How to prepare for Clash in League of Legends

lol clash schedule
(Image credit: Riot Games)

League of Legends’ Clash mode has finally returned. After a rocky launch in 2018, the first set of new matches is due to take place soon, and Riot’s made a handful of changes to its tournament mode since we last saw it.

So, naturally, now is as good a time as any to get up to date with the returning mode. From what the mode is to its schedule and how to set up a team, here's everything you need to know about Clash in League of Legends.

So, what actually is Clash?

Clash is League of Legends’ in-game tournament mode. First introduced in 2018, it was sidelined by technical difficulties. Now, thankfully, it's been reworked. Every two weeks, eight pre-made teams of five players will take part in a three-round, single-elimination tournament, with winning teams taking home the biggest prizes.

When is League of Legends Clash returning?

Competitive MOBA types needn't wait long for the action to get started: the first LoL Clash matches are due to start between February 22-23, 2020. 

League of Legends Clash schedule

From February 22, Clash will take place every other weekend. Each weekend features two tournaments, which means the teams can play on either the first or second day of competition. Teams can also take part on both days, but each player will need an entry ticket for each day to do so. 

Before each game match starts, you'll have to ‘lock in’, with times for this phase changing depending on which tier of competition you’re playing, as well as your region. All five players must be locked in before the start of the game, or their entire team will lose their spot.

In the US, lock in begins at 17:00 PST/20:00 ET for Tier IV, with each subsequent Tier entering this phase half an hour after the previous one. Games will begin two hours later, at 19:00 PST/22:00 ET.

In Europe, lock in begins at 18:00 GMT/19:00 CET, with games likely to begin at 20:00/21:00. 

After lock in is a short ‘scouting’ window: this shows you your rival team's stats and favoured champions. This should help with your draft phase, but remember that they can see your favourite champions too. After scouting ends, a pick-and-ban phase identical to that of the professional scene will begin. No matter whether you win or lose, each team will play three games, so clear your schedule for Saturday night and Sunday morning.

(Image credit: Riot Games)

How to make a Clash team

Before you can enter a tournament, you’ll need a team. Team creation opens on Monday, February 17, and team captains will need to pick a name, logo, and three-letter tag for their new roster. 

Next you need to invite teammates. Players need to have a rank, so they’ll need to have finished their placement games in either Flex or Solo Queue in order to participate. They'll also need to have activated two-factor authentication for their League of Legends account (via the General Settings tab in the client).

Inviting teammates to your Clash team is a similar process to inviting them to a game, but there are a few things to consider. First, there's everyone’s ideal roles; your team isn’t going to have a great time if all five of you want to go mid. The second is your respective ranks, as they affect the tier of competition in which you compete. All players can play together, no matter their individual skill level, but your Tier is broadly linked to your average rank. 

Iron and Bronze players will mostly compete in Tier IV, while Diamond and Challenger players will likely be in Tier I. You can’t just sneak a high-rank player into your team and expect to get away with it: Tiers are weighted towards higher-ranked players, so Bronze players who want to play alongside a Diamond teammate may have a hard time.

You also need to purchase a ticket. One ticket costs 975 Blue Essence or 195 Riot Points for a basic one, and you can buy tickets for your friends. If you fancy your chances, buying a Premium Ticket for 975 Riot Points enhances your rewards.

(Image credit: Riot Games)

What League of Legends Clash rewards can I expect?

The standard Clash reward is Victory Points, which are awarded after each win. Over time, they’ll add up to unlock new logos for your team, or banners that appear on Summoner’s Rift. At the end of each tournament, players are rewarded with either a Clash Orb or a Clash Capsule (depending on whether you bought a Basic or Premium ticket), which can be opened in the Hextech Crafting menu. 

The LoL Clash rewards aren't known exactly yet, but prizes from last year's Clash beta included XP boosts for 8th-place teams, skin shards of varying rarities for 6th-2nd place, and a permanent skin plus a skin shard for the winning team. Whether you win or lose in the single-elimination bracket, you’ll still play three games, and be granted rewards based on your overall performance.

If you win a tournament outright, you’ll get a trophy that appears next to the Nexus of your Summoner’s Rift games until the next Clash tournament begins.