Posts Tagged ‘LoL’
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Rotating game mode queue now live

L4T3NCY New PortraitBY L4T3NCY

From the original clone-tastic One For All to the sand-strewn battlefield of Ascension, featured game modes provide unique spins on the classic League formula. It’s time to kick things off with the next game mode in the rotation:Nexus Siege returns.

Need a refresher on the new Siege Weapons or some strategy and champion suggestions? Go check out the Nexus Siege website here! Just ignore those out-of-date, um, dates–this time around, Nexus Siege is now available and lasts through the evening on Monday (we’ll shut it down very early Tuesday morning–usually between 1:00 AM and 3:00 AM).

As always we’ll be trying out different things with the rotating game mode queue and we’d love to hear your feedback. GLHF!

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that LAG SUCKS. Plenty of players experience ping spikes, lag, and full-blown disconnects all the time. But what if there was a quick fix for all your connection issues? For some players, there might be: switching from WiFi to an Ethernet connection when you play could have drastic results for your in-game experience.

I’m Viscarious, a product manager on Riot’s live services team. About six months ago, I lagged out of a game so hard that I decided I had to do something about it. It was the last game of my placement series, and I was playing as Sona supp. Our jungler was thundering into bot lane for a gank, and my Jinx ADC landed a sick double trap on our opponents (Leona and Ezreal). First blood was guaranteed. I was just about to follow-up with my ult when the lag gods smote me. The next thing I knew, Jinx was dead and the enemy Ezreal was snowballing. All I could do was apologize and resist the urge to kick my router.

I had to wonder: what if my problems were caused by my WiFi connection? What if, to claim my rightful spot as a true PC gaming god at the top of the challenger ladder, all I had to do was switch to Ethernet? To understand the problem as deeply as possible (and because this is a Clairvoyance blog post) I dug into some data to find out.







When you look at League players around the world, the average ping for players on a WiFi connection is between 6.7ms and 11.7ms higher than for those using an Ethernet connection.

However, this usually doesn’t manifest as consistently higher ping. Instead, increased ping is frequently experienced as ping spikes; your ping increases significantly over a short period of time, then goes back down a few moments later(usually after your whole team is already dead and the enemy Yi is dancing around your nexus). The chart above doesn’t show the severity or duration of ping spikes—just the average ping difference over the course of many games.




Similarly, we found that players on WiFi had between 1.9 and 3.7 percentage points higher packet-loss than players on Ethernet. While this may not seem like a lot, there are two things to consider:

1. Every time a packet is lost between your computer and Riot’s servers, a request has to be made for that packet again. You want your packet-loss percentage numbers to be as close to zero as possible because, depending on when the packet-loss happens, you could miss a last-hit, fail to activate your ult, or even whiff the smite on Baron (that’s definitely what it was, right junglers?).

2. Similar to our ping chart, this doesn’t show the magnitude or duration of packet-loss when it happens. Players most commonly feel lag when there are big spikes in packet-loss. The 1.9 to 3.7 percent figure is just the average difference between WiFi and Ethernet players over the course of many games.



Out of curiosity, we analyzed who is playing on Ethernet and WiFi and came across some pretty interesting results:

Some regions rely on WiFi way more than others. While over 90 percent of games in KR are played on Ethernet, well over half of games played in NA and OCE are on WiFi.




Part of this is likely due to the popularity of hard-wired PC bangs in Korea, but it’s also probably because we NA players are complete scrublords.

We saw a slight increase in Ethernet use in Ranked games compared to ARAM and Normal games across all regions.




But most interesting was the change in Ethernet vs. WiFi use by rank. Across all regions, a higher percentage of high-rank games were played on Ethernet. Although we’re not able to draw a causal relationship between playing on Ethernet and an increase in your rank, it’s clear that players at higher ranks are more likely to play on Ethernet. My best guessplanation for this is that highly ranked players are more likely to do everything possible to play on glorious, photo-worthy, wired battlestations.






We now know two things: 1) WiFi has an adverse affect on connection quality, and 2) it’s unlikely that Faker has ever played on a WiFi connection. So the next question is whether your WiFi or Ethernet connection affects your in-game performance in a measurable way.

For this analysis we decided to look at a range of gameplay metrics including: Minions Killed (CS), Gold Earned, K/D/A, Mastery Grade, and Win/Loss ratio. We decided to isolate our analysis to ranked games and players who played the same champion on both Ethernet and WiFi within the timeframe analyzed. Basically, we didn’t want to compare the same player’s Mastery Grade with Fizz on Ethernet to their Mastery Grade with Fiddlesticks on WiFi (since ping affects some champs more than others).

