With the third League of Legends LCS drawn to a close, we've just about reached the end of Season 3. As is so often the case at the start of a brand new season, Riot's got some pretty big changes in store for everyone. As everybody prepares to begin the long climb to challenger anew, let's take a look at a few things that are going to be changing with this season - and why we should be excited for each and every one.
The Team Builder
You all know the drill. The moment "Match Found!" pops up on your screen - the moment you hit "Accept" - you're primed and ready to hammer out what role you want to play. You can only hope that someone else won't beat you to the punch, or deem victory to be less important to them than playing whatever they want. All too often, attempts to co-ordinate who's going where devolve into a chaotic mess which makes a room of hyperactive toddlers look organized. Riot's finally addressed the problem - when Season Four kicks into full swing, they'll be implementing something known as The Team Builder.
What it does is simple: it'll allow players to queue up to play specific roles and champions. This will effectively negate a large portion of the toxicity present in champion select, allowing people to better co-ordinate their team and plan their strategies. Not only that, Riot's going to be implementing better, more intelligent matchmaking, as well. It's a change that feels long overdue - players have been asking for it for well over a year now.
I'm going to come right out and say it: I'm a god awful support. While my girlfriend seems able to play the role without too much difficulty, I somehow manage to make a botch job of it every time I take up my wards. Now granted, I'm definitely no Challenger-level player, but I'm pretty capable in most other roles. For some reason, though, every time I pick up my gold per 5 runes, I go from half-decent player to Forrest Gump on an acid trip. It may, of course, have something to do with the fact that support is traditionally the hardest - and most thankless - role to play in the game.
Riot's very own Xelnath is looking to change that. Have a read. The basic gist is to make it so that supports are capable of contributing more to team-fights (particularly late-game), and to make the role more fun to play as a whole. Though I'm not entirely sold on the changes, my better half - along with virtually every other dedicated support player I've talked to - is absolutely ecstatic about them.
More Reworks; Better Balance
Traditionally, there's been a lot of 'broken' champions in League of Legends. Either their kit simply doesn't work at all with the current meta, or it works far, far too well; offering huge returns with little to no risk. Expect Season 4 to bring a whole host of reworks, re-builds, and aesthetic improvements to some of the oldest champions in the game. Morgana, Sivir, and Xerath are first up on the chopping block, but there are many more still to follow.
(Temporary) Salvation From ELO Hell
I should think this one to be self-explanatory. The new season means that - at least for a little while - players won't be trapped in a league where they feel they don't belong, unable to advance because - though they're more skilled than most players at their level - they're not good enough to carry a team that doesn't know the difference between AD and AP.
Of course, given that ELO Hell is other people, we're all eventually going to fall back into it eventually.
Last, but certainly not least, Riot's offering a whole host of rewards to its players, based on the highest League they achieved this season. Those in Bronze or higher will receive a summoner icon, those in Silver or higher will receive a banner trim, loading screen border, and Victorious Ward skin, and those in Gold or higher will be granted a Season 3 medal, a victorious ward skin, and a victorious champion skin. You've until Remembrance day to gain these rewards for yourself - start climbing.
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