Competitive League of Legends started up late last week as all the regions duked it out across the world for the start of season 6. For the average player, there's a little too much content to watch--and that's where we come in! Here are LolKing's top games to catch up on from the first week of the season, including highlights of some of the best (and worst) plays from each game.
Korea: ROX Tigers and their Triple Marksman Composition
The ROX Tigers debuted LCK Spring with a very unique, triple marksmen composition, that they played in both games of their first BO3 series against CJ Entus.
Personally, the biggest surprise was seeing Kindred only get picked up 2nd rotation on blue side, indicating that maybe CJ Entus don’t play it or don’t necessarily value the pick as much.
The Tigers opened up their draft with Kalista, followed up with the Kindred and Alistar pickups, with this they already have a very strong early game, paired with two different forms of Hard Engage (Kalista ultimate and Alistar’s Headbutt/Pulverize combo).
After seeing CJ’s 2nd rotation on red side they’re in a unique scenario where they can actually counterpick both solo lanes (usually top or mid is saved for last pick), so the Tigers lock in LeBlanc and Quinn.
These two picks bring a lot of skirmishing potential to the Tigers’ composition and obviously a lot of damage. Even though it’s not a very tanky composition from the Tigers they have Kindred’s ultimate, Lamb’s Respite, which proved to be an essential tool to avoid getting bursted by Viktor or assassinated by Fiora.
In game the Tigers were very dominant, they played around small skirmishes and pick-offs in order to ensure a gold advantage. After cementing a large gold lead, they finally started to siege and force dives, with their advantage in itemization and with tools like Lamb’s Respite, Unbreakable Will and Fate’s Call, they could ensure they could do these dives and get out unscathed.
After a decent showing at IEM Cologne taking 2nd place, Qiao Gu played their first match in LPL against none other than the 1st Chinese Seed at Worlds, LGD Gaming. It seems like the disappointment isn’t over for them yet, not even with two roster swaps and the introduction of Eimy and recently crowned World Champion, MaRin.
Qiao Gu completely dominated from champion select. After showing Dr. Mundo, QG took Trundle, a direct counter to him as Subjugate saps a large part of a tank’s resistances, making them easier to kill.
They also picked two flex picks (flex picks are champions that can be played in more than one role) in Trundle and Tahm Kench, making it hard for LGD to figure out what role each was going to be played in.
In game, Swift and V gave MaRin a warm welcome to China, and dove him over and over again, showing why the rest of the world has kept Tahm Kench perma banned due to his innate tankiness paired with insane amounts of damage.
Intelligent Itemization: Tahm Kench rushed Boots of Swiftness in order to not get affected by Rumble’s slows as much and to be able to get into range for Devour.
After amassing a large gold lead, mainly coming from kills on top and mid lane, it was smooth sailing for Qiao Gu as they ended up taking the series 2-0.
North America: Immortals start strong with an unconventional pick.
With a roster composed of 2 ex-Fnatic members and 3 NA residents from top 4 teams of the last split, Immortals have been one of the most hyped up teams in the pre-season and they delivered.
With only Huni’s pick left to lock in, Immortals go for a rather unconventional pick: Cho’gath.
It’s a very strong pick here as he’s currently one of the only champions with Silence, one of the most effective crowd control effects against mages like Ryze. Not only that, Rupture is a great tool against less mobile champions such as Ryze or Miss Fortune who will easily get caught if Flash isn’t up for them.
The match started slow with both teams taking down each other’s towers in both side lanes. But with the map open and no outer turrets, the Immortals started to use their composition with double global ultimates (Rek'sai’s Void Rush and Twisted Fate’s Destiny) to pick up kills and cement a significant gold lead.
Cloud9 never stood a chance. Between Feral Screams on the AP champions and well placed knockups coming from Cho’gath, Janna and Rek’sai, Immortals made sure C9 could never really contest or execute their composition in teamfights.
After what was an unexpected win and impressive display against this split’s favorite’s Origen, the reformed Fnatic roster ended up faltering to Vitality in the 2nd day of the EU LCS.
Interestingly enough, Fnatic ended up drafting the exact same composition that they used to take down Origen, but Vitality was well prepared for them.
Oddly enough, Fnatic ended up drafting Zac after seeing the Morgana pick up from Vitality. While Zac has a lot of AoE crowd control, tools like Dark Binding and obviously Black Shield can really stop Zac in his tracks and impede him from being the teamfight menace that he usually is.