We didn’t find conclusive evidence that playing on WiFi negatively impacts certain specific performance metrics such as CS, K/D/A, or Mastery Grade.

Our analysis included only NA region players, but the results should apply globally.After all that gloom and doom we found about ping spikes, the results surprised us. No matter how we cut the data, we didn’t find conclusive evidence that playing on WiFi negatively impacts certain specific performance metrics such as CS, K/D/A, or Mastery Grade.

We have a few hypotheses regarding this:

1. While lag experienced from WiFi can negatively impact gameplay, it usually only has noticeable effects intermittently, so it’s difficult to isolate the effects within the course of a game (i.e. it’s hard to find the signal among the noise)

2. Players on WiFi may be able to adapt to added ping and packet-loss (playing around it, effectively).

3. Since there are four other players on the team, the impact of one WiFi player may not significantly influence the outcome of a game, especially if there are other players on WiFi on the other team.

When we removed the constraint that players had to play the same champion, we found that the win-rate on Ethernet was 1.1% to 1.7% higher than on WiFI.

Surprisingly, when we removed the constraint that players had to play the same champion across WiFi and Ethernet, we found that the win-rate on Ethernet was 1.1 to 1.7 percentage points higher than on WiFi. This is pretty consistent across regions. We’re really not sure why removing the champion constraint had this result. One hypothesis is that by controlling for champion across connection types, we’re also focusing more on players’ main champs. If you main a champ, you probably get used to dealing with the ping spikes that come with WiFi, but those same spikes hit you harder when you’re just learning a champ.






The same night I lost that disastrous promo game, I popped open a browser tab and bought a 50 ft. Ethernet cable. After untangling my cat from the wire, I ran diagnostics on my network and found some pretty drastic differences in the quality of my connection on Ethernet vs. WiFi.












AVERAGE PING 62.4ms 38.2ms
JITTER 33.7ms 0.21ms

Sure enough, I was experiencing higher ping, more packet-loss, and more connection issues when on WiFi. Especially interesting was theway I was experiencing lag. While there were periods of stability over the course of the game, there were also short periods with large spikes in either ping or packet-loss. These were the times that I felt lag most acutely.



My experience was pretty extreme, but let’s throw this to the commenters: what’s your own experience using either connection type? What lengths have you gone to improve your connection (longer than 50ft?) and how many of you intend to switch to Ethernet after reading this post?


Dev Blog Kled the Noxian Meme Banner

Riot’s latest dev blog explores the creative process behind Kled and some early concept art of his:


Champion Insights Kled the Noxian Meme


If Noxian soldiers made memes, what would they look like?

imageA weird question, maybe, but you can find the answer by cracking open a history book and flipping back to the 1940s, when American GIs were tramping around Europe during World War II. Around that time, a pre-internet meme started to appear as graffiti across the continent—an image of a little bald man with an enormous nose peeking over a wall. His name was Kilroy.

It’s unclear exactly where Kilroy came from or who first drew him. Some say Kilroy was named after a man who worked as an American shipyard inspector in the ’40s, but a very similar drawing is said to have appeared among Australian soldiers as early as the first World War. Whatever the case, American GIs couldn’t resist doodling Kilroy all over territory they’d conquered, even if it got them thrown into the stocks for a night. To the soldiers, Kilroy was an icon representing their victories, their values, their identities. Kilroy was the spirit of those soldiers.

Just like Kled is the spirit of enlisted Noxians.

image (1)



image (2)Life isn’t easy for the men serving among the lowest ranks of the Noxian soldier class. To survive in that job you have to learn to love war, hate cowardice, and seize whatever bloodsoaked glory you can get.

With this in mind, we began to imagine a character who would take those Noxian warrior values to the extreme—an ornery creature that relished riding into battle and chopping off heads. Someone who’d never back away from a fight, who’d always want to go HAM. Who better to represent the ideals of these troops than a murderous, mounted, yordle soldier?


We set to work developing a champ that would encourage hyper-aggressive gameplay. We didn’t yet have any real idea of what the character would look like, so our designers slapped together a prototype using existing assets. The first model was literally Gentleman Gnar riding around on a tiny Hecarim.

“When you got dismounted, the little Hecarim would run away and the Gnar would be left by himself,” says champion designer Iain “Harrow” Hendry. “Sometimes,” he says with a smile, “you need an expressive prototype to sell an idea.”

