Riot Games

MLG announces League of Legends tournament structure and rewards for Winter 2013 season

T.J. Hafer at

League of Legends will feature prominently in Major League Gaming's 2013 Winter season. There has never really been any doubt about that. But now we've got info on how the competition will be structured, as well as how it will tie into Riot's own, year-spanning League Championship Series.

What to Watch: The Week in eSports (February 15-21, 2013)

T.J. Hafer at

This week in eSports: which StarCraft II tournaments are making the switch to Heart of the Swarm, and which will hang onto Wings of Liberty a little longer? We've got the answers. Also, could World of Tanks break into the eSports scene? With an announced $2.5 million prize pool, it might be on the right track.

What to Watch: The Week in eSports (February 8-14, 2013)

T.J. Hafer at

This week in eSports: League of Legends Season 3 hits the ground running, MLG is already hosting competitive Heart of the Swarm, In Dota 2, only four teams are still standing in the upper bracket of The Defense 3.

League of Legends Season 3 begins, first Championship Series match on February 7

Omri Petitte at

Riot kicked off the third season of League of Legends' Championship Series today with a special treat for enthusiast summoners: LoL eSports, a new hub site for streaming upcoming matches for free and keeping tabs on team bios, play-by-plays, and the latest standings.

League of Legends Buyer's Guide

Josh Augustine at

Free-to-play cash shops can be treacherous terrain. You've got to avoid the money-sink traps on your way to finding the best value items for your playstyle—whether that's content, skins, or features. That's why we've put together this colorful treasure map to help you find the best loot for your buck in League of Legends. We use $50 (7200 RP) as the base investment most players make into their games, but we've also included a budget tier.

How Riot Games plans to evolve eSports in 2013

Josh Augustine at

The eSports scene has been steadily growing in North America and Europe, but it's not growing fast enough for League of Legends' developer, Riot Games. Last year, they promoted eSports with a multi-million dollar tournament and free HD livestreaming of international matches all year long. How do they plan to top that in 2013? I asked, and Riot was happy to answer.

What to Watch: The Week in eSports (January 25-February 1, 2013)

T.J. Hafer at

This week in our new competitive gaming column: could PlanetSide 2 be the first competitive shooter to achieve RTS/MOBA-level worldwide success? MLG and Sony think it just might. Plus: Who will secure their spots in Dota 2's The Defense 3 playoffs? This and much more below. gl hf!

League of Legends' fiercest pro purge yet: two players issued with lifetime bans

Phil Savage at

Over the last few months Riot have been cleaning house of the more odious members of the League of Legends' esports scene. Pro players IWillDominate, enVision and Linak have all been squashed beneath Riot's banhammer for "persistent toxic behaviour" while playing the game.

Those bans were for specific accounts, and disqualified each player from league play for a year. Today, Riot have gone further, issuing unprecedented lifetime bans to two members of Team Solo Mebdi. A third member of the team has also received the now standard one year suspension, meaning Solo Mebdi are disqualified from the upcoming LCS EU Qualifiers, due to be held this weekend. Naturally, given the severity of the punishment, the affected players' behaviour was extreme to say the least.

What to Watch: The Week in eSports (January 18-24, 2013)

T.J. Hafer at

Heya fellow nerd-ballers. Get your hotkeys ready, because you're about to drop into the first edition of What to Watch: The Week in eSports, a new column bringing you the latest news on tournaments, players, personalities, and apocalyptic balance patches for the world's premiere competitive PC games. This week, we highlight the big events to look for in 2013, where to start in building your own game knowledge to gosu levels, and what happens when the worlds of eSports and journalism collide. gl hf.

How to ward the map in League of Legends with Teemo

Josh Augustine at

We love games like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Smite, but the myriad skills needed to master their complex gameplay can scare new players away. That’s why we occasionally pick a key skill and teach you how to master it, using a character that particularly excels at or relies on that skill in-game.

We've activated League of Legends expert and former Senior Editor Josh Augustine to tackle the science (and art) of wards—the consumable items that you drop to illuminate LoL's ever-present fog of war. No one is better at warding the map than the little scout Teemo, who can toss down his own sight-granting mushrooms in addition to ordinary wards.

League of Legends announces Season 3 plans, attempts to organise eSports

Phil Savage at

Riot have announced the details for the third season of the League of Legends Championship Series, and they're looking mighty exciting for fans of eSports. There are plans for regular season play, an All-Star tournament, and an attempt to reign in the many disparate worldwide championships into the main series' action.

