surprise, you will still be eligible for the next surprise if you were positive in the time range between the 2 surprises and are not blacklisted for life.

Not every surprise will be a mystery gift. Every surprise will differ in magnitude, and be tailored to different players. For example, the last surprise was an IP Boost which was mainly beneficial for newer players still building out their champion pools. Other surprises may include collectibles like unique summoner icons (which we tried before with the Santa Baron icon).

Hopefully this answered a few of your questions, and seeing all these surprises will nudge some players to be a little more positive in their games!

[ Link to Post ]

How can we earn the Santa Baron icon

Lyte Final PortraitIf you were positive around Q4 2012, you got a Santa Baron to keep! Use it in all its glory.

[ Link to Post ]

Lyte Final PortraitTo be fair, the Santa Baron used different criteria than not getting a chat restriction or ban, but we found being very transparent with our criteria helped players understand how to get the next surprise which is why all current surprises use very clear criteria.

[ Link to Post ]



What happens if you own too many skins to be eligible for Mystery Gifts

Lyte Final PortraitWait for the next surprise! Unfortunately we can’t ensure that all surprises are beneficial to every player, every time.

[ Link to Post ]




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



Snowdown is Here Banner

Snowdown is here! Check out all the content you can get in the store or earn in-game from today until January 6th:


New Game Mode

New Skins

New Ward Skins
Snowdown F.A.Q


Check out the Snowdown legacy sale here:

Snowdown Sales Banner


Here’s some awesome art from the official promo site:




“Gather your friends, for Snowdown draws near.
Don’t say me, I or them, we’re together this year.
There’s a chill in the air and frost on the scene —
In big comfy chairs, it’s forward we lean
Mice flicking, Keys clacking, our skillshots land clean.
No earmuffs for us — we wear headsets, you see.
Minds focused, eyes wide and lit up with glee
We win some, we lose some, that’s how the game goes
But that’s fine, we’re together, among friends, no foes.”


And here is the announcement for all regions!

[ NA ] [ EUW ] [ EUNE ] [ LAS ] [ LAN ] [ OCE ] [ BR ]  [ TR ] [ RU ]



Legend of the Poro King Game Mode

Celebrate the holidays with “Legend of the Poro King”, a custom mode played on the Howling Abyss. Here’s an overview of the new game mode:


From the official promo site:

Tired of hiding in the brush, the poros are itching to join the fray! In Legend of the Poro King, you’ll notice two poro friends following you into the fight. Each grants a summoner spell exclusive to Legend of the Poro King. They’re also the key to summoning the resplendently grandiloquent Poro King, a super (royal) minion that heals your team, regenerates mana and deals AoE damage while lumbering across the bridge to punish enemy towers. Early research points to the King’s moustache as the source of his power.


Legend of the Poro King Trailer

Poro King Banner



Poro Toss/Dash means team comps always have five initiators. Now that every champ reliably starts brawls, it’s time to settle the new poro meta. 

Keep in mind, summoning the Poro King is a massive boost to your team’s sieging potential. Don’t underestimate the AoE damage he lays down and the AoE heal he serves up. Pitch a poro every time Poro Toss is off cooldown, because the first team to rack up ten poro smacks receives a royal visit. When the King’s on your side of the fight, protect him. Conversely, depose the King immediately if he’s leading the other team.”


And here’s an in-game preview of the mode:

Champion Select is Blind Draft pick – you can ban champions and you can’t see what the enemy has picked. You also can’t change your Summoner Spells; the following two are locked for you:


Poro Toss IconPoro Toss

No Cost || Cooldown: 20 Seconds

Active: Throw a Poro a long distance, dealing true damage to the first enemy unit hit. This ability can be recast for 3 seconds if it hits an enemy, to dash to the target hit. Dashing to the target will reduce the cooldown of Poro Toss by 5 seconds.

Poros are not blocked by spell shields or wind walls because they are animals, not spells!

“Poros are a model for Runeterran aerodynamics.”


To the King IconTo the King!

No Cost || Cooldown: 10 Seconds

Passive: Hitting an enemy champion with a Poro gives your team a Poro Mark. Upon reaching 10 Poro Marks, your team summons the Poro King to fight alongside them. While the Poro King is active, no Poro Marks can be scored by either team.

Active: Quickly dash to King Poro’s side. Can only be cast while the Poro King is summoned for your team.

“Poros tug the heartstrings. The rest of you just comes along for the ride.”


The match starts with everyone at level 3. You also get a few poros to follow you.


The goal is to score poro hits on enemies with your Poro Toss. The goals are displayed on the top-right score graph.


Get 10 goals and you summon the Poro King, who will tank towers and let you push. He’ll also occasionally throw poros around for lols.


Problem is, the Poro King does almost no damage and has the AI of a bronze player. As a result, he’s more of a tanky waypoint for you to teleport back to with To the King! and not a worthwhile objective.


A TL;DR would be: the new game mode is ARAM where you get to pick your champion and everyone gets a Lee Sin Q.


These five Summoner Icons each cost 250 RP in the store. They also change how the poros that follow you look.

















Additionally, these three Poro Icons can be won by playing the new game mode.


profileIcon748Champion of the Poros

Reward: Icon of the Poro King

  • Tag an enemy 150 times with Poro Toss
  • Summon the King Poro 65 times


profileIcon749Friend of the Poros

Reward: Incoming Poro! Icon

  • Tag an enemy five times with Poro Toss
  • Use To the King Once!
  • Win a game of Legend of the Poro King


surprise-iconSnowdown Stylin’

Reward: Slay Belle Surprise Icon

  • Win a round of Legend of the Poro King with a Snowdown skin on




You can track your progress towards earning these icons! Here are links for every region:

[ NA ] [ EUW ] [ EUNE ] [ LAS ] [ LAN ] [ OCE ] [ BR ]  [ TR ] [ RU ]



Poro Rider Sejuani

Poro Sejuani is now available in store for 975 RP.


