Featured Matches will be held on October 21–22, concluding the second week of the Kin-Fire arc. Matches will begin at 12:30 PM Pacific (3:30 Eastern) on each day, and will be streamed on twitch.tv/LeagueFactions.
“What’s Factions? What’s a Featured Match? HELP“
Factions is a community game mode for League of Legends, based on faction versus faction matchups, such as Demacia v. Noxus. We take two factions, decide on something they might be fighting over, and then create Champion rosters for each side. Summoners pick a side for the duration of the arc, and fight matches on their behalf. Anyone can set up a match at any time—try the #match-creation channel on our Discord—and send the results in afterwards. We score the matches on a running “Balance of Power”, and the storyline develops based on how these matches go. Storylines (also known as arcs) run for about 5 weeks, after which we select two new factions. Your declaration of allegiance lasts only for the duration of the arc in which it is made; you’re free to fight for whomever you like in the following arc.
We’re on our eleventh arc now. In Arc XI: Kin-Fire, the Freljord and the Shadow Isles are fighting for control of the eponymous Kin-Fire, a torch forged by Ornn after the First Rune War. The light of the Kin-Fire guides Freljordian souls back from their trek through the afterlife, allowing them to rejoin the mortal world. The Kin-Fire was lost last year, when the Black Winter fell over Valoran. The Harrowing has come again, and the Kin-Fire has been discovered: in the possession (so to speak!) of the Shadow Isles. The Freljord has petitioned the League for its return, so that this cycle of life and death can continue. The Shadow Isles has other ideas for these souls, whether it’s Karthus bringing them the tranquility of undeath as an escape from this cycle, or Mordekaiser building a wraith-army to conquer Valoran.
While most Factions matches are, as explained above, organized whenever people want to play them, we also have regularly scheduled “Featured Matches” on weekends, played in sets of three starting at 12:30 Pacific each day.
How to Join
Anyone is welcome to join in on these matches. (As noted below, I’ve shifted to a different FM scoring model that means we can be more flexible and spontaneous about team composition, and no advance FM signup is necessary—though of course you do still need to declare for a faction if you haven’t yet.) Lobbies open 10 minutes before the scheduled start time. If we’re running behind schedule, we’ll instead give both teams at least 5 minutes after the end of the previous match to organize themselves and gather Summoners.
Champion Highlights and Pickups
The Kin-Fire is currently being held at the Institute of War, pending the resolution of this dispute. Citing a provision of the League Charter which permits access to artifacts held “on Institute grounds” for research purposes, both sides have petitioned for temporary use of the Kin-Fire, presenting the sympathetic cases of Gnar (invoking concerns shared by some denizens of Bandle City) and Amumu (also standing in for certain Shuriman interests).
In Weeks 2, 3, and 5 of this arc, each faction recruits a new Champion.
- The Freljord selected Gnar.
- Gnar misses his family and tribe. A glimpse at the Kin-Fire could help him remember. Why do they all look so much like the yordles on Argyre, an ocean away?
- The Shadow Isles selected Amumu.
- Amumu can’t remember who he was in ancient Shurima, or what happened to him. Maybe Karthus can bring back some of his old friends, and they can be sad mummies together.
- The Freljord selected Ornn.
- Ornn’s chosen people, the Hearthblood, were annihilated in a clash between himself and his brother Volibear after the First Rune War. Not all the spirits of the slain Hearthblood completed their trek through the afterlife before Ornn retreated into his forge and the Kin-Fire dimmed. Some of them were roused by Ornn’s return to the mortal world, and are now on the verge of crossing through.
- The Shadow Isles selected Thresh.
- Thresh’s objective here should not surprise anyone. He desires these rare old souls for his collection.
Saturday, 21 October (Gnar v. Amumu)
- Match One
- 12:30 PM Pacific / 1:30 PM Mountain / 2:30 PM Central / 3:30 PM Eastern
- Freljord victory, by forfeit: Shadow Isles couldn’t quite get enough spooks together.
- Match Two
- Match Three
- 2:30 PM Pacific / 3:30 PM Mountain / 4:30 PM Central / 5:30 PM Eastern
- Match Recording [Doesn’t seem to have appeared on the video list?]
