Featured Matches will be held on October 28–29, 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
In Weeks 2, 3, and 5 of this arc, each faction recruits a new Champion to their roster. These Champions premiere in that week’s Saturday Featured Matches, during which they seek to advance their cause. Factions also each vote to highlight a Champion from their rosters in the Sunday Featured Matches. Champion storylines progress positively or negatively based on match outcomes. Recruited and highlighted Champions must be selected by their respective factions during their set of Featured Matches.
In Weeks 2, 3, and 5 of this arc, each faction recruits a new Champion.
- The Freljord selected Quinn & Valor.
- The Shadow Isles selected Sion.
In the Harrowing of 26 CLE, all of Valoran fell under the Black Mist. During this “Black Winter“, as it came to be called, wraiths and ghouls spread throughout the Freljord. When these monsters threatened the Ornnhjaln, a sacred shrine containing the Kin-Fire and other artifacts forged by Ornn long ago, a brave team of Summoners retrieved these objects and raced aboard a Demacian ship, the Bright Revelation. The Revelation sailed off to sea, into the Black Mist, and was never seen again. The Black Winter ended with a Demacian crusade across Valoran, rooting out necromantic cults and destroying the undead.
[To be completed post-match.]
Voting links have been posted in each faction’s Discord channel.
Saturday, 28 October (Quinn v. Sion)
- Match One
- 12:30 PM Pacific / 1:30 PM Mountain / 2:30 PM Central / 3:30 PM Eastern
- Victory by forfeit for the Shadow Isles. (The Freljord’s fifth was too spooked.)
- Match Recording
- Match Two
- Match Three
Sunday, 29 October (Evelynn v. Braum)
- Match One
- Match Two
- 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).
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.