A Weekly Recap of Happenings in League of Legends (2/17/14-2/23/14)
Hey all! Alex here – I realize I have been AFK for a while; things have been very busy for me lately. However, the news has not ceased to continue and I will be back to bringing you your recaps on the latest League of Legends news. Today, I will be discussing Patch 4.2, LCS, OGN, and Vel’Koz.
This season has brought a bumper crop of changes to League of Legends gameplay in terms of Tower Changes, Itemization, and Champion Re-Works/Tweaks. Patch 4.2 is the second official patch this season and built further upon the foundation laid by Patch 4.1 as we move further into the Spring Split.
Patch 4.2’s most notable changes included champion re-works for both Xerath and Skarner. While Skarner’s re-work has been a hot-button issue since it’s live release, there have also been a wide variety of other alterations that should not go un-noticed. We just released an article detailing the changes to Xerath and how these changes affect his role in-game; take a look here. Below is a basic rundown of what has been changed as a result of Patch 4.2.
- If you crash out of the game due to corrupt or missing data, the League of Legends patcher will automatically fix that bad data the next time you open it (so you don’t crash again)
- Soft Repair will not delete custom item sets while repairing your install
- Notification Box updated to handle more service status messages while also providing more information where necessary
- Updated layout of the invite, start game, and quit buttons in the team invite lobbies for better clarity
So Long Journal of Justice!
- The Lore tab (aka the feather) has been removed from the front of the LoL client
General Champion Changes
- Ashe: “We reduced Hawkshot’s cooldown at later levels and changed its bonus gold to 3 at all ranks.”
- Dr. Mundo: “Mundo’s cleavers got skinnier.”
- Evelynn: “The closer Evelynn is to her target, the faster her Hate Spike projectile travels.”
- Kayle: “We lowered Reckoning’s AP ratio while raising the AP ratio of Divine Blessing’s heal. We also added an AP ratio to Divine Blessing’s movement speed bonus and removed Intervention’s mana cost.”
- Riven: “We lowered Riven’s base health regen and increased the power of Valor’s shield.”
- Rumble: “Rumble now spits real flame instead of meatballs.”
- Thresh: Basic attack range reduced to 450 from 475.
- Yasuo: “It now takes more movement to generate flow and Sweeping Blade gives less flow when Yasuo dashes. We also reduced Last Breath’s cast range.”
- Ziggs: “Hexplosive Minefield will deal less damage to minions as they hit successive mines. Short Fuse’s base damage and AP ratio were both reduced at lower levels.”
- Xerath: “This rework isn’t driven by a concern for power levels. Instead, like a lot of our reworks, it’s focused on delivering a unique, cohesive champion theme. Xerath’s theme has always been the arcane sniper with huge damage potential. Give him time and the right target, and he can precisely pick off his victims. That said, with Xerath’s old kit, he had so much spell penetration and rapid-fire abilities that players would often just dump all of his damage on the nearest target. We believe his new kit delivers on a better champion fantasy.” (Read full re-work notes here)
- Skarner: “We’re giving Skarner a moderate rework to bring him slashing and impaling into the modern day. Our goals are to improve his overall counterplay, make Fracture a more useful skill and bring him up to current jungle standards. These changes shouldn’t have a dramatic effect on Skarner’s overall play pattern but they should make his kit feel more cohesive overall.” (Read full re-work notes here)
- Turret Changes: “Back in Patch 4.1 we made this change to directly counter fast push strategies in competitive play. Reducing the timing to 8 minutes from permanent is more in line with what we wanted to accomplish, so we did just that.”
Changes to the Ranked System: Champion Select Pick Order
“In solo queue matchmaking the difference in skill from top to bottom is too small to justify a pick order difference in champ select.”
“With the deploy of patch 4.2, we announced the below change to Leagues but did not enable the feature until today. We’ve since turned it on in North America only. We expect it to roll out to other regions next week.”
- All players will now have an equal (random) chance of being first pick
- For players in a duo, if either player is chosen as first pick, the team captain will be assigned first pick and the other member of the duo will get whatever position the captain received from the randomizer
Context: “In solo queue matchmaking the difference in skill from top to bottom is too small to justify a pick order difference in champ select. This change will make it more likely for all players to have an equal shot at playing their favorite role. It will also remove potential duo abuse cases; a randomized order makes it completely fair for pick order regardless of who’s queuing with whom, and reinforces our core focus on communication and collaboration at champion select.”
Wrapping It Up: TL;DR
You can read the rest of the Official 4.2 Patch Notes here.
But let’s face it – That’s a lot to read. To ensure you get the basic gist of what just happened, here is the fast version, courtesy of your friendly Youtuber blakinola:
Hexakill Is Here!