When it comes to nimble AD champs designed mostly for the top lane (we call them “skirmishers”), your options include folks like Yasuo, Riven, and Tryndamere. Each of these champs is designed for the kinds of players who like going in deep, usually a bit further than they should. All of these characters, says Harrow, are sort of tryhard champs. “These are super-serious people with super-serious swords,” he says. “The goal was to make Kled a little more playful than his skirmisher peers.”

When designing Kled’s abilities, we went out of our way to avoid giving him anything that felt defensive or “safe.” Everything Kled does is about incentivizing and rewarding aggressive, risky actions. He has to charge straight into battle to get the shield from his ult. Even when he uses his unmounted “disengage” move, Pocket Pistol, he’s firing a gun blast to knock himself back.

We’ve always thought about Kled as “light cavalry,” as opposed to Sejuani’s “heavy cavalry” role, but there are other ways we wanted to differentiate Kled from the boar-riding jungler. One thematic problem for Sejuani is that her mechanics don’t emphasize interaction with Bristle, her boar. If we removed Bristle altogether and Sejuani was just a big ol’ lady, it wouldn’t necessarily make a difference to her gameplay.

So, we wondered, how could we fix this for Kled? What sort of relationship might he have with his mount?”>image (3)


image (4)Kled may be a yordle, but that doesn’t mean he has to be cute. “Cuteness isn’t valued by the Noxians,” says art lead Edmundo “odnumde” Sanchez. “He’s sort of a weird little goblin, and that was the vibe we were going for. He’s supposed to look very wicked.”

Skaarl, meanwhile, needed to appear a bit more goofy to fit its “cowardly mount” theme. We went through a bunch of animals during early explorations of Skaarl’s design, including a rhino, a frog, and a buzzard. While all of these sound like Donkey Kong Country mounts, the design direction is sort of appropriate given the role Skaarl plays—it’s cartoonish, like a critter that could pop out of a barrel. “I don’t think the Donkey Kong vibes were intentional,” says odnumde, “but we were aiming for whimsical, so it worked out that way.”

There’s one exception to Kled’s “aggressive or nothing” design: the ability to re-mount Skaarl just by returning to base. This was a sort of compromise around player expectations. For every other champ in League, successfully recalling to base offers a complete reset; we felt it was important to preserve that with Kled.

Before working on Kled, Narrative writer Odin “WAAARGHbobo” Shafer had just finished writing VO lines for Jhin. After spending months writing gems like “Life has no meaning, but your death shall,” he was ready to move onto something a little more lighthearted. Yordles are lighthearted, right?

“We wanted them to be a comedy duo,” Shafer says. “The idea is that Skaarl doesn’t want to go into combat, but Kled REALLY wants to go into combat. So Skaarl will run off at some point, causing Kled to freak out. Their dysfunctional relationship is built directly into the mechanics.”

The process works both ways, with the mechanics informing the character as the character informs the mechanics. Once we were certain that Kled would spend time fighting both on his mount and off it, Shafer gave Kled two stages in his voice-over lines.

Kled always wants to go HAM, but once he gets knocked off of Skaarl he actually starts going more insane and more aggressive. Kled may have lengthy conversations with Skaarl, but Skaarl has the intelligence of a dog—mostly Kled is projecting onto his reptilian pal when he talks to it. He loses a part of himself whenever Skaarl runs off, resulting in some way crazier lines of dialogue.

image (5)


The cantankerous cavalier is more than just a crazy old yordle. All the aspects of Kled’s character—the violence, insanity, and his refusal to back down from any fight—are things that would make him an icon for the soldiers of Noxus. Not just an icon, but a meme. The dankest Noxian meme ever.

image (6)


Share your worst, most hastily slapped-together Kled doodles in the comments section below.


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at


With SK Telecom crowned as world champions for the second time, the offseason rears it’s mysterious head yet again, devouring the rosters we know and spitting them out completely disfigured.

To help you keep up, we’ve aggregated all the offseason news over the past month of LoL eSports to recap the chaos so far. Just looking for roster changes? Check out our roster tracker to see who’s playing where in the 2016 NA and EU LCS.


North America








  • Amateur players PentaQ (AD Carry) and City (Support) have joined Master3 to replace Smlz and LoveCD in the bottom lane.
  • Top Laner Loong has transferred from Vici Gaming to Unlimited Potential.  Hetong, Peng, Xuan and World6 have also been transferred.
  • Spirit announced that his contract with World Elite has officially ended, and is now one of the most highly valued free agents of the offseason.
  • Dada7 announced his free agency, leaving World Elite without playing any games with the team.
  • San has left OMG, announcing his retirement from competitive play in early November.
  • Superstar Jay Chou announced the formation of his own eSports brand, MRJ, and will include a League of Legends team.







