The history of Clash, Riot’s ill-fated attempt at player tournaments

Devon Huge • June 2, 11:00

Clash, one of Riot’s most anticipated projects ever, is now one year past its intended release date and continues to be postponed.

In December 2017, the Clash game mode was first revealed to the public through the annual wrap-up “Riot Pls.” The idea of a competitive environment available to players of any rank grabbed many people’s attention.

There were no signs of trouble heading into the intended May 2018 release date and an official trailer featuring such star personalities as Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and Imane “Pokimane” Anys built up even more hype. Despite the heavy promotion, the game mode immediately crashed and burned due to technical issues, drawing the ire of League of Legends players everywhere.

Many regions experienced game crashes and game-breaking bugs that prevented players from even entering the game in the first place. Eventually, Riot closed Clash to the public and gave out refunds to participants. The publisher then concluded the weekend with an apology and gave no hint as to the future of the next Clash release.

It wasn’t until August 2018 that Clash was again acknowledged. A Clash beta test hit servers featuring small four-team bracketed tournaments. The test hoped to remedy server lag with tweaks to the queuing system alongside failsafes to help tournaments recover should backend issues occur. It concluded with fair success and participants were rewarded with more loot, including an in-game Clash banner. But following that beta, Riot was again silent.

The next update occurred in February 2019 with Riot announcing a test exclusively for the European region, but the launch was postponed. It was reasoned that in recent tests, players were getting stuck in lobbies and unable to join the tournament.

Since this announcement from Riot, the community has received no further updates about the future of Clash.

A year has passed since the original release date of one of Riot’s most anticipated projects. With no recent information being given, it is difficult to say when, or if, Clash will become a part of the League of Legends experience.

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