League of Legends event introduces new Ascension mode and desert map


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.

Ascension takes League's combat off of Summoner's Rift onto a new desert map, where two five-player teams score points by capturing relics of Shurima. The big twist is a buff in the middle of the map: whoever lands the killing blow becomes Ascended, becoming powerful enough to take on the entire opposing team single-handedly.

To kick off the event, Riot has released a short gameplay video of Ascension in action.

Riot's website dedicated to Ascension lays out how the new mode works:

“Claim Ascension by taking down Ancient Ascendant Xerath in the center of the map, but be careful, you'll need your whole team to battle him and claim the buff. The Ascension buff yields awe-inspiring power:

  • Bonus health & infinite mana
  • AD & AP
  • Cooldown Reduction
  • Armor penetration & magic penetration

But the gifts of Ascension come with a price, as healing and regeneration effects are halved and the other team always retains vision of you. Once the Ascended falls, Ancient Ascendant Xerath will respawn shortly afterward, reigniting the struggle for Ascension!”

In Ascension, player kills are worth one points, but capturing one of map's three relics of Shurima is worth three points. Destroying an ascended player, or the neutral Ascendant Xerath, is worth five points. The ascended champion earns two points per kill.

Playing Ascension during the LoL Shurima event, which lasts until September 21, nets you Shurima icons to proudly proclaim your participation. If you're not into icons, well, at least you've got a new game mode to try out.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).