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A Weekly Recap of Happenings in League of Legends (12/23/13-1/5/14)

Hello all! Alex here, and I’m back after the holidays with another recap on League of Legends news. I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and New Years and enjoyed some time off from either school or work – Welcome to 2014 and a new year in League of Legends!

Today, I will cover what’s ahead for League of Legends, OGN Champions Winter, upcoming LCS openers, and more.

Gameplay Updates

With Season 4 looming in the near future as 2013 has come to a close, many players are curious as to how Riot will continue to develop and deliver a satisfying experience for a continually expanding player base.

Marc Merrill Sheds Some Light

Marc “Tryndamere” Merrill, who is the President and Co-Founder of Riot Games, addressed several issues that have been hot topics for some time among the League community. This conversation took place on Reddit, ranging from the ever-present new client question, to the way Riot views money, security, and collaboration with developers.

Client Development

“We really do try our best to deliver great experiences for you guys all the time – and when we let you down, no one takes it harder than we do, trust me. We know we can be better and we are working on it day and night.”

More goes into development of a client than what we may think. Developing and maintaining a game client that supports 15 different languages and functions consistently on a global scale, that’s hard work. To put things into perspective, Merrill offered the following comments:

“Riot has grown from 60 to over 1000 in 4 years and a lot of our staff are not developers – they are publishing staff that work on “publishing” (aka delivering) League of Legends to players around the world.

That is why we have so many regional offices and why we can do cool things, like run global tournaments.

Additionally, League of Legends is many orders of magnitude larger than the biggest online game ever – this is not a boast (we really don’t care about size, we care about delivering great experiences) but this DOES add huge complexity and makes every mistake a big deal since it impacts millions upon millions of players.

Additionally, Blizzard has been around for nearly 20 years – Riot built League of Legends in 3 years on a not great tech foundation (very long story), so we’ve had to improve the underlying infrastructure and foundation WHILE the game was growing like crazy. That is hard to do.

The reason we didn’t have a great tech foundation is because LOL was our first game and we had limited capital and the inability to attract the type of great talent we have now. So our capabilities NOW are WAY stronger than ever, which is why the game keeps improving across every dimension.

“But it’s like building a CITY and then saying, “we need a suburb.” It takes time to transition your millions of people from the city into a suburb, and you need to build the suburb and all the roads, power infrastructure, sewers, houses, strip malls, etc – all in parallel while maintaining your city.”

But it’s like building a CITY and then saying, “we need a suburb.” It takes time to transition your millions of people from the city into a suburb and you need to build the suburb and all the roads, power infrastructure, sewers, houses, strip malls, etc – all in parallel while maintaining your city.

These aren’t excuses, it is simple fact, and I am explaining the reasons for why things are how they are.

The good news is that there is an awful lot of light at the end of the tunnel, and everything we have been doing for the last year or so and will do in the future, will leverage our much better infrastructure (both ops hardware and software tech) to make things easier to maintain and improve over time.

You guys will continue to notice a lot of little improvements – we just won’t go about thumping our chests and talking about how proud we are of those things because they are largely behind the scenes – and the thing that matters most is having a really fun game.”

Security and Developer Relations

The events involving PhantomL0rd and DERPTrolling left a good portion of the League community concerned about the security of their accounts and the stability of their in-game experience. Better client infrastructure and dependability will be needed as League of Legends continues to grow in terms of both popularity and users. Merrill acknowledged this and also mentioned that Riot is continuing their conversations with the creator of Wintermint (A third-party developed client for League of Legends that was shut down in October). In fact, the developer of Winterment sent out this tweet a few days ago:

WintermintIf nothing else, this is a good reminder that the developers of Riot are listening to the community. It is a difficult task to deliver a smooth and consistent experience for so many users, but it bodes well in my mind that the co-founder himself is willing to sit down at Reddit for a few hours to chat with us. Check out this article for a full-fledged breakdown of this conversation.

eSports

OGN Champions Winter: Quarterfinals

To get things going, MonteCristo rang in the holiday season by preparing his Korean hype sleigh! Beginning on Christmas, it was another great showcasing of talent and strength by the teams in OGN Champions Winter.

SKT T1 K vs. Samsung Galaxy BlueClick to read team member profiles and match-up preview

This Christmas, the Quarterfinals of OGN Champions Winter began with the much anticipated rematch between Samsung Galaxy Blue and SK Telecom T1 K. SKT was out for revenge against SG Blue, and they certainly got what they came for.

Personally, I was expecting SG Blue to pull at least one game from SKT, but their attempts to be innovative, particularly in their second game, fell flat, and they were unable to make much of a dent in SKT’s dominance and performance across three straight games.

Matches played on December 25, 2013 

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3

KT Rolster Bullets vs. CJ Entus Blaze Click to read team member profiles and match-up preview

This particular rematch was close, quite unlike the series between SKT and SG Blue. While KTB has historically held the upper hand against CJ Blaze, I was expecting a close several games that would be swayed either direction with split-second clutch plays by either KTB or Blaze.

This is exactly what happened; three of the games kept particularly close, though ultimately, KTB was able to grind it out and take the series in a 3-1 fashion.

