League of Legends event introduces new Ascension mode and desert map

Wes Fenlon at

Last week, we wrote that Riot Games was throwing out the lore League of Legends has built up over the past five years and replacing it with something new. Now we know what that something is, or at least what’s coming first in LoL’s rebooted fiction: a gameplay event tied to the desert empire of Shurima, which includes the launch of a new champion named Azir and a new game mode called Ascension.

Summoner's Rift update hits League of Legends PBE

Andy Chalk at

Riot Games teased some big changes coming to Summoner's Rift earlier this month, promising to bring "additional clarity" to the map through various tweaks and changes. Now, as promised, that update has been rolled out to the Public Beta Environment.

League of Legends pro keeps streaming from hospital bed with collapsed lung

Emanuel Maiberg at

People who are dedicated to video games will go to extreme measures to enjoy them. We’ve probably all skipped a day of school or work following the release date of a sequel to our favorite game, or abandoned many social events in favor of marathoning them. But Pro League of Legends Player Hai Lam just took it to a whole new level.

League of Legends All-Stars 2014 tournament starts May 8

Wes Fenlon at

People are playing League of Legends right now. Millions of people. From May 8 to May 11, though, the best players in the world are going to be playing League of Legends in the All-Star 2014 tournament, and millions of people are going to be watching. But how will you watch? Where will you watch? Riot's put together a handy list of who's competing and when. Here's the coolest thing about this year's All-Star Challenge, which precedes the tournament: fans voted on which pro League players get to compete.

Riot Games believes League of Legends will be around for decades

Emanuel Maiberg at

Usually talks at something like the The Digital Life Design conference are pretty boring unless you’re interested in exploring issues like “brand integration,” or why Coca Cola thinks Coke Zero is a more aspirational soda than Diet Coke. Put a Riot Games and a Coca Cola representative on stage together and it gets interesting. The main takeaways from a talk the companies gave at the conference are that Coca Cola thinks League of Legends comparable to the Super Bowl, and that Riot Games believes that League of Legends will be around for “decades.”

League of Legends patch 4.1 gives new players a static roster of free champions

Emanuel Maiberg at

Riot Games has released the first League of Legends patch of 2014 with a long list of notes. As Riot’s Chris Tom admits, there’s nothing world shattering in there, just a lot more refinement and tuning. “We’re still closely watching the state of the game as it evolves with the preseason,” he says in a post on the game’s official website, “and this update is just another step down that path.”

Riot: Streaming restrictions on League of Legends pros were "not cool"

Emanuel Maiberg at

Riot Games Director of eSports Whalen Rozelle says the company will allow players under League of Legends Championship Series contracts to stream other games, reversing its previous policy.

League of Legends cinematic trailer shows a giant serpent eating an on-fire bear

Tom Sykes at

I tend to get quite annoyed by pointless cinematic trailers for games, but this luxuriant CGI video for League of Legends won me over - and this is coming from someone too intimidated by LOL (or MOBAs in general) to play beyond the tutorial. Perhaps it's because the game has already been out for quite a while - this seems like a fun thing for the fans to pick over, rather than another cog in the marketing machine. The trailer's a battle royale of sorts between many of LOL's now-countless heroes, and unlike the game itself it doesn't involve too much furious clicking on stuff. Barely any, in fact. Instead, the likes of Garen, Katarina and Ryze duff each other up for our amusement. Have a watch below the break.

Face Off: Is League of Legends a better game than Dota 2?

PC Gamer at

Every week two editors debate a new topic—it's a binary exercise we use to seek common ground conclusions or identify fundamental differences. The "my MOBA vs. your MOBA" argument is a heated one, so we reached outside our walls to SOE game designer and former PC Gamer Senior Editor Josh Augustine for his expertise. Josh was our resident League of Legends authority when he was here, so he's arguing on its behalf, while T.J. stands up for Dota 2.

League of Legends playoffs soured by allegations of cheating

Tom Sykes at

We posted earlier about some of the aggressive strategies being employed by League of Legends players during the weekend's World Championship playoffs, but the competition has taken a darker turn with accusations of cheating levelled at teams World Elite and Azubu Frost.

League of Legends to get new ARAM custom map?

Tom Chlebik at

League of Legends developers Riot Games plan to release a new map designed to replicate ARAM (all-random, all-mid), a subgenre of normal games invented by players. The new map, named Proving Grounds, has been made available on LoL's public beta server for testing and will be released on the two main servers in an upcoming patch.

