Red Post Collection:State of the Season, RGM Brain Dump 2, API Challenge 2016 Winners, and more!

Posted on at 3:30 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes Meddler with a state of the season update following the recent Mid-Season update, L4T3NCY with a boards discussion on the rotating game mode queue,  the winners of Riot Game's 2016 API Challenge, LCU & PBE discussion, NA LCS Summer finals headed to Toronto, and more!
Continue reading for more information!



Table of Contents


State of the Season: Mid-season followup 

Here's Meddler with a state of the season update following up on the recent mid-season update in 6.9!
"Hi folks, 
It’s been about a month since the Mid-Season changes went out, and we’d like to share some thoughts on how things are looking. We’d also like to talk a little about what we’ve got planned for the next little while, gameplay-wise. In other words, we’ll be talking about champions, items, jungle objectives, and so on, but not features like the new client, matchmaking, skins, etc. 
The Game Right Now:  
Dragons 
  • We’re happy with the elemental dragons so far, both the amount they’re fought over and the variety they create game to game.
  • We’ve seen some clarity issues with the runes in the dragon pit and the scoreboard icons, recent changes seem to have mainly addressed those issues though.
  • We have been getting a lot of feedback that the Cloud buff is weak. Looking at how each buff contributes to a team’s chance of winning the game, however, tells us the buffs are statistically pretty close to each other. We’re looking at appreciability of what each buff gives you at present as a result, rather than adding or removing raw power.
  • The Cloud buff is also the most execution-dependent buff, empowering coordinated teams in particular, so we also want to see how it performs in pro play before considering any possible changes. Power adjustments might be appropriate at some point, right now we don’t think they’re the right tool to be looking at though. 
Rift Herald
  • So far we’re seeing Rift Herald be impactful when it’s taken. It noticeably increases a team’s odds of winning, but not to the extent of one of the dragon buffs.
  • Shifting to a single spawn, extremely long buff duration approach also seems to have created more interesting decisions around when to take it and who to give it to, which was one of our primary goals behind the changes.
  • A lot of teams have been slow to pick up on the Rift Herald changes, and so aren’t yet taking it when they should though. That’s not unexpected, given it takes a while for playstyles to adjust.
  • We don’t have any changes planned for Rift Herald at present, keeping a close eye on it though. 
Mages 
  • We’re getting individual champion balance under control again post Mid-Season, which should put us in a position to get a better read on how the kit changes (from a non-power perspective) are playing out.
  • Some of the kit changes look pretty successful so far (e.g. Malz passive creating a healthier playstyle or Zyra capturing more of a plant queen feel).
  • Some are still under assessment (Brand, for example looks reasonable but we just haven’t seen enough play on him yet to judge success or not).
  • Vel’Koz at least doesn’t seem to have hit the mark, with his ability to pull of a successful ultimate too restricted by the changes. We’re making some follow up changes to him as a result, allowing his ult to again contribute some stacks towards his passive. 
AP Items 
  • Are performing as hoped so far. We are still seeing a lot of shifts in terms of which AP champions are popular though, and which items get built. We’re waiting for longer term patterns to emerge as a result, so far things seem reasonable though.
  • Protobelt looks weak, but we’d rather start low, and buff where needed, given the potential power a dash on an item involves.
  • Long term, we’d like to add another AP+20% CDR item that fills a clearly different niche than Morello’s. Goal there would be to offer more build flexibility (old Athene’s, by contrast, was too heavily overlapped with Morello’s, with one of the two items always dominating the other for most champions). 
Taliyah 
  • Early days for her yet, particularly given she’s got a noticeable learning curve.
  • She seems to be doing the desired sort of things, although it also looks like she’s a bit underpowered on average. Her performance when played by people with a lot of experience on her is pretty reasonable, however. We’re going with two sets of small buffs as a result, checking between each to make sure we’re not overdoing it. 
Taric
  • Has settled into a reasonable spot. Main issue at present is that his ult’s still too hard to make out in busy fights, despite some visual improvements in 6.10. We’ve got further adjustments in 6.11 as a result that will hopefully address the problem.
  • We’ll also be investigating some form of universal ‘this champion is invulnerable and won’t take damage at present’ visual language at some point to make it easier to tell at a glance who’s currently immune to damage (Taric ult, Trynd ult, Kindred ult etc). 
Death Timers 
  • Seem to be around the right length post mid-season changes. We are seeing some games stretch out, with a few more back and forth stalemates. Some of those are slower games, some are pretty action filled, so that’s a reasonable-but-could-be-better outcome from our perspective (stringing a lot of words together there).
  • We’re not seeing as many ‘Clean up 5 turrets and the nexus from a single teamfight before super late game,’ however, which is a clearer win. 
Towers 
  • Look noticeably more lethal early game and a bit tankier overall. They haven’t changed dramatically, which is as intended. We didn’t want to kill early diving completely or substantially increase laning duration or overall game time.
 
