Aug 16 2014 - 11:23 pm

SK Gaming will represent Europe at World Championships

SK Gaming wasn't supposed to be here
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

SK Gaming wasn't supposed to be here. They started the year in relegation, a team with a rebuilt lineup that lacked the star power filling Europe's other top teams. But today they showed you don't need stars in League of Legends, earning the last available spot for a European team at the World Championships, where the best League of Legends teams will clash for more than $2 million in prizes.

SK Gaming rocked ROCCAT in the third place match of the League Championship Series, sweeping the Polish team with a 3-0 score to seize that all-important berth in the World Championships.

Yesterday’s semifinals were superb showings for both teams, and promised an exciting game today. ROCCAT lost 3-2 to Fnatic in a series they easily could have won, if they had avoided a few key late game mistakes. SK Gaming had a similar 3-1 loss to Alliance. But today, ROCCAT capitulated. It seems the Polish team suffered from the lack of preparation; instead of a week to prepare for Fnatic, they had one night for SK Gaming, and it showed in their gameplay.

SK Gaming controlled the series from the get-go, methodically crushing ROCCAT in a steady march to the win and to Worlds. The games were slow-paced and low action, with only 58 kills between the two teams.

Mid laner Jesse “Jesiz” Lee answered criticism regarding his play against Fnatic with a superb performance, posting a 12/2/18 KDA line. Teammates Adrian “CandyPanda” Wubbelman, who was shut down by Alliance yesterday, also put up a great 13/3/18 KDA line.

"After losing yesterday, it made it clear to me how much I wanted to win," Lee said after the match. "I gave 150 percent today. Yesterday, I surely gave 100 percent, but I was sad to lose. I was mad. I wanted to win more than anything."

It was a well-deserved victory for SK Gaming, who proved they are one of Europe’s top three teams this year.

"We will represent Europe as best as possible," said the team's support, Christoph "nRated" Seitz. "We might be able to surprise some people with our picks and bans. I think overall our play style is very solid. We've improved so much when you see that before people were calling us out for having not good lanes, but we keep improving and we're winning our lanes."

Few expected SK to reach such heights. The team fell to relegation at the end of last season under the leadership of mid laner Carlos "ocelote" Rodríguez Santiago. The organization cleaned house entering this year, putting together a new lineup with Wubbelman as the only holdover. The team lacked standout talent, but made up for it with amazing team play and solid team fighting. In the spring split, SK Gaming ranked first at the end of the regular season. This season, they ranked in the top two until a late fall in the standings, but they quickly recovered in the playoffs, where they looked dominant against both Millenium and ROCCAT.

Now, no one can say SK Gaming does not belong on the world stage.

Screengrab via Riot Games/YouTube

Jan 17 2017 - 8:11 pm

The spring NA LCS finals are coming to Vancouver

NA’s biggest League of Legends event is returning to Canada.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Riot Games

For the second season in a row, the North American League Championship Series will reach its conclusion in Canada.

Following the explosive confrontation between TSM and Cloud9 in the 2016 Summer Split finals in Toronto, the 2017 Spring Split finals will take place in the 20,000 seat Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver from April 22-23.

Riot has not announced when tickets for the event will go on sale, so Canadian fans and those looking to attend should keep their eyes peeled. 15,000 fans attended the 2016 NA LCS Summer Split finals last year, completely filling the Air Canada Centre, which should indicate just how high demand for tickets is.

This marks the NA LCS' second-ever final abroad, as seven of the league's eight finals haven taken place in locations around the U.S. Compare that to the EU LCS, which has been spoiled in terms of its show being taken on the road, as the tournament has visited a multitude of countries since its inception—including Poland, the Netherlands, England, and France.

The NA LCS 2017 Spring Split is set to start on Jan. 20.

Today - 9:07 pm

After pre-season updates made the Jungle worse, Riot says ‘oops’ and promises to fix it

Riot’s dev team explains why the state of the jungle is so broken and how they plan on dealing with it.
Aaron Mickunas
League of Legends Writer
Image via Riot Games

During the League of Legends pre-season, Riot made big changes to address some glaring issues within the Jungle. But it only made the situation worse.

In somewhat of a “My bad!” moment, Lead Champion Designer Andrei 'Meddler' van Roon explained what backfired with the jungler role. In his post, he comprehensively lists all of the reasons that the jungler might just be the most broken role in the game (sorry ADCs!).

The community has been complaining about the state of the jungler for a while now, but this is the first official answer we’ve seen from Riot on the matter. Riot said it very simply, and very directly in the Nexus post.

“We believe jungler influence over game outcome is too high.”

So what exactly is wrong with the jungler?


Perhaps the most significant issue with junglers before the pre-season was that farm-obsessed junglers became much too powerful. Monsters were too easy to kill relative to how great the rewards of gold and experience were. The dominant tactic for junglers became out-farming the enemy jungler, and whoever fell behind ended up hindering their team dramatically.

Back then, the rest of the team would attempt to help their jungler get ahead by getting an early kill on the enemy jungler, setting back their progress considerably. The team began to revolve around the jungler. This was a contradiction to how the jungler had been perceived in earlier seasons—as a supporting role designed to gank and help their teammates in lanes do well.

Riot wanted to fix that, so it lengthened spawn times on monster camps and made them harder to kill (but increased the rewards the camps give to compensate). The idea to push junglers to gank more than they farmed worked a little too well.

Not only are junglers ganking too much, but they also survive way too long. With new tools like the Honeyfruit plant and gaining health back with every smite, junglers just won’t die. They are able to farm more camps for more rewards and gank more lanes without losing enough health to warrant going back to base. This led to junglers gaining too much experience—with level advantages on lanes that they’ve never had before.

Game agency

The term “game agency” has been tossed around a lot lately. First, with the current feelings that ADCs are going through, and now, with junglers.

In a basic sense, the term “game agency” in this case is just another term for a role’s identity within the game. What purpose do they serve, and is it unique enough to feel important? The issue with ADCs right now is that they don’t feel important enough to the state of the game to have a unique identity (aside from being Lee Sin’s punching bag).

Junglers, however, have the opposite issue. Junglers and jungle champions have an identity, but it’s such a strong, outstanding identity that it overshadows the unique strengths and weaknesses of the other roles. They have too much raw power. It’s to the point that laners have become afraid of making moves on their lane opponents unless their jungler is preparing to gank, when normally they would only hold back if they knew they were outmatched.

This has something to do with the extreme rate at which junglers gank now, but combining that with the high sustainability, high damage items, and high level scaling makes for a frightening amount of power for one role to have.

Plans to reduce the overall power of the jungle have yet to be announced, but Riot did confirm that the plan is to knock the role down a few pegs.

So what can be done?

Well, Riot is taking responsibility for all the power it’s given the jungle role.

It is administering some short-term solutions, including lowering jungle experience rewards, cutting sustain across the board, and increasing the damage that jungle monsters deal.

Junglers won’t be able to live in the jungle for the first 10 minutes of the game without heading back to base, they won’t hit a huge power spike by leveling harder than laners can on jungle camps alone, and they won’t be able to gank quite as much.

These solutions likely aren’t the long-term solution. There will still be junglers that can clear the jungle faster, and we may just end up where we were before the pre-season—Farming Simulator: Jungle Edition. Farm-frenzy junglers could rise to the top, but luckily, it likely wouldn’t be quite as bad this time.

A long-term plan is in the works, and hopefully Riot maintains its clear and open communication as the situation progresses.