Red Post Collection: 2017 International Esports Event information, Dino Gnar Plush, BotRK PBE context, and more!

Posted on at 3:23 AM by Moobeat
Today's red post collection includes a new Dino Gnar plush in the merch shop, a slew of information on 2017's Global esports events including World Championship headed to China and MSI headed to Brazil, context on recent PBE changes for Blade of the Ruined King, Practice tool live on OCE, and more! 
Continue reading for more information!



Table of Contents


Practice Tool Available in OCE Server!

[UPDATE: As pf morning of 2/14, available on all regions!!! ]
The new Practice Tool is now available on OCE server for testing!  The announcement post notes they are testing to Practice Tool's stress on servers in live environment.

As mentioned in the patch notes, expect the practice tool to launch on other servers region by region through 7.3! 

Over on reddit, Riot Terra noted that it is unlikely that most regions will have the tool by the end of the week but they are working to get it out soon!
"If everything goes well, more regions will get it soon! However, even in the best case scenario, most regions won't get it this week."
Check out our earlier PBE coverage or this post for more on this upcoming tool!

Dino Gnar Plush in Merch Shop

An adorable new Dino Gnar plush is now available in the Riot games merch store!

Dino Gnar Plush - $30
"Dino Gnar wants to play!!! We suggest you take his request seriously. His hood is removeable too - but always on HIS terms. Introducing the Dino Gnar Plush."
       

2017 Global Esports Information

Riot has released a slew of information regarding the upcoming global esports events taking place in 2017, including event information and format changes for the World Championship and MSI!

2017 International Events
"MSI 2017 is going to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 28 - May 21. Worlds 2017 is heading to China including Wuhan, Guangzhou, and Shanghai from September 23 - October 29. At the Finals on November 4, we’ll be crowning our new World Champions from the Beijing National Stadium aka the Bird’s Nest."

2017 World Championship Update
"Worlds 2017 will be a 24 team-tournament in China with teams from all 13 LoL professional leagues."

2017 Mid-season Invitational Update
"MSI 2017 will now be a 13-team tournament with representatives from all 13 LoL professional Leagues.Regional seed placement will be based on previous results from the past two years of MSI and Worlds. MSI 2017 results will continue to impact Worlds 2017 regional seeds."

Riot has also launched a 2017 Global Events hub, which includes more information on both the World Championship in China and the Mid-Season Invitational in Brazil!
Wallpapers for the two events:

Continue reading for the full individual announcements on the upcoming Global competitive events!

2017 International Events


"TL;DR  
  • MSI 2017 is going to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 28 - May 21.
  • Worlds 2017 is heading to China including Wuhan, Guangzhou, and Shanghai from September 23 - October 29.
  • At the Finals on November 4, we’ll be crowning our new World Champions from the Beijing National Stadium aka the Bird’s Nest.
  • Starting this year, all 13 professional LoL Leagues will participate at MSI and Worlds.  
The Future of International Competitive Events  
In 2017, we’ll be breaking new ground as we bring the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) to Brazil and the League of Legends World Championship (Worlds) to China. MSI and Worlds represent the pinnacles of League of Legends international competition. This year we’re expanding these tournaments to be more inclusive of all regions, as well as to give fans an opportunity to see their teams compete against the best in the world and earn their place amongst them.  
Retiring International Wildcard (IWC)  
Starting this year, all 13 regions will participate at MSI and Worlds 2017. We’ll be retiring International Wildcard-exclusive events and will no longer use the IWC classification.  
New seeding  
For MSI and Worlds, we’ll be awarding seeds based on previous competitive results including MSI 2015, Worlds 2015, MSI 2016, and Worlds 2016. 
New tournament stage: the Play-In  
We’ll be expanding the tournament format of both MSI and Worlds to accommodate all regions with a new phase, the Play-In Stage. This new stage will happen before the Group Stage. The Play-In Stage format and participating teams will vary for MSI and Worlds.  
New MSI implications for Worlds  
In addition to the top 4 regions at MSI claiming the top 4 seeds at Worlds (similar to 2016), the top performing region out of BR, CIS, JPN, LAN, LAS, OCE, SEA, and TUR will earn an additional seed at Worlds.  
MSI 2017 
The 2017 Mid-Season Invitational is heading to Brazil, home to a thriving competitive scene and passionate fan base. Below is the schedule and outline of cities we’ll be visiting across Brazil:  
  • Play-In Stage: April 28-May 1, May 3-4, and May 6 at the CBLOL Studio in São Paulo
  • Group Stage: May 10-14 at the Jeunesse Arena (formerly Rio Arena) in Rio de Janeiro
  • Knockout Stage: May 19-21 at the Jeunesse Arena (formerly Rio Arena) in Rio de Janeiro  
For more information about MSI 2017 including format, seeding, and how the event results will impact Worlds 2017, click here.  
Worlds 2017 
We’re bringing the 2017 World Championship to China for the first time. Here’s where we’ll be traveling as the top teams face-off for the Summoner’s Cup:  
  • Play-In: September 23-26 + September 28-29 at Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium in Wuhan, China
  • Group Stage: October 5-8 + October 12-15 at Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium in Wuhan, China
  • Quarterfinals: October 19-22 at the Guangzhou Gymnasium in Guangzhou, China
  • Semifinals: October 28-29 at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China
  • Finals: November 4 at the Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) in Beijing, China  
For more information about Worlds 2017 including format and seeding, click here."