Jungle Camp Timers 
  • We’re still assessing these. Our primary goal with the addition of the timers was to encourage more conflict around the red and blue buff camps, and we are seeing that occur. We’re still determining whether the timers shut down some types of jungler too much, however. That’s a concern that was raised before the timers’ release that we’re still seeing some ongoing discussion about.
  • The other concern we’ve seen raised a fair bit is that these timers dumb down the game. Our feeling is that they shift mastery from one action to another. Without the timers, players were being tested on their ability to determine blue/red respawn times by noticing when enemy champions had red or blue buff then using the remaining buff duration to determine the next camp spawn time. With buff timers, that’s no longer a point of mastery. There is more focus and need to deal with invades, or the threat of invades, which tests a different set of skills. If we’re comfortable with the above point (do timers overprioritize certain junglers?), we’re okay with this skill tradeoff. 
Future Gameplay Plans: 
We’ll be making balance changes in the upcoming patches as usual. We’ve also got some points of focus for the next little while too. We’re currently in an unusual place where we’re able to talk with a fair bit of confidence about some of our upcoming gameplay plans, so we’re trying that out as an experiment. It won’t be something we can do all the time, however, as work is generally too fluid in terms of exactly what’s in a patch or sometimes even which piece of work will be ready for release first. 
It’s also important to note that these are planned, not guaranteed. It’s still possible things might change.  
6.12 
  • Changes to a few champions, items and systems on ARAM.
  • Champion Mastery on both Howling Abyss and Twisted Treeline.
  • Adjustments to around half a dozen items, most of them regularly used by marksmen, with the goal of restoring some balance between Ghostblade/Black Cleaver and other builds on some champs. 
6.13 
  • A focused patch on the support position, looking at things like support XP, tweaks to a few items that aren’t hitting the mark (e.g. Ruby Sightstone or Forbidden Idol), small buffs to some champs that often go support, etc.
  • This is not a large class update like the one we recently did for mages, but instead a collection of small changes we can get out quickly.
  • Improvements to how Champion Mastery Grades are calculated for supports. 
6.14 - 6.15 
  • Balance, with some focus on Worlds Qualifiers. Qualifiers are expected to be mainly played on 6.15, so we’ll have a number of pro play focused changes in 6.14, with 6.15 a smaller patch (gameplay-wise) with time put aside to address any unintended effects from 6.14.
  • Potentially some ARAM followup work too, depending on whether we see any major emergent issues after the 6.12 changes. 
6.16-6.18 
  • Balance, with a focus on Worlds. Similar pattern to the qualifiers, with changes more pro play focused than the rest of the year in 6.16+6.17. 6.18 is set aside in large part for followup on any issues introduced in the previous two patches. 
Somewhere in that run of patches 
  • The Ryze update (full visual, audio overhaul, plus some kit changes that have a focus on balanceability, game health and distinctiveness)
  • At least one new champion.
  • And of course plenty of other things that are outside the topic of this post 
And that’s about it for this State of the Game - we’ll see you next time. Let me know on the Dev Corner what else you’d like to see from these, and we’ll be around to answer questions there."
Following this initial post, Meddler and Reav3 popped in for additional discussion!
When asked what the upcoming support related changes might be, Meddler  shared:
"Quote:
Do you know what support champions are getting buffs on 6.13?
We've got a rough list, changes are only just starting to get into testing at present though, so nothing definite (lot of focus still on getting 6.12 ready). I'd expect the systemic changes, XP gain especially, to be more significant than kit changes for most champs though."
Meddler continued:
"Quote:
How will Support's XP be changed; something similar to the past mastery where being near an ally grants XP? :)
Still exploring some options. Possibilities include:
  • XP for ward kills (those disproportionately go to supports)
  • Changing how XP from nearby champ deaths works when you're dead to not require an assist (supports that fall behind a bit die early and fall further behind more than other classes come team fights, especially since the sacrifice play's sometimes correct)
  • Adjusting XP from lane minions for champions who are significantly behind average level"
As for how this might effect other roles, Meddler noted:
"Quote:
uhm don't you think this will affect everyone equally? there's a lot of junglers who kill wards as well not to mention dying on ganks.
I mean it will work for supports of course but everyone will have more XP throughout the game leaving supports behind once again ._.
Junglers are the ones likely to benefit the most of the other positions. We do seem junglers sometimes fall into the same XP deficit though so that's potentially pretty beneficial. 
In terms of ward kills from memory we tend to see supports kill around twice as many wards as most other positions, so there's a noticeable difference there. We're not looking to increase XP gain for other positions however, so might need to filter a small amount out elsewhere to compensate or just increase the amount of XP needed for the higher levels slightly."
Meddler also replied to a question on the next class update after mages:
"Quote:
@Meddler 
You told us that after the end of the World 2016 you'll prolly work on another class update, have you settle down on which one ?
Which champion would you see on the top protagonist for a diver/skirmisher class update ?
 
