League of Legends "Nemesis Draft" mode goes live on the PBE

League Of Legends

The new League of Legends "Nemesis Draft" featured game mode is now live on the PBE, and it sounds like it could be a lot of fun. It's a five-on-five battle played on Summoner's Rift, but instead of selecting the champions you'll take into combat, you select those your opponents will control, while they do the same for—or, perhaps more accurately, to—you.

Each team will still have the opportunity to ban up to three champions, and after all champions have been selected, players will be able to trade them amongst themselves to maximize their effectiveness. Champions given to the opposing team are chosen from those available to your allies, and players will be able to play any champ they're given, even if they don't actually own it.

Obviously, the name of the game is to hose the other guys worse than they hose you, although Riot put it somewhat more gently in the announcement. "We’re excited to see how scheming & creative you guys are," Riot designer "L4T3NCY" wrote. "Are we about to uncover some diamonds in the rough? Will it be, 'Give them all melee champs!' or 'Give them all AD so we can just build armour!' And then the inevitable, 'Ok guys. We’ve got 4 junglers and a support.. but so do they! Let’s do this.' I can’t wait."

That kind of silliness can be a blast as long as everyone's in on the gag. Unfortunately, and also entirely unsurprisingly, it doesn't appear to be working out quite so smoothly. Several follow-up posts complain about the prevalence of "dodgers"—players who bail out of a game if they don't like the champions they're given—and at least one person also noted that "trolls" can put the gears to their own teammates by giving the opposing team a genuinely powerful champion. This, of course, is why beta testing was invented, but it may ultimately turn out that Nemesis Draft is better as an idea than as a longterm mechanic.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.