As a result, KTB will take on SKT T1 K for the first semi-final match on January 8th, and this is sure to be an explosive and note-worthy series to watch!

Matches Played on December 27, 2013 

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4

Xenics Storm vs. NaJin White Shield Click to read team member profiles and match-up preview

In a bit of an upset, NaJin White Shield took down Xenics Storm 3-1.  I was expecting a bit more from Xenics Storm within this series, but overall, their lack of confidence ultimately hurt their ability to make appropriate decisions and take objectives within these games, resulting in a disappointing defeat at the hands of NaJin White Shield.

Matches Played on January 1, 2014 

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4

Samsung Galaxy Ozone vs. CJ Entus Frost Click to read team member profiles and match-up preview

CJ Frost has seen better days, and this series showed that, across a decisive display of power by Samsung Ozone. For every attempted adaptation or lane rotation, Ozone had an answer and a counter that resulted in their convincing 3-0 victory.

Ozone will now move on to face NaJin White Shield in the semi-finals on January 10th, while Frost will fall to the ZOTAC NLB Winter Tournament to face off against NaJin Black Sword in a best-of-three series.

Matches Played on January 3, 2014 

Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3

Coming Soon in eSports:

OGN Champions Winter Semi-Finals

  • SKT T1 K vs. KT Bullets: January 8, 2014
  • NaJin White Shield vs. SG Ozone: January 10, 2014

All of these games can be watched live on the OGN Twitch channel.

2014 LCS

  • EU LCS 2014 Season Opener: January 14-16
  • NA LCS 2014 Season Opener: January 17-19

You can watch as the action begins on the Riot Twitch channel.

Coming Soon

Season 4: 2014 LCS

We are only a few weeks away from the start of the 2014 LCS circuit; are you ready? EU LCS launches into motion first on January 14th, and NA LCS games will begin on January 16th.

With all the changes and roster swaps that have unfolded across the past few months, Season 4 will be one to watch.

Take a look at what has changed in both NA and EU teams for the 2014 season in this article. Several other roster changes are still underway as teams hurry to solidify their line-ups for this next season.

2014 LCS Tickets Now Available

This season, there will be tickets available for all LCS events. Information and ticket sales for the Season Openers have already been released:

Articles & News

If you missed any articles we published, here are links to them so you can check them all out and stay up-to-date on Cloth5 content:

Blogs:

eSports:

News:

Incase You Missed This:

It’s difficult to keep up with the ever-changing news in League of Legends on a daily basis, so here are a few note-worthy snippets to check out incase you were AFK for a week or two:

  • Yasuo Movie Contest Winners: Across the past month, a contest was held in which the community could submit their designs for a “Yasuo movie poster, using the following words as their inspiration: Wind, Honour, Duty, Resolve, and Intent. I’ve got to say, the winning designs are pretty awesome. If you haven’t seen, go check them out here.
  • PhantomL0rd, DERP, DDOS Attacks, oh my: The League community was abuzz for several days following the events that took place one fateful evening on James “PhantomL0rd” Varga’s stream – PhantomLordWhat started out innocently enough as a night of streaming, turned into a cyber chase across multiple games, as PhantomL0rd became the target of DERPTrolling. Dota 2, League of Legends, EA.com, Blizzard’s Battlenet, Club Penguin, and several other servers and companies were affected as DERP performed DDoS attacks, creating large amounts of server traffic that disrupted in-game service and player connectivity. League of Legends servers were the most heavily affected by these attacks, due to the older technology they are built from. As if this was not enough, PhantomL0rd’s personal information was leaked onto the Internet, and a prank call was sent to the police, who showed up at his door, handcuffed him, and accused him of holding hostages at his house. However, as all of these events were transpiring, PhantomL0rd’s viewer count was rising higher and higher, breaking records for Twitch stream viewers. This has raised contentious conversation within the gaming community, as some believe that Varga could’ve prevented these events from happening by refusing to “play along” with DERPTrolling. You can see what PhantomL0rd had to say about all of this when it was over, here and here.
  • A Review of 2013: Multiple Youtubers and writers have been sharing their thoughts on the phenomenal past season we have had in 2013. Here are a few videos and articles worth checking out: *Remember that all of these are subjective to personal opinion. By viewing multiple articles and videos, you can gain a well-rounded view of the highlights from the past year. Remember that we are all here to celebrate a great year in a game we love, so let’s keep the arguments down!
    1. League of Legends Rewind 2013
    2. League of Legends Top Fails of the Year 2013
    3. Cloth5 Best of 2013 Awards
    4. onGamers 2013 League of Legends Awards
  • Cloud 9 Expands to Europe:
    Cloud9
    is poised to take the European LCS by storm – Previously known as “Apples is Sour”, this EU Challenger team is currently ranked #1 on the EU ladder and are going to be a team to watch this season. Also of note is that one of Cloth5’s own, Charlie Lipsie, has been picked up as Cloud9 EU’s analyst!

C9

Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

 

Special Thanks To:

Mark Cupp: My main graphics man and the awesome-est ginger I know!

 


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Alex "Valkyrie"

Hello all! I manage Cloth5's Public Relations and Content Coordination. I am a lover of Tazo Tea, League of Legends, Apple Products, & John Mayer. Follow me on Twitter: @C5Valkyrie

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