Leanne Loombe – Riot Games – Fight as five, Clash as one

League of Legends will see the next iteration of 5vs5 ranked queue next week with the launch of Clash. Clash will see groups of premade teams battle it out in a three-day mini-tournament, taking place every other weekend.

Teams will need to purchase a ticket with RP, Essence or via mission reward to enter the tournament. Succesful teams will battle through three days of brackets, day one features a four-team bracket, day two is an eight-team bracket and day three is the final 16-team bracket.

Rewards will vary based on how far your team goes in the tournament and the number of tickets you enter with. Teams will receive a reward regardless of their record in the tournament, with Clash offering a number of unique rewards such as banners and icons for your team.

We had the opportunity to chat with Leanne Loombe, Senior Producer at Riot Games and Product Manager of Clash ahead of its launch on May 25th.

Esports Insider: How are you prioritising this game mode, will we see Clash take the focus away from SoloQ or will the two live in harmony as LoL’s competitive modes?

Leanne Loombe – Senior Producer – Riot Games

Leanne Loombe: League is a sport, it’s a game focused on team play and our number one goal with Clash is to bring purpose to team play in League, something we’ve historically not done a great job of.

Clash is very different from SoloQ and a little bit different than Flex, which is available to teams but doesn’t require them. SoloQ is all about you and your progression and Clash is all about your team. We definitely see the two living in harmony together as they serve different purposes

ESI: Will you be looking to encourage players to look for teams such as promoting community groups like Reddit or Facebook pages, or does Riot intend to offer an ‘official’ place for players to team up?

“We have partnered with op.gg who are building a team finding website specifically for Clash”

Leanne: We have partnered with op.gg who are building a team finding website specifically for Clash. Players can go there and find teams and players to join their team. When you go to the website you will enter your player preferences and we will use these to match you up against someone with the same preferences (Play style, competitive intent, availability, position etc) We will also continue to invest in this area via social media etc as we know it can be hard to find friends to play with and we don’t want that to stop you being able to play Clash

ESI: Do you see Clash as a way for players to prove they have what it takes to become a pro, or is the main purpose to give the normal LoL player an LCS style experience with their friends?

Leanne: The main purpose is to provide meaning to team play in League and provide players with a cool LCS/tournament style experience to play with their friends.

The path to pro play wasn’t one of our core goals when developing Clash but it will be interesting to see
if Clash could help teams get exposure and get more experience in the more professional
scene. In the video, we see an anti-smurfing feature which will work much like in CS:GO.

ESI: Is this just the start of these type of features in League or will we see it evolve over time?

Leanne: We are taking smurfing very seriously and along with the SMS system we have a
few other things as well. First, we’re looking to change Smurf’s motivations, by providing more Victory Points and better rewards for players in higher tiers. Second, we want to make sure that players play at the correct tier for their skill level, each time a player enters Clash we will do checks to make sure they are playing at the correct Tier to shield the integrity of the tournament.

Lastly, we will be reactive as well by closely examining teams that win brackets to find any smurfs. If we find smurfs we will remove their rewards and ban them from Clash. All of these systems will be specific to Clash and we will continue to look into whether these may be expanding into other areas of League.

For a more detailed look at how Clash works, included a fully interactive tutorial head over to the Riot Games Clash site.