Hey Everyone, Jinx has just launched a new line of League of Legends themed shirts (and a Garen poster) and they were nice enough to treat Nhat and I to a good time at their launch photoshoot. Should have some good pictures from that soon, but in the mean time, if you click the picture of Nikasaur in that awesome Ryze shirt and use the code SotLJinx at checkout, you'll get 15% off League clothing from now until May 3rd.
According to his Facebook page, Wingsofdeathx will be joining Epik Gamer as the team's top laner.
"So for those of you wondering if I'm joining EG or just ringing for a scrim the answer is I will be playing top lane for Epik for now. We are going to sign up for IPL5 qualifiers and play more scrims from here on out."
At this moment, it's unknown exactly what type of roster move will happen. Comments on the Facebook page suggest Westrice will no longer be an active member, but we have not spoken with Westrice, Weingsofdeathx or any other member of Epik Gamer to verify this. And they're, y'know, Facebook comments. Anyone can say anything.
Epik Gamer has been in the League of Legends competitive news quite a bit over the last month. Roughly one month ago, Dyrus left EG to join Team SoloMid (who went on to take first place at IPL4). Shortly thereafter, Dan Dinhstepped down as jungler/manager. While ClakeyD and DontMashMe filled in these positions at IPL5, it's been Aphromoo and Unstoppablex who have joined EG as the permanent AD bottom and jungler, respectively. Regardless of who is playing what role, this is a radically different looking Epik Gamer than the team we knew a year ago.
The problem with new champs is that they cost you something, specifically one of Riot's point types. While the early adopters will always be around, the savvy shopper will get as much feedback as he or she is capable before deciding on a purchase. We're here to help you with that.
We gave you our thoughts on Hecarim earlier this week; now it's time to see what everyone else thinks. Below we've compiled the reviews and impressions on Hecarim from the top names in the community, be they professional, journalist or somewhere in between. Read and watch to your heart's content, and let these pros and fans help you make your decision.
Curse Gaming's Crumbzz: "He's a fast-paced jungler that focuses more on damage instead of CC. His abilities allow him to jungle effectively due to having a lot of AoE, but he isn't as strong at ganking due to lack of disables."
Team Dignitas' Spell: "I feel like he is designed to be a jungler. I tested him on PBE realm and first feeling I had it was him being quite similar playstyle to Nocturne. He got everything on just decent level - AoE clear speed, quite good sustain (that is as well his defensive ability), decent pre-6 ganks with only 1 CC and movement speed boost for short amount of time and awesome after level 6 ganks."
Ocelote World: "Hecarim is presented as a DPS jungler with a great ability to chase the weakest enemy and take him down. His passive gives him damage the faster he moves, so quintessences of movement speed and movement speed masteries from utility tree are a must to make the most out of this champion."
ColbyCheeze: "Hecarim's a great initiator and has amazing disruption in team fights. He's not the best damage champion, but he can be very threatening later in the game and definitely in a prolonged engagement. For the most part, I feel you have to build him more tanky and allow his spammability to do the work for you."
Team SoloMid's TheOddOne: "The feeling of being a centaur is pretty cool. Clippety cloppety! The problem with him is that he has no CC. You just run fast and knockback. You need either red buff, exhaust or your ultimate; if you don't have those then they're getting away. ... He reminds me of Volibear; he has a strong early and late game, but he's really weak mid-game."
ggChronicle's Obscurica: "Yeah, he has what it takes to break the Mundo/Shyvana duopoly on competitive jungling. There’s no real question there. He’s even primed to be what Sejuani and Nautilus could not accomplish: a solo queue nightmare, whose combination of innate survivability and huge mobility lets him duel successfully independent of his allies’ performance."
If you thought IPL4 was, like, the last IPL there was going to be, you thought wrong. Very wrong. There was an IPL3 before it, and even before that an IPL2. Stories say there was even an IPL1, but we maintain that's simple folklore.
IPL5 was announced today, to much fanfare and little surprise. Due to its massive success at the previous tournament, League of Legends will again appear on the billing. Registration for the qualifiers has already begun, so it's in your best interest to sign up if, y'know, competing is your type of thing.
