League of Legends

Riot Games Allowed Chinese Press to Worlds 2021, Ignoring Own Safety Measures

On Sep 9, many were disappointed to find out that Worlds 2021 would have no crowd, and no press. Content creators, endemic press, fans, etc. would not be allowed on site in Reykjavik, Iceland. 

In an official announcement, Riot Games outlined it’s desire to “focus on ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved in hosting, producing, and competing at the event.” However, in a new statement by Korizon’s Ashley Kang, and Dot Esports’s Jacob Wolf, it’s been revealed that several third-party new outlets from China, as well as LPL-affiliated content creators have been on site.

In the days leading up to Worlds 2021, all press and media were restricted from travelling to the event, despite repeated requests from news outlets. When pushed about the seeming attendance of Chinese media, Riot confirmed it had allowed them on site, in direct violation of their own previous safety measures.

When outlets pushed to request attendance for the upcoming finals for Worlds 2021, they were rebuffed. Riot Games seems content with it’s stance of allowing Chinese outlets and not the rest of the world to Worlds 2021.

Ultimately, this statement has sparked debate about Riot Games and their dubious media tactics once again. In 2018 and 2019, Journalist Richard Lewis found himself the subject of ire after pointing out the hypocrisy of Riot Games and it’s background control of the r/lol subreddit.

Beyond this, the increase in screened questions, open hostility to news outlets, and favouritism has soured many to the company. Riot Games is eager to present itself as a global company with international values. However, it’s actions seem incredibly far from those standards. 

League of Legends

League of Legends Netflix Series Gets Trailer and Release Date

After months of speculation and just teasers to go off, we now have concrete information about Arcane, Riot Games’ League of Legends-inspired Netflix Series. The developer released a full trailer on Saturday, September 25, as well as release dates and more details.

The trailer seems to show the story will focus on LoL characters Jinx and Vi and their lives in Piltover. What’s more, the trailer appeared to show Caitlyn, Jayce, Heimerdinger, and Viktor, giving us a full array of the Hex-tech wielding cities champions.

We’ve known about the series since May, when Netflix first leaked details. Netflix has recently taken a big drive into video games, and specifically Moba-related, IPs. The streaming platform debuted Dota 2: Dragon’s Blood earlier this year to critical acclaim. Now Dota 2’s rival game League of Legends is set to hit the platform.

Along with a trailer, we also found out more about the cast. Vi will be played by Hailee Stenfield, with sister Jinx played by Ella Purnell. Have will be played by Kevin Alejandro, and Caitlyn by Katie Leung. 

Riot also revealed the staggered release schedule of the series. The show will release in three episodes’ Acts,’ with the first debuting just after the end of Worlds 2021 on November 6. The remaining parts will release on November 13 and November 20, giving us a month of Arcane action.

The hype around the series is tremendous, as for years, fans have been clamoring for something deeper than League of Legends’ champion profiles to sink their teeth into. Comics and interactive events have satisfied up until now, but a whole Netflix series is sure to please dedicated LoL lore fans.

League of Legends

Riot Games unveils its new Champion: Viego, The Ruined King

It’s only a few days into the new year, but League of Legends is already being shaken up as Riot Games reveals their latest champion, Viego, The Ruined King. The new champ was unveiled across social media on the evening of Jan 8, with a new animated cinematic. The cinematic initially debuted on Riot’s 2021 League of Legends celebration video, but a full champion reveal followed shortly after.

However, this wasn’t the first time we’d seen Viego. Hero has been hinted earlier in 2020 as part of a new game revealed by Riot Forge partner Airship Syndicate. Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, is set to be a turn based RPG based in the League of Legends universe. Viego, the titular Ruined King is set to be a major character in the game.

Viego’s Abilities

For now though, Viego enters Summoners Rift as LoL’s latest champion. And his list of abilities looks incredibly impressive. First up, his passive, Sovereign’s Domination, which allows Viego to possess the enemy champion he kills. This lets Viego take on their abilities, effectively turning him into a version of Sylas that can copy every ability except an ultimate.

Viego’s Q is a percentage health draining passive, with a nasty stab added as an active for good measure. His W is, of course, a dash, and a stun – because what new champion would be caught dead without a mobility move and a hard crowd control ability?

The Ruined King’s E is Harrowed Path, which casts a wave of black mist around nearby walls. It grants camouflage to Viego and gives him extra attack and movement speed. This is definitely his major ganking ability.

