The League of Legends 2015 World Championship is only a couple of weeks away—and as James Chen explains in our in-depth guide to the group stage, it's going to be a good one.
The Championship will be played on version 5.18, which launched today. This is a broad-ranging set of changes made with a light touch. In the patch notes, Riot's Patrick 'Scarizard' Scarborough explains that the goal is to create 'a landscape where teams have the option to invest in pocket-picks or non-standard strategies.' It's a slate of changes designed to even out extreme power differentials rather than turn the metagame on its head.
Continuing with the Worlds theme, this patch also sees the release of the Championship Kalista skin (it is extremely blue) along with Summoner Icons for each of the teams in contention.
Earlier in the week, Riot revealed League's next champion—Kindred. Actually two characters in one, Kindred comprises Lamb and Wolf, masked spirit creatures that walk the boundary between life and death. Which is to say: they mostly kill people. But! Kindred's ult, Lamb's Respite, creates a death-free area under a target champion. Nobody within this zone can die for a period of time, and as it expires a heal is applied to everybody within. Probably perfect for ensuring that you've got time to steal as many kills as possible.*
*Don't actually do this.