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League of Legends patch 4.13 will improve match loading speeds by 10-30%

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League of Legends patch 4.13 will improve match loading speeds by 10-30%

While Valve take a moment to roll about in the success of the 2014 Dota 2 International, Riot Games are feverishly chopping and changing ahead of the League of Legends World Championships. Patch 4.13 cuts wide, not deep: its remit is absolutely everything.

“We’re ramping up our efforts to promote more diversity in competitive play," write the developers. “Boy are you going to hear this a lot." 

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Yordle-ay-ee-oooo: meet League of Legends' pointy-eared new arrival, Gnar

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Yordle-ay-ee-oooo: meet League of Legends' pointy-eared new arrival, Gnar

The sheer size of League of Legends’ roster means Riot Games can make champions for all types. Gnar is a player character for fans of the noise you make when liquid inexplicably travels the ‘wrong way’ down your throat, despite a lifetime of practice.

From what we can tell, he sports big claws, tusks, red eyes, and a vague resemblance to Hollywood’s Gremlins.

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Chat restrictions increase win rates for a "large number" of League of Legends players

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Chat restrictions increase win rates for a "large number" of League of Legends players

Riot Games have loud ways of dealing with the very worst players in one of the best free PC games around, League of Legends - like the tribunal, and the head-on-a-spike reports that follow their rulings.

But one of the quieter tools in their arsenal is the temporary chat ban. Not only does it dissuade players from bad behaviour, say Riot, but it actually tends to improve their performance in the lanes.

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League of Legends: A New Dawn cinematic is a thing of beauty

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League of Legends: A New Dawn cinematic is a thing of beauty

There are things we’d change about League of Legends but it’s not their cinematics.

Riot don’t often have call to release a cinematic trailer, they don’t exactly release sequels, expansions, or new campaigns for their one map MOBA. Instead they release cinematics whenever they damn please.

It’s good thing, too, because when they do release them they’re bloody gorgeous.

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Behave: Riot is instantly banning toxic players in League of Legends today

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Behave: Riot is instantly banning toxic players in League of Legends today

Riot’s running an experiment today in League of Legends. Any player in the MOBA who shows “toxicity" such as racism will instantly be banned for two weeks or permabanned. 

Social system lead designer, Jeffrey Lin, dropped the news on Twitter today, prompting a slew of questions due to its somewhat vague nature. Lin took to Reddit to clarify how this works and that it’s just a one-day experiment. 

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League of Legends patch 4.12 video discusses the changes with Evil Geniuses’ Snoopeh

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League of Legends patch 4.12 video discusses the changes with Evil Geniuses’ Snoopeh

League of Legends has been hit with a colossal patch that turns a vast amount of elements of the game on their heads. Jungle timers show a countdown on-screen until jungle creatures respawn, and a great handful of champions have been tweaked into notably different reflections of their former selves. 

Riot have put out an interesting video in which the game’s producers talk about the latest changes with LoL pro superstar Snoopeh of Evil Geniuses. Amusingly Snoopeh isn’t all that convinced by some of the changes, and it’s Team Riot’s job to change his perspective. 

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League of Legends unleashes the Doom Bots of Doom

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League of Legends unleashes the Doom Bots of Doom

Are you the bravest summoner on the rift? You’ll need to be exactly that if you plan on taking part in Riot’s latest League of Legends experimental Featured Game Mode. The Doom Bots of Doom turns the game’s already tricksy AI champions into fiendish, apocalyptically difficult foes. 

And they’re stomping their way into battle from July 17th. Gulp. 

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League of Legends patch 4.12 sees Riot prep for Championships with tweaks to Ahri and Alistar

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League of Legends patch 4.12 sees Riot prep for Championships with tweaks to Ahri and Alistar

The last few patches before the League of Legends World Championships are like the final steps before the high jump. Riot Games need to plant their feet just right, or risk bringing the game’s careful balance crashing down.

Patch 4.12 sees the developers shift their weight just slightly to finish off “almost there" champions like Alistar and Ahri, while making more dramatic moves to fix characters who are “skewing champion select in one way or another".