Our next Featured Gameplay Mode went live on February 20th and is available to play until March 2nd!
Two people calling Mid? No problem! Always being the 6th man out when your friends queue up? Those problems can be solved more easily now during the two-week span when Hexakill is live. The rules remain the same, the map remains the same, but now you can queue up alongside five other players instead of four.
Incase you don’t get the privilege of hearing the announcer go crazy over your Hexakill:
We are already halfway through the Spring Split for NA and EU! I feel as though all of the teams have stepped up their game in many different ways this split, and it’s been both exciting and heart-breaking to see the upsets across both regions across the past six weeks. From EU, ROCCAT has taken a commanding lead of the region, while Fnatic has fallen from their early dominance in the split. Within NA, TSM has been holding down the first place spot, but some early game jungle decisions and coordination have caused some difficulties in their games as of late. Will this split do a complete 180 turnaround across the last half of the split?
EU & NA LCS: Weeks 4-6
It is now well-established that no team in the LCS ought to be underestimated. The EU LCS has seen a consistent trend of teams who are considered to be underdogs coming in from behind and sweeping giants off of their feet – Take Fnatic, for example, they have been handily toppled from their early split tear. The same goes for the NA scene – While Cloud 9 is still a top tier team, they haven’t been as unstoppable this season as they were last. Then look at Team Coast, beginning the split with a string of losses, and now gaining momentum come mid-split; their recent feat of ending TSM’s ten game win streak served as a testimony to the fact that anything can happen in the LCS.
If you have missed any of the games from these weeks, you can take a look at the VoDs posts I create each week:
All games are embedded within their respective posts for your viewing convenience.
If you’ve seen the NA LCS games from this past weekend, we cannot forget Shiphtur’s beautiful xPeke-esque moment:
Who will finish the split with the overall lead? Only time will tell – There must be consistent improvement in all aspects of team’s gameplay and communication if they hope to make NA a top contender at World’s this season.
SK Telecom LTE-A LoL Master’s 2014: Weeks 1-2
The action is back on in Korea, this time in the form of SK Telecom LTE Master’s – featuring seven teams battling it off in 21 matches. For more information about the format of Master’s, check out Heliosan’s article here.
As with LCS games, I am also creating weekly VoDs posts for Master’s, which you can find here:
- Week 1: Jin Air Green Wings vs. CJ Entus & SK Telecom T1 vs. Incredible Miracle
- Week 2: KT Rolster vs. NaJin e-mFire & Samsung Galaxy vs. Jin Air Green Wings
Coming Soon in eSports
We’ll be swiftly moving into Week 7 in the LCS, beginning with EU on Thursday, February 27. Here is the schedule for the coming week:
EU LCS: Week 7 – Each game is scheduled to run approximately one hour
Thursday, February 27 – Games begin at 10:00 AM PST / 1:00 PM EST (Click each match to vote for winner)
- Alliance vs. Fnatic
- SK Gaming vs. Supa Hot Crew
- Millenium vs. Gambit Gaming
- ROCCAT vs. Copenhagen Wolves
Friday, February 28 – Games begin at 10:00 AM PST / 1:00 PM EST
- Fnatic vs. Gambit Gaming
- Copenhagen Wolves vs. Millenium
- Alliance vs. SK Gaming
- Supa Hot Crew vs. ROCCAT
NA LCS: Week 7 – Each game is scheduled to run approximately one hour
Saturday, March 1 – Games begin at 12:00 PM PST / 3:00 PM EST
- XDG vs. Cloud 9
- Counter Logic Gaming vs. Curse
- Team Dignitas vs. Team Solomid
- Coast vs. Evil Geniuses
Sunday, March 2 – Games begin at 12:00 PM PST / 3:00 PM EST
- Cloud 9 vs. Team Solomid
- Evil Geniuses vs. Dignitas
- XDG vs. Counter Logic Gaming
- Curse vs. Coast
All of these games can be watched live on the Riot Games Twitch Channel.
SK Telecom LTE Master’s: Week 3
Thursday, February 27 – Games begin at 1:30 AM PST / 4:30 AM EST
- CJ Entus vs. SKT T1
Sunday, March 3 – Games begin at 9:00 PM PST / 12:00 AM EST
- Incredible Miracle vs. KT Rolster
All of these games can be watched live on the OGN Twitch Channel.
We are inching ever closer to the arrival of Vel’Koz on Summoner’s Rift – This new terror from The Void will look to incinerate all opponents in his path with his laser of disintegration!
“The Void is preparing to spill forth its latest monstrosity: Vel’Koz. A terrifying being created for the sole purpose of learning, Vel’Koz absorbs knowledge and accrues understanding through a multitude of tests and scans. Unfortunately, those very tests, while extremely productive for Vel’Koz, have a tendency to utterly destroy his subjects.”