Unlike IPL4, where qualifiers were restricted to the NA server, there will now be separate qualifiers on the NA, EU and Asia servers (though only signups for NA and EU are available at this time), giving teams like CLG.EU, Moscow 5 and SK Gaming a much greater chance for success. Additionally, there will be four different qualifying rounds, with the first-place teams of each round playing a round-robin tournament to determine overall seeding. Incentive to win the seeding round? Why, airfare and hotel accommodations paid for by IPL itself.
As the winner of IPL4, Team SoloMid will not have to compete in this qualifier. Otherwise, here are the specifics:
"IPL5 will take place at an undetermined date in the United States, and will have an open qualifier component as well as a championship bracket component. It will have a six figure prize pool!
16 Teams for Championship Bracket 4 North America 4 Europe 4 Asia Team SoloMid (Winner of IPL4) 3 from Live Event Qualifier
For IPL5, we will be having an open, live qualifier. An undetermined amount of teams (depends on space availability) will be able to buy team passes to participate at the event and possibly earn a spot in the championship bracket and a chance at the huge Grand Prize!"
Weeks after departing Epik Gamer and joining team 4NOT, Dan Dinh has chosen to step down from his jungling responsibilities and will instead act as a coach for the team. Though a bit saddening to see Dan seemingly removed from the competitive circuit, it comes as little surprise at this point in time; Dan has been very active on the shoutcasting scene and should find considerable opportunity within that arena.
What comes as more of a shock are the departures of Grant "Kramer121" S. and Trevor "DrTrevor" H., the former mid lane and top lane players for the team. Both members chose to step down to focus on education, a decision many players on up and coming teams have had to make. 4NOT did not waste any time rallying to fill the holes on their roster. The squad has added former V8 esports player Keith "TakashiX" Horita, as well as Brad "OneBadBrad" Watson and George "Zekent" Liu (also known as Spamhappy) to fill its AP mid, jungling and top lane roles.
"Although our team is saddened to lose 3 members, I fully support their decision to pursue other ventures. Dan Dinh has proven himself to be an excellent shout caster, and we will undoubtedly see him at many future events. Kramer pursuing his education should always be a main priority for anybody, and Trevor's decision to play the game on a more casual level to pursue real-life ventures is fully understandable.
With that being said, I am excited to welcome 3 new members, OneBadBrad, TakashiX and Zekent, aka Spam happy, are great additions. TakashiX has proven himself as a stellar mid player, competing in several LAN events with V8. Zekent has made a name for himself as the best Poppy player in the game and has a well-established fan base. OneBadBrad has been playing in the high Elo scene for quite some time, and has finally been recognized as a jungling powerhouse that we need. With these strong additions, I expect to see great things coming from 4Not in the future.
We’re happy to have re-developed a strong lineup and this should quell any rumors going around that we folded after facing some key losses. Although important team members were lost, we’ve always been about developing eSports by supporting strong teams here, and we look forward to what the potential this lineup can bring to the table."
- 4NOT Management (presumably Légácy)
Though still relatively unproven on the competitive circuit, the team's lineup certainly appears capable of success at future endeavors. The combined experience of TakashiX and Dan Dinh should provide a solid foundation for the team as they move forward in the competitive arena.
Like, what else do I need to say? If you're going off looks alone, you're the type of player gravitating towards two champion types:
The attractive champions
The bad-ass champions
This just in: This guy falls into that second category.
But bad-assery aside, this is a sharp-looking champion. And while I suppose that's a pun given the myriad blades attached all over the man-horse's body, he still looks really, really good. Animations are all quite smooth and feel pretty natural. Standard attacks work the way you want them to, and are surprisingly quick considering both the size of this champ and the girth of his weapon. His movement feels appropriate, responsive and, I don't know, right (well, except for the lack of galloping noises, which would've vaulted this champ to best EVER). I can't speak for other people, but for me movement animation is actually super important. Leona, for example, feels slow regardless of how much MS you build. It's the only thing I don't like about her.
