League's tossed out a lot of alternative modes over the years. ARAM (All Random All Mid) was always a blast, but do you remember the daft event ones like Odyssey: Extraction? Star Guardian: Invasion? PROJECT// Overcharge? Did any of you ever actually play Dominion or Twisted Treeline back in the day? Me neither.
Riot are done making throwaway modes - from now on, any new addition to League Of Legends is in it for the long haul. It's not just because Teamfight Tactics is a ridiculously popular auto battler. Promise.
Big surprise: Riot probably weren't planning to kill TFT. Dumping a massively popular first-wave auto battler would be an absolutely wild move. But the decision speaks of a wider move away from gimmicky little event modes towards, as Riot look towards making meaty alternatives to the whole three-lane maths bash thing.
Teamfight is different. It plays nothing like the MOBA is spawned from. Writing in a developer blog, principal game designer Stephen Mortimer explains that the team want to move further away from simply slapping a new skin on League, tweaking the numbers and calling it a day.
"Our goal with alternative game modes has changed quite a bit over the last year. In the past, we've explored modes that put a unique spin on the core League Of Legends gameplay. Players were excited to try these modes but would quickly return to Summoner’s Rift after the novelty wore off.
"What we found was that modes that focused on being unique could never keep interest in the same way modes that focused on high replayability could. So to that end, the Modes Team is focusing all of our attention on improving the existing long-term game modes and discovering new, potentially long-term modes that you can play for years."
Riot are already keeping pace in updating Teamfight. This week's 9.15 update made broad changes to champs and traits, while the upcoming patch 9.16 will add four more League characters and another Origin, Hextech.
Did none of those words make any sense? Same here. Fortunately, our Matt wrote up a handly auto battler primer this morning you're still feeling totally lost.