Thanks for answering.
We think we've identified which class we should work on and we're doing some prototyping at the moment to try and make sure. Should be ready to talk about which class and what our goals would be in a couple of weeks (not necessarily at the individual champion level though). 
If updating Divers I'd be inclined to start by looking at Rengar, Diana and Aatrox, all of whom have some issues and noticeable diver elements (though end result wouldn't necessarily be that they should be divers). Probably Trynd if Skirmishers. "

When asked about the timing of the upcoming Ryze and Yorick updates, Meddler noted:
"We also expect the Yorick update to come out this year before the end of the season. It's almost certain he won't be between 6.12 and 6.18 though, whereas Ryze likely will be."
He continued:
"Quote:
Are ryze and the new champion coming out before worlds patch? or are you holding back so that you have a clearer idea of the meta? (so that you don't repeat last year's mistake with juggernauts and GP)
6.18 is the World's patch. We expect Ryze and a new champion should be out before then."

Meddler continued, responding to why Ryze is up for work again after his gameplay update last year:
"Quote:
Yorick needs a significantly greater amount of work than Ryze, and if I'm not mistaken there are also two different teams on the champion update. Yorick isn't getting delayed because of Ryze because one team is doing one rework. 
I believe Ryze also was scheduled for a visual update, and the champ up team decided to piggyback kit changes on it.
This. It's a good question though certainly, given amount of time we've put into Ryze versus other champions. The Champ Update team's also got a quick dev blog that'll talk about 'Why Ryze' nearly ready that should get posted sometime in the next couple of weeks for anyone after more details."
Reav3 also jumped in, taking about the timelines for Ryze and Yorick updates:
"Quote:
So if Yorick is kind of a stretch and Ryze will be released between now and say August, then Warwick is certainly for next year right?
I don't think Yorick is a stretch. I just said it's not guarenteed. I think it would be a stretch for him not to release this year. Warwick on the other hand is a stretch for this year, but not impossible."
When asked about thoughts on a Mordekaiser champion update, Meddler   commented:
"Quote:
Can we have a discussion on Mordekaiser and what people feel should be preserved in his VGU once you decide to start working on him^^
You had a similar type of discussion over Taric a while back
I think it would be good to do one once we're in a position to consider feedback received. A Morde update's not planned for this year though and while he's a possibility for next year there are other strong candidates too (Urgot, Eve, Panth, Swain, Irelia, Morde being the first 6 that come to mind). Wouldn't want to do any form of official 'we're probably doing a Morde rework, let's chat about what's core to him' without at least some degree of expectation internally we'd be working on him moderately soon after such a chat."
As for if there are any plans to update UrgotMeddler continued:
"Quote:
is there any plans for urgod in the future? i feel that his kit is needed in this meta, with all of the high mobility going on. Auto lock abilities would be nice ._.
No plans for changes to his current kit at least at present. Likely candidate for a full Sion/Poppy style update next year."

When asked if they anticipate any Vel'Koz nerfs, Meddler noted:
"Quote:
Is my vel'koz getting nerfed?
If we nerf Vel'Koz we'll nerf everybody's Vel'Koz, not just yours. 
After the recent buffs it does look like he might be too strong. No immediate plans to make changes to him, certainly possible we might need to in a couple of patches though. Need to watch him for a bit longer, gather more data on his performance, research how he's doing over time."