The move that gave Vitality a big part of their advantage early on was Cabochard’s Teleport down to botlane after seeing Fnatic back off. With it, he picked up a lot of precious experience and gold and managed to set the pace for an otherwise disadvantageous matchup against Olaf.
From there, Vitality gained most of their gold lead from having the superior 2v2 matchup with a lane bully like Miss Fortune and by having Shook on Elise help Cabochard on Fiora solidify the lead versus Gamsu on Olaf.
In teamfights, Fnatic could never fully engage due to a very well played Morgana by KaSing and with Fiora being ahead Vitality guaranteed that they could always splitpush and avoid big 5v5 encounters.
Jhin is the latest champion to join League of Legends is a bit of a performer. And while he may not win Best Actor at this year's Oscars, he has several unique dialogue lines pertaining to his fellow champions.
Thanks to the due dilligence of Comley, Shakarez, and StillGray we've spent the time on the PBE making a video of all of his interactions we could find! We've also transcribed the quotes below for everyone.
If there's one thing Jhin hates, it's Noxus. And as a fellow marksmen, he's of the mind to let Draven know exactly how he feels about his likely lane opponent's nation.
“You shout and throw machetes. How quaint”
“Clearly you’ve never performed in Ionia”
“I find your work very very… obvious”
“You can take my soul… if you’ll shut up”
“There is such a thing as too much gold, my dear”
“Here’s the thing, I don’t need your god, I need more time for production”
“When you speak I don’t hear god, I hear an idiot babbling”
“I thought diamonds were a girl's best friend”
Another likely lane opponent, Jinx becomes the target of Jhin's ire as well for her unhinged ways.
“So many guns, all lacking in meaning or artistry”
Jhin is the type of guy to make a snobby remark about Lucian's dead wife whose soul Thresh imprisoned.
“Your story is revenge with guns and ghosts, how droll”
"Break a leg... oh, break a leg... ah, delightful, I do cut myself up."
Another musician? Better make sure Sona realizes she's not the star of this show.
“Your music lacks the cruelty of a masterpiece”
“You should learn the power of silence”
“Your work will be forgotten, I am ahead of my time”
“Step out of my light! We call it background music”
Jhin really, really hates Tahm Kench. Then again, let's be honest, what ADC wouldn't?
“How inelegant your words are, surely a fool wrote your script”
“Before you ask, yes, your whole ensemble makes you look fat, very fat”
“You have too many lines”
“That is ridiculous, who let you wear that horrible thing”
“Why would anyone listen to a creature so ugly”
Jhin has fairly complex lore with Shen, and he definitely holds some grudges.
“You helped lock me away, you tried to stop my work, my art cannot be contained”
“Your father’s death denied me a performance, you will be his stand-in”
“I remember your father, he thought he could censor me”
“Your father was a merciful man, only his failure will be remembered”
“I have been planning your final performance, for a very. long. time.”
Much like Shen, Jhin has a grudge against Zed because Zed is Shen's student.
“You wanted to kill me back then didn’t you? You will learn, art cannot be killed”
“An understudy can’t upstage me”
“You think you can stop my performance?”
“I offer an exclusive service, you’ll find I murder the competition”
“You belong in the shadows, no audience could love you”
“I remember your master, he was worth remembering”
“You were wrong to kill your master, I needed him for this performance”
Garen and Katarina:
Garen and Katarina are a forbidden romance--one from Demacia, the other from Noxus. Jhin likes to poke fun at that in his interactions with either.
“The always enchanting tale of star-crossed lovers”
“Your finale will be a duet”
We used Swain as an example, but other Noxus champions will trigger these. Jhin really despises Noxus, finding their acts of "art" (killing) to be an insult to murder due to their lack of style and finesse.
“Your war was an impressive production, but it lacked soul”
“I’ve been asked to do so many boring performances in your nation”
“Noxians treat killing as a sport, it is an art”
“Your people mistake loudness for import”
“How gauche your nation is”
These lines didn't seem to trigger in-game, but we suspect they are for champions from Ionia just like how Noxus had its own set of lines.
“You only understand harmony, discord is required for contrast”
“My dear countryman, you remind me how little our culture has advanced”
“I am avant garde you are stuck in the past”
“The noxian invasion should be a wakeup call, we need more elaborate productions”
“I do what others will not, that alone is innovation”
Released a new League of Legends album, Making Warsongs, inspired by ranked draft
Launched patch 6.1 to finally deal preseason imbalances, like Frost Queen's Claim
A New Champion Select
Update: shortly after its launch, the new champion select was taken offline by Riot. Hopefully it comes back soon!
