Posts Tagged ‘Riot Games’

League Of Legends World Championships: SKT Meet Samsung Galaxy In Grand Finals

Summoner's CupLeague of Legends’ World Championships tournament is about to reach its 2016 conclusion with the Grand Finals in Los Angeles’ Staples Center. The finalists comprise two of the LCK’s top teams (that’s the Korean domestic league, in case you’re new to professional LoL), SK Telecom T1 and Samsung Galaxy. They will be playing for over $2m* as well as the “best in the world” title, and the stupidenormous Summoner’s Cup trophy.

So what do you need to know about the two sets of participants?

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Worlds Semifinals Bring The Best Series Of Competitive League Of Legends I’ve Ever Seen

Miss Fortune (I am still so not convinced of the practicality of this outfit.)

This weekend saw reigning champions, SK Telecom T1, take on Korean League’s domestic champions ROX Tigers in a spectacular best-of-five which immediately earned a place as one of the greatest matches of any League of Legends World Championships to date. It’s definitely the best I’ve seen, and it occupied my thoughts for most of the following day. I even found myself pondering bits of it during the rather less compelling showdown between H2K and Samsung Galaxy the following evening.

Read on for the weekend’s Worlds 2016 news, but here be spoilers:

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League Of Legends World Championships 2016:
The Weekend’s Semifinals

Summoner's Cup

Here’s a quick and dirty guide to this week’s League of Legends World Championships semifinals match-ups if you’ve not been following the story so far! The TL;DR if even a quick and dirty guide is too much reading is that there will be at least one Korean team in the finals no matter how the weekend matches play out and Europe’s path towards the Summoner’s cup is shooting up several difficulty levels. Here’s a little more:

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League Of Legends Pre-Season Dates And Info

League of Legends Pre-Season

League of Legends’ [official site] 2016 season will be coming to an end on November 7 (so, the week after the World Championships finals). Perhaps slightly confusingly the 2017 season will be beginning about a month later on 6 December 2016. I wonder if we’re just going to start a month earlier every year from now on and the LoL calendar will start to feel like how you buy a magazine in June and it proudly tells you you’ve bought the October issue. Anyway! That means a pre-season period of about a month in which Riot will be making a host of big season-defining changes.

Let’s take a look at what’s been announced so far, piece by piece as I don’t think we’ve done that yet:

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League Of Legends World Championships 2016:
Who’s In The Semifinals?

Smeb - ROX Tigers

The semi-finalists for League of Legends’ 2016 World Championships have been determined thanks to a long weekend of Chicago-based MOBA-ing for the quarterfinals. But did the wildcards make it through? Are Europe and North America still in with a shot at the title? Did anyone manage to elbow SKT aside on their way to the Summoner’s Cup? I’ll let you know who got through after the jump so, y’know, spoilers ahead!

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What You Need To Know For The League Of Legends World Championships 2016

League of Legends’ [official site] tentpole/flagship event, the World Championships, is ramping up the pressure as we reach the knockout stage. There’s a $1m top prize and a ridiculously enormous cup at stake but what if you’ve not been keeping up with the story so far? That’s where this primer comes in! Here’s what you need to know if you’re only just dipping your toes into the pro gaming waters…

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League Of Legends: Riot Kades Talks Mechs Vs Minions

Earlier this week Riot announced its first foray into boardgames with Mechs vs Minions – a co-op tabletop experience set in the League of Legends [official site] universe. If you’re a boardgamer you’ll get the basic concept from “Robo Rally meets Descent” with a Legacy-esque campaign component. If you’re not, probably the easiest way to put this is that you’re working together to program little characters in mech suits so they can be victorious in their missions, although taking damage can make them go haywire (as can, for example, misreading cards and forgetting your mech will turn 90 degrees and thus you end up accidentally on the other side of the board throwing a ripsaw into thin air. FOR EXAMPLE.) It’s also heavier than most newborns, coming in at 12.8 lb on my bathroom scales.

I played snippets of the game during development (I guess kind of like videogame previews) so I was pleased to talk with Mechs Vs Minions lead Chris ‘Kades’ Cantrell to see how the idea had developed over time, how Riot had made the ridiculously huge game remotely affordable, and how RPS alumnus Quinns had managed to make more work for everyone (in a good way):

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League Of Legends Worlds Anthem 2016:
Better Or Worse Than Warriors?

It’s THAT time of year. And by “THAT time of year” I mean the time of year when someone has to try to topple Imagine Dragons’ Warriors from its throne as the best League of Legends World Championship anthem of all time. 2016 is the turn of Zedd and Riot’s collaboration – Ignite, with its cool video and references to Faker’s broccoli japery from 2015 and other key Worlds moments over the years.

Is it as good as Warriors?

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League Of Legends Champ:
Nature-Themed Ivern And His Jungle Friends

Ivern, The Green Father is the latest champion to be announced for League of Legends [official site]. He piqued my curiosity partly because new LoL champion, but also because I’m always interested to see how the nature-themed characters turn out in MOBAs. Ivern sounded kind of treant-ish and treants are one of those MOBA staples where all the games kind of have their own version – Treant Protector in Dota, Sylvanus (well, Grover, the treant Sylvanus rides) in Smite, Maokai in League, so what was Ivern doing that was different?

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Riot Announces League Of Legends Board Game

Riot have announced Mechs vs Minions – a co-operative boardgame based on their mega-popular MOBA, League of Legends [official site]. The game will launch in October (October 13th, to be exact) which makes sense given October is the month of the League of Legends World Championships so millions of eyeballs are on the game at that point. But what does a board game that riffs on Summoner’s Rift look like?

