League of Legends Gears up for Tournament Play


League of Legends has come a long way in the last year and is currently gearing up for its first major update titled League of Legends: Season One. The free update will bring a host of tweaks to the main game, as well as new items and a competitive tournament mode.

The big news with Season One is the new character drafting system. Each team takes turns selecting their Champions from a list, which will include all unlocked heroes, as well as a set of ten characters who will rotate into the line-up every week. Though the system isn't much different from picking teams in a playground game of kickball (you know, the type where you were always picked last?), Riot Games has introduced a number of really neat tweaks to mix up draft strategies.

After selecting their own Champion, players can “ban” another from the draft. In other words, if there is a Champion on the board you’d rather not face, you can eliminate it from the game. This will keep your opponent from selecting the character, but also keep them off your team as well. Additionally, draft picks are exclusive to each player. Once someone is on a team, they’re off the board. Combined with the “ban” mechanic, there’s the potential for drafts that are just as competitive and cutthroat as matches.

Outside new drafting strategies, the team at Riot has also gone through and reworked the interface. It’s cleaner and much easier to use. All of your account information is displayed in front of you removes the hassle of having to dig through menus. From the main menu, you’re able to choose between “Ranked” and “Normal” matches. Players will also earn ranks based on their stats, which are displayed on the new public leaderboards. Eventually, Riot plans to implement both team and clan-based rankings.

The aim of Season One’s tournament structure is to give the current structure a little more organization. Now players will be able to prove they are worthy of calling themselves the best. Tournaments are limited to players level 20 and up and will include both in-game and real world prizes.

Riot Games wasn’t able to reveal the exact start date for Season One play, though anyone interested should probably start honing their skills. Riot also announced that Mac players would be able to join the fray as a Mac version is slated for release around the same time League of Legends: Season One kicks off.

League of Legends: Season One
Riot Games