It's been a while since we'd heard anything about the new champion select, but Riot pushed it live to the NA and TR regions late morning on Thursday with other regions going live later in the week.
In addition to looking much fancier, the new champion select is much more practical in an attempt to make queuing up a less stressful process. Players now must select their position (up to two positions or fill) and indicate the champion they plan to play--hopefully settling those toxic arguments where players ban what others want to play and fight over roles.
Team Builder, Riot's first attempt at smoothing out champion select, is disabled once the new champion select goes live.
Hopefully you drafted your fantasy league team, because the EU LCS was today and the LCK was last night. There were a lot of new teams created in the off season and several roster changes, so this year's eSports scene is as hectic as ever!
Hextech crafting, Riot's answer to other games' item systems, is finally live on the PBE. With this new system, players can earn chests and keys as well as purchase them to open them for loot. Chests contain champion shards, skin shards, summoner icons, gems, and more.
Once you have a champion or skin shard, you must gather essence to upgrade it into an unlock. You can earn essence by disenchanting shards you don't want. Once you gather enough essence, you can permenently unlock that skin or champion through the shard, putting it directly in your inventory!
You can also redeem shards for a 7 day trial at that champion or skin; combine three shards together to reroll for one shard; and even get rare gems which come with a free chest and key.
Patch 6.1 went live this morning, and it included several nerfs to some of the preseason's biggest stars including Miss Fortune and Frost Queen's Claim. FQC had become an item that everyone was building, including mid laners--with its mana regeneration going down from 150% to 100% as well as the ghosts receivinig changes, it should be in a better place now. Read the patch notes over on Riot's website.
Shen is one of the oldest champions in League of Legends and he's been on Riot's targeted list for a while now. Riot just posted his new models and abilities and here's our breakdown with analysis by Shakarez:
His passive (Ki Barrier) is now a shield. The cooldown is long but it’s reduced every time he uses abilities on allies or enemies; it activates after Shen uses an ability.
His Q (Twilight Assault) is his main damage ability and it is the ability most changed by the update. Shen calls his spirit blade to himself and his next three basic attacks to deal damage based on the opponent’s % maximum hp. If the Spirit Blade passes through an enemy, Shen will gain attack speed and the enemies will be slowed if moving away from Shen.
His W (Protective Barrier) is a barrier that allows Shen and his Allies to dodge all basic attacks for a short period. This ability only triggers if there are allies inside the protective zone, this includes Shen himself as well.
His E (Shadow Dash) is essentially the same, but he'll restore energy if he hits someone with his Q as well instead of only getting it back from one ability.
His R (Stand United) is mostly unchanged, but it now brings Spirit Blade with him.
So what does this mean for the Eye of Twilight?
Stylistically it seems like Riot is trying to make Shen more of a supportive type champion while still keeping key components of his old identity as a top laner. Protective Barrier (W) makes him very strong in a duo lane, where he can place his barrier on top of his AD Carry while he goes in with a taunt to force a trade--thankfully, the fact that he can cast it by himself means he still retains viability in the top lane.
The addition of Spirit Blade makes him a bigger threat in skirmishes or teamfights, despite increasing his skillcap. A possible combo will now be Shadow Dash into Twilight Assault. The Spirit Blade will go through the taunted enemies and if they’re looking to go for the backline while Shen is behind them, they’ll have a hard time doing so due to his slow.
Passive: Ki Barrier
After casting an ability, Shen gains a temporary shield. The shield has a relatively long cooldown which is significantly reduced if one of his abilities affects an allied or enemy champion.
Q: Twilight Assault
Shen calls his spirit blade, empowering his next three basic attacks to deal damage based on a portion of his target’s max health. If his spirit blade collides with an enemy champion on its way to him, Shen deals increased damage and gains greatly increased attack speed. All enemies struck by the returning blade briefly suffer reduced movement speed when moving away from Shen.
W: Spirit's Refuge
Shen’s spirit blade creates a protective barrier that allows Shen and his nearby allies to dodge all basic attacks for a few seconds. The ability triggers when there are allied champions in the zone - if there are no allies are in the zone, it waits to start until one gets close enough.
E: Shadow Dash
Passive: Shen recovers a flat portion of energy whenever he deals damage with Twilight Assault or Shadow Dash.
Active: Shen dashes in a target direction, dealing damage to all enemy champions in his path and taunting them briefly.
R: Stand United
Shen channels as he prepares to teleport to an allied champion anywhere on the map. As he channels, he grants his target a shield, and once he arrives, he brings his spirit blade with him.