How to download League of Legends' beta client and play all the new champions first

Josh Augustine at

League of Legends' Public Beta Environment is one of the best-kept secrets in the LoL community. Despite what a majority of players think, the beta server (or PBE) is open to everyone and can be joined at anytime, although that hasn't always been the case. The PBE is where all the upcoming patches, champions, and maps land first--letting you play them before your friends and get a leg up on your opponents.

We show you how to sign up, download the client, and get playing in five simple steps.

Champion Roundtable: Varus, The Arrow of Retribution

Josh Augustine at

This week's roundtable comes early, as we get our hands on the next champion incoming to League of Legends (hopefully) tomorrow: a man who's lost everything who hunts down vengeance for his murdered family. It sounds like overdone dramatics to Josh and Lucas, but Hollander can't get enough of the dark-eyed archer that's the focus of this week's Champion Roundtable. See why Varus has our panel of experts so divided, and pick up a few tips for playing as or against him along the way.

As always, you can download League of Legends for free on the game's official site. If you do, add me (summoner name: Nereus) as a friend and we'll get some games in!

League of Legends World Championships will be worth record-breaking $3 million

Josh Augustine at

You've probably heard of a little game called League of Legends by now. 11.5 million people play it every month, and it's one of the hottest games in professional circles right now. Riot Games is adding fuel to the esport fire this week, with the addition of the new spectator mode that went live this morning and the announcement that this season's World Championships will offer the largest prize in esports history, three million dollars.

Champion Roundtable: Hecarim, The Shadow of War

Josh Augustine at

Josh, Lucas and Hollander dive for cover as the wicked horseman Hecarim charges into League of Legends this week with ghostly scythe and debatable usefulness. See what we think of this new high-mobility, high-damage champion in this week's Champion Roundtable.

As always, you can download League of Legends for free on the game's official site. If you do, add me (summoner name: Nereus) as a friend and we'll get some games in!

What is League of Legends: Supremacy?

Josh Augustine at

Riot Games' primary domain manager, MarkMonitor, has just snatched up a ton of URLs all involving two key phrases: "League of Legends" and "Supremacy." What do we know so far, what could this mystery announcement be, and how far off is it? We take a look at all the facts and speculation inside.

Champion Roundtable: Lulu, the Fae Sorceress

Josh Augustine at

Who could've guessed that the first champion our entire roundtable agrees on would be a cute little woodland witch with her own personal faery? Find out why Josh, Lucas, and Hollander all love this new support yordle and her woodland magic in this week's Champion Roundtable.

As always, you can download League of Legends for free on the game's official site. If you do, add me (summoner name: Nereus) as a friend and we'll get some games in!

One billion games of League of Legends played

Gavin Townsley at

It's crazy what you can find lurking in the twitterverse. Yesterday I saw a kitten hugging a squirrel, today one billion games of League of Legends have been played. Wait, what?

Christina Norman, a designer at Riot, tweeted the above image earlier today. It's since been removed, but the photo shows a real-time tracker of LoL's data at the game's studio. I wonder how many creep kills that equals? The free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena has been happily smashing champions, minions, and turrets together since 2009. Don't forget to check out our championroundtables anytime a new champion is released.

League of Legends Dominion post-mortem: parts of the development process were "painful"

Lucas Sullivan at

As you might guess, designing an entirely new mode for any game is not easy. Doing so for a playerbase who's only ever known one gametype is even more of an undertaking. League of Legends' lead producer Travis George gave a heartfelt talk at a GDC post-mortem panel yesterday, where he delved into the complex processes that produced LoL's biggest update since launch. Magma Chamber, Project Shiny, the Crystal Scar, and everything in between were illuminated, and in the process, so were many of Riot Games' core philosophies and design strategies. But Dominion's capture-point gameplay was also one of the toughest hurdles that Riot's faced yet, and the path to making it was hardly perfect.

Champion Roundtable: Fiora, the Grand Duelist

PC Gamer at

En garde! The newest team-carrying melee DPS to join the League of Legends roster is Fiora, the French sword swinger. Josh, Lucas, and Hollander Cooper sit down at the Champion Roundtable to decide if this seductive saber-wielder is all she's cracked up to be. If you're still on the fence about this female fencer, you've come to the right place.

You can (and should) download League of Legends for free on the game's official site.