Joined by her trusty war-poro, Poro Rider Sejuani is serving up a Snowdown smackdown! She’s swatting away kill-hungry foes and slinging sugar-coated donuts at any threat to her giant ball of fluff. Be careful around that poro though – he tends to slobber.

Swat away kill-hungry foes with Poro Rider Sejuani, available until 2 AM PST on January 6 in the League of Legends store for 975 RP.

[ Link to Post ]




Poro Sej Model 1

Poro Sej Model 2

Poro Sej Recall

For her recall, Poro Sejuani summons a smaller poro that skips around her. The big poro then lifts it up in the air with its tongue. You NEED this skin.


Poro Sej Q

Poro Sej Q 2

Arctic Assault [ Q ]


Poro Sej W 1

Poro Sej W 2

Flail of the Northern Winds [ W ]


Poro Sej E 1

Poro Sej E 2

Permafrost [ E ]


Poro Sej R 1

Poro Sej R 2

Glacial Prison [ R ]



Snow Day Malzahar

Snow Day Malzahar is now available in store for 975 RP.


The Poropocalypse is nigh! Snow Day Malzahar is shredding the Snowdown slopes, blanketing the world in icy slush as he goes. And with creepy void poros loitering at his side, it’s clear that visions of sugar plums aren’t dancing in this prophet’s head.

Hit the Snowdown slopes with Snow Day Malzahar, available until 2 AM PST on January 6 in the League of Legends store for 975 RP.

[ Link to Post ]




Snow Day Malzahar Model 1

Snow Day Malzahar Model 2

Snow Day Malzahar Voidling


Snow Day Malzahar Recall

For his recall, Snow Day Malzahar does a bunch of air tricks with his voidling.


Snow Day Malzahar Basic Attack

Basic Attack


Snow Day Malzahar Q 1

Snow Day Malzahar Q 2

Call of the Void [ Q ]


Snow Day Malzahar W

Null Zone [ W ]


Snow Day Malzahar E

Malefic Visions [ E ]


Snow Day Malzahar R

Nether Grasp [ R ]



Winter Wonder Orianna

Winter Wonder Ori is now available in store for 975 RP.


After transforming her whirling ball of doom into a clockwork poro of death, Winter Wonder Orianna is wound up and ready for Snowdown! Slinging snowflakes left and right, she’s been chasing stray poros away from her new toy ever since she showed up.

Porofy your life with Winter Wonder Orianna, available until 2 AM PST on January 6 in the League of Legends store for 975 RP.

[ Link to Post ]





Winter Wonder Ori will be making an appearance on your client for Christmas; here’s her login screen animation:

Winter Ori Preview


Winter Wonder Ori Model 1

Winter Wonder Ori Model 2


Winter Wonder Ori Recall

For her recall, Winter Wonder Ori summons an audience of poros to watch her dance ballet.


Basic Attack


Command: Attack [ Q ]


Command: Dissonance [ W ]


Command: Protect [ E ]


Command Shockwave [ R ]



Poro Ward Skins

The following legacy wards will be sold at 640 RP in the store until January 6th.


Poro Ward

Poro Ward Skin


Astro Poro Ward

Astro Poro Ward


Gentleman Poro Ward



Snowdown FAQ


Game Mode Reward Icons


Q: Sweet icons, how do I get ’em?

A: Each one’s a little different. Head here to read up on the exact requirements for each.


Q: Do I have to play Legend of the Poro King to earn these icons?

A: Yes.


Q: I fulfilled the requirements and checked my icon drawer, but my reward isn’t there. What gives?

A: Give us 24 hours from the moment you meet the requirements to work out any kinks. If you still don’t have your icon, contact Player Support. They’ll fix you up.


Mystery Gifts 


Q: What’s the new Mystery Chest thing?

A: It works just like a Mystery Gift except it features content normally priced at 975 RP or more and it costs a bit more (790 RP).


Q: Are there 2x Snowdown rewards in Mystery Gifts and Mystery Chests?

A: The chance of Snowdown content appearing is doubled for Mystery Gifts, but not Mystery Chests.


Skins and Ward Skins


Q: Which skins are legacy skins?

A: Like previous years, this year’s Snowdown skins are legacy. That’s Winter Wonder Orianna, Snow Day Malzahar, and Poro Rider Sejuani. We’re offering another shot at yesteryear’s skins as well though. Learn more here.


Q: When will they go into the vault?

A: When Snowdown ends on January 6th at 2 AM PST.


Q: What about the ward skins, are they legacy too?

A: They are, but they’re not turning off until January 30th. Keep an eye out for more poro-themed ward skins in a future patch.


Poro Icons



A: First, take a deep breath, we’re gonna get through this together. You’ll need to head over to the store and unlock the icon of your choice for 250 RP. From there, switch your active summoner icon to your new poro icon by clicking the image next to your summoner name. After that, fire up a round of Legend of the Poro King and sling your newly-skinned friend to your heart’s delight.

Remember, you can’t change your summoner icon once you’re in champ select. Make your poro icon pick before you push play!


Q: Do the skins from these poro icons grant the Slaybelle Surprise icon?

A: They do not.


Q: Why can’t I keep poro skins forever?

A: Poro skins were tailor-made for Legend ofthe Poro King, so they;ll be leaving with the game mode. Like all beautiful things, poro skins are too ephemeral for this mortal plane.


Q: I keep my icon though, right?

A: You totally do.


Q: Are poro icons legacy?

A: They are indeed. They’ll be exiting the store at the end of Snowdown on January 6th at 2 AM PST.




Q: Why is my HUD so frosty and different?

A: We thought it’d be rad for Snowdown. Your normal HUD will be back after the event concludes on January 6th at 2 AM PST.


