ESPORTSREPORTER.COM / DANTE SRILAPA – SENIOR EDITOR / JANUARY 8TH, 2021 /
Welcome back to the Rift, fellow Summoners. I hope you’re ready, because we’re about to get into an all new season of ranked. With a new ranked season comes high-stakes play, aggravating losses, and an ever-long quest to ascend to the top of the ranks. However, ranked isn’t the only thing Riot is bringing to the table in 2021. There’s a whole lot being added to the League of Legends universe, including Teamfight Tactics, Legends of Runeterra, and Wild Rift updates. We’re going to be talking about PC League of Legends here, so stay tuned for more on other news. In the meantime, let’s dive into today’s Season 2021 first look, provided by Riot themselves.
Right off the bat, we got thrown into an all new cinematic. This one carries on the story of Lucian and the newly-freed Senna, who embark on a quest to stop the Shadow Mists from engulfing the world. Upon reaching land, the Mists immediately catch up to them, revealing a brand new (albeit familiar) enemy.
Say hello to Viego, the Ruined King.
Viego is an enemy long known to Runeterra. There’s even an item named after him, Blade of the Ruined King. The community has long awaited this new champion, and the cinematic didn’t fail to live up to the hype. But what is this champion going to be? Safelocked herself has informed us that Viego will be the newest jungler to be added to the roster. More info to come.
The next presenter was Brightmoon, and with him came updates on ranked progression, clash tournaments, and player progression systems.
- Smoother climbing: promotion sets between divisions will remain largely untouched, but climbing between ranks will be easier.
- Placements: after completely your placement set, you’ll find that you’ve been placed closer to where you left off last season
- Punishment and Forgiveness: there will be a higher crackdown on player misbehavior; leavers and intentional feeders will lose more LP, while being unfortunate enough to lose because of a misbehaving player will result in less LP being lost. This system will show a 40% increase in accuracy, which will only continue to increase.
- Over 28 million players engaged in Clash tournaments last year.
- Introduction of the Free Agents Tab: if you haven’t found yourself a team, fret not. You can offer yourself as a free agent, allowing teams who haven’t hit the 5-player mark to scout and recruit you. No summoner left behind.
- Weekday Tournaments: This year, the league devs have decided to test out weekday Clash tourneys. This will allow for not only more tournaments overall, but Clash access to those who are typically unavailable during the weekends.
- Prepare yourselves, the first Clash tournament of 2021 begins next weekend. Because of how difficult it may be to finish your ranked placements by then, the ranked restriction has been removed for this Clash.
- Meaningfulness: the league devs have noticed the importance of feeling rewarded for progression. Because of this, they are developing ways to make progression feel seamless and easy. Additionally, they’re working on ways to make it easier to flex on your friends. More on this to come.
Up next was Reav3, with updates on Champions, both new and old.
- Plans to release at least one new champion per lane, annually.
- Viego: the newest jungler to grace the Summoner’s Rift. It looks like one of his abilities will be taking over a freshly killed enemy’s body, and becoming them for a bit.
- New Releases: after Viego, the next 3 new Champions will be directly tied to the story revolving around Viego. All we know so far is that one has an easter egg hidden in the Ruined King game, a new AP fighter. The next one will be a gloomy artillery mage from Bandle City. And after that, a new marksman that will follow Senna in the path of being a non-traditional marksman.
- AP Fighters: there exists a market for AP Fighters to fill. Since the Fighter pool is so condensed with AD Champs, AP Fighters have t he potential to shake the meta. With that in mind, the dev team has opted to create more of them.
- Dr. Mundo: There have been talks for quite some time about updating Mundo. Riot released a sneak peak at his visual update, and fixed his hair based on some received criticism. His update is set to release this spring, with a new dev blog discussing it coming soon.
- Champion Update Poll: this week, there will be a dev blog with an attached poll. This poll will decide which champion will be updated next.
- These champions are Shyvana, Nocturne, Quinn, Udyr, and Skarner. All of these champions have remained semi-stagnant in gameplay as the rest of the champions became more intricate and interesting. Personally, I’m praying for a good Sbyvana update, although Udyr is boring as hell. Whoever gets chosen for the overhaul, it’ll be for the best,
The last PC League of Legends presenter was Bellissimoh, with updates on Champion skins and game events.
- Skins for Champions who haven’t received any in a while: the devs continue to acknowledge that there are a lot of champions who haven’t gotten much love by way of skins. It’s an ongoing issue, and they continue to remedy them. However, get ready for skins for the following champions:
- Fiddlesticks, Tahm Kench, Corki, Camille, Galio, Lulu, Nautilus, Wukong, Nunu, Sejuani, Rumble, Yuumi, and Twitch.
- It’s not limited to these however, as they’re still planning many more skins. 140+ to be exact.
- Thematic exhaustion: the devs are aware that only so many champions can fit a theme, and that certain themes have been played out. To remedy this, they will be rolling out new themes and thematic worlds for skins to be derived from.
- Lunar Beast: this Lunar New Year, the Lunar Beast theme will roll out. It’s a futuristic 2057 LNY theme, with a combination of high fashion and ancient touches. I’m personally excited for this one.
- Space Groove: two words- psychedelia retro-futurism. What does that mean? Well if Space Groove and Psychedelic Retro-Futurism didn’t give you a clear vision of what it’s gonna be, maybe you’ll just have to wait and see for yourself. This thematic world will introduce a super color popped, sci-fi universe.
- Players’ Choice: this week, there will be a player vote to decide the next theme for skins.
- Monster Tamers: think dragon-tamers, but with monsters?
- Crime-City Nightmare: based in Valoran City, this theme is revolved around a street war with a Cthulhu inspiration.
- Debonair 2.0: classy opulence meets modern noir as two clubs clash for power.
- Whichever theme wins will be rolled out, with a chance for the others to be revisited later on.
- Rotating Game Modes: the devs have noticed that game modes that enhance the champion fantasy are played the most. This includes URF and One-For-All, where the wackiest Champion mechanics came out in full force. More game modes like these will roll out, with the pre-existing ones remaining in rotation as well.
- Event Passes: alongside these game modes, matching event passes will be introduced. Within the first half of the year, the event passes will be revamped.
- Runeterra Story Events: with the success of the Spirit Blossom Event, there will be more story-centric events. These will start with a Ruined King event.
And that’s all for now folks! I know this was a lot to take in, but it’s typical of any first conference of the year. I’m excited for the changes coming to the Rift, and I hope you are too!
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