Dec 6 2013 - 6:02 pm

The little roster change that's threatening to shake up 'League of Legends'

It looks like a major roster change is about to shake up one of the biggest competitive gaming leagues in the world—and it's taking the form of a European invasion
Ferguson Mitchell
Dot Esports

It looks like a major roster change is about to shake up one of the biggest competitive gaming leagues in the world—and it's taking the form of a European invasion. Last season, American squad Velocity was one of just eight teams to make it into the prestigious North American League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). But after an embarrassing 5-23 run, the team cleaned house, dumping every single player from the roster.

The stakes are high. Around 30 million users play League of Legends every month. Last season's LCS final saw 32 million viewers and awarded a prize of $1 million to eventual winners, Korean team SK Telecom T1 K.

“As a team, we can’t seem to make any magic happen, and I know it’s not getting any easier as our competition heats up,” the team's manager, Brad “I am Guitar” Cordry said in announcing the change. To keep the brand alive, Cordry outsourced the team's offseason competitions to fellow North America team, Denial.East.

But that was always just a temporary solution. And late last week, the rumor mill began churning. An unsourced Reddit thread proudly announced that a team on the European side, Evil Geniuses, had bought out Velocity's spot in the LCS. Reddit isn't always known for it's reliability, but, in this case, the rumors were backed up by a mountain of circumstantial evidence.

Redditors soon discovered, for instance, that members of the European-based Evil Genius (EG) were playing on North American accounts. Tweets hinted at backroom deals that had gone on earlier in the preseason.

Player streams and vlogs have further solidified the what this new roster might look like. Velocity would now be the home of former Evil Genius members Mitch "Krepo" Voorspoels, Stephen "Snoopeh" Ellis, and Peter "yellowpete" Wüppe. Joining them would be North American challenger players, Tyson "Innox" Kapler and Eugene "Pobelter" Park.

Adding even more credibility to the rumors, the above players have already been spotted in game scrimmaging against other North American teams.

Many expressed surprise at the rumor. In last season's European LCS, Evil Geniuses ended the season strong with a 4th place finish, and by many accounts had one of the most popular rosters on the planet thanks to the world-class talent of players like Voorspoels and Ellis. Voorspoels’ charismatic appearance at the analyst desk during the League of Legends World Championship in October further raised the team's profile. So why jump ship? A large roster change like this might severely weaken Evil Geniuses, and fans might feel like the players are abandoning them.

If the changes take place, it looks like Evil Geniuses European LCS team would include existing members Henrik “Froggen” Hansen and Mike “Wickd” Petersen, and would add on Ilyas “Shook” Hartsema, Erik “TabzZ” van Helbert, and an undetermined fifth member.

Further muddying the waters, this potential move challenges the league's current rulebook, which states that  no owner "may own or control more than one team.” Purchase of Velocity by Evil Genius’ owner, Alex Garfield, would violate that rule.

Head Referee, J.T. Vandenbree, clarified the situation on Twitter: “Alex would have to not own both.”  The delay in announcing EG and Velocity’s rosters is likely due to efforts to fully adhere to the LCS’ rules, which may change for the coming 2014 season. Neither Velocity nor Evil Geniuses responded to a Daily Dot request to comment on this article.

While the community waits for confirmation of this huge roster change, eyes can’t help but turn to the Battle of the Atlantic later this month. The Riot Games-sponsored showmatch features the top teams in North America and Europe going head to head. Additionally, it will be the stage for challenger teams fighting to get into the LCS for the 2014 season. Both Evil Geniuses and the rumored new Velocity team have matches scheduled for the tournament.

Photo by artubr/Flickr

Jan 20 2017 - 9:02 pm

The Blood Moon hangs in the sky—and Blood Moon Jhin could be League’s next skin

In an eerie tweet, Riot hints at the next champion in the Blood Moon skin line.
Aaron Mickunas
League of Legends Writer
Images via Riot Games | Remix by William Copus

The latest skin in the League of Legends Blood Moon skin series, Blood Moon Jhin, could be in the works.

Earlier today Riot tweeted out a teaser, in which the crimson moon can be seen through an archway of sorts with Jhin’s gun suspended in the air, making it almost certain that he’s the next champion to receive a Blood Moon skin. The red haze covering the scene really adds to the creepy factor.