Here’s a preview of the new HUD:


HUD Update Screen 2



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

Snowdown Sales Banner

Snowdown is coming! Check out all the Christmas content you’ll find in the store:




Hidden beneath an avalanche of poros are surprises old and new from past Snowdowns. Dig through this handy list to know when we’ll uncover your Snowdown favorites.

Everything you’ll find below is on sale from December 11 through January 6. Except for the newest arrivals, which launch on December 16.


Mystery Gifting

We’re introducing a twist to mystery gifting in celebration of Snowdown this year. Now there are two types of mystery gifts: Mystery Chests and Snowdown Mystery Boxes.

Mystery Chests – 790 RP
Only 975 RP skins and above make it into these premium gifts.

Snowdown Mystery Box – 490 RP
The classic mystery gift with double the chance of unlocking Snowdown skins including the newest set: Winter Wonder Orianna, Snow Day Malzahar and Poro Rider Sejuani.


New skins wards and icons live on December 16


[ Note ] You can find previews of all the content here in the Patch 4.21 notes I posted.

Poro Rider Sejuani – 975 RP
Be careful around the war-poro – he tends to slobber.

Snow Day Malzahar – 975 RP
Prepare your friends for the impending poro-pocalypse.

Winter Wonder Orianna – 975 RP
Upgrade her whirling ball of doom to a cute clockwork poro of death.

Poro wards – 640 RP each
The fluffiest way to gain vision control on Summoner’s Rift.

Poro icons – 250 RP each
These icons will do more than just poro-ify your profile when the Legend of the Poro King game mode kicks off.



Snowdown 2009 Bundle – 20% off at 2080 RP (4324 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:

  • Snow Bunny Nidalee
  • Happy Elf Teemo
  • Workshop Nunu
  • Old Saint Zilean
  • Earnest Elf Tristana

Champions included:

  • Nidalee
  • Teemo
  • Nunu
  • Zilean
  • Tristana

Snowdown 2010 Bundle – 20% off at 4732 RP (8380 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:

  • Santa Gragas
  • Reindeer Kog’Maw
  • Silent Night Sona
  • Nutcracko
  • Re-Gifted Amumu
  • Ragdoll Poppy
  • Candy Cane Miss Fortune

Champions included:

  • Gragas
  • Kog’Maw
  • Sona
  • Shaco
  • Amumu
  • Poppy
  • Miss Fortune

Snowdown 2011 Bundle – 20% off at 3120 RP (5720 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:

  • Toy Soldier Gangplank
  • Snowmerdinger
  • Mistletoe LeBlanc
  • Festive Maokai

Champions included:

  • Gangplank
  • Heimerdinger
  • LeBlanc
  • Maokai

Snowdown 2012 Bundle – 20% off at 3120 RP (5468 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:

  • Slay Belle Katarina
  • Dark Candy Fiddlesticks
  • Bad Santa Veigar
  • Snow Day Ziggs

Champions included:

  • Katarina
  • Fiddlesticks
  • Veigar
  • Ziggs

Snowdown 2013 Bundle – 20% off at 2640 RP (4096 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:

  • Winter Wonder Lulu
  • Snow Day Singed
  • Snowstorm Sivir

Champions included:

  • Lulu
  • Singed
  • Sivir

Legacy Skins

  • Snow Bunny Nidalee: 520 RP
  • Happy Elf Teemo: 520 RP
  • Workshop Nunu: 520 RP
  • Old Saint Zilean: 520 RP
  • Earnest Elf Tristana: 520 RP
  • Silent Night Sona: 520 RP
  • Re-Gifted Amumu: 520 RP
  • Santa Gragas: 975 RP
  • Reindeer Kog’Maw: 975 RP
  • Nutcracko: 975 RP
  • Ragdoll Poppy: 975 RP
  • Candy Cane Miss Fortune: 975 RP
  • Toy Soldier Gangplank: 975 RP
  • Snowmerdinger: 975 RP
  • Mistletoe Leblanc: 975 RP
  • Festive Maokai: 975 RP
  • Slay Belle Katarina: 975 RP
  • Dark Candy Fiddlesticks: 975 RP
  • Bad Santa Veigar: 975 RP
  • Snow Day Ziggs: 975 RP
  • Snow Day Singed: 975 RP
  • Snowstorm Sivir: 975 RP
  • Winter Wonder Lulu: 1350 RP

Legacy Wards

  • Snowman Ward: 640 RP
  • Gingerbread Ward: 640 RP
  • Candycane Ward: 640 RP


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


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All PBE Updates for Patch 4 22 Cycle

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Snowdown coming December 16th

This year’s Snowdown event is scheduled to hit on December 16th! It will end on January 6th.





RekSai Scourge of the Desert

Rek’Sai will be enabled on live in the next few days; in the meantime, enjoy her creative spotlight!


“My Dearest Merina,

Arriving in Bel’zhun at last! Though it pains me to leave our beloved country, I am certain Shurima will make my fortune. Uncle Velius left word that, in addition to cartography, I’m to draw “anything and everything of value or interest, especially wildlife.” For this meager service, I’m to be paid an additional three gold securi a day! You need only avoid your mother’s matchmaking for a little while longer. I will soon be able to return to you as a worthy suitor. There are no obstacles that could divert or slow me from that pursuit.

Below is a picture of the view from my window. I couldn’t help but laugh when our innkeeper called his home “a luxurious city!” Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

Though his payments arrive regularly, I still have yet to catch up with Uncle. It is disconcerting that all I remember of him was his unrelenting mantra that “the lifeblood of the empire is our bureaucracy.”

I find myself employed as part of our nation’s endless clerical staff; ironically, not within its borders, but operating in these uncivilized lands.

My cartographic mission received an unexpected boon after I purchased an ancient stone map. The unsavory dealer was obviously a tomb raider or thief (like most Shurimans), but the item was too precious to pass by.

