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League of Legends pro fined over "one of the highest harassment scores" in LCS history

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League of Legends pro fined over "one of the highest harassment scores" in LCS history

To his fans, he is FORG1VEN -  AD carry for the Copenhagen Wolves and habitual flamer of solo queue games in League of Legends. To Riot Games’ player behaviour tribunal, he is Konstantinos Tzortziou - a bad example to the community, guilty of multiple violations of the LCS ruleset.

Riot have fined Tzortziou $1000, after a number of official warnings failed to lower one of the highest harassment scores in professional LoL.

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Riot rejig League of Legends champion Twitch: they've had their sights set on him "for years"

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Riot rejig League of Legends champion Twitch: they've had their sights set on him "for years"

Riot have updated a champion left untouched for five years. In that time, League of Legends has become a stadium-filling eSport - and we’ve come to expect something entirely different from a ‘Twitch update’. Today, though, we’re not talking streaming channels, but a plague rat reconfigured to define the smell of “contemporary pestilence".

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Everybody wants to be a Captain: Riot take action to quicken League of Legends Team Builder queues

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Everybody wants to be a Captain: Riot take action to quicken League of Legends Team Builder queues

Riot let slip Team Builder mode last week. Players are now able to choose a role, champion and position pre-game, and the extra time in team composition has already helped uncover the “inherent" good in League of Legends players.

But there’s a problem. A plethora of would-be captains are floating about in the ether, looking in vain for subordinates to order about. As such, Riot have implemented an “experiment" to see if they can reduce the number of single captains in your area.

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Uncharted game director leaves Naughty Dog for "really innovative stuff" at Riot Games

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Uncharted game director leaves Naughty Dog for "really innovative stuff" at Riot Games

The one-way flow of talent to Riot continues, as the very best game developers in the world work to reconcile their working lives with the time they spend playing LoL in the wee hours. The latest to make the switch is Justin Richmond - game director for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and before that designer on Uncharted 2’s much-praised multiplayer mode.

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Riot pull Night Hunter Rengar skin from League of Legends test servers, refund players

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Riot pull Night Hunter Rengar skin from League of Legends test servers, refund players

Those of you who’ve been wearing Night Hunter Rengar’s skin for MOBA matches, like unusually social Buffalo Bills, will find a small pot of refunded cash where your dreadful garb once was.

The reason? Riot have been listening to feedback about the night hunter’s hood, and want to make some “technically complex" changes that involve plucking Rengar from the lanes for a short while.

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Riot believe Team Builder helps League of Legends players uncover their "inherent" good

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Riot believe Team Builder helps League of Legends players uncover their "inherent" good

Here’s a fun fact: the nastiest 1% of League of Legends players are responsible for only 5% of reported negative experiences. Who’s ruining everyone’s evening the other 95% of the time, then? Paradoxically, it’s all the nice people: the 78% who regularly receive honor and are barely if ever reported.

It’s Riot player behaviour specialist Jeffrey Lin’s job is to track toxic chat of League of Legends players and work out how to stop it from happening. That starts, he says, with creating a context that makes it easier to for the “inherently good" majority to play nice than to start “flipping tables".

“Our goal is to make sportsmanship the path of least resistance," said Lin. And that's what Team Builder is all about.

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Riot Games manager talks the "hard realities" of working full-time on League of Legends

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Riot Games manager talks the "hard realities" of working full-time on League of Legends

You can measure the buzz surrounding Riot Games by looking at the developers its staff have left behind. Greg Street left Blizzard, where he was the face of WoW. Kristoffer Touborg left CCP, where he was lead designer on Eve Online. The very best people in PC development have dropped everything to work on League of Legends.

But there are downsides - and not just watching your player ranking be overtaken by junglers with more free time. According to product manager Jon Pan, Riot’s is a company culture which demands an ability to compromise, asks for charisma, and gobbles up hours. Lots of them.

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Riot roll out beta Team Builder for League of Legends, lay foundations for "great teamwork"

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Riot roll out beta Team Builder for League of Legends, lay foundations for "great teamwork"

In real-world work, team building exercises mean everybody losing a perfectly good day to go-karting or zorbing. In League of Legends, it’s going to mean less time wasted, not more: the new Team Builder is a queue system designed to telegraph players’ favourite roles and champions to each other before they hit the lanes.

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The eye to avoid: Riot cast their champion spotlight over Vel'Koz

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The eye to avoid: Riot cast their champion spotlight over Vel'Koz

Say what you like about Vel’Koz, Eye of the Void: he’s a devoted scholar. A Void beast who considers knowledge the ultimate prize, he kills to learn - like you might devour a good book.

Woops: I said ‘ultimate’, and now you’re screaming for stats. I’ll hand over to Riot for a breakdown of this sphere’s abilities, and some tips on how to play him.