2017 World Championship Update


"TL;DR: 
  • Worlds 2017 will be a 24 team-tournament in China with teams from all 13 LoL professional leagues participating across multiple stages. 
  • The Worlds 2017 tournament format has been expanded to include a Play-In Stage before the Group Stage. 
  • LMS will now be awarded a 3rd regional seed for Worlds 2017.
  • Some regions will be able to earn a second seed for Worlds 2017 based on MSI 2017 results. 
  • The three Korean seeds will not participate in the Play-In Stage and will be auto-seeded into the Group Stage.  
As we announced today, the 2017 League of Legends World Championship is heading to China from September 23 - November 4. Here’s a detailed breakdown of updated teams, regional seeds, and format for Worlds 2017. 
Teams 
During Worlds 2017, 24 teams will participate across multiple stages at the 2017 World Championship from the following regions: 
  • Brazil (BR)
  • China (CN)
  • Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
  • Europe (EU)
  • Japan (JPN)
  • Korea (KR)
  • Latin America - North (LAN)
  • Latin America - South (LAS)
  • North America (NA)
  • Oceania (OCE)
  • Southeast Asia (SEA)
  • Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau (LMS)
  • Turkey (TUR)  
Regional Seeds 
There are a couple of changes to the regional seeds including: 
3 seeds for LMS: LMS will now be awarded 3 regional seeds for Worlds 2017 instead of the 2 regional seeds they had for Worlds 2016. The LMS was originally created as a division from GPL, which separated one region into two, and forced a similar split of the Worlds seeds. Since its 2015 creation, however, the LMS has been a consistently strong region, and so is being awarded with another seed to bring them to an equivalent number with CN, EU, KR, and NA. 
Korea will not participate in the Play-In: Korea, as the region that has performed the best overall throughout 2015 and 2016, will have all 3 of its seeds bypass the Worlds 2017 Play-In Stage and start in the Group Stage. 
MSI results will continue to impact Worlds 2017: As with last year, some regional seeds placement at Worlds 2017 can be impacted by the MSI 2017 results, but differently from 2016. Learn more about the MSI 2017 implications here
Some regions can gain a second seed from MSI 2017 results: The highest ranking region at MSI of BR, CIS, JPN, LAN, LAS, OCE, SEA, and TUR gains an additional seed at Worlds. The #1 seed of that region will be auto-seeded to Groups and the #2 seed will start from the Play-in. In the case that two of these regions earn identical results at MSI 2017, the extra seed will go to the region who advanced the furthest in Worlds/IWCQ in 2016. 
While their leagues are continuing to mature and their teams earn better international results each year, we didn’t feel it appropriate to award a guaranteed 2nd seed to any of these regions, but performance in 2017 will be a major factor in determining seeds for 2018. 
Format 
As with MSI 2017, the World Championship will now have a Play-In Stage before the Group Stage.
For more information about Worlds 2017, head over to our event site and stay tuned to Lolesports for updates."

