League of Legends (opens in new tab) developer Riot has sent Dominion (opens in new tab) to the big game mode home in the sky, announcing the decision with a frank, bashful blog post (opens in new tab). Dominion's retirement will take place February 22, so get in a few games now for old times' sake.
Fewer than 0.5% of League of Legends players regularly take part in Dominion—the fast-paced, capture-point variant on League's main game mode. Worse, Riot acknowledges that a decent proportion of those may be bots.
As a result, queue times are horrible, and matchmaking is accordingly foul as the algorithm searches an ever-wider pool of players. Riot has concluded that secondary game modes work better in rotation, meaning that Dominion may reappear at a later date, but nothing is for certain.
"We haven’t been supporting Dominion," the post reads, "and we’ve trapped ourselves in a vicious cycle where the queue isn’t large enough to warrant major attention, but falls prey to bugs and periods of imbalance from the introduction of new champs (opens in new tab) and items (which then drives down the size of the queue, and so on)."
Naturally, Riot is reluctant to upset any portion of its player base, however small, and so far the reception has been vitriolic. As a token gesture, anyone who has 100 matchmade wins in Dominion before it's shut down for good will receive a Summoner Icon never to be attainable again.
Edit: Swapped 'matchmade wins' in for 'ranked wins', which was gibberish. That'll teach me for paraphrasing.