Sep 12 2016 - 8:52 pm

Here's the schedule for the group stage of the League of Legends World Championship

The schedule for the opening round of this year’s League of Legends World Championship is now available
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

The schedule for the opening round of this year’s League of Legends World Championship is now available.

The event will kick off on Thursday Sept. 29 at approximately 9:30PM ET with a match between two-time European LCS champs G2 Esports and the Spring champs from North America, Counter Logic Gaming, but the best match of the day is the final one. At 1:30am ET, Team SoloMid will take on Royal Never Give Up in a game that could decide the winner of Group D.

If you’re eagerly awaiting the return of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and his defending world champion SK Telecom T1, you will need to wait until day two. SK Telecom T1 will face Cloud9 to open action on Sept. 30.

You can check out the full schedule on the lolesports website.

Matches run Thursday through Sunday on each of the two group stage weeks, with matches starting at 9pm PST each day on Sept 29 through Oct 2 and then swapping to a variable schedule, with the weekend games on Oct. 8 and 9 beginning at 6pm.

The first week features matches from every group spread out on each day of play, while the second week closes out each group with matches from a different group each day.

The schedule may be a bit rough for some viewers, but that’s the challenge of catering to every region across the globe. Matches will end well into the morning on the East coast of the United States, but that’s when they start for European viewers. In Korea and China, games will start in the morning and finish just after noon.

The group stages will reduce the 16 team field by half heading into the playoff round schedule for mid and late October, with the grand finals on Oct. 29. Details on playoff scheduling are to be announced, but there’s plenty of League of Legends action to go before then.

Group Stage: Week 1

Thursday, Sept. 29

Opening Ceremony, 6:00 PM PT
G2 Esports vs. Counter Logic Gaming, 6:30 PM PT
ROX Tigers vs. Albus NoX Luna, 7:30 PM PT
H2k vs. ahq e-Sports Club, 8:30 PM PT
INTZ vs. Edward Gaming, 9:30 PM PT
Samsung Galaxy vs. Splyce, 10:30 PM PT
Team SoloMid vs. Royal Never Give Up, 11:30 PM PT

Friday, Sept. 30

SK Telecom T1 vs. Cloud9, 6:00 PM PT
Flash Wolves vs. I May, 7
:00 PM PT
Team SoloMid vs. Samsung Galaxy, 8:00 PM PT
Royal Never Give Up vs. Splyce, 9:00 PM PT
H2K vs. INTZ, 10:00 PM PT
Edward Gaming vs. ahq e-Sports Club, 11:00 PM PT

Saturday, Oct. 1

Rebroadcast, 9:00 AM PST
Counter Logic Gaming vs. Albus NoX Luna, 6:00 PM PT
ROX Tigers vs. G2 Esports, 7:00 PM PT
Flash Wolves vs. Cloud9, 8:00 PM PT
I May vs. SK Telecom T1, 9:00 PM PT
Splyce vs. TSM, 10:00 PM
Royal Never Give Up vs. Samsung Galaxy, 11:00 PM

Sunday, Oct. 2

Rebroadcast, 9:00 AM PT
ahq e-Sports Club vs. INTZ, 6:00 PM PT
Edward Gaming vs. H2K, 7:00 PM PT
Albus NoX Luna vs. G2 Esports, 8:00 PM PT
Counter Logic Gaming vs. ROX Tigers, 9:00 PM PT
SK Telecom T1 vs. Flash Wolves, 10:00 PM PT
Cloud9 vs. I May, 11:00 PM PT

Group Stage: Week 2

Thursday, Oct. 6

G2 Esports vs. ROX Tigers, 6:00 PM PT
Albus NoX Luna vs. Counter Logic Gaming, 7:00 PM PT
Counter Logic Gaming vs. G2 Esports, 8:00 PM PT
Albux NoX Luna vs. ROX Tigers, 9:00 PM PT
G2 Esports vs. Albus NoX Luna, 10:00 PM PT
ROX Tigers vs. Counter Logic Gaming, 11:00 PM PT

Friday, Oct. 7

Rebroadcast, 9:00 AM PT
Edward Gaming vs. INTZ, 6:00 PM PT
ahq e-Sports Club vs. H2K, 7:00 PM PT
H2K vs. Edward Gaming, 8:00 PM PT
INTZ vs. ahq e-Sports Club, 9:00 PM PT
INTZ vs. H2K, 10:00 PM PT
ahq e-Sports Club vs. Edward Gaming, 11:00 PM

