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Is this an official Riot site?
It is not. Although some Rioters are Factions players, and we would like to get Riot to try something like this “officially”, this is a purely community-run system.
Why is _____ on the roster for ______?
Although some Champions have obvious allegiances to particular factions, most of them have more flexible loyalties. When building a Champion roster, I consider three factors:
- Story: The formal written backstory of the character. Sometimes this is dispositive: for example, it’s clear just from his lore that Jarvan IV belongs on the Demacian roster.
- Feel: I also ask how a Champion “feels” in-game, e.g. based on their appearance and voicework. It’s important that each faction have a cohesive feel. For instance, Piltover is steampunk, while the Shadow Isles champs are spooky.
- Gameplay: I want each faction to have distinct strengths and weaknesses, and some interesting strategic options. Too big a roster and it stops feeling distinct. Too small a roster and it’s unplayable. Where a faction has a real personality (e.g. Piltover and poke), I’ll often try to add champs that enable players to express that. Sometimes I’ll add a Champion to a roster to help reinforce an emergent strategy.
I discuss Champion roster decisions with staff, especially members of the balance and lore teams.
What about an Institute of War faction?
This is a common suggestion. It’s a good example of how straight written lore can fall short. There are a number of Champions who are imprisoned by the Institute, or have some other special tie to the Institute itself rather than to any particular faction.
The main problem here is feel. A roster with Fiddlesticks, Taric, Nasus, and Jax (for example) just doesn’t make any kind of sense to someone who’s not extremely well-versed in LoL’s lore. In contrast, someone who’s never read a word of lore can look at a typical Demacian lineup and understand that they’re looking at some kind of heroic medieval fantasy team of knights, archers, and dragons.
Can I just be a free agent and play for everyone?
We have a very liberal substitutes system: the main rule is that you cannot sub against your own “real” faction. See the Factions match rules page for more information.
That said, you do have to declare for a particular faction at the outset.
My favorite faction isn’t in the current storyline. What should I do?
Don’t worry: faction declarations are storyline-specific. You aren’t bound to stick with the same faction in every storyline. (In fact, for bookkeeping purposes, I have everyone submit a fresh declaration each storyline, even if they choose to stick with their old faction.)
So feel free to declare for one of the factions which is involved in this storyline, and be sure to vote for your favorite faction when we go to decide which factions will be in the next episode.
I really want to play a particular matchup, but they’re not part of the current story arc!
Fret not! No matter which side you declare for, you can continue to play in unscored Intermission Matches, free-for-alls in which all factions are available.
Also, each storyline is preceded by a poll asking which factions people want to see go at it. Summoners from the winning faction will also get an internal vote to add another faction of their choosing. So if you want Zaun, remember to vote in the next poll, and try to lead your faction to victory in the current storyline.