Feb 7 2014 - 10:05 pm

'League of Legends' developer says it has 'no interest' in using patents offensively

On Jan
Cassandra Khaw
Dot Esports

On Jan. 28, the U.S. patent office granted Riot Games, the developer of the massively popular game League of Legends, a patent that encompasses "systems and methods that enable a spectator's experience for online active games." It covered among other things, the way cameras function in spectator mode, which is what regular viewers use in order to watch a match.

Though the patent was granted more than a week ago, the news only spread in the League community Thursday, when someone who claimed to be a patent lawyer posted to Reddit. The lawyer cautioned Riot Games against “proactively enforcing its portfolio," against similar games, noting that enforcing certain patents against others may not be in esports’s best interests—interests that Riot Games once professed to prioritizing.

After the post rose to the top of r/leagueoflegends, the biggest League community on the Internet, Riot was forced to respond. In a statement, the company wrote that it has "no interest in using any patents offensively."

"We won’t get in the way of anyone else building awesome spectator features, but we do want to make sure League of Legends players can always spectate freely."

Great for the community, but what about everyone else? Riot Games’ astonishingly popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) is only one of the many games within the genre vying for the public’s attention. Given the situation, would this patent spell trouble for competitors like Dota 2 or the upcoming Strife? Dota 2, for example, has a camera system which allows viewers to track the movements of a chosen hero—similar to what Riot Games’s patent is covering.  

Not necessarily.

According to Alex Tutty, a London-based lawyer specializing in games and other intellectual property-related issues, Riot "would not use the patent to stop others from doing what they're already doing because this would typically demonstrate the lack of novelty of the patented invention."

What the patent does do is allow Riot to stop others from copying the way they'll be handling spectator mode. In other words, it looks like only those looking to imitate Riot Games’ exact approach to viewer experience will suffer their wrath.

"Just because Riot have filed a patent does not mean that they will enforce it," Tutty said.

"Patents are often filed as a defensive measure i.e. a troll comes after you and you use your existing patent to say that you could not have infringed their patent as you are using an invention for which you have a patent for (or better yet that the troll is in fact infringing your patent)."

Tutty said patents like this are often filed by other technology companies, such as Twitter.

Photo via Riot Games

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!