2017 Mid-Season Invitational Update


"TL;DR: 
  • MSI 2017 is heading to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from April 28 - May 21.
  • MSI 2017 will now be a 13-team tournament with representatives from all 13 LoL professional Leagues.
  • Regional seed placement will be based on previous results from the past two years of MSI and Worlds.
  • MSI 2017 results will continue to impact Worlds 2017 regional seeds. 
Teams 
At MSI 2017, 13 teams will participate across multiple stages. The recently crowned split champion (Spring Split or Split 1) from each of the following regions will participate at MSI 2017: 
  • Brazil (BR)
  • China (CN)
  • Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
  • Europe (EU)
  • Japan (JPN)
  • Korea (KR)
  • Latin America - North (LAN)
  • Latin America - South (LAS)
  • North America (NA)
  • Oceania (OCE)
  • Southeast Asia (SEA)
  • Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau (LMS)
  • Turkey (TUR) 
Seeding 
This year, regions will be seeded based on previous results from the past 2 years of MSI and Worlds. We are using 2 years as our sample size for considering competitive results because: 
  • Within a single year, there can be considerable variance in competitive results, so we don’t want to solely rely on the most recent year of performance to determine seeding. For example, although Albus NoX Luna from CIS performed extremely well at Worlds 2016, it was their first appearance at an MSI or Worlds. We don’t believe it fair to use solely that performance to assume that CIS is stronger than LMS, who didn’t have a team make it to the Quarterfinals, but have performed well at previous events.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, large structural changes have occurred globally since 2014 (for example, the division of LMS and GPL), and will continue to occur in our young sport. With this kind of rapid evolution, results from 3 years ago aren’t great indicators of current regional strength. 
Once we determined the appropriate window of results to consider, we looked at all regions to compare their list of results from MSI 2015, Worlds 2015, MSI 2016, and Worlds 2016. In evaluating relative strength, we relied upon three basic principles to help distinguish similar results:  
  • We prioritized results at Worlds over MSI (as Worlds is the most important tournament of the year, and involves the most teams)
  • We prioritized recent results over older results as a better indicator of current strength
  • We evaluated tournament results by the stage achieved, regardless of opponent or game record. 
Here are the aggregated results from the last two years:
As you can see in the above graphic, LMS and NA did not perform as well as CN, EU, and KR over the last 2 years, and as a result, they will start in Play-In Stage, Round 2. Specifically: CN, EU, and KR all outperformed NA at MSI 2015, Worlds 2015, and Worlds 2016 in terms of overall standings and peak performance. CN, EU, and KR all also finished better or roughly equal to LMS at MSI 2015, Worlds 2015, and Worlds 2016. 
Based on these results, #1 CN, #1 EU, and #1 KR will be auto-seeded to the Group Stage of MSI 2017, which will remain a 6-team stage. 
The #1 seed from each of the following regions will start in the Play-In Stage, Round 1: BR, CIS, JPN, LAN, LAS, OCE, SEA & TUR. These regions are not being treated as a collective as they used to be - there is no more “Wildcard” status. Rather, each region’s performance is being evaluated individually, and that is what determined their 2017 event seeding and will continue to affect their seeding at future international events. 
Format 
Three teams will advance from the Play-In Stage to face-off against CN, EU, and KR in the Group Stage. The Group Stage will stay the same as it was in 2016 with 6 teams participating in a Best-Of 1 double round robin. 
As with last year, the top four teams will advance to the Bo5 Knockout Stage.
Implications for Worlds 2017 
As with last year, the results of MSI will impact Worlds 2017 regional seeding placement. 
Similar to 2016, the top regions at MSI will secure the top 4 seeds at Worlds Group Stage. Additionally, the highest ranking region of BR, CIS, JPN, LAN, LAS, OCE, SEA, and TUR will gain an additional seed at Worlds: their #1 seed will start in the Group Stage, and their new seed (the #2 seed from that region), will start in the Play-In Stage. 
For more information about how these implications will impact Worlds 2017 and changes coming to the tournament, click here."