The Blood Moon skins have been pretty awesome—even the early iterations of the series like Akali’s Blood Moon skin. The Blood Moon skins are all colored red in some way, and feature demon masks based on “The Red Demon”—a version of Japanese “oni” which is a spirit that brings strife, disease, disasters, and deceit. In addition to Akali, there have been five more skins in the series: Thresh, Yasuo, Kennen, Kalista, and Shen. Jhin’s will hopefully be no exception to that pattern of awesomeness.

If the skin turned out to be a dud the community wouldn’t take it too kindly. Why? Well, two reasons. First of all, the community has been asking for another Jhin skin since his launch in January last year. He has only had the skin he was launched with, High Noon Jhin, since he actually came out. It is a pretty cool skin, but fans want more. If they finally see Jhin get his new skin and it sucks? Well, I’m sure you can imagine how that would go down.

With ADC mains sending death threats to Riot staff over not enjoying ADC gameplay, imagine what they’d do if their favorite champion received a bad skin. And that brings us to the second point. Jhin is one of the favorite ADCs in the game right now.

Jhin sports almost an 18 percent rate of play, which means he is in nearly one-fifth of all ranked games. In the ADC role, there are only three other ADCs that compete with that play rate out of nearly 20 ADC champions: Vayne, Caitlyn, and Ezreal. I know you were expecting me to say “Ziggs,” but Ziggs isn’t played all that much in the bot lane (yet).

Fortunately, Riot’s skins have been very cool lately. Just look at the Worldbreaker skins, and even the new Lunar Revel set. With the track record of those awesome skins and the previous Blood Moon skins, we’re hoping Blood Moon Jhin will be as badass as it deserves to be.

Jan 20 2017 - 1:25 am

Get your Red Envelopes ready—the Lunar Revel event in League starts today

Riot is kicking off the 2017 Lunar Revel with some slick new skins.
Aaron Mickunas
League of Legends Writer
Image via Riot Games

The Lunar New Year is a sacred, historic holiday that is celebrated by nations in the far east. It marks the beginning of the year based on the cycles of the moon. There’s dancing, festivals, parades, but much more importantly: A special League of Legends event. Why is that so important? Because you can get sweet new skins, of course!

The Lunar Revel Event is a yearly occurrence in League that features shiny new goodies to buy in-game. The event was announced and started today, so after you update the client, you’ll be able to take part in the festivities.

1) Free Icon

That’s right, for the small cost of going to the official Lunar Revel web page, you can claim a free Summoner Icon! The interactive home page acts as the hub for the Lunar Revel event, and you can click through the menu to see all the features. There’s even some lore tying each of this year’s Lunar Revel skins to their respective champions.

2) Champion Skins

There are three skins coming out for the Lunar Revel event this year: Garen, Azir, and Vi. Each has a matching Summoner Icon available in the store.

Garen’s sword and rad man-bun make this skin what it is: Awesome. When he spins to win, a green dragon swirls around him. When he ults, the giant sword that falls from the heavens... well, it’s green.

Azir seems to be more of a themed skin specific to this year, as it’s the Year of the Rooster—and Azir is as rooster-like as any League champion gets. His soldiers are also made to match his skin, sporting golden armor.

Vi’s theme is “the green demon” and when she ults, a big green dragon swirls up into the air and slams back into the ground as she does. This one’s our favorite, but mostly because it’s the only time we’re ever going to see Vi in a ponytail.

Not only are those three new skins available now, but past Lunar Revel skins and bundles are in the shop as well.

3) Crafting

A brand new Lunar Revel crafting system will also be in the client until the end of the event. It uses the same crafting page as usual, where you open chests with keys you earn from playing games and combine shards to form skins and champions. You can buy a Revel Red Envelope for 250 RP and visit the crafting page in your client to turn it into a skin shard and one random relic.

The relics come in three types: the Pauldron Relic, the Golden Relic, and the Gauntlet Relic. Once you have all three, you can combine them into Epic Skin Shards (1350 RP skins), random skin permanents, Gemstones, or Hextech Chests and Keys.

4) Merch

Finally, you can visit the Lunar Revel merch store to check out some IRL event goodies. Want a shirt featuring each Chinese Zodiac with League champions instead of the usual animals? Well it’s in the merch store, as well as a collectible figurine of Lunar Revel Azir.

The event is running from now until Feb. 2, so be sure to log into the game and check it out!