League of Legends: Clash is Back

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League of Legends: Clash is Back

Clash is a game mode for League of Legends that Riot Games has been working on for a while. The team creation stage, where you can team up with friends to form an amateur competitive team, starts on August 19th and ends on the 23rd. After this, the tournaments begin. However, this version of Clash returns with new features that will allow Riot to avoid the problems that plagued the mode in the past. The brackets have fallen apart at any difficulties, such as disconnects, and the wait times have been long and crashed the game often. Despite the issues present in the infrastructure, Clash has always been widely approved of. Unsurprisingly, people enjoy playing with their friends to win something that matters.

With the removal of team ranked, the public opinion of ranked flex being so low and the increasing popularity of the competitive scene, Clash is Riot’s answer to fill this void in their system. Clash was their solution, and the community agreed. The public opinion of the game mode skyrocketed after the playtests. Despite the massive problems with the system, everyone loved playing the game mode.

The problems were, however, too large for Riot to deal with without completely overhauling the system. It was also necessary to increase the strength of their servers. Players in the test will also receive loot boxes, an icon and victory points, Clash’s currency for team logo and in-game banners. This version of Clash will account for the issues the game mode has provided with features in place to prevent the tournaments from falling apart as soon as a problem occurs, with start times being changed and with the changes to the format of the game.

THIS “Time” Will Be Different

As mentioned before, there will be an overhaul of how the system functions. The team creation stage was without problems before, so Riot has left that part untouched. Problems began occurring once the tournaments began. Initially, the start times for all games for every tournament for every rank for every player was at the same time. When you have as many players as LoL has, this is a recipe for disaster. No game in the past has attempted this kind of game mode at this scale, so Riot has been looking for solutions for these problems for more than a year. In the past, the servers would be overloaded and cause massive wait times for many.

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The solution that Riot has for this problem comes twofold. They will be hosting two tournaments per weekend day. One starts at 6:00 PM PST and the other begins at 8:00 PM. This will allow for watchers of the LCS to participate after the games have finished in the 8:00 tournament, so that they don’t have to pick one or the other.

They will also have rolling lock-in and game start times for the ranks. They will have Tier IV teams lock-in and start two hours prior to the stated tournament start, Tier III teams do so one and a half hours before the official start, Tier II teams start an hour before it and, finally, Tier I teams start half an hour before the tournament. This will allow Riot to remove the large wait time teams had to wait in prior versions and prevent the server from overloading from the sudden rush of users.

Necessary Changes

League of Legends LoL Clash

Not all changes are warmly welcomed. The changes to the tournament system have mixed opinions. While they will provide more stability to the game mode, they remove some of what makes the game mode unique. The tournament system will change from a single three-day tournament to two separate single-day tournaments. As opposed to the four-team system of the past, the new tournaments will have eight teams participating. This means that players will have three games per day as opposed to the previous two. These two changes mean a lot to how players will interact with the mode. The positives of this switch are many. It adds flexibility that multiple tournaments bring and allows you to miss one day and still participate. In addition, you get to play more games per day, and you don’t have to wait multiple days to find out who wins the tournament.

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The negative is that the tournament loses the level of competitive spirit and simulation. In the previous system, you had to play multiple days. This allowed for teams to practice in-between days and to set up scrimmages that will show their increase in strength against similar skill level opponents. The current system will have entirely different teams and skill ranges, so you will have a harder time judging your team’s growth.

The system will also slightly devalue a victory. Before, you had to marathon through three days.  You also had to win all the games on all days to get the highest level of prizes. Now you just have to show up strongly on one day. These changes were required to allow for the game mode to function on their servers but hopefully, in the future, Riot will find the opportunity to make larger Clash tournaments in addition to the smaller single-day tournaments.

Looking Forward

The final change is to the bracket system. Riot gives very little details on this change as opposed to the rest. The change will allow for brackets to be more recoverable. If your opponent disconnects the bracket will just use other parts to fix it. It’ll either grab another team looking for a bracket to join or move you to a bracket where they needed an extra team to join. This was a large problem in the past. Multiple brackets were being broken because of this, so it will get its fair share of stress testing in the new series of tests.

Riot has introduced some useful changes. They’ve fixed the major problems of the past, accounting for the difficulties of a multiple-day tournament, allowing their server more time between game starts, and making brackets more resilient to random disconnects. With any luck, the tests won’t have major issues. If that happens, we might have Clash as a standard game mode available for weekly tournaments soon. Make sure and do your part in the stress-testing of the game mode and sign up your team as so

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Alex Mcalpine
Alex graduated from UWO with a degree in journalism. He is a Battle Royale and FPS guru. He often reads 'Winner Winner Chicken Dinner' as he is ranked in the top 100 on the PUBG leaderboards. Alex is also an Overwatch and CoD expert. You can learn more about Alex via our About page.