Today, the caravan hired teams of elujrav’i’, or “bell riders.”

These old men and boys will scout ahead to warn us of any approaching threats. The caravan master also purchased a few dozen saih’kharash’i, or “sand walkers.” These peasants — poor, even by this country’s miserable standards — will trot beside the caravan for their meals. If we find ourselves pursued, we will quickly outpace these unfortunates, leaving them behind as fodder.

In the southern desert, a great deal of suffering is endured to avoid the xer’sai and the other outerbeasts. That my unseen benefactor continues to lead me deeper into this strange and primitive land is unsettling.

A dead xer’sai.

The average-sized specimen was killed a few days ago after annihilating a herd of Eka’Sul goats. Its repulsive flesh oozes and bubbles, while decomposing at an abnormally rapid rate. Not surprisingly, the creatures are inedible. Xer’sai apparently burst from their small burrows and savage anything nearby. That this unimpressive beast should inspire such terror in the caravan’s guards speaks to their ignorance and weakness.

 With fifty securi, we purchased a ralsiji. The belligerent giant will make for an impressive display in the arena, but it lacks the ferocity of the xer’sai. Uncle Velius sent word the team is to concentrate on searching for live xer’sai. He has promised me three hundred securi for each good-sized specimen we procure! At that price, I could return home in a month with all of the fortune needed to proceed with our nuptials! I pray your cousin has stopped pestering you to meet that idiot, Genden Belgaunt.

We have entered the “sai,” the rolling plains of sand and sharp stones that define the harsh, southern desert. This is where I will finally be able to catch these mysterious creatures Uncle has fixated on. Within a fortnight, I hope to escape this hateful country’s grinding poverty and the unending silence that defines this land. There is no unnecessary noise permitted in the southland. No laughter. No idle conversation. Natives wait silently by their caravans, listening for the bells that warn of raiders or beasts. How I long to talk openly and to hear your sweet voice again.

A xer’sai the size of your pet hound attacked us yesterday.

Thankfully, our spotters saw it, and our spearmen were able to deploy in time. After it took down one of our guards, his fellows were rightfully enraged, and killed it. Though I could have sold the beast for two hundred securi, I cannot, and will not, blame my guards for taking their vengeance. The deceased wasn’t a man in our noble arenas, chasing fortune and fame; he was butchered by a vile thing without any hope for glory or wealth.

So much of Shurima seems a hateful place, determined to punish any who visit it and grind its inhabitants into submission. I am ashamed to think I once derided the people who live here.

For weeks, I’ve been hearing stories about Rek’Sai — an infamous xer’sai of unmatched size, ferocity, and speed.

“Perfect for the arena!” I laughed, grimly mocking Uncle’s repeated missives. Ridiculing my benefactor to our Shuriman trackers and guards must seem like madness to you, but I find myself feeling more connected to them than to our Noxian traditions. The desert has changed me. It is the absence of everything, and as such, it brings that which is important into sharp relief. Why should a man care for the amusements of the arena? What cherished memory is made there? It is the subtle curve of your cheek and the hint of a smile at your mouth’s edge that keeps the dread of this place at bay. I loathe the thought of Genden Belgaunt courting you and that your family considers him a worthy suitor.

Despite its bleakness, this empty outpost still possessed the only drinking water for leagues, and even spending a few hours in the shade of its ruins was a sweet relief from the unrelenting sun. Supposedly, Rek’Sai annihilated it decades ago. A few weeks past, I would have shrugged this off as yet another ignorant superstition of the desert folk. But I’ve seen too much death. I have walked past the bones of thousands. What sort of monster is capable of inflicting such horror?

Even with the supposed expertise of our Noxian trappers, I find myself doubting we have the means to capture this beast.

A burrow of Rek’Sai.

What possessed me to follow Uncle’s Noxian trappers there? And on the threshold of this beast’s realm, with the evidence right before us, why didn’t we turn back? It was as if we were standing on the edge of a great cliff and were seized by some primal instinct to lean against that emptiness until we plummeted to our deaths.

Thankfully, my Shuriman friends convinced me to turn back before it was too late. I wish I had heeded their advice to look away from the events that followed.

Truly, I cannot even explain what I saw. No violence in the arena could begin to describe this creature’s unspeakable horror. What I witnessed, within the blink of an eye, returns to me endlessly. I do not sleep for fear of seeing it again, and its memory seems always on the edge of my vision. The outerbeasts are a plague, which destroyed these lands, but Rek’Sai is death incarnate.

I hope I never see this unforgiving desert again, and yet, I know now I could never return to Noxus. I do not see our nation as strong. We are as arrogant and foolish as children.

I am seeking a position near the Demacian border or in the southern jungles – anywhere that takes me far from the devastation this creature has wrought. Would it be possible for you to live outside of our capital? Sadly, I know your answer. I must accept that long ago you moved on from my failed courtship, while I was trapped in a limbo of my own design.

I have enclosed the stone artifact I acquired and based my maps on. It is a wedding gift. I truly hope you will find happiness with Genden Belgaunt, but I pray you will not end our correspondence.
And in hope and love, I will always wait for your letters at the edge of our empire’s domain.





And here are the images from the creative spotlight:

Reksai Art 10 Reksai Art 9 Reksai Art 7

Reksai Art 8 Reksai Art 6 Reksai Art 5

Reksai Art 4 Reksai Art 3 Reksai Art 2

Reksai Art 1



Patch 4 21 Discussion Banner

You can check out the patch notes here.



Why was ChoGaths ult changed

Meddler Final PortraitOur primary goal with these changes was to give Cho’gaths that fall too far behind (lose all/most of their stacks and can’t afford to build them much because they need the CD available) some better options for getting them back, without trivializing stack building. Secondary goals/effects of that change should be a bit of a jungling buff and hopefully a few extra interesting trade offs around who to ult and when. Power wise we were aiming for a slight buff overall, so if we were wrong on that and this is a nerf overall we’ll likely follow up with a buff somewhere.