As for thoughts on Shen, Swain, and VladimirMeddler commented:
"Quote:
Meddler i feel as shen could use a love tap. His ult doesnt justify having such a weak kit i mean 18 seconds cooldowns on his W and E while he has AP scalings.. It doesnt seem right. You can ignore his damage completely after the 20 minute mark. 
Also i definitly feel like riot needs to tone down swain and vlad. They are the new ryze where you build tank but do straight damage
We don't have any current balance plans for Shen. I'd agree he can be unsatisfying at times, we don't see him as weak though. 
Swain we just nerfed in 6.11. Suspect he's still too strong, we're going to be nerfing Catalyst in 6.12 though since a number of champions using it are out of line too. Will reassess where Swain's up to after that. Vlad's also likely too strong and we're exploring possible nerfs right now that might go into 6.13."

On champion mastery calculation changes, Meddler  commented:
"Quote:
More importantly, could we get some more details about how the grading work, more transparency to understand our grades? What are the metrics used, at least, even if not the exact formula? I've seen people saying the number of wards used was taken into account and some others said the opposite. Same stuff about kill participation, damage proportion, tower participation, etc. It's very hard to aim for improvement when you don't even know WHAT you need to improve.
We'll be doing some general improvement to Champ Mastery calculations (junglers included) somewhat later. Trying to pull some of the Support specific stuff forward though since the rest of the patch has a heavy support focus. Offering better feedback on why a grade is high or low, and what to look at next time, is something we'd like to get in there too at some point. There is some concern around exposing too much information though which risks people making weird plays to maximize grades rather than to try and win the game. Trying to find an appropriate mid ground at the moment as a result."
When asked about additional changes for game modes like ARAM and RGM queues, Meddler  commented:
"We do want to put a little bit more focus on ARAM than we have for a while. It'll be an occasional thing though, not a constant focus like SR is. 
In terms of resources we've got a separate team that looks at the rotating game modes that put almost all of their time into maintaining modes, building new ones, fixing bugs, RGM queue functionality etc. It's certainly true though that there are some bugs that we won't prioritize if they only occur in an occasional mode versus bugs that occur in the majority of games."
Meddler continued:
"Quote:
Just to make sure I understand you correctly, you are saying there is one team that is responsible for all the non-SR modes such as TT, RGM, and ARAM? 
And for context, the most recent bug I can think of is a Morde bug on ARAM where his W can't be targeted, and will choose random champs to bind to (never minions). This occurs in every game and is reproduced 100% of the time. Considering that Morde isn't a popular champ, and even less so in ARAM, is this the sort of bug that would be de-prioritized by this team?
Yes, there's a team that focuses on non SR modes. Both they and the team that does regular balance both work on those modes though, so it's not a completely clear cut division of responsibility. 
I'd expect a bug like that to be prioritized even if it's only occurring on ARAM. Stuff like visual oddities around the ARAM poros by contrast wouldn't be prioritized to the same degree they would if they occurred on SR hypothetically."