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Riot apologise for League of Legends disconnections, lag and login queues as arms race against hackers "continues to grow"

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Riot apologise for League of Legends disconnections, lag and login queues as arms race against hackers "continues to grow"

Is it possible that the internet is getting worse? Or is it simply that League of Legends continually fails to stop growing, becoming a larger and larger target? Either way, more than half the DDoS attacks Riot Games have ever witnessed against LoL have occurred in the last two months.

Riot record two to four attacks every day against one or more of their server regions - and each one “significantly" stronger than those they were fighting just a few months ago.

It’s a bleak background to an otherwise successful picture - like suddenly noticing a post-apocalyptic landscape behind Van Gogh’s sunflowers. But while the developers acknowledge they sometimes “lose the fight", they are “not helpless" - and expect things to get better.

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League of Legends Champion Review: Vel'Koz, the Eye of the Void

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League of Legends Champion Review: Vel'Koz, the Eye of the Void

Finally, a League champion for the hentai fans! I mean… um, the innocent sci-fi tentacle monster fans! Vel'Koz is the newest addition to a very short list of freaky non-humanoid champions in League of Legends. He's an ranged mage AP carry with a ton of burst damage, a desire to deconstruct the entire universe, and so many laser beams.

If you want to see exactly how Vel'Koz plans to dissect the entire organic world, look at its official profile. The TLDR version: giant tentacled alien with a massive eye that likes to make things explode and/or dissolve with laser beams and void magic.

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Super Hexakill: League of Legends gains six-player mode on February 20

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Super Hexakill: League of Legends gains six-player mode on February 20

“Five to a team just wasn’t enough," say Riot of their new mode. They’re not throwing out the principles of lane-based heckling, of course, but introducing a new Featured Gameplay mode - one of the playable experiments that Riot rotate in and out of circulation like Left 4 Dead’s mutations.

This one adds an additional player to each team, to make up a new total of six. In a game where miniscule itemisation edits regularly wreak far-reaching consequences, there's no way it won't change everything.

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Riot address LoL spectator cam kerfuffle: "We have no interest in using patents offensively"

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Riot address LoL spectator cam kerfuffle: "We have no interest in using patents offensively"

A couple of years ago, Riot Games filed for and won a patent for an in-game “self-moving camera". The spectator cam automatically follows League of Legends players on any given map, prioritising shots using a server-calculated “interest value".

Trouble is, Dota 2 had one of those first. Fans reached for the pitchforks when the patent was published last week, prompting Riot to release a statement in response. Their stance: we’re not going to be dicks about it.

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Oculus from the Rift: League of Legends players uncover a betentacled new champion, Vel'Koz

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Oculus from the Rift: League of Legends players uncover a betentacled new champion, Vel'Koz

Vel'Koz. That’s the name League of Legends Redditors are wearing out their keyboards with this week, such that the top line of keys now reads: ‘qwrtyuip’. A series of disparate clues and apparently deliberate leaks across the wider world of LoL suggest Riot Games are engaged in a slow-burn reveal of Valve-like complexity - one that some speculate could yield an apocalyptic (but probably fun) event in Runeterra.

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Riot Shield down: League of Legends devs testing "severe" nerfs to popular starter item

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Riot Shield down: League of Legends devs testing "severe" nerfs to popular starter item

Thank goodness for Doran: the blacksmith whose fondness for the simple and affordable over the ornate and arcane has saved many a budding champion in League of Legends. His Shield, Ring and Blade are staple items of LoL’s early game - but that might be about to change. Doran’s Shield is messing with harass-based champions, and Riot have decided it has to stop.

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Riot "abandoned" rotating camera for League of Legends - but continue to "explore solutions"

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Riot "abandoned" rotating camera for League of Legends - but continue to "explore solutions"

You’re only seeing things from one angle. That’s a fact Riot are continually trying to remind their most sweary and hostile players of in the tribunal - but it’s also literally true of League of Legends, which presents its 3D world from a fixed point in the sky.

That’s beginning to bother players who believe they’re at their competitive peak when fighting up lanes, or down lanes, or speculate they might be at their best when viewed diagonally. Riot are working on a solution for them - but they won’t be freeing the camera from its restraints, an idea that “seems more simple than it actually is".

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Why Coca-Cola are sponsoring the League of Legends Challenger Series and not the Super Bowl

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Why Coca-Cola are sponsoring the League of Legends Challenger Series and not the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is an advertiser’s dream endgame - as many American eyes in one place as one event can withstand. But this year, Coca-Cola have partnered with Riot for their League of Legends Challenger Series. Because Coke’s demographic is primarily men between the ages of 17-30, they reckon League of Legends’ audience has “eclipsed [by] several fold" the numbers they’d reach via the world’s most-watched American football game.

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