[ Link to Post ]





How does Nocturnes E Passive work

Scarizard Final PortraitOnce Unspeakable Horror completes (and they become feared), you’ll get bonus movespeed moving towards them.

Due to the way that fears have functioned for quite a while now (enemies move away from you), you can effectively use this to ‘steer’ enemies with nocturne in a direction that you choose, while still slashing them into bits.

Hope this makes sense! P.S. Noc’s passive works for /all/ fears, so in the event that you’re chasing someone who happens to run into a jack in the box… :3

[ Link to Post ]



Champions disabled due to bugs following Patch 4 21







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Will we get a new skin for Jinx soon

IronStylus Final PortraitSome context:

We’ve had plenty of ideation sessions for Jinx, some concepts also. We scrapped a couple because they weren’t quite hitting the right feels.

That said, Jinx is also a lot of work from a technical side since she has 3 weapons which all have unique animations, limbs, hair, lots of moving parts. VFX also, each weapon ability having distinct visuals.

What’s currently in the works will be getting a nice overall treatment, it’ll take a little time.

[ Link to Post ]



Dragonslayer Braum - Passive Indicator

[ Note ] The update was spurred by El Tigre Braum having a visually different passive indicator.

Mindbullets Final PortraitHey all,

Just wanted to let everyone know that we’re giving Dragonslayer Braum’s passive indicator a unique design later this patch. Originally, we erred on the side of caution with the pattern because Braum was a new champ and there were concerns that a different design could cause confusion during gameplay. Now that he’s been around for a while, we’re confident that adding this in won’t cause any problems.

Plus, it looks cool as hell.

Appreciate the feedback on this!

[ Link to Post ]



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



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Showdown & Magma Chamber Info

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Single Posts

Champion Rotation – Preseason Week 8



Showdown & Magma Chamber Info


Magma chamber info banner

Is Magma Chamber destined to never be? Will One-for-All make a return? Keep reading!



In December, we debuted our second Featured Game Mode, Showdown. We wanted to share some results from the mode’s first run, and give an update on the…less icy map we showed off at the 2013 All-Star Game and said we’d launch before the next season.

The idea for a 1v1/2v2 map originated from a Thunderdome project and ended up evolving into what you saw at the 2013 All-Star Game. At the time, the Featured Game Modes project was just kicking off and the team decided to take a deeper dive into a 1v1/2v2 game mode. They discovered a few things:

  • Pros (and internal play testers) actually preferred the longer lanes, health packs and brush of Howling Abyss
  • Magma Chamber ran alright on the nigh-supercomputers pros were playing on, but it was far from optimized and had a slew of unforeseen performance issues

There were also a few questions that needed answers:

  • Would 1v1/2v2 be a popular and replayable mode for players?
  • What’s the correct map layout? Should players be able to choose a lane on Summoner’s Rift? Should there be health pickups? Brush?
  • What’s the optimal rule set for a 1v1 or 2v2 matchup?

So we had to make a decision – we wanted to try out a game mode like this, but creating a mode-specific map represented a significant commitment when we weren’t sure the game mode was going to be something players wanted. Since players seemed really interested in a 1v1/2v2 experience, we chose to try the game mode out on Howling Abyss – an art-complete and optimized map – to gather player feedback and data.

Showdown was a relatively short-lived experience for most players. Tons of players tried Showdown out when it was first released, but, after only a week, players worldwide spent less than 1% of all in game time on Showdown. Generally, we heard good feedback about the 1v1/2v2 gameplay on Howling Abyss as compared to Magma Chamber. Players also had ideas about continued improvement of the 1v1/2v2 experience such as being able to do specific top, mid or bot lane matchups on SR.

Ultimately, we concluded that Magma Chamber simply isn’t the right place for us to further develop a great 1v1/2v2 experience and the mode itself isn’t sustainable as a permanent feature. So, after many discussions and a lot of fact checking, we’re halting development of the Magma Chamber map you saw at last year’s All-Star Game. That doesn’t mean that a lot of you (and us) didn’t have fun dueling it out on Howling Abyss and we really want to bring back 1v1/2v2 in the future.

(If you’re interested in the complete breakdown of our Featured Game Modes data as well as some information on the future of Showdown, check out Brackhar’s post.)

We know we changed our minds after making a commitment and we’re sorry. We hate doing it. Thebiggest promise we make, and the one that makes us believe this is the right decision, is that we aspire to be the most player-focused game company in the world. We’re always trying to make decisions that we think are in the best interest of players and in this case, we think that the best path forward is to perfect 1v1/2v2  as a Featured Game Mode. We’re excited about future possibilities and there are already more projects in the works we think you guys will love.



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Showdown Statistical breakdown


Snowdown approaches

Let’s have a professional analysis of both modes – how popular were Snowdown and One-For-All?



BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: Hey Everyone!

With Snowdown now a few weeks behind us, I wanted to talk with you guys about how the mode was received, some of the feedback that was given and what our future plans are for the experience. This post uses One For All as a comparison point, so you’ll get to see some neat data there as well. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

First, let’s start by discussing the feedback we received from the Micro Feedback Tool (MFT). The MFT is a tool where we pose a simple statement to players like “The game of Showdown I just played was fun,” and ask them to rate their agreement on a scale from 1 to 5. We use the MFT for almost every feature we release, and it’s a great way for us to hear player’s first impressions.

For any featured game mode we create, there are three main questions we ask via the MFT: Was the game fun, did it feel different from other game modes, and would you like to play it again. We then collect data at three different times during the event: once when the event starts, once midway through, and once at the end. This helps us understand how player sentiment changes as exposure to the game mode increases, and it can be very useful in separating out novelty appeal.

