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Guide Spotlight: Bearded Wonders

If hipsters have taught me anything it's that $15 is a good deal on an artisanal locally sourced organic grilled cheese, and that beards are trendy. Let's celebrate by taking a look at guides for some champions who have (or probably have..) luscious beards.



Wukong's ultimate turns him into a ferocious tornado of bearded destruction. He's not afraid to get into the opponents face and bully them around early and often. If you feel like snowballing games out of control, he is a great choice.To master the aggressive bearded monkey king himself, check out this great guide by user BartTheTosti.  


Some people incorrectly assume that Olaf is the bearded barbarian, but it's actually just the beard. That's why he is able to charge into battle and ignore any interruption to the hapless body he controls. There are few things as scary to an ADC as an enraged beard running in their direction. Great at punishing low mobility champions, he can be a super solid pick.
Learn how to control the furious champion with this guide by the one and only C9 Meteos.



Now you might say that I have no way of knowing that Zed has any facial hair at all, with the conveniently placed mask and all, but you'll have to trust me on this, there is definitely at least a goatee or something going on under there, you can just tell by his assertive playstyle.You might still be skeptical on what's behind the mask, but have no doubt that this guide by Hexadecimal will have you stomping lanes, beard or not.  


Surely the most well groomed beard on the list, Graves puts in that time to really appreciate his facial hair. Just because he is a gruff badass with a shotgun doesn't mean he can't a little time to trim things up. He is seeing less play these days in the ADC role specifically, but he can still make it work.
Catch up on everything you need to play Graves with this guide by user lolBigZ.  


Nothing is more frustrating for the enemy than finally managing to bring down your ADC only to see Zilean give his majestic beard a twirl and bring him back to life. He is really seeing some great action in the support role and again, is great at really frustrating the enemy with all his utility.We've got a fresh guide from the subtly named user Iron Hooves of Badassery, check it out.  

Road to Worlds 2016 - Update on Qualified Teams

The season 6 World Championship is in exactly one month and 10 out of 16 teams have already qualified to compete in the biggest annual League of Legends Tournament.


As playoffs conclude in all major regions, teams are qualifying as split champions or from accumulating the most championship points in their respective regions. Next up are the regional finals where the final representatives from Europe, North America, Taiwan and Korea will be drawn.

Finally, 2 teams from minor regions will join them once the Invitational Wildcard Qualifier concludes.




North America


NA sends 3 Teams to the World Championship, the three teams qualified are:

  • Seed 1: The NA LCS Summer Split Champions - Team SoloMid
  • Seed 2: The Team with the highest number of Championship Points - Counter Logic Gaming
  • Seed 3: The Winner of the NA Regional Finals


After a thrilling third place match that went the distance and featured 5 exciting bloodbaths between CLG and the victorious Immortals, the Air Canada Center in Toronto featured the highly anticipated finals between the almost undefeated Team Solomid and an increasingly stronger Cloud9.

Game 1 was a shock for many as the underdogs that had a shaky regular split came out swinging and showed TSM could bleed. The loss didn't phase TSM. Calm and collected, they immediately tied up the series in game 2 and not even Meteos' Pocket Zac Pick could save Cloud9 in game 3 as TSM took the lead off of an impressive performance by Bjergsen on Cassiopeia.

Going into Game 4, Doublelift's infamous Lucian was locked in and we had a thrilling back and forth match. Despite being behind early on, Cloud9 managed to pull it back off of a great carry performance from Impact on Gnar, acing TSM and leading to a baron to extend the lead.

However, in the end and after more amazing teamfights, TSM managed to pull through and take down the enemy Nexus.


As a result from TSM's win, CLG also qualified for worlds as the team with most Championship Points, following their Spring Split win and their 4th place during the summer split, netting them a total of 130 Points.


From the 3rd to the 5th of September, the 2nd to 5th ranked teams in North American Championship Points will qualify and compete in the NA regional finals.





EU has exactly the same format as NA to determine their three Worlds Representatives.

The three teams qualified are:

  • Seed 1: The EU LCS Summer Split Champions - G2 Esports
  • Seed 2: The Team with the highest number of Championship Points - H2K Gaming
  • Seed 3: The Winner of the EU Regional Finals


Going into the finals, G2 Esports had already confirmed their presence at the world championship. A win over Splyce would mean qualifying as Summer Split Champions while a loss would have them qualify via Championship Points.