Viego’s ultimate is Heartbreaker, allowing Viego to discard anyone he currently possesses with his passive, and blinking forward. Once he’s finished his blink, Viego will attack the nearest champ with the lowest percent health, dealing damage based on missing health.

With his plethora of damage abilities, and stealthy dashy fun, Viego The Ruined King is seemingly set to be primarily played in the Jungle role. However, a champion that can steal literally any non-ultimate ability in the game is surely destined for more than just a single spot on the rift. The Ruined King will likely be seen in many lanes, especially right after release.

Keep your eyes peeled to Dartfrog on TwitterFacebook, Instagram, and Twitch for all the latest League of Legends News.

League of Legends

Riot’s OCE League, the OPL ceases operations: What Happens Now?

On Wednesday morning, just as Worlds 2020 entered its first major break in the action, Riot Games shocked the world by announcing the OPL would cease operations. The news broke on the OPL’s own official Twitter page and in brief announcement on the LoL Esports website.

The scrapping of the league has mortified the League of Legends community, especially those hailing from the OCE region. Riding high after an incredible showing for Legacy Esports during Worlds 2020 Play-Ins, the region has seen it’s hopes crash violently to the ground.

As the gravity of the dissolution of an entire region sinks in, it’s time to ask questions. Such as what happens next for OCE League of Legends?

A New Life in the LCS

With the dismantling of the league, all 60+ OPL players are now potentially without jobs. To soften the blow, Riot Games announced that players from the OCE region would no longer take up import slots on LCS rosters. This essentially means NA organisations are free to sign any former OPL talent they wish.

The idea of free movement for talent between NA/OCE isn’t new. The concept that OCE talent wouldn’t count towards an import slot in the LCS was first floated in 2019. Following NA’s disastrous performance at Worlds 2019, the OCE and Latin America were both considered for this treatment. Additionally, the move to a major region from the OPL isn’t without precedent. One of the OPL’s biggest stars, Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw, signed with the LEC’s Origen in 2019.

However, the free movement to NA initiative will be of little consolation for the vast majority of Oceanic players. The LCS already has a fully talent base. Despite criticism of the region’s development of talent, it still manages to fill out its 50 roster slots each season. Chances of OCE talent making it to an academy roster, let alone a main LCS lineup, are slim indeed. But there’s certainly some standouts who could make the jump.

OPL Qualifying Tournament for Worlds 2021

The other consolation offered for fans of the OCE region is that teams would not be completely shut out of the international scene. As per the announcement, Riot Games “will also hold qualifying tournaments in OCE for both MSI and Worlds in 2021, ensuring teams from the region will continue to be represented at our two major global events next season.” 

As a result, OCE will still have a chance to be represented in the wider world. But without an official league, teams will be desperately waiting for two events a year. Riot Games gave no elaboration in their announcement – and so it’s unclear what talent pool these teams would be drawn from. Or how teams are supposed to sustain themselves without an official league. Without support, it would be incredibly challenging for an organisation to maintain an internationally competitive team in the OCE region.

Again this promise will do little to comfort OCE fans and players who have seen their league dismantled in front of them.

Picking up the Pieces

The one shining light for the OCE is that League of Legends isn’t going to go away completely. With a player count somewhere in the hundred thousands at the last count, OCE is on a similar level to the likes of the CIS or Singapore. With the former represented by the Unicorns of Love in the group stages of Worlds 2020 and the latter a part of the PCS, which has two representatives at the same event, there’s no reason the OCE couldn’t still be competitive internationally.

The OPL had been built on a strong foundation of grassroots events, amateur play, and independent tournaments. OCE teams had great showings at Intel Extreme Masters events and the Gamescom International Wildcard Tournaments. Combined with an exploding playerbase at the time led to the initial founding of the OPL. Five years on, and Riot is pulling the plug.

When Riot Games says “the OPL has not met our goals for the league,” it ultimately refers to the failures of Riot Games. Not the OPL. The OPL had incredible talent who competed at an international level for many years. But even this hasn’t helped to staunch the bleeding of a declining player base in the region. This was further compounded by a lower level of cosmetic sales thanks to unfavorable exchange rates in the region. A combination of reasons that likely saw Riot Games decide to cut the cord on an unprofitable region with limited scope for growth.

Out of the ashes of this abandonment, the OCE region will likely return to the smaller tournaments. And perhaps thanks to this the region will begin to shine again, and teams like Legacy Esports and MAMMOTH, who made waves on the international stage, will rise again.

Worlds 2020 continues tomorrow. For all the latest Worlds 2020 news and analysis check out Dart Frog on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.