Per usual fashion, Riot Games is unveiling this new champion in an intriguing and interest-piquing way, first through this teaser trailer:
What can Vel’Koz Do? (Featuring Man Dinh)
Dan streamed for many hours testing out Vel’Koz on PBE – And here is a short video to give you a basic idea of how to play the new champion, his power capabilities (Keep in mind that this is still in PBE and subject to change)
When will Vel’Koz be released?
No word on an official release date for Vel’Koz, but I imagine he will be headed our way soon. Upon Vel’Koz’s release, you will be able to choose to simultaneously pick up his Battlecast Skin, which was announced last week.
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:
- Lane Presence: Flexing Virtual Muscles
- Crunching The Numbers: Season 4 Defensive Masteries (Part I)
- Xerath: Descent of The Magus Ascendant?
- NA/EU LCS: Weeks 1-4 Statistics (Infographic)
- NA LCS Week 5: Picks/Bans Analysis – Counter Logic Gaming vs. Cloud 9
- Analyzing AHQ Green Tea’s Support Malphite
- EU LCS Week 6 Preview: Halfway Through The Spring Split
- NA LCS Week 6 Preview: Unlimited Potential
- SK Telecom LTE-A LoL Masters 2014: Samsung Galaxy vs. Jin Air Green Wings
Incase You Missed This
- XDG Bloodwater Announces Retirement: The community has been abuzz with rumors and speculation regarding XDG’s recent and tumultuous roster change. Bloodwater has announced his decision to retire from XDG, though this does not signify a definitive end to his involvement in professional gameplay at this time. XDG has not solidified their roster, but former substitute will be filling for Bloodwater while the players work to focus on their gameplay and finishing the Spring Split. OnGamers has been closely following the development of this story – Travis recently interviewed TSM’s Manager and Coach, Reginald, about his thoughts from a professional perspective of both Bloodwater and XDG’s decision in regards to these changes. You can find this interview and further coverage here.
XDG’s Former Support Bloodwater Reddit AMA: The title says it all: With questions churning within the minds of XDG fans, Bloodwater sat down to take a few questions. Below is an abbreviated look at this Q & A session:
For what reason are you no longer in XDG?
Bloodwater: “I was removed from the team because I was not dedicated enough according to the management and owner of XDG.”
Are you retiring from XDG on good terms with respect to the team managers?
Bloodwater: “First, I’d like to clear up the misconception that I’m now “retired” from e-sports. I’m in a transitional period where I’m weighing my options and will probably decide later on whether or not I would like to continue. In terms of being removed from the team and how my relationship with them following my removal: I would hope that I’m on good terms with the players. As for the management and the owner, I’m not really sure where I stand with them since there were some pretty significant misunderstandings between us prior to the decision to replace me with Zuna and bring Nick into the team.”
Who do you predict will be on the NA Allstar Team this year?
Bloodwater: “My prediction for the NA Allstar team would be: Meteos, Xpecial, Doublelift, Bjergsen, and Balls (I would say Dyrus, but there are already two TSM members).”
What is your opinion of Zuna?
Bloodwater: “I think that he is a very knowledgeable player. He probably has the most game knowledge out of everyone on the team, but when it comes to playing the game the application of the knowledge he has falls short. Outside of the game, he knows how to make people smile/laugh with his unique sense of humor. He honestly is one of the friendliest people I know in the pro scene (in addition to Benny).”
What do you think about XDG’s management at the moment? And is this role swap going to solve to make the team perform better?
Bloodwater: “I think it definitely could. Nick has really good rapport with the rest of the guys on the team, so his addition could provide a much needed morale boost going into this weekend’s games. I really hope the roster change works out for them. As for the management, it definitely has its flaws (as typically people with less professional experience in this area have), but overall, they obviously are doing what they can to fulfill the basic needs of running a team.”
What are your plans post LCS/Pro-life?
Bloodwater: “After I’m done with professional League for good, I’m probably going to seek another job that I could balance with school in order to get extra income.”
You can check out the original thread for the complete conversation here.
Vel’Koz Reddit AMA:According to the official announcement, the Vel’Koz AMA will be taking place today:
“Vel’Koz’s arrival is imminent. In preparation for his ingression, we’re gathering some of the team responsible for his creation for a live reddit AMA this 2.24 at 11AM. If you’d like to learn about the monster who wants to learn about you, come along. Your participation is appreciated.”
So keep an eye on Reddit and be sure to come with your questions!
Thanks as always for reading, and hopefully will see you again next week for another recap!
Special Thanks To:
- Mark Cupp, for all the crazy 11 PM changes and always coming through with my graphics.