The Tauron Arena in Kraków filled up to watch the European Powerhouse go up against the big surprise of the split, that even had to battle through relegations during spring. G2 were favorites and quickly confirmed their status as such by taking out their opponents in game 1. But Splyce still had fight in them and managed to tie it up in the second match.

Eventually, G2's more experienced line up reigned supreme over the new kids on the block and despite a very honorable performance from Splyce, it wasn't enough to take out the 'villains' of Europe.

The day before, Poland saw two of their own players (Jankos and Vander) compete in home turf, as H2K took down the Unicorns of Love 3-1. H2K was rewarded for their consistency and their two top 4 finishes in both splits locked them in for worlds as Europe's second seed.


From the 3rd to the 5th of September, the 2nd to 5th ranked teams in European Championship Points will qualify and compete in the EU regional finals.





Korea also sends 3 Teams to the World Championship:

  • Seed 1: The LCK Summer Split Champions - ROX Tigers
  • Seed 2: The team with the highest number of Championship Points - SK Telecom T1
  • Seed 3: The Winner of the LCK Regional Finals


The LCK has been a treat for the avid competitive League of Legends fans, bringing us two epic Best of 5 series in a short window of time. Following KT Rolster's amazing reverse sweep against SK Telecom, the final between ROX and KT delivered, going to 5 games as well.

League of Legends is a game of inches and an early smite by KT Rolster's Score allowed Smeb to steal the baron at 2 HP, putting ROX back into the game and eventually giving them the win. The 'We're number 2 so we try harder' mentality is finally over for the charismatic Tigers who qualified as Korea's first seed.

With the Tigers' win, SK Telecom guaranteed their slot as the team with the most Championship Points.


From the 29th of August to the 3rd of September, the 2nd to 5th ranked teams in Korean Championship Points will qualify and compete in the KR regional finals.





Similarly to all the major regions mentioned above, China also sends 3 Teams to the World Championship:


  • Seed 1: The LPL Summer Split Champions - Edward Gaming
  • Seed 2: The team with the highest number of Championship Points - Royal Never Give Up
  • Seed 3: The Winner of the LPL Regional Finals - I May


China is the first region to confirm all their World Championship Participants. The finals in Guangzhou featured the undefeated Edward Gaming against Spring Split champions Royal Never Give Up. Yet another final for Uzi and unfortunately for him, yet another second place.

Clearlove's trophy case seems to keep growing more and more as he racks up yet another domestic title. The finals were probably the most one sided in all major regions, as Edward Gaming swept RNG 3-0.


The regional finals immediately followed as Snake Esports, Team WE and I May fought for the final spot.


Snake fought valiantly as they had to play two best of 5 series in one day, but ended up falling to Team WE in game 5, after playing their 10th game in a short period of time.

The following day, a rematch of the 3rd place match of the LPL Summer Playoffs would follow and the result ended up being the same. I May, previously EDG's sub squad EDE in LSPL managed to take out Team WE in an incredibly close best of 5 and guaranteed their trip to Worlds.

In just over three months, the squad was promoted to the top flight of Chinese League of Legends and managed to reach the biggest international tournament.





Despite being a major region like the other 4, a smaller region and smaller league means Taiwan only sends two representatives to the World Championship.

  • Seed 1: The LMS Summer Split Champions - Flash Wolves
  • Seed 2: The Winner of the LMS Regional Finals

After a dominating regular split, J Team (formerly TPA) were the favorites to take Taiwan’s first seed and a chance to get a pool 1 slot.

However, experience showed to be a very important factor and the veteran squad of the Flash Wolves, who were quarter finalists in last year's World Championship, clean swept J Team 3-0 in the LMS Finals.



From the 2nd to the 4th of September, the top 4 teams from 2016 LMS Championship Points will qualify and compete in the LMS regional finals.

International Wildcard



Last but not least, the two last slots for worlds are for the minor regions, that will face off in the International Wildcard Qualifier.


Latin America North, Latin America South, Brazil, Turkey, CIS, Japan, South East Asia and Oceania are the 8 Minor Regions that have to qualify via the International Wildcard in order to make it to the World Championship.

