Riot announces 10 bans in professional play

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Riot has announced changes to the pick-ban phase of professional play, increasing the numbers of bans from six to 10. The changes will include a pick-ban system that is segmented into four phases instead of two as it was previously.

The changes to the system are listed below and have given the blue side first pick and first ban in the first two phases, while the red side has the first pick and first ban in the latter two phases. Red side will have the counterpick in both stages of picking champions, and has a doubled up pick and ban at the end of Pick Phase 1 and start of Ban Phase 2. This is counterbalanced by a double pick on the blue side.

The changes to the system come as professional players and spectators complained about the lack of diversity in picks and strategies due to the limitations of the existing pick-ban system. The segmented system serves to provide that diversity, by allowing adaptability against compositions. A leaked copy that was similar to this format was reported earlier as the Singaporean leagues's pick-ban system.

While the system is coming into professional play, it will take some time to come to ranked queues. Riot stated in their release that, "Revised pick/ban for regular play will come somewhat later than the changes in organized play. We’re still assessing what style of pick/ban changes makes the most sense for regular games, given the different circumstances (unfamiliar allies, lack of information about your opposition)."

The new system will also come into effect in the NA Challenger Series, according to J.T. "Tiza" Vandenbree, senior esports coordinator for Riot.

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a news editor for theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.

ESPN Survey: Average NA LCS player salary approximately $105K, EU salary $81K

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An anonymous survey by ESPN of of 33 LCS players from Europe and North America released Friday provided a rare glimpse into the state of salaries in both regions, along with further details on the life of a pro gamer.

The average salary of a North American LCS player is $105,385, according to the survey, while the European average is $80,816.

Riot's 2017 NA LCS rules state that the minimum player compensation is $12,500 per split per starting player and coach with a stipend for substitutes. Their goal in implementing LCS salaries was to ensure that players could live comfortably without fully relying on tournament earnings. The EU LCS rules have yet to be released.

LCS players also gave unique insight into the life of a professional League player. All players stated at least one of their parents approved of their career choice. 27 percent of players believed their parents fully backed their career, while 61 percent admitted that their parents did not initially approve but have since come around.

The time needed to compete in the LCS seems to strain relationships, according to the survey. Only 33 percent of players responded that they were in a relationship.

Another question brought validation to this opinion — the longest play session by a player was 80 hours, with the average longest play time in one sitting reaching 21 hours.

The survey also found that 27 percent of players admitted they know of players who take amphetamines or Ritalin to stay sharp for competitions, with 21 percent acknowledging they've seen at least one player compete while high or inebriated. In addition, 24 percent of players have been injured as a direct result of gaming.

Kristine "Vaalia" Hutter is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find her on Twitter.

2017 NA LCS Spring Finals to be held in Vancouver

by 3d ago
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Get your raincoats, the 2017 NA LCS spring finals will be taking place at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, BC from April 22-23, according to an announcement on lolesports.com.

The third place match will take place on Apr. 22, followed by the Grand Final on Apr. 23. Both matches will be best-of-five. All four teams will receive a hefty share of championship points with the first place team automatically qualifying for the Mid-Season Invitational.

The Vancouver event will be the second consecutive NA LCS finals held in Canada, following the summer finals in Toronto in August. The event was a roaring success, with a sold-out crowd filling 15,000 seats in the Air Canada Center.

Team SoloMid defeated Cloud9 3-1 in the August finals to claim a spot at the 2016 World Championship. Meanwhile, Immortals edged out Counter Logic Gaming 3-2 to take third place.

According to the announcement, tickets will go on sale in mid-February but an exact date wasn’t specified.

Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. Follow him on Twitter.

Misfits' Alphari: '[Flaxxish] didn't really pull out anything that made me not confident'

by 12h ago
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Misfits had to overcome some stage jitters in their first LCS series against Giants Gaming, they said in their post-game interview. Not only that, but the nerves came from a couple of the more experienced members of the team.

Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage explained how he and Lee "KaKAO" Byung-kwon were nervous as they went on stage to play with their new teammates. "It was the first time won stage with me and KaKAO, like we were playing too scared in the first game... We just started Baron and we were like, 'Oh, how do we engage now?' It was just a little bit like first game, first time in LCS in a long time."

Barney "Alphari" Morris, when asked about the weird Illaoi pick seen by Olof "Flaxxish" Medin in Game 1 of the series, noted that "[Flaxxish] didn't really pull out anything else that made me not confident," and was worried about the lack of strong blind picks in the top lane.

IgNar was the player of the series in Misfits' 2-1 series victory, going 1/2/26 and having 69 percent Kill Participation over three games.

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a News Editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.

Crumbzz will not be part of the NA LCS broadcast 'until further notice'

by 16h ago
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Alberto "Crumbzz" Rengifo will not be part of the official NA LCS broadcast team, the analyst announced Friday.

On both Twitter and his Facebook page, Crumbzz stated that he would not participate in the upcoming NA LCS broadcasts.

In a response to the Reddit thread discussing his Facebook post, Crumbzz said that he "wanted to clarify that this has nothing to do with either party wanting to discontinue the relationship and it is in fact quite the opposite. There are other factors in play that are causing this and will have to be waited out."

The former Renegades jungler was a guest analyst for the 2015 World Championship and then, after Renegades was forced to sell their LCS seed by Riot in May 2016, he became an assistant coach of Apex Gaming while also appearing on Riot's NA LCS broadcasts during the summer season.

Crumbzz's post did not specify why he would be absent from NA LCS broadcasts.

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.

Jish joins Immortals as assistant coach

by 1d ago
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Former Chiefs Esports Club head coach Joshua “Jish” Carr-Hummerston has joined Immortals as an assistant coach, Immortals announced Wednesday.

Jish originally began his coaching career working with Oceanic team Dire Wolves before transitioning to the Chiefs. While on Chiefs, Jish helped coach the team to a first place finish in the 2016 OPL Split 2 Playoffs, before finishing sixth in the 2016 International Wildcard Invitational. They would go on to compete at IEM Oakland in November, but were ultimately eliminated by Longzhu Gaming in the quarterfinals.

Immortals will kick off their 2017 spring split against Echo Fox on Saturday, followed by a match against Team SoloMid on Sunday.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.

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