Generally speaking, we view a response above 4.0 as representing strong agreement in the community, and as you can see above, both 1v1 and 2v2 scored very well on all metrics. Additionally, each question remained stable throughout the different time periods on all questions, meaning, the people who continued to play Showdown enjoyed the mode and left with a favorable opinion. 2v2 generally scored slightly better on each of these questions which we expected given the increased amount of combat interaction. This leads us to believe that Showdown is a candidate for returning sometime in the future.

Next, let’s take a look at some play data and see how it compared to One For All.

This is the first time we’ve shown data like this, so let me give some context. One of the more common metrics we use to measure a game mode’s appeal is the number of minutes a player spends playing each particular mode. By looking at the percent of time they spend in any particular experience, we can judge how it holds up against other game modes. Additionally, “minutes played” allows us to compare game modes with drastically different game lengths without biasing in one direction or another. One For All fares very well by this metric, averaging almost 23.4% of all playtime across all regions. Showdown also fared well, though it only accounted for about 2.3% of all play during the time period.

Because much of the appeal of these game modes comes from the novelty aspect, we also do a breakdown of playtime across the lifetime of a mode to see how it falls off. The below graph shows the average play time of both One For All and Showdown as a product of time.

As you can see, both One For All and Showdown had a high spike in playtime when they were first turned on, with One For All accounting for 37% and Showdown 8% on their respective first days. As time passed the amount of time both modes were played decreased. One For All lost 75% of its playtime and Showdown lost 90% by the end. This drop-off for both modes is a pretty good indicator that these modes are likely better suited as short-term events rather than permanent game modes. If the modes were left on permanently, the queue times for each would be pretty atrocious after a few more weeks.

All of the above is in line with how we generally expect featured game modes to perform, and this type of data helps us determine what to pursue next. Both modes successfully delivered on being fun, memorable experiences, and my team wants to thank all of you who played and gave your feedback. We really appreciate your support.

Speaking of feedback, a number of you wrote to us and gave your ideas on how we could improve Showdown in the future. I’d like to let you guys in on some of the early ideas we’re discussing.

  • The amount of time spent in champion select was too long for how long the games were.
    • After playing a number of games after release, this is a point we definitely agree with. One idea we’re discussing right now is potentially making each match a best of 3 or best of 5 competition instead of a one-off, which should help while also opening up some interesting counter play opportunities. There are a number of variants we could use also, from letting you bring in multiple champions that you cycle between to not resetting gold and xp so late game champions/builds could potentially shine more. All are open to discussion.
  • Players wanted an experience more like top/mid/bot on SR.
    • We’re pretty happy with the hybrid experience we created by doing Showdown on Howling Abyss, but we also understand the desire to have a matchup that is more true to the lanes of Summoner’s Rift. One thing we’re discussing is potentially having Showdown return on SR with different queues for top, mid or bot lane matchups. That way people who really do want to see who is the best mid-laner can, and no one will be able to use the excuse that they lost because of the health packs or brush differences.
  • It’d be great to have a ladder showing progress.
    • This is definitely a cool idea and one we want to pursue. Our team doesn’t have any web developers on it so we’d have to negotiate with some of the other teams here at Riot, but there’s value here for sure!

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to sharing more data with you in the future!




Are the modes coming back?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: Yeap! When any mode is received well it definitely becomes a candidate, with the question of when being dependent on its relative popularity.




Suggestion: Challenge players to Showdown from post-game screen


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: Yeah, that’d be a pretty cool addition. I’ll bring it up with the team.





Why are there such long breaks between game modes?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: The breaks do a number of things that are helpful, from giving my team some time to make game modes that are more complex to also helping make each mode an event in the community so the play rate is high. As for why we don’t make the game modes permanent I talk a bit about it in this post:….php?t=4019198



Is it true that making these modes permanent now will lead to long queue times?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: Well, you can see from the data that the play rate dropped off substantially after just two weeks for Showdown, and it didn’t show signs of stopping. A few more weeks and we’d likely be looking at 20 minute queue times commonly, which is unacceptable for a 5 minute average game mode.



Will you give us statistics like this for Champion win rates?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: I can’t speak to champion win rates, but I’d love to keep doing this for any of the featured game modes we do.





What do you think of a Capture-the-Flag mode?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: Could be pretty cool! I think bombing run would be a bit better than CTF, but I like the idea!





Can you explain how using game time is an unbiased way of gathering data?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: Sure, I’ll take a stab at it. Broadly speaking, the idea is the players generally have an amount of time that they’re interested in playing LoL when they sit down. Have you ever had a 80 minute SR game and thought “Man, that game was super long, I can’t play another” or had a 20 minute surrender and thought “Oh hey, that game was super fast, I can probably get in another one?” That’s this concept in practice.

As such, what differences in game time do is they affect the minimum amount of time you’ll play a mode in a night, more than anything else. If a game mode is really engaging you’ll play it for all the time you’re on, and if it’s not you’ll spend that time elsewhere. If we had shipped Showdown as a best of 5 match vs the heads up one we did, our expectation is that we would have seen a similar amount of time spent in Showdown with on the order of a fifth the total number of game starts. It is fair that the Showdown experience spent more proportional time in champion select than our other modes does, but even if you multiply the average by 1.2x it doesn’t really move the needle appreciably.


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: We use % play time as a way to measure player’s engagement with a game mode and feel that it effectively normalizes for engagement across varying game length since players naturally self-budget their time. Since Showdown had a very low % play time by the end of its lifetime and had much worse falloff than any of our other modes during a same time window after launch, we felt that Showdown was not a particularly long-term engaging mode.

The caveat here is that the MFT data shows that the game mode was received well and left people with a positive opinion, meaning that it’s a decent candidate to try bringing back with changes in the future. However, as currently envisioned it’s not a strong candidate for being a permanent game mode.



