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League Of Legends Announces New Champion Aphelios In The Midst Of Major Esports Shakeups

Announced only two weeks after the release of Senna in League of Legends, Aphelios - a mute Targonian guided by his sister - will arrive mid-December.

Another marksman is coming to Summoner's Rift during the preseason. Announced only two weeks after the release of Senna in League of Legends, Aphelios - a mute Targonian guided by his sister - will arrive mid-December. Meanwhile, its most recent game mode, the smash-hit Teamfight Tactics, is getting a competitive version in the new season. Its best known map and the one that features the vast majority of competitive play, Summoner's Rift, is also getting some major overhauls, from drake-triggered in-game map changes,to dragon souls.

Aphelios has so far gotten only a brief description, which includes his title, The Weapon of the Faithful. Mute due to a poison that also "fuels him," according to the game's website, he is led by his sister Alune from a sanctuary - presumably on Targon - from where she "pushes an arsenal of moonstone weapons into his hands." This description makes it sound a lot like he has various weapons that he can use during the course of the game.

Another hint towards this theory is the teasing of a new champion in October's roadmap, who is "constantly training, mastering diverse weapons of faith, swapping through them like cycles of the moon with nothing but that one lone voice," and whose purpose is to "protect the faith from those who stand in the sun." It seems like Diana and Zoe, both Lunari, are getting company, and the storyline of the crusade waged by Diana against the Solari could be moved forward.

via League of Legends

Other significant changes, as announced in the Patch Notes, are coming to Summoner's Rift. The current patch adds so-called Elemental Rifts: map changes that spawn when the second Elemental Drake of the game dies, with the element being that of the third announced Drake. Each of these tweaks the map slightly, opening up new pathways, adding new rocks, air currents that give speed boosts, or growing larger brush. The map is also getting alcoves in both side lanes, as well as brushes near the entrance to the River in both blue buff quadrants. Another addition is the Dragon Soul, an end game buff similar to Baron or Elder drake, that gives bonuses according to its element - except these are permanent. The length of the Elder and Baron buffs have also been reduced from 3.5 to 3 minutes each.

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To those few who liked playing Twisted Treeline, that game mode is officially dead. Instead, Riot seems to be pouring everything they have into Teamfight Tactics. The latter is getting a ranked queue, as well as some balancing and bug fixes. In ranked games, you won't be losing LP for the first 5 games, nor will you be losing LP if you place 4th or better.

All of these changes will certainly influence next year's championships, with slightly different gameplays than we're used to seeing. The Teamfight Tactics ranked queue is sure to garner interest from professional players, but whether it will ever reach the popularity of Summoner's Rift remains to be seen. RIP, Twisted Treeline, you will be missed, just like Dominion. Or not, considering that their lack of popularity was their death sentence.

NEXT: League Of Legends Wins 2019 Esports Game Of The Year

Source: League of Legends Patch Notes, League of Legends Champion Announcement

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