If you're not as shallow as I am (how dare you!) and you're looking for more than just cosmetics, I suppose you actually want to know what this champion does. You're frugal, after all. You need to make sure your money is well spent. I hear you; I'm getting there.
The CliffsNotes: He's another bruiser. He looks like he's geared toward mobility, and he can do so if needed, but at the end of the day his job is to get in there and make everybody else miserable without actually dying himself. You'll do this by building some movement speed, but the catch here is that you have to prioritize properly. Too many players will think "MS IS DAMAGE SO I BUY DAT" without looking at the underlying numbers.
See, Hecarim's passive, Warpath, ignores unit collision and gives him bonus attack damage based on his bonus movement speed (10 to 25 percent, depending on his level). On the surface, it sounds like one of the most no-brainer passives in the game; build MS, win games. It's a tarp! If you do it wrong you end up wasting money on movement speed and sacrificing actual damage and (or maybe or!) defenses in favor of theater stats (y'know, stats that make you look cool but don't actually provide you anything of merit).
Example: Boots of Swiftness give you 90 bonus MS. At Warpath's first rank, that's nine bonus AD, or two more AD than any other upgraded boots. Rank seven gives you 22.5 bonus AD, or five more AD than any other upgraded boots. Congratulations; you spent 1000 gold to make yourself a bit faster and get yourself five more AD than you could've gotten otherwise. But don't worry! That movement speed and extra damage will totally save you when you get snared or stunned.
You're laughing right now, probably at me. Don't; I've already seen people buy Boots of Swiftness on Hecarim, and it just hasn't been effective. I can only assume they read the champ's passive description but didn't look at his most intriguing ability, Devastating Charge. It's probably the most accurate ability name in the game: ala Rammus, you start slow and gain up to 75 percent movement speed over three seconds, building up to a knockback that smashes the face of everyone that makes the mistake of being in your way. And they will make the mistake; they're not horse-people, so they'll be petrified by you.
If you were wondering, a 75 percent MS increase makes you fast. And gives you damage, because you're a monster like that. It's incredibly useful on a map like The Crystal Scar, where mobility has extreme value, and certainly helps for ganks and positioning on Summoner's Rift. Much like Vayne, Poppy and Alistar, however, coordinating the knockback is much more difficult in practice than the theory behind it. Realistically, people familiar with Poppy (so basically just Spamhappy) won't have much difficulty adjusting to this champ's kit.
Hecarim's W, Spirit of Dread, fulfills the "tanky" portion of the tanky-DPS classification. But it's not tanky like you're used to, unless you just mean "taking all of the damage and somehow not dying." Then it's totally tanky.
See, while champs like Shyvana, Lee Sin and Dr. Mundo have resistances, shields and healing built into their kits at the press of a button, Hecarim has to work to get his mojo going. Literally work, as he has to start fights in order to remotely utilize it. By pressing W, Spirit of Dread activates for four seconds, during which time he's healed for a percantage of the total damage dealt to enemies within its area. It makes him difficult to move out of lane during the early game, and it effectively makes him beefier as each of his allies gets stronger.
It all comes together into a pretty reasonable kit. You can initiate, be an annoyance and stick to opponents with little worry that you're going to go down, so long as your teammates are there to back you up. And that's pretty similar to the other bruisers you've come to know and love.
That's actually been the criticism of Hecarim, at least in the casual conversations I've had about him. It's not that anyone thinks he's explicitly bad or unusable (no, release Yorick and release Skarner will always hold those honors), it's that people look at him and think "This is every bruiser ever." He starts fight and spams one ability (Rampage, his short-AoE cleave) à la half the bruisers out there, and while doing so he uses his other abilities to augment his own survivability (Spirit of Dread), like the remaining half of the bruisers.
Which is, I suppose, why I started off talking cosmetics. I mean, if you're choosing between two otherwise equal champions, why wouldn't you go with the one that's a man-horse?
Taenshitook a look at the types of players that are encountered among various Elo levels, and discussed how players can use champion select to their advantage in order to overcome these types of issues.