Developer Riot Games has now issued a formal press release confirming that Teamfight Tactics (TFT) is now a permanent game mode in League of Legends that will be updated with regular patches, new champions, new sets, and ranked seasons.
Although the game has been an unexpected success in terms of popularity and streaming, many were wondering if the game would get the official nod from Riot. Previously, a new game mode named Nexus Blitz had been canceled by Riot, but this new mode has been so successful that considering canceling it seemed ridiculous to observers. As PCGames reports, Twitch viewers watched an incredible 1,700 years of TFT in only its first week.
For those not entirely familiar with Teamfight Tactics, the game is inspired by a popular mod in Dota 2 focused on round-based strategy that puts seven opponents in a free-for-all race to build a powerful team that fights on your behalf. The strategy lies in the selection and placement units, all of which will act in certain ways depending on other units on the board. Between rounds, players have the choice of spending gold in the shop to draft new champions or to save some gold for the next round. Every decision IS important and the game is constantly evolving.
Streamers have flocked to the game since its creation, grateful for a new, innovative game to explore early in its inception. When a streamer dedicates themselves to a new game, this also means that the games they had previously been streaming receive less attention. This was a big deal last week when popular streamer Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Wang declined to reveal a card for Blizzard’s upcoming Hearthstone expansion, Saviors of Uldum. Although Disguised Toast has issues with the current state of Hearthstone, the main point is that he, like others, has fully invested his time into TFT, which looks to be a dominant force in the future.
With regard to the updates that Riot would be adding, they announced the addition of four League of Legends champions to TFT: Camille, Jayce, Vi, and Jinx from the all-new Hextech origin. These new heroes are currently playable in the beta environment (PBE) and should be live in patch 9.16, currently scheduled for August 14.
The champions should be familiar for those who play League of Legends, but for those who do not, Camille, for example, is classed as a Blademaster and has an ability called Hextech Ultimatum. This allows her to root and damage a target, which can be useful in eliminating a specific threat from the board.
Jayce is a Shapeshifter who first knocks enemies back to provide some much-needed space before switching to a ranged form and boosting his attack speed. Jayce is an ideal character for disrupting a frontline.
Vi is a Brawler. Unlike the previous two champions, she targets the enemy furthest away and then charges directly to them, knocking aside those in her way. This is an appropriate ability for attacking many of the most valuable units, who are placed far back where they are supposedly safe from harm.
Jinx, the final new champion coming to TFT, is a Gunslinger. She gains attack speed following her first takedown, and then on her second, uses a Rocket Launcher to deal devastating Area of Effect (AoE) damage. As her most useful abilities require two takedowns, she can be considered high-risk and high reward. Failing to meet these conditions means that she will be sub-optimal in her role, and that can be dangerous.
With Riot’s firm commitment to keeping the game around permanently, it will be interesting to see if TFT enters into the realm of esports with a bang. There is certainly a player base and popularity so far, so there should be little reason not to see it succeed in this way.