Context on Blade of the Ruined King PBE Changes

When asked for content on the tentative Blade of the Ruined King changes included in the 2/7 PBE update, Meddler explained:
"Experimental changes testing focusing it more on on-hit builds, including as a first item (hence the shift from AS to AD) and less of a duelist item (hence removal of active damage/self heal to buff other elements). Hasn't got much testing yet though."
Over on twitter, ricklessabandon tweeted out:
[1]"ah, btw! i'm working on blade of the ruined king changes for 7.4 and the current exploration just hit pbe. lmk if you have questions~"
[2] "a few things going on here, but wanted the item to be less punishing to buy first for marksmen, and make it scale better with damage builds"
ricklessabandon continued on reddit, noting the active changes are still in the works.
"Quote:
As i'm already on the crit build and generally loath the overall results of on-hit builds over the years, i am grateful. The loss of AS is notable, sure, but the extra AD shines fairly well in a lot of scenarios: It becomes a more universal tool as it amps skills and steroids, as well fits better with crit. 
The active change still looks me SUPER tentative, will likely be partially reverted to at least deal some flat damage.
still in development on this and yeah, haven't finished working on the active yet -- wanted to prove out the direction first (pull some power out of the active into the stats, and redistribute stats to benefit 'persistent threat' characters at specific timings) which has been going well so far -- will be looking at the active (and maybe also cutlass's if needed) sometime this week."
More info included in the 7.4 PBE cycle coverage!

Meddler Grab Bag - Rek'sai, Mini reworks, and more!

 Next up we have a handful of posts from Meddler talking about Rek'Sai, Mini Reworks, and more!
When asked about the Rek'Sai kit changes (or "mini rework" similar to Shyvana) he has previously discussed on the boards, Meddler shared:
"Rek'Sai changes are coming along fairly well, so moderately soon? Next of those style of updates almost certainly. At least a few patches away, potentially more depending on how long the art changes take (we're close on gameplay, but until that's locked down art can't start on needed work). 
We don't have changes like that planned for Kindred."
Meddler also noted that the previously mentioned Aurelion Sol mini-rework was scrapped after internal testing:
"Quote:
Semi-curious. Since we've heard of so many in the work, is there any working plans to release these mini-reworks in batches of "big 4" or "big 6" like class updates? 
As always, thanks for sharing.
With updates like this we'll be releasing them whenever they're done. We go with bundles for the class updates because there's value in having a lot of people thinking about one class at the same time, including those working on items in conjunction with the kit updates. For one offs though we think it makes more sense to just put them out whenever they're ready. 
In terms of number in the works right now it's just Rek'Sai in a significant way. We were looking at Aurelion Sol too, the directions we were interested in testing didn't hit the mark though. We were experimenting with making his orbiting stars a sometimes thing (activate with W for a duration) looking for increased moments of counterplay and satisfaction. When those changes actually went into testing however consensus was it didn't feel better to play against, people who didn't already play Aurelion Sol didn't feel it was better and existing players felt it was worse. We've pulled those changes as a result. Might look at some small scope tweaks instead, nothing major planned anymore though."
As for when we might expect kit work for Aatrox, Meddler continued:
"Quote:
Only Rek' Sai? I thought Aatrox was getting mini rework too.
We'll almost certainly do an Aatrox update when we do a diver class update. Would like to find some small stuff to improve him in the meantime. We've been testing some stuff though and haven't yet found a set of changes we think would make him healthier and feel like an improvement to Aatrox players."
Meddler continued, talking a bit about current thoughts on Kindred:
"Quote:
By art do you mean changes to stuff like particle effects? Or texture updates to existing models? (burrows, rek'sai herself?) 
Also can we have some kind of context of what's going on for kindred? Just to put the begging for changes to rest? I see a kindred thread almost every time I log in, and we haven't heard a single thing regarding them since those pbe buffs which got pulled and forgotten. At least give us reasonings for why kindred isn't a priority and never was, or what your vision/view on them is or should be and whether or not they're failing in that regard.
Particle work, probably a bit of character animation and sound. 
We think Kindred's in a pretty balanced spot power wise. There's some mismatch between expectation (scaling power over the course of the game via the mark collection) and actual play pattern though (early game power that tends to fall off). Would like to shift some things around at some point to better deliver on expectations there, not currently being worked on though."