What do you mean by “spending time in Champion Select”?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: What I was trying to refer to by referencing champion select was heading off a potential counter argument. Champion select for Showdown takes roughly 2-4 minutes to get through, and the average Showdown time was 7 minutes. As such you could argue that only looking at game time isn’t a great measure of engagement, since spending time banning champions/selecting champions is a much larger proportion of the experience compared to other game modes. All I was trying to say was that, even if you inflate the playtime of Showdown to account for that time in champion select, it doesn’t appreciably change the results.

As for accounting for players yes. Average play time accounts for that inherently, which is why we use it. Number of game starts is where you really have to account for different team sizes, and as such is a confusing metric in this case. That’s why we left it out.



Using this methology, are Dominion / Twisted Treeline worth maintaining?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: We want to try and do some things with Dominion via the auspices of featured game modes, we just need to figure out what first.





Why aren’t these game modes available all the time?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: Every game mode that is on live increases the cost of any change that we do. Some of the balance changes that we’ve done already have broken One For All as an example, so we’ll need to go back and fix it up before we bring it back. Now imagine that we’re having to check 10+ game modes for every change we do, and you can see how slow development could become.



Will you include Team Builder in featured game modes?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: Yeah, I think Team Builder has a lot of potential for cool stuff in featured game modes! I definitely want to explore the possibilities once it’s released.




Are you concerned that MFT data might be inherently skewed upwards?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: We use these types of questions for a bunch of stuff. Trust me; when players don’t like something they let us know. 😛





Do these stats include custom games?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: Yeap.




Don’t you think not resetting gold and xp would make for some really bad snowballing, where eventually it would be extremely difficult to come back from a bad position?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: Possibly, but maybe we also remove the gold/xp bonus from champion kills. The idea basically comes from the question of if it’s interesting to see how a matchup fairs at different champ levels. Some champs are better late game, so maybe it’d be more fair to them. Dunno! It’s just an idea currently.



Do you think making 1v1 and 2v2 “hardcore” conceptually alienated a lot of players?


BrackharButton Rioter Brackhar: I dunno. We’ve got a pretty large segment of out playerbase who self identify as hardcore/competitive players, so I don’t think that’s intrinsically it. As for the timing question I don’t know if I’d agree with the argument as phrased.




Are Fighters poorly designed?


Irelia banner

Morello explains Riot’s philosophy in dealing with top lane picks. Happy times guaranteed below! 



Why did you nerf Irelia so many times?


morello Button Rioter Morello: Irelia’s not a special case to me, but a representation of the problem that many fighters have overall – you bring power to the table, and your function is to outpower everything in terms of raw effectiveness.

Let me give you a little history lesson on fighters from the old days;

Originally, melee consisted of mostly true tanks and melee carries – Yi and Tryndamere to be exact. Quickly, the latter category really was phased out by ranged AD who could do their jobs, and better. Sure, melee did more damage, but with itemization, the damage wasn’t meaningful enough to make up for the extra risk incurred by melee ranged attacks.

The team saw this and wanted to solve it. After a few attempts and one successful champion launch on this front, Garen, Xin was released. Xin was our first true love letter to melee (Garen was more designed to be a straight-forward champion).

And oh, what a love letter it was. Xin was tough as a nail, bursty as an assassin and had chainable CC. Our solution was to try to give them everything we could to make up for the melee nature. While Xin’s tuning was absurd on launch, the formula worked in the “here’s how melee can be viable in LoL.” The problem is that approach left us little we could do to adjust playbalance outside of power and numbers.

All-the-while, we were continuing to launch champions at a break-neck pace. I started at the Miss Fortune patch, and I think while she was launching we had 6 other champions almost done at that time. I’d be surprised if Irelia wasn’t kit-locked already by then (hard to remember as I’m old now).

So, we kept on keeping on – Irelia, Renekton, J4, half of 2012, etc etc. All the while, these melee were enjoyable, people were playing them, we saw some new trends with the S1 switch – lots was looking up.

The problem was that we didn’t have nearly the sophistication with understanding what effect this would have on the game long-term. We’d all get different insights and peeks into it, but never anything to change course. It was really in the end of 2011 (after a very storied Volibear development) where we went “OK, what the **** is happening here.”

Now, we get into last year and up to today. Fighters have these problem more than even (Hi, Riven!) and they all live in a world where any of them that don’t are completely useless. In the short-term, we try to play whack-a-mole to keep it in check somewhat, but it’s a bit of a futile battle – as long asone champion has this problem, no others can show up with interesting stuff, meaningful weaknesses, or a laning phase that doesn’t have everything.

And our balance was going this way on fighters too – Nasus’ eventual rise from trash to god, Jax’s two redos, etc. Our long-term desires were directly being fought by the actual reality. So while we knew we wanted to fix it, we didn’t want to, say, release Vi in a state where she wasn’t playable. I think it’s a pretty harsh kick in the dick to make something really exciting and then go “jk she’s bad forever” because we made her in line with what we think fighters should be, rather than what they are.

So, “Better Nerf Irelia” is just a representation of why fighters break League of Legends, and in the abstract sense, we have a lot of old stuff that does it.

For what it’s worth, I’m pretty much fed up with that state of the game as a designer. I want to go hard. I want to reconstruct this stuff. There’s no way we can start making interesting characters in these lanes when you get a ton of tool variety, reliability, power, and stats for just playing your character competently. Meanwhile, something that takes nuance and hard work is just bad – because his competition for power is so high, there’s no way he can be in that space.



Are Fighters (Bruisers, for old-timers) the primary offender when it comes to balance?


morelloButton Rioter Morello: I think fighters are the worse in this, but ADC (via items and some kits) and assassins have similarly patterned problems. Mages have tool overload, and I think mobility creep is out of control too. All on the hit list.

I’m OK if someone quits with rage over “my champ got nerfed a lot”, I’m not OK if someone quits because “eh, League is getting boring” – the road we’ll be on if we don’t do something about it.