The qualifier features each region’s champion

  • Kaos Latin Gamers from LAS
  • INTZ e-Sports from Brazil
  • Dark Passage from Turkey
  • Albus NoX Luna from CIS
  • Saigon Jokers from SEA
  • Chiefs from Oceania
  • Lyon Gaming from LAN


Group Stages are almost over and the top 4 are already locked. The top 4 teams will move onto the main event in Curitiba, Brazil where first placed team Lyon will face Albus NoX Luna from the CIS Region

INTZ, locked in second place will face the third place team, Dark Passage. Both games will be Best of 5 and the winner of each series will qualify to worlds.




Currently Qualified Teams


Below is a table with all the qualified teams currently. As mentioned above, 10 out of 16 slots are already filled.


Pro Tier: Kings of the Jungle (Gragas/Rek'sai) and their Successors

In recent patches two junglers have completely dominated competitive play. Rek’sai and Gragas are present in almost every single match either being picked or banned. But what makes them so dominant and why are they a clear-cut above the rest?


A look at previous patches


In previous patches and aside from Gragas and Rek’sai we saw a lot of Hecarim. Before that, a lot of junglers in pro play were picking Nidalee, Graves and Kindred.

In lane swaps, the junglers used to be more isolated and could just keep farming for the first few minutes, skirmishes and fights were non-existent, a perfect scenario for Hecarim, who has a very weak first clear.

Before Hecarim, Graves, Kindred and Nidalee were at the top of the pick priority for junglers, but successive nerfs to their kits progressively pushed them away.



The current patches in competitive (6.15-6.16)


It all changed when Patch 6.15 hit. The removal of fortification from the bot lane turret essentially meant that lane swaps are defunct. Not only would the team swapping take more time to take down the turret, they would also fall behind due to the addition of the first brick gold, giving extra gold to whichever team takes down the first structure.

These changes brought a bigger emphasis in snowballing from laning phase as early kills coupled with the first brick gold can give a team a huge advantage going into mid game. With that in mind and with lane swaps fully out of the picture, junglers need to have a strong early presence, with strong clearing and even better ganking.


Why Rek'sai and Gragas dominate


Rek’sai is a fantastic early game jungler that scales well into the late game and can still pack a punch despite only traditionally building one offensive item. Her clears are fast and healthy due to Fury of the Xer’Sai and Tremor Sense allows her to control the map exquisitely. With use of her tunnels and unburrow her ganks are deadly and frequent. Post level 6, she can use Void Rush, further increasing her presence.


As for Gragas and while his clears aren’t as fast or as sustained as Rek’sai’s, he’s still a phenomenal ganking jungler with multiple CC tools at his disposal. Post level 6 he can use Explosive Cask to knockback enemies, making him extremely strong at picking off targets and isolating targets in fights.


The Nerfs


Patch 6.17 brought nerfs to these two dominant junglers and these changes have already been felt during the last few days in ranked matches, but they will only hit competitive at a later date.




E: Tunnel

Cooldown: 20/19.5/19/18.5/18 seconds ⇒ 26/24/22/20/18 seconds
R: Void Rush

Cooldown: 150/110/70 seconds ⇒ 180/140/100 seconds


On 6.17, Rek'sai’s mobility with her tunnels is severely hindered and with a cooldown increase on her ultimate, her global presence is much less menacing. Maxing Tunnel second could be an option, but it would come at the expense of less damage from having to max unburrow last.



E: Body Slam

Cooldown: 12 seconds ⇒ 16/15/14/13/12 seconds
R: Explosive Cask

Travel Time:  0 - 0.58 seconds (based on distance) ⇒ 0.55 seconds


It’s likely that these changes will completely kill the competitive viability of the champion. Body Slam is usually maxed last, meaning this nerf hits hard until late game. But the bigger nerf is the one to Explosive Cask. By making the travel time fixed, Riot end up introducing clunkiness to the Rabble Rouser’s kit. With a fixed travel time the ultimate becomes easier to predict, and Gragas’ ability of using it point blank after Body Slam to knock back a target into the claws of the enemies is much harder to do.