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Riot Games plan to increase number of teams in 2015 League of Legends Championship Series

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Riot Games plan to increase number of teams in 2015 League of Legends Championship Series

Expect ten, not eight, teams in the North American and European LCS playoffs next year. While Riot “can’t promise it’ll happen", they’ve outlined a number of reasons why they’d prefer that setup. They want abolished Super Weeks, a consistent schedule, shortened splits, longer, more exciting playoffs - and more diversity in the players and teams we see filter through to LoL’s top competitive layer.

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Riot declares war on League of Legends skin resellers

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Riot declares war on League of Legends skin resellers

A number of naughty sites and skin resellers have gained the ire of Riot. The League of Legends developer has declared war on these illegitimate resellers after it noticed an increase in fraud.

As of today, Riot will start to deactivate all previously issues codes for champion skins, and the studio is working with payment companies, recommending that they no longer process payments from these sites. 

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Away with the clouds: League of Legends to ditch Adobe Air for its new pre-game client

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Away with the clouds: League of Legends to ditch Adobe Air for its new pre-game client

At any one time, nearly every part of League of Legends is being sized up for a revamp. Urgot is just the latest of many champions to get a new lick of paint, and the Summoner’s Rift is headed for the biggest update in its existence. But as everything changes around it, the game’s client has aged noticeably - creaking under the weight of every new character.

No longer. Riot are busy laying the foundations for a new client, built on brand new tech.

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Riot talk their next major League of Legends champion rework: Urgot, the Headsman's Pride

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Riot talk their next major League of Legends champion rework: Urgot, the Headsman's Pride

Undead executioner Urgot seems like he’s already feeling the effects of one rework too many. A rolling mass of patchworked grey skin and steel grafts, he looks every bit the zombie nazi commander on his third trip back from the other side.

But Riot have plans to tweak the Headsman’s Pride one more time, to address some “substantial game health issues" and make Urgot one of the more accessible League of Legends champions for beginners.

To quote LoL lore: “We can rebuild him. We have the techmaturgy."

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Riot are testing a new tutorial mode for League of Legends: "We think we can do a better job"

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Riot are testing a new tutorial mode for League of Legends: "We think we can do a better job"

League of Legends is one of the 100 best free PC games - but that hardly matters to the significant minority who don’t have the time or crampons to climb its steep learning curve. Riot Games say a “non-trivial" proportion of new players actually lose the game’s de facto tutorial mode, Battle Training.

“We’ve observed some of those same players go on to become Gold-tier ranked players," say the developers. “So this isn’t a problem with the players - it’s a problem with how we teach them."

Hence, Intro Bots - a brand new tutorial mode designed to scale to your level of MOBA experience.

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Dear Riot: please bring more League of Legends live events to the UK

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Dear Riot: please bring more League of Legends live events to the UK

Roccat and Millenium are playing the penultimate match on the first day of League of Legends’ European LCS roadshow. This is not an important match, in the grand scheme of things. The winners don’t become World Champions. It doesn’t decide who gets promoted or who gets relegated. It’s the fifth week of the League of Legends European LCS’ Summer Split. There are seven more weeks of games ahead till we know who will qualify for the World Championship. Yet somehow, it’s become /a thing/.

The sheer enthusiasm of the crowd is making it more than it is.

A chant of “We want wards!" starts at the back of the packed 5,000-seat London Wembley Arena. It fills the room. In response, Millenium lay down some vision wards around their base. They're showboating. The crowd love it. 

For many in the crowd it’s their first opportunity to see the game they love played in this way.

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League of Legends patch 4.11 aims to bring equality to the jungle

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League of Legends patch 4.11 aims to bring equality to the jungle

Everybody knows that you can never truly balance the jungle, because it’s full of cheetahs. But puns aren’t going to stop Riot Games from trying.

In League of Legends’ 2014 season, they’ve noticed that popular damage-dealers like Lee Sin, Pantheon and Kha’Zix have knocked more supportive, tanky junglers “right out of the park". And they mean to bring an end to that.

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