Do you have the team necessary to make major balance changes?


morelloButton Rioter Morello: I’m hiring/have hired at least 4 people for Core Gameplay/Live Balance this year. So there’s some 





Are you willing to make those changes?


morelloButton Rioter Morello: I guess I’d rather have us fail spectacularly (and likely make big progress) than not shoot for it.





Ghostcrawler – New Lead Designer


ghostcrawler banner

Ghostcrawler, former Lead Balance Designer for World of Warcraft, steps in the shoes of a Rioter with a very important mission – beat Morello at nerfing things.



Will Ghostcrawler replace Morello as Lead Designer?


morelloButton Rioter Morello: Nah – League’s a huge game and there’s a lot to do. GC’s actually some MUCH-needed help on the leadership side – it’s just too much for any one person to handle and make the progress I’d like to see. We’ll be dividing up some of the effort on leading it, but other than making sure more things have support, the teams are pretty unchanged from who’s doing want (Statikk and friends are still doing Game Health, Meddler still heads champ development, we just have more expertise to draw on now).

A lot of the things we want to focus on with game health this year (and preseason is a kick-off to this effort) is primarily around fixing a lot of the old problems. After finishing up support (IE the gold item particulars + Annie problem), we want to focus on adding choice and depth by taking a HARD look at “ball of stats” stuff so we can actually introduce interesting stuff with trade-offs.



Do people blame you because they don’t know what Lead Designer’s job is?


morelloButton Rioter Morello: There’s a lot of this – people think I suck at numeric balancing because I DO, but that’s also why I don’t actually do it. Funny how that works 

That being said, the leads ARE responsible for what goes out. So it’s our fault still 



How do you feel about Greg (“Ghostcrawler”) joining as Lead Designer?


Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: I appreciate the positive thoughts.

I worked with Greg both directly and indirectly for years. He’s an awesome guy who took on the impossible task of doing what Morello has done for league for so long on a game where people are incredibly invested in their character and any nerf is an extremely personal offense.

It’s a tough, tough job. Greg tanked it like a champion.

I’m excited to see how helps bolster our ranks.



Single Posts



Is Miss Fortune still a viable pick?


ricklessabandon Button Rioter ricklessabandon: Miss Fortune seems to perform fairly well, but with the recent releases and/or updates for other Marksmen the spotlight hasn’t been on her for a little while. That said, I do have some changes in mind i’d like to get on the pbe soon, so if those go over well they could ship in the foreseeable future.



Is Irelia getting a full rework?


ricklessabandon Button Rioter ricklessabandon: Just to be clear, ‘more than a small number adjustment or two’ could include anything from reworking one ability up to redoing her whole kit—it means that it’s more than a couple of days worth of time, and that’s about all it means as far as ruling out possibilities.

Until someone starts working on her in earnest, I couldn’t really say which other kit update (Master Yi, Katarina, Trundle, Ahri, etc) Irelia’s would be like.



Team Builder available (again) on the PBE!


Lyte Button Rioter Lyte: Summoners,

Team Builder is coming to the PBE today! On Monday and Tuesday (1/13 and 1/14), we’re going to run a PBE test of Team Builder from 1:00 – 5:00 PM PST. Select PBE testers will be able to try out this new feature and give us invaluable feedback on its design and functionality.

We got a lot of great feedback on Team Builder in the first two PBE tests, and we have been hard at work incorporating some of your feedback. Team Builder is a complete re-design of Champion Select, which means it’s extremely complicated and there are a lot of changes. One of our goals is to keep collaborating with players on this feature, and collect feedback throughout the development process.

What does this mean for players?

As players, you’ll be able to help us test the feature extremely early in the process, and work directly with developers to evolve the feature over time.

PBE is a smaller server, so queue times will be longer, and gameplay experiences will not represent a Live server. Matches might be very unbalanced as players of all skill levels will appear in the same match, but our focus is on testing the feature and collecting your feedback.

The following additions have been made for this PBE test:

  • Skin Selection now works, but skin preferences won’t be saved from game-to-game
  • Role selection is currently limited to “Any Role”
  • Limited Match Found Ceremony (you’ll hear a gong!)
  • Added tool-tips for several buttons in the feature
  • Lots of polish!

The following bugs have been fixed for this PBE test:

  • Summoner Spell selections are now saved
  • Summoner Icons will now show up in the loading screen
  • Team Builder games will now be available for Spectator Mode
  • Reduced the volume of sound effects
  • Added missing buttons in the Champion Select window
  • You now receive a notification when a group disbands
  • Team Builder animations can now be disabled in the client

The following features are still turned off or incomplete for this PBE test:

  • Friend Invites from Friends List
  • Dynamic Matchmaking Adjustments
  • Estimated Wait Times
  • Anti-Abuse System

How do I get involved and help make Team Builder awesome?

We’ll be using this thread to collect player feedback and answer questions about this PBE test. We’re looking for more general feedback since we’ll be on PBE longer than the previous tests. For example, where are all the places we can add polish to the feature, and are there any points in the feature that seems confusing to you.

RiotDoctahWayne has a thread in the Bugs Forum that will be collecting information on bugs you’ve found in Team Builder.

To participate in future beta testing for League of Legends, apply for beta access here.




Champion Rotation – Preseason Week 8


Rotation Preseason Week 8

The following Champions will be free-to-play until January 21st!


  • Ahri – 6300 IP / 975 RP
  • Caitlyn – 4800 IP / 880 RP
  • Corki – 3150 IP /790 RP
  • Fizz – 6300 IP / 975 RP
  • Kha’Zix – 6300 IP / 975 RP
  • Lux – 3150 IP / 790 RP
  • Rammus – 3150 IP / 790 RP
  • Rengar – 6300 IP / 975 RP
  • Taric – 1350 IP / 585 RP
  • Udyr – 1350 IP / 585 RP



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