Meddler continued, replying to a question about adjusting ARAM based on champion win rates:
"Quote:
Can you make an adjustment to the random factor of ARAM, so that both teams have an equal chance of winning based on champion winrates?
Because in some games you already know you gonna lose with 5 meele dudes against Varus, Xerath etc
We could, approximately at least. I'd worry that removes a lot of the variation that makes ARAM appealing to a lot of players though, in terms of variety of team comps you see and the need to adapt game to game to some really different situations. Random champ select can sometimes be statistically pretty unfair to one team, I'd argue that that enables a lot of what makes ARAM engaging though and that smoothing out the experience risks it just getting too flat and samey game after game."
When asked about adding more actives on items, Meddler  commented:
"Quote:
Are you planning on releasing more items which are defined by their actives like Protobelt? Its the only way to truly increase item diversity and you know it. Also it makes the game more fun to play, making games feel different from each other and increase the individual skill ceiling. Honestly there are so many benefits that im really baffled why you have yet to take this apporach (proven succeful by other MOBAs already)
We'll do more active items certainly. Have to disagree with you that item diversity can't also be improved through non active items though. Really distinct passive effects like Catalyst's Healing, Tear's stacking off spell casts, the Spellblade line, Rapid Fire-Cannon etc offer distinct playstyles and effects versus purely stat based items for example."
Meddler  also commented on the recent Trinity Force changes and the idea of making  two seperate items in the same style but with different stats:
"Quote:
The question I wanted to ask, is have you guys considered making a ''Second Trinity Force'' for the second group? I mean, similar items are nothing uncommon in LoL, are they? :P 
for example, ravenous hydra and titanic hydra are extremely similar, but the difference is the full build it'll be part off :P 
I could imagine this ''second Trinity Force'' giving slightly less (or less cost efficient) stats, but the 200% base AD sheen proc is calculated as a crit so you can empower it with IE. so they're unique from each other. 
We've talked about whether that second group of champs needs additional itemization to support them. Most of them have good alternatives to TF already, particularly champs like Rengar and Yasuo. There are a couple that are debateable, GP and some Corki builds. Current thinking is that that's probably too niche a group to make an item specifically for (we feel there's a minimum number of at least occasional users an item should have to justify the cost it imposes in terms of balanceability and complexity). Approach we'll likely take instead is to do individual kit work on champions hit by the TF change. 6.12's got Corki buffs, particularly given he was already struggling beforehand. Nothing immediately planned for GP, watching him though."
As for the abundance of CDR on items, Meddler  commented:
"Quote:
When the mini Support update comes around, are there any plans for at least one new support item WITHOUT CDR because every support item & their mom have CDR. I would like to build an extra support item to help my team even after I cap out on CDR. Right know, I just start building tank or AP items after capping out on CDR. 
Also, yes, do not pull an Azir on Taliyah. I don't want her to be nerfed into oblivion just because you guys buffed her while people are still learning her.
I don't think we've got any current plans to trim CDR, agree on the issue though. I'll pass mention on to the team, see if we can see any ways to improve it without introducing problems getting CDR for some champs when they're support. 
We've been fairly conservative with Taliyah buffs because we've reacted too quickly in the past. I don't think, fingers crossed, we've got too far at present, that's certainly an estimate since we're still seeing her learning curve get revealed. Doesn't look as extreme as Azir's certainly, there's definitely a noticeable amount of climb in there though."
When asked about the focus on esports as the World's patch approaches, Meddler  noted:
"Quote:
6.14 until 6.18 seems like a very long period focused on e-sport, without any possibility at larger systemic changes, like the "mini support update". I find it sad.
Any thought about that point, Meddler?
There'll certainly be non esports stuff in there too, not sure enough what yet though to talk about it. We know qualifiers and Worlds will be on specific dates and that we'll want to do work for them however, so can talk with confidence about our plans there. 
The .14 to .18 period of the year is also the time we're most esports focused, in terms of balance though certainly. That does mean it'll be a period with a somewhat different approach, both in terms of type of disruption and which projects we tackle."
As for when the pre-season patch might pop up at the end of the year, Meddler noted:
"Quote:
6.18 is not the preseason patch. Not certain what patch it will be this year but it was 5.20 last year. 
It was also a estimated time, not a exact time.
For a bit more context 5.22 last year was the pre-season patch. Around the same time this year's likely."
Last up, Meddler replied to a series of questions:
"Quote:
Hey meddler:
1. thoughts on the keystone masteries to fill out the other tiers? also is grasp of undying change in pbe a long term solution to its sustain issues?
2. What are your thoughts on Jayce and Varus (varus in particular), and do you see vik getting a nerf in the near future? At least in comp play with azir and ryze getting nerfed viktor is sure to become top priority.
3. Thoughts on the kindred and nidalee stranglehold, do you forsee them being nerfed further or is there bandwidth to buff other junglers.
4. What will happen next if tank ekko continues to be contested in pro play? On a related note, anymore plans for gnar, since after all he is the "anti-tank" tank.
We'll probably do some significant work on Keystone masteries in the pre-season. No plans for major changes before then though. The Grasp changes are targeted at the overall amount of sustain masteries offer that's too high overall and therefore distorting early game in particular. 
Jayce and Varus both seem to be performing reasonable as artillery champs, with reasonable distinctiveness from each other and other artillery. Would be nice to help out duo lane Varus a bit at some point, he seems to be struggling a bit comparatively, not looking to force him to be a primary duo laner though or looking to buff solo Varus. 
We saw both Kindred and Nidalee take noticeable performance hits in 6.11. Unsure if that was enough though, with Kindred especially still looking strong, suspect it's likely we'll chip a bit more power off them at some point moderately soon (that's very much a guess though). 
We'll continue to push Ekko towards AP builds over tank ones. Tank Ekko removes a lot of the needed trade offs and risks from Ekko's kit. Gnar I believe is currently in a fairly stable spot we're happy with, in part because he acts as a safety valve that keeps some other champs top lane from going too nuts."


