It’s been roughly two years since Riot Games revealed the League of Legends in-client tournament Clash, and it might just be the greatest game mode.
Due to technical difficulties, Clash has been stuck in beta since its announcement. Two weeks ago, EU players had the chance to test out the mode, and a few months prior, another test was run for players in NA. While Clash is progressively getting closer to a full release, there’s still no confirmed release date. But this doesn’t stop Clash from being incredibly fun and highly anticipated.
In essence, Clash is a team-based tournament that occurs in the League client. Five ranked players queue together as a team and are then sorted into a bracket to compete against other premade teams for prizes. In a video explaining Clash, Riot said Clash will occur every two weeks on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But this could change upon full release.
Clash allows players to easily enjoy competitive tournaments without going through a third party and emphasizes the joy of playing as a team. Of course, there are still kinks to work out while Clash remains in beta. In particular, Riot has struggled to deal with server load when Clash is active. And multiple players have noted various bugs that cause Clash to crash. Despite this, there are plenty of pros that outweigh the cons surrounding Clash, especially considering this is still a work in progress for Riot.
Here are five reasons why we love Clash.
1. No one is gated by their rank
It doesn’t matter if five Silver friends queue up for Clash or five Diamond players, anyone can enjoy Clash and be competitive. Clash pits teams against each other based on their rank. While there are plenty of third-party tournaments out there, many won’t differentiate by rank. Some may also have rank requirements that bar less experienced players.
Additionally, unlike the competitive ranked modes League offers, Clash doesn’t gate players from queuing together based on their rank. Meaning, a Diamond player could be on the same team as a Bronze player and anything in between. Of course, Clash does try to account for rank difference by putting more weight toward higher elo players when balancing each bracket. But being able to play in a competitive setting with any and all of your friends feels a lot better than excluding someone from flex or solo games just because of their rank.
2. You can’t be demoted
At its core, League is a competitive game and ranked queues have been the primary method for players to get their competitive fix in the client. But every loss in ranked can feel like one step backward, especially when trying to climb and improve. The distress of failing promos is imminent and losing a game due to an AFK player seems to happen all too often.
Clash, however, gives players the option to play competitively without the stress of losing LP and getting demoted. The focus in Clash is on the idea of getting better as a team and looking at the next steps rather than simply winning. While losing still means losing in Clash, it’s much easier to feel motivated to win the next game or bracket.
3. Every champion is unlocked
Players don’t have to worry about a teammate not owning a specific champion in Clash. This mode has every champion unlocked for every player, allowing for more competitive gameplay. Teams can strategize their draft phase by swapping champions back and forth without worrying about which player owns what champion. This extends past swapping as well. Players can pick and play champions they don’t own.
4. The draft phase is actually important
Games are frequently won during the draft phase in professional League matches. It’s a crucial part of the strategy in competitive games. But it’s often overlooked in other game modes because it’s impossible to scout the enemy team. Clash emphasizes the draft phase by providing time and information to players before going into the actual draft.
Teams are given roughly five minutes to sort through their opponents’ stats and create a plan. The list of stats includes what champions players play, their win rates, mastery points, and even recent match history. And all of that is easily accessible in the client, so there’s no need to use a third-party website for scouting. Additionally, players can consider what stats their opponents will see and plan accordingly. A player with an 80-percent win rate on Yasuo, for example, will likely see their champion banned.
5. There are prizes at every level
Teams automatically earn Clash Orbs for every player just by entering a tournament. And by advancing through the tournament, teams are given upgraded loot boxes. Substitutes are also entitled to prizes obtained by the team, excluding any trophies earned.
Additionally, Clash introduces new forms of prizing including banners, logos, and trophies. Banners and logos are earned by accumulating Victory Points. For every win, players gain 200 Victory Points, which unlock banners and logos as they progress through a bracket. The banners appear on a players’ Summoner’s Rift lane and profile page after they’re unlocked.
Trophies, on the other hand, are only given to teams that win a bracket. The color of the trophy’s gem will change depending on which bracket a team wins. Trophies will also display which tier a team competed in and appear near their Nexus during Summoner’s Rift games.
While it’s not necessarily a prize, there’s also a consolation bracket. Teams that lose the first game are dropped into a second bracket. They compete against teams who also lost the first game in their particular bracket. This means everyone will at least get to play two games. Teams can subsequently increase their prize earnings by advancing through the consolation bracket.
All in all, Clash brings the world of competitive esports to the everyday player. Anyone can feel like a star as they advance through the Clash brackets earning trophies along the way. It reinforces the desire to improve as a team that is often lost when grinding through ranked games. While Clash still has a long way to go before going live, we can’t wait for it to become a permanent game mode.