Sometimes, even giants can have an off day. Or week. Or few months. League of Legends's new Clash mode (automated, paid tournaments with cosmetic prizes) is officially mothballed until further notice, after an initial failure to launch back in May. In a new development blog post, League lead producer Joseph 'New001' Tung details the technical problems they've been encountering, and why it's going to take a while yet until Clash is ready to roll out globally.
While initial testing in some regions went smoothly, with Clash tests playing out as intended in EUNE, Oceania, Korea, Russia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines, their server infrastructure buckled and failed to match players correctly against each other when they tested it in Vietnam, Turkey and EU West. While smaller regions behaved, the strain on their servers from attempting to create so many matches simultaneously led to missed connections and (in some cases) matches declared won by default.
Right now, Riot are reworking the Clash back-end a little, and trying to stagger how many games are started simultaneously. This will likely lead to some players waiting longer for their team to be matched up with an opponent, but it shouldn't cause the servers to scream, fall over and burst into flames. That alone should be a major improvement. League being the monolith that it is, Riot don't have the option of bringing the entire network down to massively overhaul systems, so they've got to do this one small step at a time, and live.
Until they're ready to roll Clash out again, all regional tests are suspended until further notice. Once they're ready to start testing again, they'll be doing it in stages. First rolling out smaller test tourneys on the Public Beta Environment servers, and then onto full regional testing again, with free entry to 1-3 day tournaments, presumably starting with smaller regions and working their way up to America. Once they're happy that things won't explode once more, they'll launch Clash in full, but there's no word on when that'll be happening now.
Regular, non-Clash League of Legends is functioning fine and free to play as always, of course.