6/7 Patch Update

The patch 6.11 notes have been updated to reflect a small bug fix for Skarner's R that went out on 6/7!
"6/7/2016 
Skarner 
MY STINGER IS STUCK - Fixed a bug where casting R - Impale on a spell-shielded target would cause its Flash lockout to persist until Skarner successfully ulted another target"


Rotating Game Mode brain dump: Round 2

L4T3NCY has popped back up on the boards to share his thoughts on Rotating Game Mode Queue now that it has been going for several weeks:
"Heya guys, it's been about a month since the last one of these I did. Got a good response last time to sharing so, in the spirit of transparency, thought I'd do another brain dump RE the RGM queue and alternate game modes. ^_^o

"My favourite mode is [insert mode here]. When is it getting added to the queue!?"
I spoke to this briefly last time, so will recap again here. We're still forging the path atm with our current stable of modes, and are carefully looking at how each one is received and engaged with. The modes you've seen so far represent the widest spread of gameplay with strong engagement, which is why we chose them first. With that said, any game mode that we've previously done is a potential candidate for the RGM queue, so if your favourite mode isn't in there yet, there's a chance we could get to it sometime in the future.

"The time between reappearances of modes is too long/short. It should be shorter/longer."
As you might suspect, this changes mode to mode and player to player, depending on what they like. We are interested though in seeing differing cadences could look like. For example, we currently have about 6 weeks between modes reappearing, but maybe we could shorten that to 4 weeks letting us focus on bigger updates to particular modes on a slightly longer cadence. Still iterating on this process to figure out what delivers the best updates to each mode when they come back.

"I work weekends and can't play the modes. When will you extend the queue up-time?"
We currently have the queue up for 3 days at a time, kicking off with Friday. The RGM queue has been quite healthy, so we're investigating extending it to Monday going forward, making for a total of 4 days each weekend. As with all things, this is subject to change (you never know sometimes with gamedev) but we're looking into it right now. Soon(tm).

"When will Champion Mastery be added to ARAM/TT?"
Got you covered fam. <3
http://boards.pbe.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/champions-gameplay-feedback/TwJZ1Upd-champion-mastery-in-aramtt-live-for-testing-on-pbe

I'll chill in this thread to catch any other questions. ^.^"

As for ways to break up the meta on modes, L4T3NCY  commented:
"Quote:
So I have been liking the RGM in general with the only exception being in certain modes things become so meta that you either have to ban them or get called...potentially rude things, for not. But even if you ban them, something else super powerful gets through so my question is, what is your opinion on ways to break these metas so the modes don't get stale because of them? 
Otherwise I've enjoyed the game modes. Even the ones I was meh about before feel nice with the addition of Champion Mastery too since even if I lose I still feel like I am getting something out of it.
We have some of our own ideas on how to "break the meta" that coalesces around each mode, but are interested in hearing from you guys too. The most frequent suggestions I see include: 
-- More bans
-- Perma-ban X champs
-- Make random champ select 
Any others?"
L4T3NCY  continued:
"Quote:
more bans
This is a list of suggestions, not a "to-do list". ^_- Doesn't hurt to discuss all possible options." 

When asked about the return o the Butcher's Bridge ARAM map,  L4T3NCY  noted:
"Quote:
With there being a rotation on weekend gamemodes, could we get a rotation on the ARAM map between Howling Abyss one week, then Butcher's Bridge the next week?
I know there are Rioters who passionately want to resurrect the Butcher's Bridge map (I personally thought it looked pretty sweet) on ARAM is some way! I'm not an expert on that map though and don't want to speak for other people, so can't add much more than that soz."
As for why they don't keep modes around in customs outside of rotation weekend, L4T3NCY noted:
"Having alternate modes be permanently available in customs is the same as having them in a permanent queue. While the way you get into the game might look different, the backend Design and Tech constraints are exactly the same, so when we talk about one, we're also talking about the other. As we've mentioned before, making these modes permanent feels like a short route to them becoming the next Dominion (and we don't want to repeat that mistake). These modes are designed as short-term engagement experiences; they burn twice as bright for half as long. Rotating them each weekend avoids burning them out, is more manageable on mode maintenance, and let's us keep giving you guys a variety of modes to play for the future."
When asked about doing different variations of game modes or modifiers, L4T3NCY noted:
"Quote:
any chance you are going to be adding different mode preferences to avoid meta's being established? for instance urf with an all random feature added.
If we did variations on modes like the example you mention, I think we'd just focus and make it the star for that weekend, rather than try to split across multiple."