The Gragas Nerfs are already noticeable, as his popularity has been declining ever since Patch 6.17 hit.



The Successors


Nerfs to the two main junglers mean that other options will show up once 6.17 hits the rift in competitive and while Rek’sai is still probably a top tier jungler, Gragas likely won’t be played at all. This means there are room for more picks.


Let's have a look at some of them:



Elise and Nidalee


Were already the two main jungle picks behind Rek’sai and Gragas.


Elise is a strong, early game jungler that is extremely proficient at skirmishing and ganking, not to mention that she can pull off tower dives early on with Rappel. Overall, her strength lies mainly in pick off compositions, blowing up a target after landing a Cocoon, but she can still be a menace in skirmishes and teamfights if played correctly.

The Nidalee changes seem to not have done much to stop her and she remains an aggressive duelist that can also gank well, provided her laners have crowd control to set her up.






Buffed recently. Strong Ganker.

In a meta where laneswaps don’t exist, Evelynn gets to thrive as she absolutely needs standard lanes to show up unannounced and start picking up kills. The cooldown reduction buff on Agony’s Embrace on Patch 6.17 also ensures that she’s stronger at small skirmishes and teamfights, because she can now use it more often.






Tank Jungler. Fills in the niche

With Rek'sai banned most of the time and Gragas not being an option in the future as a gank heavy tanky jungler, Zac might just be the option for teams looking for a tank from the jungle. Zac's clears are extremely healthy, but what really sets him apart from all the other junglers is his unique gank pathing. With Elastic Slingshot, Zac can gank from afar and from angles the enemy is not expecting. In teamfights he functions as a main initiator or as followup, with a barrage of CC abilities including a strong set of knockbacks from Let's Bounce!


New Ranked Features for 2017, High Tier Changes Soon

A new post by League of Legends lead producer New001 shows some new changes coming to the top of the ranked ladder, as well as hinting at what will be a new features for the 2017 ranked ladder.

The more immediate changes are:

  • Challenger tier going solo queue only, Diamond and Master are solo/duo.
  • Tighter decay rules in Challenger and Master.
  • Adding some sort of physical rewards for Challenger tier.
  • A new grace period on being autofilled, and players can no longer be autofilled during a promotion series.

For the rest of the ladder we can look forward to more details in September:

"We’re also currently closing in on our final designs for the 2017 Ranked experience, with the commitment to designing a system that provides legitimate standings for players of all competitive types. It’s clear we made too many trade-offs this year on the Ranked experience, but we think we’re now on a better track. Details are still being finalized, and we’ll have more in September, along with a reveal of our end of season rewards."

Be sure to check out the full post by New001 - Riot Pls: Ranked Pls

Patch 6.17 Rundown: Swarm of Changes

Patch 6.17 is bringing changes on 26 champions, making it a very wide patch. Many of them are pretty minor changes, but there are some significant ones mixed in. A lot of the utility ADCs are being brought a bit more in line and forced to rely more on that utility. We are also seeing the high mobility tanky junglers of Gragas and Rek'Sai pulled back a bit, and it might open up the jungle to some new picks.

Be sure to check out the full changes below:


Tibbers gets over Annie's death faster.

What's New:
  • Summon: Tibbers (R) Tibbers' bonus movement and AS after Annie's death decays 20% faster



Calming down Ashe's DPS a bit because she is supposed to be more utility oriented.

What's New:
  • Ranger's Focus (Q) duration down from 5s to 4s
  • Enchanted Crystal Arrow (R) damage down at first 2 ranks


Zip around while clearing wards!

What's New:
  • Hextech Munitions (Passive) out of combat movement speed is no longer cancelled by attacking wards



We will see her in more wombo combo montages for sure.

What's New:
  • Moonfall (E) maximum pull distance increased from 150 to 225


Couple tweaks to the frequency and cost of ult.

What's New:
  • Whirling Death (R) mana cost down from and cooldown rebalanced from 110/100/90s to 120/100/80s


More ults!

What's New:
  • Agony's Embrace (R) cooldown lowered from 150/120/90s to 120/100/80s


Bad Ezreals won't even notice the changes, but the ones that get in there and keep it spicy can get some more late game strength.

