Oh it's on. After several months' worth of pre-season play, Riot Games is ready to kick things into high gear with next week's launch of League of Legends' first official competition season, complete with ladders, ranked games and draft mode.
Crecente and I were both extremely fond of Riot Games' take on the Warcraft II defence of the Ancients mod when it came out last October, but up until now it's all been child's play. On July 13 shit gets real for the free-to-play online game, with season one bringing tons of official tournaments to the game's more than three million players, along with three big in-game updates.
Once season one starts players level 20 and above will be able to participate in ranked play. They'll choose from 3v3 Premade, 5v5 Premade or 5v5 Solo game types. In the team-based games, the match will then move into draft mode.
In draft mode, each team can choose to ban up to two of the game's selection of Champions, restricting either team from using them. Once the banning is finished, the team that banned second will get first draft pick, gaining exclusive use of the Champion for the match.
At the end of the season, a major tournament will be held to crown the season one champion. Then the whole thing starts all over again.
"The Season One features and updates will greatly enhance League of Legends and help us towards our goal of having LOL being played by the world's top gamers in the biggest and best gaming leagues and tournaments," said Marc Merrill, co-founder and President of Riot Games. "We have been thrilled with the reception League of Legends has received from the players and we will continue to enhance and evolve the game to make it the best gaming experience possible. Season One is just one of many high-quality, free updates that our fans can expect to see in the months and years to come."
They're going to drag me back in again, I just know it.
If you'd like to be dragged with me, check out the game's official website.