Riot Games API Challenge 2016 Winners! 

Next up is a look at the winners of the 2016 Riot Games API Challenge!
"The results are in for our third online coding contest; the 2016 Riot Games API Challenge. Back in April, we asked community developers to utilize Champion Mastery data to create a project in one of three categories: Entertainment, Usability/Practicality, or Creativity/Originality. We’re very happy to present the winners of the 2016 Riot Games API Challenge: 
Entertainment 
First Place 
Mastery Duel by SleepyBox (NA) and Bouhm (NA) 
We saw several games built around Champion Mastery each with its own merits, but our favorite was Mastery Duel. We’ve seen several card games based around League of Legends but this card game allows a player to utilize their most played champions based on their Champion Mastery.
Usability/Practicality 
First Place 
Mastery Profiler by Merricat (NA) and Osbourne Cox (NA) 
There were a lot of entries that took a snapshot of a player’s Champion Mastery, but we felt Mastery Profiler had one of the most usable implementations. Mastery Profiler covered all the bases with a quick statistical overview, a graphical breakdown by lane, and a way to search and sort through your own mastered champions. 
Creativity/Originality 
First Place 
URF Tunes by RndmInternetMan (NA) and KirkBerkley (NA) 
In a unique take on Champion Mastery, this entry utilized a player’s mastered champions as a unique “fingerprint.” What better way to present this fingerprint to the user than through music?! Who wouldn’t want a song tailored to their own champions? 
Runners-Up 
Usability/Practicality 
League Mastery by Kingpool (EUW) and CrazyyCheshire (EUW) 
Creativity/Originality 
Gromp by LissandraEU (EUW) and Pigeon (EUW) 
Creativity/Originality 
Road To Mastery by PanPhoenix (NA) 
For more information about the winning entries and a list of all the submissions, head over to theDeveloper Forums."

Champion Mastery in ARAM/TT live for testing on PBE 

As of the 6/6 PBE update, Champion Mastery on ARAM and Twisted Treeline is now up for PBE testing!
"Heya guys 
As the title says, champion mastery is now available to earn in ARAM & TT up to level 5. \>o</ 
As with RGM modes, levels 6 & 7 will not be available. For more context around this you can see a post from Riot Socrates here: 
http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/community/q/chromas-yorick-and-champ-mastery-ask-riot 

I'll keep an eye on this thread so, if you guys notice any bugs please let us know in here! Cheers PBE peeps. 
-- L4T3NCY"
Check out our 6.12 PBE cycle coverage for more info! 

League Client Update Discussion

The 6/6 PBE LCU Alpha update included new collection page!
When asked about new features in the LCU Alpha, SapMagic  commented:
"Quote:
Surprised we didn't get a skin collection tab, would be useful af.
Hey Fluskea! 
Right now we're focused on making sure we get to all the major features in the legacy client, so no current plans for skins in Collection. I still want to hear more though. Why do you think it would be useful? I've spoken to other players about this before, but always looking for more perspectives."

SapMagic  also noted that the Masteries page  that recently hit the PBE LCU Alpha will also be able to be drag and dropped to sort, just like the Rune Pages!
"Quote: 
And you can finally change the order of the rune pages via drag and drop. For masteries it is still not possible yet.
Hey Xyltin! 
We're looking to switch over to the same style of dropdown for Masteries soon, including the drag/drop behavior. We also have some planned updates for the visual style of Masteries to bring it more in line with the rest of Collection." 
Check out our PBE coverage for look at this recent LCU updates and the LCU page for more general information including live LCU alpha sign ups, current testing focus, and more!

The NA LCS Summer Finals are coming to Toronto, Ontario!

Riot has announced the LCS Summer Finals are headed to Toronto, Ontario August 27 - 28th!

See this article for more information and be on the look out for the venue announcement of EU LCS Summer Finals soon!

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