What's New:
  • Rising Spell Force (Passive) attack speed per stack scales 10/12/14% at levels 1/7/13 rather than a flat 10%, bringing the max to 50/60/70% at levels 1/7/13 from a flat 50%


Getting hit in both his own safety as well as his early contribution to the team. Could be a pretty rough patch for ol' GP.

What's New:
  • Base health decreased from 580 to 540
  • Remove Scurvy (W) mana cost increased
  • Cannon Barrage (R) cooldown increased at early ranks and damage down


I hope Gragas players will make a montage of how many ults they miss getting used to this.

What's New:
  • Body Slam (E) cooldown changed from a flat 12s to 16/15/14/13/12s
  • Explosive Cask (R) has a flat 0.55s travel time, rather than 0-0.58s based on distance travelled


Losing a key AP Ratio will probably kill all Mejais oriented builds.

What's New:
  • Thundering Blow (E) changed to a flat 40 mana
  • Transform: Mercury Hammer (R) empowered attack ratio changed from 0.4AP to 0.54 bonus AD


Pushing the ultimate to be used more for clean up rather than popped right off the bat.

What's New:
  • Deadly Flourish (W) ratio lowered from 0.7 bonus AD to 0.5 bonus AD
  • Curtain Call (R) missing health damage up, but minimum and maximum damage both lowered. No longer refunds cooldown for unused shots


Ult booms harder.

What's New:
  • Super Mega Death Rocket! (R) minimum and maximum bonus AD ratios increased


I didn't know this was an issue and it explains so much.

What's New:
  • Kennen's basic attack animation better matches when the shuriken leaves his hand and the missile speed is up from 1600 to 1700
  • Electrical Surge (W) powered attack missile speed down from 1800 to 1700


Ruin the day of those dirty attack damage pickers.

What's New:
  • Brutal Strikes (W) cooldown lowered, bonus armor increased 5%, and damage ratio from armor increased


Slightly more clutch saves incoming.

What's New:
  • Black Shield (E) cast range up slightly from 750 to 800


Slight buffs for Ori, her father would be proud.

What's New:
  • Command: Shockwave (R) mana cost now a flat 100, and cooldown lowered 10s at all ranks


Waddle into combat with more speed and confidence.

What's New:
  • Steadfast Presence (W) passive resist bonus up from 12% to 15%


Pretty stern nerfs here, but they are only cooldown oriented.

What's New:
  • Tunnel (E) cooldown rescaled from 20/19.5/19/18.5/18s to 26/24/22/20/18s
  • Void Rush (R) cooldown increased from 150/110/70s to 180/140/100s


Riven getting buffed, Riven mains probably raging in all chat about it for some reason.

What's New:
  • Blade of the Exile (R) minimum and maximum damage both increased (minimum up from 80/120/160 to 100/150/200, maximum 240/360/480 to 300/450/600)


Feel less bad taking your ultimate at level 6.

What's New:
  • Realm Warp (R) rank 1 range up from 1500 to 1750


Continuing the theme of nerfing the utility ADCs.

What's New:
  • Richochet (W) bounce damage ratio down 0.1 at all ranks
  • On The Hunt (R) passive attack speed while using Richochet down from 40/60/80% to 30/45/60%


More boxes than a, I don't know, a box factory.

What's New:
  • The Box (R) cooldown down from 150/140/130 to 140/120/100


Chilling out on the late game pillar spam.

What's New:
  • Pillar of Ice (E) cooldown rescaled from 23/20/17/14/11s to 22/20/18/16/14s


A bunch of other ADCs getting the nerf bat and Vayne sneaks in with a buff.

What's New:
  • Tumble (Q) ratio at max rank up to 0.7AD from 0.5AD


Ticking time bomb is going to tick a bit faster.

What's New:
  • Phenomenal Evil Power (Passive) AP on kill or assist up from 3 to 5


Giving her a bit easier time in the early game.

What's New:
  • Blast Shield (Passive) cooldown rescaled from 18-8s (at levels 1-18) to 16-8s (at levels 1-18)
  • Vault Breaker (Q) cooldown rescaled from 18/15.5/13/10.5/8s to 16/14/12/10/8s, and knockback duration is now a flat 0.7s
  • Excessive Force (E) now grants 2 charges on first level up

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