Riot Games

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

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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

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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

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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.


Azubu Frost and Taipei Assassins play for $1 million tomorrow - here's how they got there

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Josh Augustine at

Delays and cheating distracted and teams tussled, but the finals of League of Legends’ Season 2 championship tournament are finally here. The two top teams, Korea’s Azubu Frost and Taiwan’s Taipei Assassins will play a best-of-5 series tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. PDT for the title of world champions and $1 million. Let’s take a look at everything that’s been leading up to this match.

League of Legends has 32 million active players, is now "as big as StarCraft" in Korea

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Josh Augustine at

Riot Games announced new stats on their playerbase today, revealing some huge numbers that dwarf every game out there, even the aging juggernaut, World of Warcraft.


Riot rules on League of Legends screen watching incident, issues $30,000 fine

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T.J. Hafer at

Yesterday, we reported on a scandal at the League of Legends World Championship playoffs involving members of team Azubu Frost allegedly using the tournament displays (with both team's vision revealed for the benefit of the spectators) to gain information about the other team. The professional esports equivalent of the classic "screen hack" you used to get accused of in Goldeneye, basically. Riot has ruled that the outcome of the match will stand, but that Azubu Frost will be fined $30,000, which accounts for 20 percent of their winnings.


EU and Asian League of Legends teams criticize their North American rivals

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Josh Augustine at

There was a lot of controversy at League of Legends' big tournament last week. Teams are divided on the accusations of cheating and internet outages, but there seems to be consensus on one thing at least: North American teams need to get serious or get out.


League of Legends playoffs soured by allegations of cheating

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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.


Aggressive strategies dominate first weekend of League of Legends' $2 million tournament

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Josh Augustine at

You probably heard about League of Legends' playoff tournament that happened over the weekend -- the event's shoutcasters even claimed its livestream used more than 5 percent of all the internet bandwidth in the United States on Saturday night. When technical difficulties weren't disrupting the tense matches, two themes dominated the world championships: NA and EU struggling, and more aggressive playstyles than we've ever seen in a global tournament.


12 teams battle for League of Legends' $2 million prize pool in this weekend's tournament

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Josh Augustine at

It's been a year and $5 million in the making, but League of Legends' massive Season Two championship tournament is finally here. Twelve teams qualified in six regions around the world to earn a trip to Los Angeles, California to duke it out on Summoner's Rift for $2 million...


League of Legends Honor system promotes positive reinforcement

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Omri Petitte at

The next time someone abstains from calling you a "feeder tryhard nooblord" in League of Legends, you'll be able to make your appreciation known. Riot Games posted an announcement yesterday revealing Honor, a new positive feedback system for players highlighting summoners of good repute. When implemented in the next major update, it'll supplement the current reporting system for "toxic" players.


League of Legends launch guide: Syndra the Dark Sovereign

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Josh Augustine at

Every two weeks, Riot Games adds a new champion to League of Legends roster. The first few days of a champion’s release are a crazy, wonderful time of mayhem and mass-deaths. We make sure you have the advantage with our launch guides, tested on the field of battle, that break down strengths and weaknesses and give you our veteran tips for the new champ.

Syndra the Dark Sovereign, releasing this week, is kind of crazy. According to her official lore, she’s a magical prodigy that craves power and will do anything to get it. She also murdered her loving mentor who was an old monk, which is pretty messed up. That's only the beginning of her madness.

League of Legends designer on why LoL champions aren't free

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Tom Senior at

Heroes of Newerth recently followed Dota 2's example and made their entire roster of heroes free to new players from the outset. League of Legends, however, still retains its original system. You get to try a cycling selection of heroes for free, but must pay a wad of in-game currency or a bit of real money to unlock them permanently. Owen asked lead champion designer Ryan Scott whether Riot were considering a shift to free heroes.

"Well I think a game with a more traditional Moba design you actually have to make all the characters free," he said. "The reason for that is that the game design doesn’t lend itself well to not having all the characters and still being able to be viable. It’s a little more rock paper scissory. There are very hard counters for characters, and not having access to those counters can really just change the entire game.

"League of Legends doesn’t really operate in that way because of the way our characters are made, and the way we balance all the time and things like that. Not having a bunch of characters doesn’t make you unable to play."


GameStreams tracker says League of Legends is the king of streaming

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T.J. Hafer at

It's been pretty clear in the eSports community for a while that two games are clashing for the top spot in terms of popularity: StarCraft 2 and League of Legends. While contenders like Dota 2 are on the rise, no one has just yet been able to dislodge either of these two titans from their ongoing struggle. GameStreams.com, which tracks data from TwitchTV, livestream, ustream, and regame says that, at least in terms of online streaming viewership, League of Legends is dominating.


League of Legends dev on LoL vs. Dota 2: "we wanted to find ways to evolve that genre"

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Tom Senior at

Owen's had an interesting chat with League of Legends lead champion designer Ryann Scott about Riot's character design philosophy, the reason their entire hero roster isn't free, and the differences between League of Legends and Dota 2. "Dota 2 is really true to Dota 1, that’s a lot of the appeal. But we started from day one to say that’s not what we want to be, he said "we don’t want to be just like our predecessors, we wanted to find ways to evolve that genre."


League of Legends patch trailer rolls back Rumble, upgrades Urgot, boosts Cho'Gath

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Tom Senior at

The early-August League of Legends patch is on the way, bringing a few key balance changes to three champions, including League of Legends veteran, Cho'Gath. That's him in the picture above. Normally there's a bit more flesh on him, but he's obviously not worried about that. In fact, he's positively delighted. That's because a change to his ability cooldowns will soon make him a more efficient murderer when the next big update lands. A new video spotted by Evil Avatar explains the incoming changes, and the reasoning behind all that rebalancing.


Introducing League of Legends' 100th champion: Jayce, the Defender of Tomorrow

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Josh Augustine at

It's been a long time coming, but League of Legends is finally hitting the triple digits on their champion roster. Their next champion, already on the test servers and due on live servers sometime this week or next, is the 100th champion added to the game, and Riot's decking him out accordingly. Let's take a look at his kit.


League of Legends to get new ARAM custom map?

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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.


Pulsefire Ezreal skin for League of Legends changes as you level, is a kind of a big deal

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Josh Augustine at

Riot Games has been teasing the Pulsefire Ezreal skin for awhile, and the big reveal today makes it clear why: it's kind of a big deal. The reveal page on their website is one of the most elaborate I've seen for any non-expansion update to a game.

All the digital knobs, buttons, and videos on the site show how Riot Games is going above and beyond every other skin they've built before, including their legendaries.


League of Legends database hacked. Riot Games "appreciate your immediate attention"

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Owen Hill at

Riot Games have notified all EU West and EU Nordic & East League of Legends players warning them that their account details may have been compromised by hackers.

Some players' email addresses, encrypted account passwords, and dates of birth have been leaked. As a precaution Riot recommend you change your account password immediately by logging in here and clicking "my account" page in the top right.