Saturday, Oct. 8

Rebroadcast, 9:00 AM PT
Samsung Galaxy vs. Team SoloMid, 3:00 PM PT
Splyce vs. Royal Never Give Up, 4:00 PM PT
Team SoloMid vs. Splyce, 5:00 PM PT
Samsung Galaxy vs. Royal Never Give Up, 6:00 PM PT
Splyce vs. Samsung Galaxy, 7:00 PM PT
Royal Never Give Up  vs. Team SoloMid, 8:00 PM PT

Sunday, Oct. 9

Rebroadcast, 6:00 AM PT
I May vs. Flash Wolves, 3:00 PM PT
Cloud9 vs. SK Telecom T1, 4:00 PM PT
Cloud9 vs. Flash Wolves, 5:00 PM PT
SK Telecom T1 vs. I May, 6:00 PM PT
I May vs. Cloud9, 7:00 PM PT
Flash Wolves vs. SK Telecom T1, 8:00 PM PT

Today - 3:33 pm

How Hauntzer saved TSM

TSM’s top laner stabilized his lane and opened up the map for the team’s first 2017 win.
Xing Li
Dot Esports
Photo via Riot Games

Expectations for TSM are always high. But after dropping a set against a talented Cloud9 squad, the team found itself in trouble against Immortals. That’s when top laner Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell—their most unassuming player—found himself in a position to win the series.

Hauntzer can be easy to overlook. After all, one of his greatest strengths is being a chameleon, in adapting his play style and champion pool to match the needs of his team. But sometimes even chameleons need to stand out. And in the deciding game against Immortals, Hauntzer picked the perfect moment.

After struggling in his first few games, Hauntzer blew open the deciding game.

What happened to Hauntzer?

Hauntzer was a key component as TSM swept through the LCS Summer 2016. Per Oracle’s Elixir, he had the highest creep score (CS) differential at 10 minutes in the entire league. That’s right: The leading laner in NA wasn’t Heo “Huni” Seong-hoon, a primary carry, or Darshan Upadhyaya, a steady split pusher. Hauntzer was able to build leads and absorb pressure while playing a wide variety of champions, from Irelia to Shen to Gnar.

The leads Hauntzer built allowed him to shove and roam for his team while not sacrificing farm. This forced his opponents to choose between CS and teamfights. Building advantages like this takes time and patience. The effects can be overlooked, especially when the other TSM stars are the ones getting kills in teamfights. It’s the perfect role for Hauntzer.

This year, Hauntzer hasn’t had as much success in lane, and it’s hurting his team. The sample size is small, but he’s currently averaging a CS deficit at 10 minutes. That’s given the team fits as it seeks to find the identity it had just a few months ago.

How did Hauntzer turn it around?

Betting big on the top lane

The first sign came in the Game 3 draft. TSM first-picked Maokai for Hauntzer, a no-brainer not because of the priority given to Hauntzer, but because of how broken Maokai is with the Courage of Colossus mastery. The treant’s ability to lock down a target with a point-and-click ability while gaining a huge shield makes him extremely powerful in fights.

TSM then picked Ashe for Jason “WildTurtle” Tran but declined to pair him with a matching support. Instead, they grabbed Cassiopeia for star mid laner Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg.

Sensing an opportunity, Immortals (on red side), started banning supports in the second ban phase. Because Immortals also had the next pick, TSM felt forced to counter with a support ban of their own. These bans seemed to target Vincent “Biofrost” Wang’s champion pool, forcing him onto a tank support (Thresh) who could be poked out in lane. With their own support, Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung, comfortable on Morgana, Immortals created a winning duo lane matchup.

It’s extremely hard to win in professional League with more than one losing lane. Bjergsen can usually win his. But with the melee into ranged matchup in the duo lane, it was critical for Hauntzer to come through. He had to at least go even with Lee “Flame” Ho-jong’s Poppy.

He did more than go even.

A familiar pattern

Flame isn’t a perfect player but the guy knows how to CS. And Hauntzer straight bullied him. He went up four CS after two waves. Six after three. Small, steady advantages.