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League Of Legends Releases Free Digital Art Book

As part of Riot Games’s tenth anniversary as a company, the developers have put out a digital League of Legends [official site] art book. There’s also a physical version which will set you back $75 or $150 for the (out of stock) collector’s edition, but the digital version is free.

There are actually some really cool sketches and pieces of concept art included – I’ve popped some of my favourites below – plus you do get some insights into how particular champions developed, but I’d say it also doesn’t seem to dig particularly deep or offer up meatier reflections on the decisions made over the development of the game.

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League Of Legends: Statikk Explains Yorick’s Rework

Yorick, perhaps League of Legends most awkward character, is almost at the end of an in-depth makeover. He’ll emerge from his champion update cocoon after a stint on the Public Beta Environment as the Shepherd of Souls to [hopefully] acclaim and popularity, much as Tai emerged from her fashion makeover at the hands of Cher and Dion in Clueless to become part of the elite high school clique. Lead Game Designer James “Statikk” Bach talked me through the gravedigger’s revamp including how he almost became evil royalty (Yorick, not Statikk)!

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League Of Legends: Meddler On The Timing Of THAT Laneswap Patch

League Of Legends‘ [official site] Lead Gameplay Designer, Andrei Meddler van Roon, was in Birmingham over the weekend as the UK’s huge LAN event, Insomnia, was also playing host to League Fest – a dedicated League Of Legends event. I couldn’t get up there but I managed to get a bit of time with Meddler on the phone and, after recommending the Sea Life Centre, we got to discussing the recent patch kerfuffle, the rhythm of game tweaks, favourite game additions and more:

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League Of Legends: The Importance Of Laneswap Patch And Revenue Drama

Catching up on what I missed while I was out of town means I’m currently picking through the fallout from an interview with Andy ‘Reginald’ Dinh about how a major change to a part of the early game involving swapping lanes wrought by a League Of Legends [official site] patch affect affects professional players. Regi owns one of the most well-known teams on the LoL scene – Team SoloMid – and called the current situation “absolutely fucking ridiculous”.

I’m going to run through the drama because it feels important to the shape of the current LCS (League of Legends Championship Series) system and also acts as a decent way of explaining some of the problems/concerns around how competitive gaming works in general:

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Riot Files Lawsuit Against League Of Legends Cheat Dev

Riot Games has presented cheating software LeagueSharp with a lawsuit as of last week. The program lets League of Legends players earn experience at an impossibly high rate, spot enemies, and boosts accuracy to name but a few. It’s no good, very bad, cheaty stuff.

LeagueSharp provides a subscription service in which players can pay $15 to $50 a month to run the software’s scripts in their game. Riot claims that the software is guilty of copyright infringement, stating in the filing that LeagueSharp had to reverse engineer League of Legends in order to build their program. The company is none too pleased that LeagueSharp is profiting from their efforts while diminishing the quality of the player experience.

Riot’s filing also accuses the makers of LeagueSharp with attacking League of Legends’ servers, training players in how to cheat without getting caught, and, perhaps worst of all, doxxing one of Riot’s staff members. The lawsuit notes that LeagueSharp, “disseminated personal and non-public information about a Riot employee, threatened that employee, and posted offensive comments on the employee’s social media.”

Riot Games had attempted to settle the dispute out of court, but LeagueSharp failed to respond. Now, they’re joining both Epic and Blizzard in taking cheat makers to court.

Thanks, Kotaku!

League Of Legends: Kled Charges Into Battle

Kled and Skaarl

Kled, The Cantankerous Cavalier, is the latest addition to the ranks of League Of Legends [official site]. I’ve been away from LoL for a little so it’s more than past time we discussed the bloodthirsty yordle’s skillset, lore and miscellaneous other bits and bobs.

He’s one of those characters where there’s a mount involved and the mount is part of the skillset so I’ll be interested to see whether play makes them feel like a true duo or whether it’s still more like playing a single character that just happens to be drawn in two bodies.

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League Of Legends: Riot Shake Up The Lane Swap

League Of Legends‘ [official site] annual World Championship is fast approaching and the team at Riot have just detailed a few changes they’ll be making to the game in advance of the tournament. It primarily revolves around the laneswap meta so if you have no idea what one of those is or why this matters, read on!

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League Of Legends Patch 6.13: The Kench Sort Of Unbenched But Now Less Hench

Patch 6.13 will be of interest to League of Legends [official site] players who feel support characters don’t get the recognition they deserve. I feel like I might be the target audience for this patch as I have, in all seriousness, sat in the pub and explained in tedious detail to my companions how ACTUALLY I THINK YOU’LL FIND the focus on killstreaks and so on in MOBAS creates a reward loop that moves people away from the support role and into… Hey! Come back!

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They See Me Scrollin’: League Of Legends Reworks Ryze

As Gabrielle once sang:

“Just look at my hopes
Look at my dreams
I’m building bridges from these scenes
Now I’m ready to Ryze again.”

So she actually predicted this latest rework of the League of Legends [official site] champ a good sixteen years ago which I feel deserves our respect. Nostradamus never won a Brit award, did he?

ANYWAY. Let’s look at the reworked Ryze…

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League Of Legends: What It’s Like Working With Toxic Players

I post a lot about companies working to manage or reduce toxicity in online multiplayer games because I think it’s a really important thing and I really do love seeing people actively trying to improve the quality of our online interactions instead of throwing up their hands and saying “it’s the responsibility of the individuals/the law/anyone who isn’t me”.

With that in mind I wanted to post a snippet from the latest League of Legends “Ask Riot” column where people from player support were asked what it’s like dealing with toxic players on a daily basis. Mostly I want to post it because right now there’s not a good or positive atmosphere here in the UK and I liked reading this for something positive – people involved with building communities/creating a nicer atmosphere on the internet.

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