  • Flash Wolves mid laner Maple will stay with the team after receiving offers from teams in North America, China, and Taiwan.
  • Westdoor announced his retirement from competitive play. Chawy will fill the gap in the mid lane for AHQ.
  • Hong Kong Esports was fined NT $200,000 for match fixing in the LMS playoffs. Toyz is currently looking to break his contract with the organization and has hinted that he was forced to participate in the scandal by HKE owner Derek Cheung.
  • Taipei Assassins announced their new roster, re-signing Bebe as AD carry and adding a substitute for each role.



  • Trident Esports mid laner Claire was suspended from competing in Riot affiliated events for the first split of the 2016 OPL season.








  • The National Electronic Sports Tournament 2015 (NEST) is currently underway, with seven of China’s best teams battling for a $32,000 grand prize.
  • The 2015 All-Star voting has completed, and the regional teams have been announced. All-Star 2015 takes place December 10-14th.
  • IEM Cologne takes place beginning December 18th and features Team Liquid, Cloud 9, and Edward Gaming, with the remaining three teams still being voted in.




 image credit: Ling Gu, lolesports


Touted as one of the worlds premier eSports organizations, Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) has announced that they will be returning to League of Legends after a brief stint in 2012.

Na’Vi will begin it’s search for a roster from the top down, opting to approach the process from a traditional sports perspective. From the announcement:


We will use the experience of traditional sports: first employ managers and then form our League of Legends team, using their recommendations. The more eSports evolves, the more it approaches the rules and principles of traditional sports. We sincerely hope that our decision to go down this traditional path is a step in the right direction.


In a couple of days we will publish an announcement with the details concerning the vacancy of League of Legends head coach, so follow the updates on our website. You are most welcome to send your CV, especially if you consider yourself a competent professional, capable of accomplishing all important tasks of this position!


Na’Vi CEO Alexander “ZeroGravity“ Kokhanovsky had this to say:

eSports does not stand still, and we also move forward. I am sure that this innovation will prove how effective the sports approach can be for the formation of the League of Legends team.


While Na’Vi is based in the Ukraine, there is no guarantee the team will be. In 2012, Na’Vi competed in Korea’s OGN The Champions before falling to 11th place. With the 2016 Spring Season already locked in, Natus Vincere may look to enter the LCS through purchasing of the Dignitas EU roster, who recently qualified for the 2016 European LCS. As Dignitas already has a team in the NA LCS, one of the two must be sold before the start of the season.


NoL will continue to provide updates as further details become available .
image credit: Natus Vincere


As IEM San Jose draws nearer, ESL has announced that they have invited Korea’s Jin Air Green Wings to join the competition. Jin Air recently placed second in the 2015 LCK Regional Qualifiers falling short of qualifying for the 2015 World Championship.

Jin Air is set to compete with the other teams from Europe and North America, with the Chinese region’s voting currently underway. Lineup so far:

  • Fnatic (Europe #1 Seed)
  • Origen (Europe #2 Seed)
  • Team SoloMid (North America #2 Seed)
  • Counter Logic Gaming (North America #1 Seed)
  • Jin Air Green Wings (Korea #6 Seed)

IEM San Jose is set to kick off on November 21st, at the SAP center in San Jose.


image credit: ESL/IEM


With the World Championship set to kick off on October 1st in Paris, the 16 qualified teams have been drawn into four groups of international competition. The group stage will take place over two weeks in a double round robin style tournament, with teams playing against each other in two best of 1’s, for a total of 12 matches per group plus any necessary tiebreakers. Read the complete World Championship format.


Teams competing at the 2015 World Championship


Screenshot 2015-09-12 11.38.33



2015 World Championship Groups


Worlds Pools



images via lolesports/riotgames



After the confetti descends at the 2015 World Championship, we’ll head into the offseason with players around the world setting their sights on our last international event of the year. The 2015 All-Star Event (ASE) will bring the unexpected to the Rift featuring a clash of the regions, epic 1v1 matches, fan-voted comps, fun game modes, and mixed region roster showdown.

