League of Legends: 3 Ways Riot Games Can Improve Clash

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
Madrid, Spain – November 3: — during Worlds 2019 Semifinals at Palacio Vistalegre on November 3, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
Madrid, Spain – November 3: — during Worlds 2019 Semifinals at Palacio Vistalegre on November 3, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games) /

Clash launched officially last weekend after years of beta testing and teasing. Here’s how Riot Games can improve this new League of Legends game mode going forward.

Clash, the long-awaited tournament mode for League of Legends, finally went live after several rounds of beta testing last weekend (well, except for our EU brothers). Riot Games has been teasing this mode for years now, promising that this five-man tournament system would be the apex of competitive League of Legends. After the first weekend, though, there are several ways Riot could improve the system.

1. Earlier and/or Flexible Start Times

One big problem I have been seeing for League of Legends is the lock-in times (for the Eastern North America and EU) are quite late. The Tier IV tournaments lock-in at 5:00 PM PST (8:00 PM EST), with each subsequent division locking in a half-hour after that (so Tier I tournaments lock-in at 6:30 PST or 9:30 EST). With scouting, picks and bans, and loading screens, that means that players on the east coast might not be able to get into a game until close to 10 PM!

For players with families, kids, or early-morning jobs (or classes), this could be a prohibitive issue. It’s especially true on Sundays when most people will have work or class the following morning.

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I think it would be great if Riot Games would consider experimenting with changing the start times, maybe having afternoon tournaments on Saturday or Sunday. Obviously, the big hurdle is that this conflicts with the LCS/LEC, but if Riot wants to make Clash a staple this could be a big step.

Another option is to have multiple rolling start times during the day (like a morning, afternoon, and evening tournament) for players. Since you need a ticket to play in each, there’s little risk that a player or team would be able to spam all of them. It would also open Riot up to having more unique tournaments (maybe an ARAM tournament?).

2. Improve the Scouting Experience

The scouting phase of Clash was buggy (player profile names were aligned with the wrong champions and/or position) and a bit lacking (it let us know who played which champions, but nothing about them stylistically). The buggy part is probably already on Riot’s radar to solve, but I was left wondering if there were some ways to give players more information without forcing us to go to a third-party site.

One way I could see is to give players one-click access to the opponent’s profiles, so you can see not only their champions, but who they’ve been playing recently, their tendencies, and how long they’ve been playing with their teammates. With the Eternals system coming, this could also be a good opportunity to give us more information about their mastery with a certain champion.

3. Continue to Improve the Matchmaking

This one will obviously get better as the Clash system continues and your Clash “tier” becomes a bit more settled, but I did have the feeling last weekend like I was back playing ranked fives – and not in a good way. Our Clash team ranged from players in low Gold to mid Diamond, placing us in Tier II. Almost all of the games we played in or saw in our bracket ended incredibly quickly, around 20 minutes.

One of the big problems of ranked fives was that games felt unbalanced, with lane match-ups almost single-handedly deciding the games. That was the feeling last night as well, with the lower-ranked players feeling like they were failing the rest of their team while higher-ranked players felt pressure to carry.

Next. How Riot can solve the problem of smurfing. dark

I know Riot is probably hesitant to put a rank restriction on players entering the tournament together, so here’s hoping that your team’s Clash ranking will be able to swing a bit quicker so we get more competitive tournament results. Or, if ranked restrictions are needed, adding a tournament mode where you play with the same players, but don’t necessarily need to be friends, could be a neat idea.