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A Region Reborn - NA League of Legends Championship Series Playoffs crown TSM

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A Region Reborn - NA League of Legends Championship Series Playoffs crown TSM

The five game final in the North American playoffs between Team SoloMid and Cloud9 was all about pride, and getting the best possible seed at 2014 Worlds. But while TSM won by the skin of their teeth, both teams’ reputations were secure. They remain the clear masters of the North American LCS division, and their real test is yet to come.

But for Counter-Logic Gaming and Curse, the playoff season was one of heartbreak and disappointment. Despite the two teams’ tremendous efforts to change their fortunes this season, and surprisingly strong showings from both of them over the course of the 2014 campaign, the bitter end of the season crushed both teams’ high hopes.

It also showed that, for these once-proud American teams, the road back to the top of competitive League of Legends is a lot longer than one season.

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The League of Legends World Championship final is expected to sell out Seoul's Sangam Stadium

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The League of Legends World Championship final is expected to sell out Seoul's Sangam Stadium

The League of Legends World Championship final is expected to sell out Seoul’s massive Sangam Stadium, says Riot’s Dustin Beck. 

The Championship’s stages will play out across four different cities, with the final taking place in South Korea on October 19th. And it looks like you might have to be fast if you want a ticket. 

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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 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: 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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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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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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Queue Dodge: Riot paying new hires 10 percent of their annual salary to quit

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Queue Dodge: Riot paying new hires 10 percent of their annual salary to quit

A decade ago, I quit my job as an Assistant Manager at Blockbuster (who?) and jumped into a marketing job at the recommendation of my girlfriend at the time. It was one of the worst job moves I ever made. I got more money, but the job was soul-sucking, the atmosphere was unfriendly and there were none of the perks that I enjoyed at the previous job. But I stayed, because I needed the money. My work suffered, of course.

If I’d been working for Riot, things would have been very different - beyond the obvious stuff, of course. The League of Legends developer has initiated a new scheme called the “Queue Dodge," where new hires are offered money to quit. Riot says this is a reinforcement of its culture. 

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League of Legends' Karthus shows off his new look in his Champion Spotlight

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League of Legends' Karthus shows off his new look in his Champion Spotlight

League of Legends’ death-defying lich, Karthus, underwent some major surgery a wee while ago, updating his animations, fashion sense dialogue and connecting him more to the lore Riot’s developed in the five years since his inception. 

With the undead chappy being given a new lease on life, Riot felt it was time to give the old fella a champion spotlight. So if you’ve never taken him for a spin, you can get up to speed and learn a few tricks to get you started in the right direction. 

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Champions League: League of Legends gets into the football spirit

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Champions League: League of Legends gets into the football spirit

Wargaming isn’t the only developer doing something a wee bit special for the World Cup. Riot’s celebrating countries coming together to kick a ball around in the Brazilian heat by releasing five new skins, a ward skin and a summoner icon for League of Legends. 

And these skins aren’t going anywhere once the World Cup is concluded. They’ll be available all year round. 

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New look: League of Legends' Summoner's Rift is getting some major work done

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New look: League of Legends' Summoner's Rift is getting some major work done

League of Legends’ Summoner’s Rift is getting a big update, changing both how the map looks and plays. As Riot builds up to the big switch, it’s breaking down all of these significant changes. 

The update has honed in on five major things that Riot felt needed fixing: Clarity, visual fidelity, gameplay, thematic cohesion and performance. 

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Extra value: Riot wants to start a dialogue with League of Legends players

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Extra value: Riot wants to start a dialogue with League of Legends players

Riot wants to have a chat with you. The League of Legends developer says that it will never stop evolving and “improving the landscape of the game," and that means it needs to improve how it communicated with its playerbase. 

A real, meaningful dialogue is on the cards, says Riot. So it wants to share its values with you: mastery, meaningful choices, counterplay, teamplay, clarity and evolution. That’s a lot of values. 

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Sonuvalich: League of Legend's Karthus gets a makeover

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Sonuvalich: League of Legend's Karthus gets a makeover

League of Legends’ skinny Lich man, Karthus, has moved with the times and been given a big ol' update, tying him to the lore a bit more and giving the boney bugger a bit more personality. 

“Updating Karthus gives us a chance to expand his breadth of character so he again fills a unique niche," says Riot. That means a new look, better animations and over 200 lines of dialogue and a new voice. 

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