League of Legends Summoner Season 2 will be coming to a close on October 13th, 2012 with the Season 2 Championships. This will be the largest League of Legends tournament to date. Riot Games will host the tournament in Los Angeles, and it will mark the conclusion of the $5 million dollar prize pool season. The winner of the tournament will take home the majority of a $3 million dollar shared prize, which is the largest payout to date in any esports tournament. It marks a huge step forward in the realm of esports.
The end of Season 2, and the beginning of Season 3, also brings with it a few changes to ratings. As with each season, as it comes to a close, players will be given rewards based on their rating from ranked game play. Normally, this is something that would be marked by your current rating, and so if you had a string of bad luck you may find yourself below your normal level of play or average ranking. Now though, players are going to be ranked by their highest ELO rating obtained. So while some feared playing and pushing once they hit a certain ELO cap, Riot has found a way to enable it so that you have nothing to lose by playing ranked games, and everything to gain. There is a new rank being added to the structure: Diamond. The top players with the highest ranks will find their way into this rank.
Ranks below Diamond are being expanded as well in order to encompass more of the player base. By doing this, they will allow for more players to actually be ranked, and thusly earn rewards. The ranks will receive upgraded medal art for Summoner profiles, and the tiers will be divided into ranks. These new ranks are designed to give you an idea of how close you are to moving up to the next tier; for example going from bronze to silver. A breakdown of tiers and ranks, can be found here.
Rewards for the end of Season 2 will be as follows.
Looking toward the future, Season 3 is shaping up to be one of the biggest ramp-ups in esports. Here is what we know so far.
This may not seem like a lot at first glance, but these are some huge changes. The prize pool is guaranteed to be the largest in esports history, and said to far eclipse the $5 million dollar prize pool of Season 2. No exact amount has been announced as of yet. The addition of regular Season Playoffs is a big step up to bringing the world of esports closer to the world of traditional sports. The structure of the tournament is changing to more closely resemble profession sports across the globe. This will add accessibility, and ease of understanding, to the esport franchise.
The largest change for the vast majority of players is going to come from streaming and spectator mode. Spectator mode was created to enable players to jump in on any live game of their friends or professionals being highlighted and watch the game unfold in almost real time. To keep people from cheating there is a 3 minute delay between the live game and the spectator mode. They will be expanding this, so that players can watch more games of those that are not on their friends list, like their favorite professional teams. If that wasn’t enough, each tournament, no matter where or how big, will have free HD streaming through Riot’s website. In a bold move, Riot announced that starting in Season 3, they will be making sure that all of championship series are streamed, in HD, for free. Previously Riot Games had to rely on third party streaming of such big events as MLG, IPL and IGN Pro. Those streams were not in HD by default and players would have to purchase through the third party in order to see the HD streams. Riot has invested a lot of time and money to bringing that same quality to its player-base at no additional cost. They will also have more streams of all the weekly games, for players to observe.
It’s an exciting time to be a League of Legends fan, and the onset of Season 3 which is set to start at the beginning of 2013 is going to be an exciting time. As an added thank you to their gamers, at the Season 2 Championship, those who watch the event live will gain access to an exclusive League of Legends skin for Riven. For the players that aren’t able to go see the event in person, the same skin will be hidden as a code in the stream of the championship finals so that fans at home who are watching the stream can also get a chance to obtain this exclusive skin.