As we announced earlier this year, we’re hosting two large-scale international tournaments outside of Worlds. Before Summer Split, there was the intense and competitive Mid-Season Invitational which hit Tallahassee in May. After Worlds, we’ll be hosting the All-Star Event, a new exhibition at the NA LCS Studio in Los Angeles from December 10-13. The ASE will bring beloved players from around the world together, all in a revamped “theatre-in-the-round” studio layout to accommodate more fans than ever before.

Evolving from 2014’s All-Star voting format, fans will vote in five players to represent their regional “dream teams” for the NA LCS, EU LCS, LCK, LPL, and LMS this year. With IWC’s top team added to the mix, these six teams will be assigned to Team Fire or Team Ice based off their region’s performance at Worlds. The teams will battle for fame, fun, and player rewards for their region. Want to send Rush Hour or see Sneaky Bunny represent the NA LCS? Global voting will open in November and we’ll share more information about how to cast your votes when we get closer to the event.

The International Wild Card teams will also be getting in on the ASE action, just as they participated in MSI and Worlds. Before the All-Star Event, there will be the first ever International Wild Card All-Star which will be held in Australia in November. The winners of this tournament will represent IWC at the ASE. We’ll share more details about this new event soon.

We look forward to welcoming stars from Leagues around the world to Los Angeles in December to close out the year in style. Want to join us in the studio? We’ll be sharing ticket information in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.


image credit: lolesports


After a tenure in Team ROCCAT and joining newly formed Team Origen in late April, Titus “Ducky” Hafner has surprisingly announced that he will be stepping down from his position as Head Coach.

Finishing at 2nd place in both the Summer Split and Playoffs, Origen made an impressive debut with Ducky at the helm, qualifying for the World Championship in their first split of the LCS. With worlds looming just a month away, this move comes at a critical time for the team, as Ducky has stated that he will not attend worlds. Here is an excerpt from his post, citing some of the reasons for his departure:


There are many reasons for this decision, but I don’t intend to share any details with the public. I can say that Origen as an organisation is very player focused / protective, which makes it difficult as an authority figure to push changes and break old habits. Not being able to contribute as much as I want to and being limited in my role built up a fair share of frustration. I’s important to me, that I don’t stagnate and improve as a person and go beyond taking care of analysis and preparation.


Ducky also took to twitter to clarify his statements:

Read Ducky’s statement in full
Currently it is unclear who will fill his shoes at the World Championship, though Ducky has said that he proposed a “strong successor”. NoL will update this story as details emerge.


Image Credit: lolesports



In Europe, Origen did not falter against the Unicorns of Love, sweeping them 3-0 in 107 minutes of game time. This marks the first trip to the World Championship for the team, who joined the EU LCS in the Summer Split. Origen is certainly not lacking in experience however,  with mid laner and Season 1 world champion Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez at the reigns. Backed by his long-time team mate Paul “sOAZ” Boyer, and veteran players in Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez and Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider, the team has provided an excellent environment to foster upcoming talent, as seen in their AD Carry Jesper “Niels” Svenningsen, who walked away with the rookie of the split. A combination of new blood and experience, Origen has managed to become a real force in Europe in a short period of time. Living in the shadow of European powerhouse Fnatic for most of the split, Origen heads to worlds with something to prove.





On the other side of the globe, Cloud 9 pulled off nothing short of a miracle against heavy favorites Team Liquid. Battling through two best of fives on their way, the team managed to climb back from 0-2 deficits both times before taking down the #1 NA seed 3-1 in the finals. Heavy favorites coming into the Summer Split, Cloud 9 struggled in unfamiliar fashion, falling as low as 10th place. When things started going south, Cloud 9 decided to mix it up, adding Royce “Bubbadub” Newcomb to their support staff, and initiating a roster swap that saw a retired Hai “Hai” Du Lam take on a surprisingly effective role in the jungle, replacing longstanding jungler Will “Meteos” Hartman. With Hai back at the helm of the team, newly added mid laner Nicolaj “Incarnati0n” Jensen could finally shine, dictating the mid lane for the entirety of the regional qualifiers after a very slow start to the summer split. Led by Hai’s renowned shotcalling and featuring star performances from AD Carry Zachary “Sneaky” with Derek “LemonNation” “Hart” and An “Balls” Van Le taking on a more supportive role, Cloud 9 managed to turn their worst split in team history into yet another World Championship appearance. Though Cloud 9 has qualified for the World Championship every year since they debuted as a team, this time the road had a lot more obstacles, and the team heads into the biggest international event of the year as underdogs, a position they haven’t been in since joining the LCS in 2013.


Image Credit: lolesports