League of Legends next update will radically alter the map, adds a new champion

During a livestreamed tenth anniversary celebration, League of Legends developer Riot Games revealed some pretty exciting changes coming to its meta, including map-altering elemental effects and a new champion, Senna.

With League of Legends' World Championships currently underway and the new Season 10 coming soon after, League of Legends is getting one of the "biggest changes to Summoner's Rift in years" thanks to the Rise of the Elements update aimed at expanding the influence Elemental Drakes have in a match. These changes will arrive on live servers on November 21, with the new champion coming on November 11.

League of Legends Elemental Rift system

If you've never played LoL, Elemental Drakes are a neutral enemy that spawns in a pit in the southern sector of Summoner's Rift, the main map. There are currently four types of Elemental Drakes that correspond with earth, wind, fire, and water. Killing one nets your entire team a permanent buff like increasing your ability and attack power. It's a lucrative secondary objective, but Riot wants to use Elemental Drakes to add more variety to matches by having them physically alter the terrain of Summoner's Rift, giving new advantages to the team that kills them.

During the presentation, lead gameplay producer Jessica Nam laid out what this might look like. The Ocean Drake, for example, currently rewards your team with passive health and mana regeneration. But when Rise of the Elements launches on November 21, killing drakes might trigger an elemental rift that'll change up the physical terrain of the map. An water elemental rift will cause patches of grass to grow larger all across the map, giving teams more concealment and opportunities to ambush enemies. Each Elemental Drake will have their own associated rift effect, like Cloud Drakes spawning wind tunnels that will help your team travel the map faster or Mountain Drakes creating new terrain obstacles to navigate and Fire Drakes burning down grass and walls.

Top and bottom lanes are also getting alcoves that add more potential for plays and new bushes are being added in both jungles to give champions opportunities to set up ganks.

Senna, the marksman support

While we don't have many details or a full description of her abilities, Senna is a marksman support character—the first of her kind in League's 140-champion roster. What that basically means is that Senna's primary role is to buff, assist, and heal the more powerful (and flimsy) champions, but she has a specific focus on skillshots and micromanaging.

Though little is known about how Senna actually plays, Riot did release an amazing CG trailer that gives some insight into her past and personality. The gist is that she's Lucian's wife (another popular champion) who was killed and had her soul imprisoned in a magical lantern by Thresh. Lore-minded players will have probably figured out Senna was the next champion to come, since Riot has been teasing her reveal with trailers focusing on Lucian, Senna, and Thresh—and only one of those people isn't actually in the game.

Senna will be available to play on live servers on November 11.

This is just part of our ongoing coverage of Riot's anniversary livestream. Stay tuned for more.

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.