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League of Legends Season 3 begins, first Championship Series match on February 7

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League of Legends Season 3

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Riot kicked off the third season of League of Legends' Championship Series today with a special treat for enthusiast summoners: LoL eSports (opens in new tab) , a new hub site for streaming upcoming matches for free and keeping tabs on team bios, play-by-plays, and the latest standings.

The season lasts for 10 weeks and features the eight best teams from last year's North American and European qualifiers vying for the glory of competing in the World Championship later this year. The North American teams face off on Thursdays starting at 1pm PST and Fridays at 5pm PST, while European matches occur Saturdays and Sundays starting at 18:00 CET.

Riot also released update 3.01 for LoL, which reworks ranked play into the tiered League system (here's a video explanation (opens in new tab) ), implements a heap of Champion balances, and imbues bots with the ability to "occasionally chat at the beginning and end of games." I suppose Riot figures that computer opponents need a voice so they can mock my laughable MOBA skills.

The official website lists the rest of the lengthy notes (opens in new tab) . The first North American match begins next Thursday and pits Team SoloMid against Counter Logic Gaming. Head over to LoL eSports (opens in new tab) for the tournament's full lineup and schedule. And if you aren't yet a part of the wide, wonderful world of eSports, here's why we think you should be (opens in new tab) .

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?