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League’s original 17 champions and how different they were 11 years ago




During League of Legends’ alpha stage when the game started taking shape, Riot Games originally added 17 champions to the pool. It’s been 11 years since then and most of those champions have changed quite a bit over time.

League celebrated its 11th birthday in October. Even though the game is essentially the same, it’s a completely different environment than it was in the alpha stage. Riot hasn’t stopped innovating with new champions and building the game’s complexity, releasing 151 champs. The 17 original champions laid the ground for their development, though.

Here’s a look at the first League champions’ historical timelines and what they were like in 2009.

1) Alistar, the Minotaur

Image via Riot Games

Alistar’s passive used to be called Trample and it gave him a movement speed boost equivalent to the Ghost summoner spell, also damaging nearby enemies. It later changed to a healing passive, but he also lost his E ability that used to heal him, changing it to an ability similar to his old passive. Headbutt, Alistar’s iconic ability, has been doing the same thing since 2009 and his ultimate hasn’t significantly changed, either.

2) Annie, the Dark Child

Image via Riot Games

Annie’s abilities haven’t changed too much since her initial alpha release. She’s remained one of the champions with a simple kit that anyone can pick up and play. While there have been some changes to damage multipliers, Tibbers’ life span, and cooldowns, her abilities have mostly been the same for the past decade. The biggest changes to Annie came in 2012 when Tibbers’ movement became controllable and in 2016 when the bear got attack and movement speed boosts. Recently, her shield became usable on allies as well.

3) Ashe, the Frost Archer

Image via Riot Games

Ashe’s passive used to only give her a critical strike based on auto attacks, while her Q, then named Frost Shot, simply modified attacks to slow targets. Her marksman kit has mostly been satisfactory, so it hasn’t received many significant updates but was rather balanced. Volley, for example, fires three more arrows, while Hawkshot doesn’t give Ashe three additional gold for a kill.

Nowadays, her passive doesn’t allow her to do critical strikes, but instead increases her damage against chilled targets. Her Q has also become a machine gun like ability, allowing her to unleash devastating damage in small periods.

4) Fiddlesticks, the Harbringer of Doom

Image via Riot Games

Throughout the years, most updates to this scarecrow-looking champion were adjustments in damage, mana, cooldowns, and CC durations. In 2016, his passive was updated to grant him movement speed. But other than that, he used to be the same Fiddlesticks whose engaging ultimate and point-and-click CC kept bringing frustration to the Rift until his rework earlier this year.

He’s now become more of a scarecrow with his passive allowing him to put a copy of himself in bushes to scare enemies away. His silence that made him one of the most annoying picks in the bottom lane got changed to a skill shot, but otherwise, his skills have remained mostly the same.

5) Jax, Grandmaster at Arms

Image via Riot Games

Jax has been proudly carrying the light of his homeland for over a decade. Initially, Riot was playing around with his abilities to find a kit that sits naturally under one’s fingers, switching his Q for W and adding more damaging effects, spell shield breaks, and AoE damage reduction. Although Jax’s abilities essentially haven’t changed, Riot has played around with them a lot. He still remains a great pick to this day due to his simplicity.

6) Kayle, the Righteous

Image via Riot Games

This angel-like judicator used to be quite different than she is today. With her passive, she used to reduce the resistance of nearby enemies. Her Q didn’t have a dangerous portal and her E allowed her to fire ranged splashing attacks. The core of her ultimate that makes her or an allied champion invulnerable has stayed the same, but in the past, that’s all it was. The ultimate had no offensive abilities like it does with its swords today.

While in the past she was deadly from the get-go, nowadays she needs to scale to access her ranged form. Kayle is no longer a champion that gets outscaled. Instead, she outscales others thanks to her amazing passive that gives her bonuses during the ultimate levels: six, 11, and 16.

7) Master Yi, the Wuju Bladesman

Image via Riot Games

Yi is a champion that requires little to no understanding of his gameplay to be a powerful force. This is likely because he’s practically been the same from the beginning when League was a lot simpler. The most interesting update to Yi is the one where his ultimate was made into what we know today as his Q, but even this happened in the alpha stage. Most of Yi’s changes were, in some way or another, balance updates.

Even though he’s had more viable playstyles in the past, such as an AP mid laner, he was gutted to the version he is today as an attack-speed oriented bruiser in the jungle.

8) Morgana, the Fallen

Image via Riot Games

Today, Morgana is a popular support pick. But in the past, she was a dangerous mid laner. Regardless, Morgana has almost never stopped being viable on the Rift. Her ultimate used to stun as soon as it was cast and Dark Binding was changed into a skill shot with a frustratingly long root. She’s received many buffs and nerfs over the years but she’s basically the same Morgana that Riot initially developed. Unlike many other champions on this list, however, Morgana’s playstyle suits League’s modern gameplay.

The small rework she got with her ultimate and W made her feel up-to-date with recent designs and makes her a great pick overall in three roles: mid, jungle, and support.

9) Nunu, the Boy and his Yeti

Image via Riot Games

Nunu and his yeti Willump received a complete rework in the summer of 2018. Instead of Call of the Freljord, their passive used to give Visionary stacks that leveled abilities and gave them mana-free attacks. E and R weren’t snowballs, but icicles that slowed and dealt damage with no roots or shields. Nunu’s Q is the only ability that’s stayed similar to what it once was, but the rework made the champ a lot more fun to play.

At one point, Nunu was mostly considered a troll pick due to “Disco Nunu,” a playstyle with which players intentionally fed by picking him with Ghost and Clarity. But Nunu became a fearsome monster overnight with his rework and sees much more play compared to his initial version.