When asked if Singed will get any changes in the mid-season tank class update, Meddler noted:
"Quote:
Do you think that Singed could show up in the minor changes ? I would really would like to see some small tweaks to him and his kit , like his W receive a grounded effect
Not sure who we'll be doing minor changes on yet. Possible we don't do much in the way of minor kit changes at all and instead put more time into wider base stat and item changes."
Meddler also replied to someone asking for a timeline on the potential Morgana/Kayle double champion update that Reav3 has mentioned sparsely:
"I don't believe we'll be working on Morg or Kayle this year in terms of significant updates. As far as a dual update goes it's a really cool idea we've speculated about, but not something we've committed to."

Cosplay Lab is here! 

Like the recent Creator Lab series of videos we saw a while back, Riot held a Cosplay Lab event to help cosplayers of League of Legends come together and teach each other about their craft, while collaborating with peers.
"In the tradition of Creator Lab and YouTube Lab, we’ve invited a number of community creators to LA for a first-of-its-kind event, the Cosplay Lab! Over three days of fun and learning, creators will level up with workshops focusing on the theory, craft, and art of cosplay, all the while strengthening relationships and collaborating with their peers. 
Under the tutelage of Vensy (Vensy Props), as well as Ben Bayouth (Stoopid Buddy Studios) and Brett Horn (4 Itchy Tasty! Cosplay), creators will learn about molding, casting, electronics, wiring, foam, and more! 
This newfound knowledge will be used for the main event -- The Challenge -- a theorycrafting exercise in which the creators will be split into groups and leverage their unique skills and styles to plan out an epic cosplay pitch with all the ambition and heart of the now-infamous Thresh puppet
To help guide their projects -- and challenge the creators -- each group will be given two constraints, one thematic and the other related to design. The groups will have two days to design their concepts and prepare a presentation, which will be judged by a panel when the clock runs out. 
Cosplayers bring an incredible amount of hard work and heart to the League community. We hope bringing these talented individuals together will add fuel to that passion and strengthen bonds that might result in some pretty sweet collabs! 
Check back for updates, photos of the cosplayers’ progress throughout The Challenge, as well as the end results! 
What are your favorite cosplays? Tell us about them -- and the masterminds behind them -- in the comments below!"

Patch Chat with the Playtest Team - 7.3, nerfing permabanned champs 

With 7.3 out on live, the live balance team is back with 7.3 patch chat!
"new "Minions" art created by inkinesss! 
Hey guys! Welcome to Patch Chat, a Dev Corner thread we make to talk about our new patches every two weeks: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-73-notes 

I'm Aesah on Riot's Playtest Team, a group of Diamond+ players who play with the new champions, reworks, balance tweaks, items, and map updates before they are released. It's our job to the test the changes that our designers come up with and ensure that we're introducing positive changes to LoL in terms of both balance and fun. We'll be watching this thread to answer as many questions as we can. 
7.3 is primarily focused on addressing champions that were too far out of line in pro play. We certainly consider how these changes affect the majority of our players too- these nerfs were warranted there as well, with many of these champs being near permaban status in normal and ranked drafts. The offenders include Camille, Ivern, Jayce, Kha'zix, Leblanc, Malzahat, Rengar, and Zyra. 
All of us on the Playtest Team are avid gamers so feel free to talk to us as fellow LoL players! 
  • Adam "Afic" Cohen
  • Ben “Cezium” Burkhardt
  • Don “Aesah” Ding
  • Nicolas “Gleeb” Haddad
  • Dan “penguin” Hardison
  • Robert “ROBERTxLEE” Lee
  • Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith
  • Blake “S0be” Soberanis
  • Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes
  • Arnor "TheLastAirbender" Halldorsson"

Quick Hits - Bug Fixes, HotBM + Practice Mode in 7.3

[Quick hits is our own collection within a red post collection, often including easy to digest stories, specialized information, and/or repeat info you may have missed in other posts!]