- Casting by BetaDude40 and insaiyanbacca
- Summoner Lineups
Sunday, 22 October (Highlights TBA)
- Match One
- Match Two
- 1:30 PM Pacific / 2:30 PM Mountain / 3:30 PM Central / 4:30 PM Eastern
- Match Recording
- Casting by Prince Razor
- Summoner Lineups
- Match Three
Updated Featured Match Rules
I’ve made some changes to Featured Match rules for this arc.
- Matches will be scored using our skill-adjust system, for BoP and story purposes. (However, no BoP-gap adjust will be applied.) This means that teams do not have to precisely mirror each other in terms of rank compositions.
- Featured Matches will center on highlighted Champions. Each faction will put one Champion forward on Saturday (their newly recruited Champion) and one on Sunday (a Champion they select).
Each side has one ban. However, each side may shield two Champions from bans before the match. The highlighted Champion (see above) must be Summoned, and cannot be banned.
- I’m delaying this until the next set of arc FMs. The purpose of the rule is to shake things up and prevent monotony. That’s obviously not so necessary at this early stage.
No Signups Required, Flexible Team Compositions
Before, we would precisely balance Featured Matches with advance signups. This took a surprisingly large amount of time, and also led to awkward forfeit situations when a faction couldn’t find a Summoner of a particular rank to fill a slot.
It occurred to me that we could do away with this hassle if we simply applied the same skill-adjust formula to FM results as we use for pickup matches. Through this formula, we increase or decrease the value of the match based on winrate statistics from prior matches with similar rank matchups. For example, let’s say you’re twice as likely to win as your opponent, based on rank alone: this matchup has happened 9 times before in Factions history, and your rank composition beat the opposing team’s rank composition 6-3. Points are adjusted so that, if you were to play 9 matches against this other team, and you both merely performed as predicted by rank, no net points would be gained or lost. There is still a difference between FM scoring and pickup match scoring. For pickup matches, we apply a BoP gap adjust based on the gap in the score between the teams, to encourage factions to play whether they’re ahead or behind. Since Featured Matches are set in advance, there’s no need for such an incentive, and no BoP adjust is applied. (It would also be a little strange if being behind on BoP made it more likely for your Champions to do well in their highlight matches.)
Using this formula, we can allow some variance between the teams, and it’s alright to simply fill the teams as people arrive. Lobbies will open 10 minutes before the scheduled start time. If we’re running behind, we’ll give both sides at least 5 minutes after the end of the previous match to gather Summoners. While the skill-adjust formula will keep things fair no matter the matchup, I recognize that most people prefer to play (and watch) more even matches. I therefore encourage Summoners to do their best to even things out. For now, I’m keeping this informal.
Hopefully, there will not be any forfeits under this new system, but I’ve learned that one has to set these rules down in advance just in case. A team forfeits if it does not have its Summoners assembled in the lobby 15 minutes after the scheduled start time. If neither side has a full team assembled, the team with fewer Summoners forfeits. A forfeit is a straight +10/-10 point change, without any adjust. If both teams have the same number of Summoners, we’ll play as-is, for reduced points (per pickup rules).
I’ve found it somewhat awkward to connect FMs to World Systems buffs and other such story objectives. This arc, I’m trying something simpler, and focusing on Champion stories. In each set of Featured Matches for this arc, each faction will have a highlighted Champion whose story progression is at stake.
Story outcomes will be determined by reference to adjusted points, with 30+ points indicating an epic triumph, 20+ a major success, 10+ a solid win, and smaller margins leading to a more narrow success. Setbacks are determined similarly.
Implementation of this ruleset is delayed until the next round of arc FMs.
Part of the point of Factions is to create rosters of Champions that pose players with strategic puzzles, and explore different matchups. Champion recruitment gives Summoners one way to influence their factions’ rosters and exercise their strategic judgment as to what their faction most needs, e.g. a better jungler or an alternate ADC. To provide another such avenue for teamcomp strategizing, and to further distinguish Featured Matches from pickups, I’m introducing a ban system to Featured Matches.
Each side will have one ban per match. (The rest should be “burned”, as per usual, on non-faction Champions.) To make this a bit more interactive, and to avoid extremely hobbling bans, each side will also have two “shields” that it declares before the match begins. Shielded Champions cannot be banned. Teams decide these things by majority vote; teams are encouraged to select a captain to lead their decisionmaking.
As noted above, each set of FMs will highlight a particular Champion for each side. The highlighted Champion must be Summoned, and cannot be banned—they’re the one with the most at stake, after all.