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League of Legends hits 4.15 and another champion, Azir, is on its way

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League of Legends hits 4.15 and another champion, Azir, is on its way

Riot has been busy lately. With 4.15, the League of Legends developer has buffed newcomer - and Gremlin - Gnar, introduced the new Master Tier and improved the client patcher. And, in an effort to minimise the eventual Summoner’s Rift update, some of the finished parts are being patched into the live game. 

A new champion’s been revealed to boot: Azir, the Emperor of the Sands. He’s a snazzy-looking mage with a heavy Egyptian vibe. 

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Riot on bringing back Featured Gameplay Modes: "No mode is off the table"

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Riot on bringing back Featured Gameplay Modes: "No mode is off the table"

Riot spend most of their time chiseling away at a five-year-old sculpture. Featured Gameplay Modes are their chance to just hack at a piece of rock and see what emerges. First implemented last year, the system has seen extreme and absurd variations on League of Legends introduced to the game for short stretches.

It’s worked rather well: in fact, Riot might yet succumb to players clamouring for the return of their favourites.

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Drink of champions: League of Legends spotted on Coca-Cola bottles

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Drink of champions: League of Legends spotted on Coca-Cola bottles

Coke bottles in the UK are currently emblazoned with a random name picked from a hat, on the off-chance that somebody in your party might be named Wesley. But in Korea they’re more colourful.

Riot Games president Marc Merrill this weekend revealed a range of Coke bottles plastered with some of League of Legends’ champions ahead of this year’s World Championships.

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Riot wants to help eSports players plan for old age, otherwise known as mid-twenties

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Riot wants to help eSports players plan for old age, otherwise known as mid-twenties

ESports is a young person’s game. While retiring fairly young is common in sports generally, it’s even more pronounced in eSports, with mid-20s being the average for retiring from professionally playing League of Legends, for example. 

But Riot’s trying to prepare pro players for a career once they hit that age bracket. 

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League of Legends' Gnar is always angry in its Champion Spotlight

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League of Legends' Gnar is always angry in its Champion Spotlight

League of Legends’ Gnar may be a smaller little critter, but don’t let appearances fool you. Once he’s angry enough he’ll hulk up into a monstrous creature, with hobbies that include smashing his opponents with his mega-sized fists and throwing boulders (sometimes houses) into his enemies face.

Riot’s champion spotlight have given us the scoop on what Gnar exactly does and how best to play him. If you’re at all curious how this deceivingly cute champion can cause death and destruction to your foes, it’s worth a watch.

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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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