1) Riot MEMEMEMEME jumped on reddit to share a bit of insight on how Riot prioritizes bug fixes:
"Hey there, Aether asked me to hop in a provide some context on how we prioritize bugs. This does not cover everything we think of, but it will give you an idea.

1. Will this cause a crash? 
Anything that would prevent you or others from even playing the game is horrible and would typically cause us to disable the offending champion/item. While we never want a group of players to be sad because their champion is disabled this is preferable over making the experience literally unplayable.

2. Does this give anyone an unfair advantage? 
Bugs like "Quinns blind disabled Baron from attacking for 3 seconds" are must-fixes can cause disables of the champion/item as well.

3. Does this take away from the functionality or fantasy of the champion? 
While working on Talon we ran into many spots that you couldn't jump over (seriously these were like a pixel big). While this wouldn't be something we disable for, it detracts from you fully enjoying Talon.
In terms of that disable call, we try to run through how we/you play League when making the decision. As a Talon player I would spam E on a wall to leap over it, so normal mouse movement would bypass that one pixel. You may notice something feels "off", though, thus preventing you from fully enjoying this ability.

4. Does this look bad?
 
These can range from "Warwick's head vibrates during auto attack 4" (... yes this was a real thing) to "LeBlanc's Clone steals textures from other Leblanc skins". While they aren't horrible in isolation (they're "polish points"), I often think to myself "If we keep all of these bugs around it's Death By a Thousand Paper Cuts".

Even with this criteria in mind there are also questions around the said fixes that need to be answered.  
  • How risky is the fix?
  • Is this fix sustainable? We never want to put in a hacky work around just because it's a little bit faster to do.
  • How much testing time do we have on this fix? Our internal Release Cycle is offset from what y'all see since it takes a little bit of time to spin things up around the world. This is partially why you'll see a bug pop up on PBE a day or two before the patch hits live, but won't be fixed when the patch ships. When late fixes come in there is always someone asking "Is this worth the risk of delaying the patch for EVERY PLAYER AROUND THE WORLD?"
  • Does this affect Localization? Just because we can get something to look right in English doesn't mean we can get it right in every language as quickly. 
The list goes on and on and on, League is big game with many moving parts. Hopefully this provides some insight into our thought process!"

2) As mentioned in the 7.3 patch notes, PRACTICE TOOL will be rolling out to live during 7.3!
"Practice Tool will be rolling out region-by-region on the updated client later during patch 7.3! In the meantime, you can learn more about the Practice Tool here."
More information on practice tool available in our PBE coverage!

3) As mentioned in the 7.3 patch notes, the new HUNT OF THE BLOOD MOON mode will have a double weekend to debut in the RGMQ!
"The Hunt of the Blood Moon looms into rotation from 2/10/17 - 2/14/17 and 2/17/17 - 2/21/17. Sacrifice Spirits, Demon Heralds, and enemy champions to gain points and the Demon Brand buff, which turns you invisible to hunt down your enemies. 
Only 20 of the most vicious champions are available for the Hunt (10 of which will be lurking in the Free to Play rotation).

Look out for more information as the blood moon approaches. Happy hunting."
Check out our 7.3 PBE coverage for more on Hunt of the Blood Moon and Blood Moon Summoner's Rift!

REMINDERS

To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • Valentine's Day 2017 content has been released, including new Heartseeker Lucian and Quinn skins, new summoner icons, bundles and more! Legacy content is available through February 15th.

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