Meanwhile in the bottom half of the map, TSM jungler Dennis “Sveskeren” Johnsen read counterpart Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett’s overtly obvious plays, blowing flashes on nearly everyone. When Dardoch switched focus and roamed to the top, Hauntzer just walked out.

Blowing flashes wouldn’t mean much if TSM couldn’t capitalize. Hauntzer wouldn’t make that mistake. After teleporting back to lane and shoving his minions (up 11 in CS), he roamed with Svenskeren to the mid lane. The resulting dive was clinical: a summoner-less Pobelter was easily killed.

After the kill, Hauntzer walked back to lane and hardly suffered for farm. Meanwhile, Flame’s own roam saw him miss a whole wave of CS. This was the familiar TSM strategy of last year: shove, roam, and force the opponent into bad choices. When Dardoch overextended to kill Svenskeren, Hauntzer was there to earn an assist. When Flame overextended to steal a blue buff, Hauntzer was there to help Bjergsen earn it back.

The coup de grâce came at 10 minutes, where Hauntzer forced Flame to teleport back to lane. Less than two minutes later, when Dardoch ganked the bot lane, Hauntzer’s TP was on time. They won that fight and took first turret. By the time Dardoch finally shut him down, the game had already snowballed too far into TSM’s hands.

TSM needs this from Hauntzer in every game

Going into the season, we thought we knew how TSM would work. Bjergsen is the carry, working with Sevenskeren to control the map. The biggest question mark was the duo lane of Jason “WildTurtle” Tran and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang. Hauntzer just needed to be solid. The advantages he carves out are small and take time. Although he plays a role in TSM’s wins, he is rarely assigned credit for victories or blame for losses.

But with WildTurtle struggling in the early game as well, TSM is requiring more of Hauntzer. He needs to have an early impact in every game for them to reach their potential. The urgency is heightened with the current crop of top lane talent, including formidable international stars like Jang "Looper" Hyeong-seok, Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, and of course, Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong.

Hauntzer may not be the most talented top laner in the region. But he is exactly the player that TSM needs.

Jan 23 2017 - 10:16 pm

Your friendly neighborhood void monster, Rek’sai, is getting a rework

Riot confirmed that it’s bringing Rek’sai back to her original design goals.
Aaron Mickunas
League of Legends Writer
Image via Riot Games

Rek’sai was originally intended to be an AD-heavy diver in League of Legends, but she turned into a tank. Riot plans to bring her back to form.

Do you remember when Rek’sai came out? Well, if you don’t remember or you’re a new player, let us remind you. When she came out, she built a ton of attack damage (AD) and, using a couple of kills to get a proper snowball rolling, she could blow-up nearly any target she wanted to.

This was because she was released to be an AD-diver, or a champion that is very good at getting to the carries in the back of a fight and dealing a ton of damage. The drawback (usually) is that a diver isn’t great at getting back out of a fight. Well, Rek’sai was much too powerful upon release in late 2014, so Riot had to nerf her considerably.

After several nerfs, it turned out that Rek’sai didn’t actually do much damage anymore. Instead, she became most useful for her ability to get to the carries and knock up them so damage-dealers could get to them more easily. Because of this, players realized that building her as a tank was much more effective. She dealt at least some damage, and she was able to live long enough to trudge to the back and knock-up as many enemies as possible.

Realizing that the community has now dubbed Rek’sai more useful for a different goal than she was originally intended for, Riot now intends to fix the problem.

A small update is on the way for Rek’sai—one that emphasizes her ability to dive but takes away her ability to tank, Riot announced yesterday. On the League message boards, Andre ‘Meddler’ van Roon, the lead champion designer, mentioned that the design team is looking to make an AD-centered build more rewarding for her and turn her knock-up into a single-target ability.

Riot tried the same thing with Ekko. He was released as an assassin, but after several nerfs to damage, he ended up being used as a tank for his area-of-effect stun, utility, and percent-health damage. In the assassin update of 6.22 back in November, Riot attempted to change him back by taking away the slow on his passive and increasing the AP-scaling on his abilities.

This seemed to work. Ekko’s most popular build on, a League statistics website, is now a high-damage assassin build. We can only hope that Rek’sai’s rework accomplishes the same goal without making her OP.