Riot Games details League of Legends champion price changes

Omri Petitte at

Riot Games announced yesterday its implementation of sweeping pricing changes for League of Legends champions, with the overall effect intended to reduce costs on older champions and equalize the ratio between cash-bought Riot Points (RP) and Influence Points (IP) earned per match.

Heroes of Newerth hacker vows League of Legends attack next

Omri Petitte at

Yesterday, a hacker swiped player passwords and account information from Heroes of Newerth's databases, causing developer S2 Games to issue a notice to change any multi-use passwords potentially associated with a player's account. The hacker, apparently, is just getting started. Spotted by PCGamesN, a Reddit thread seemingly created by the hacker gloated over S2's purported security holes and suggested League of Legends would be his or her next target.

League of Legends appears in Steam apps database [UPDATED]

T.J. Hafer at

It seems seemed Valve, one of the two big competitors in the MOBA genre with its in-house Dota 2, has had struck a distribution deal with rival League of Legends developer Riot. As of last night, Steam's database was updated with entries for the English, Spanish, French, and German versions of the League of Legends client.

League of Legends pre-Season 3 patch brings sweeping changes

Phil Savage at

Riot have released an enormous patch for League of Legends, making big changes to the game in the lead up to Season 3. The update has been designed to tweak a number of areas: new and adjusted items give more flexibility to late game builds; jungling has been rejigged, with scaling difficulty and less gold from mobs; and masteries have been overhauled to reduce the availability of early game resistance stats. The focus, it appears, is to increase the number of strategic options available to each character. Riot have released a video to outline the important bits of the patch, which I've embedded below.

Riot employs a neuroscientist to address "players being jerks" in League of Legends

Tyler Wilde at

In an interview with Gamasutra, League of Legends lead producer Travis George acknowledged that trash talking is natural in competitive games, but that some LoL players take it too far, "being mean for the sake of being mean." To address the problem of mean-spirited players, Riot has put together the "Player Behavior and Justice Team" (or, the much cuter "PB&J team"), which includes two doctors, one of cognitive neuroscience and one of behavioral psychology.

League of Legends pro-player banned for "persistent toxic behaviour"

Phil Savage at

As an outsider to the MOBA scene, I'd kind of assumed that harassment and verbal abuse were pretty much the entire point of the genre. Apparently not, as Riot's esports team have made the decision to permanently ban IWillDominate, a pro-gamer signed to Team Dignitas.

The League of Legends Tribunal shared their decision on the game's forums. They point out that, while they do not tolerate any unsportsmanlike behaviour, IWillDominate - real name, Christian Rivera - was particularly notable because of how "severe and consistent" his behaviour was.

EA, Cryptic, Riot discuss "dead" subscription models, free-to-play's influence

Omri Petitte at

GamesIndustry sat down with members of various studios for a lengthy exploration into the industry's shifting perception of freemium game development, the climbing popularity of free-to-play MMO subscription models, and the shaky balancing act between "money-grabs" and quality free ventures. EA (Battlefield Play4Free), Cryptic Studios (Star Trek Online), Riot Games (League of Legends), and 22 Cans (Curiosity) shared their thoughts on the steady-yet-rocky proliferation of free content.

League of Legends jungling "stagnant" says Riot Games, outlines changes for Season 3

Omri Petitte at

A role commonly found in most League of Legends teams is the stalwart jungler, a hero bravely venturing into the underbrush that borders lanes in pursuit of sacks of gold masquerading as hostile creatures. In comparison to normal lane-play, jungling can be somewhat lackluster and inefficient, as nerfed creature camps and gold per 10 items diminish challenge and increase the pressure on lanes. Yesterday, Assistant Game Designer "Statikk" said current jungling tactics seem "stagnant" and that changes are on Riot's scope for Season 3 tournament play and beyond.

Five lessons from the best League of Legends team in the world

Josh Augustine at

The Taipei Assassins schooled Azubu Frost in the world championships on Saturday while more than a million people watched via the livestream and TV in Korea and China. They entered the tournament as a relative unknown, catching their opponents off guard and quickly proving they had the skills and flexibility to tackle every opponent sent their way. Their finals performance was a master class in how to win League of Legends that we can all learn something from.