10) Ryze, the Rune Mage

Image via Riot Games

If you’re a newer player to League, you might be wondering where the saying “Smash your keyboard and get a pentakill with Ryze” comes from. And the answer is from League’s past. Ryze has been reworked five times. The “head spam” comes from the fact Ryze’s Q used to lower the cooldown of all of his other spells and the ultimate that considerably increased his damage output had no mana cost, allowing players to spam his abilities and deal a lot of mana-based damage.

While he seems balanced right now, the recent item rework in the 2021 preseason might push Riot into reworking Ryze once again considering how weak his kit is with modern itemization.

11) Sion, the Undead Juggernaut

Image via Riot Games

Sion is another champion on this list that’s undergone a complete rework, even though it happened a while ago. The full relaunch that happened in 2014 gave him a completely new kit. Before he could charge through the map with his ultimate, Sion used to have bonus life steal and an ally heal. Stunning with Q required no channeling and E used to deal more damage at the cost of Sion’s health. Overall, his gameplay used to be a lot simpler, but the rework made him a better champion.

He had multiple viable playstyles such as AD or AP as well, making him one of the deadliest mid laners in the game at the time. But now, you can only play him as either a tank or lethality-oriented bruiser.

12) Sivir, the Battle Mistress

Image via Riot Games

Sivir is one of the original ADCs in League. She hasn’t received any drastic changes since her rework in 2011 when Ricochet started bouncing off and her passive stopped giving her a chance to dodge. After many patch updates, Riot has simply made mostly balance adjustments to Sivir, especially in terms of damage. Her abilities did get some features added or removed, but her gameplay has stayed practically the same. As a result, she’s fallen off from the meta and is rarely picked like she was in the past.

13) Soraka, the Starchild

Image via Riot Games

Veteran ADCs will never get over the fact that Soraka can’t share her mana with them anymore. Implementing Infuse as her new E ability in 2014 had a big impact on her gameplay. While Soraka used to be exclusively focused on keeping ADCs’ health and mana high at all times, with renewed skills, poking and zoning became an important part of her kit. Soraka’s skills often got polished even before that rework, mostly affecting her healing abilities and mana costs.

Her rework made her so strong that she became an instant pick or ban champion in most roles, forcing Riot to tune her down to the version you see today.

14) Teemo, the Swift Scout

Image via Riot Games

The power of the scout’s code wasn’t meant to be underestimated in 2009 or today. Even though he looks like a cute Yordle, Teemo has been one of the most hated champions on the Rift for years. The truth is, he used to be even more powerful. Teemo used to leave a trail that, when followed, would increase allies’ movement speed and give vision. Noxius Traps used to last 10 minutes with no bounty and he even had an ability that gave him sight and increased his range.

While he’s arguably weaker compared to the past, Teemo is still a great pick into most champions due to his blind, which has remained an ability from his old kit.

15) Tristana, the Yordle Gunner

Image via Riot Games

Some players are lucky to have Riot Girl Tristana in their skin collection to commemorate Tristana’s long history. The Yordle Gunner used to make enemies eliminated by her auto attacks explode and deal splash damage. She used to reduce the target’s health regen, too. For a short while, she could even outrange Baron. Many of her abilities were AP focused as well. Tristana hasn’t really received any significant updates—aside from years of polishing—since her kit was slightly changed in 2015 to add Explosive Charge.

While Explosive Charge did put a lot of priority on her and more players picked her, eventually she fell off with more ADCs added into the game that have better kits overall.

16) Twisted Fate, the Card Master

Image via Riot Games

Blue, red, and gold cards have been sticking with Twisted Fate since he was developed in the alpha stage. But the gold card used to stun all enemies in its range, the cards were undodgeable, and his ultimate used to slow enemies down before Twisted Fate teleported in front of their faces. Besides that, he hasn’t seen much of a difference in gameplay.

Even though he’s more complicated to master, especially when compared to other champions from the alpha, Twisted Fate has almost consistently been a good pick throughout League’s history. He’s one of the best-designed champs in League, surviving a lot of metas due to his great kit from the get-go.

17) Warwick, the Uncaged Wrath of Zaun

Image via Riot Games

Even though Warwick was reworked in 2017, his abilities didn’t change too much from what they were originally. But he’s received more detailed features as the game’s complexity has grown. While his old Q also dealt magic damage that healed Warwick, the spell didn’t include a dash. Blood Hunt, or Blood Scent as it was previously called, only gave him more movement speed without trails or bonuses when enemies are at lower health.

Warwick’s new ultimate also raised the complexity of playing him. In the past, you could just target an enemy and press R for the duress.



LEC announces 2021 casting team with the additions of Caedrel and Foxdrop




With the start of the Spring Split only a few days away, today the League of Legends European Championship announced their full casting lineup for the 2021 season. The announcement comes after a challenging year for esports broadcasting across the globe, and sees the return of some of the LEC’s most recognisable faces, along with a few new additions to the talent team. 

2020 was a year that saw esports broadcast teams challenged to produce remote broadcasts with little to no turnaround time due to the COVID-19 pandemic–with the LEC in particular forced to move online with little to no notice after a member of the onsite crew became exposed to the virus back in March of 2020. 

However, the LEC adapted quickly and were praised by many for their handling of the unfortunate situation, maintaining a high level of production (albeit with a few mishaps in the split’s first few weeks.) Due to the changing of lockdown restrictions in Berlin, the LEC was able to return to an in-person broadcast in the first week of the Summer Split. Players continued to play from remote setups, but broadcast and production staff were able to return to the studio in order to continue delivering a high standard of production to fans across the globe. 

After such a turbulent year, the broadcast team has seen some shakeups in the offseason- most notably with the departure of analyst Froskurinn. Stepping in as analysts alongside Vedius and Ender are previous LEC guest casters Foxdrop and Caedrel, with Caedrel having retired from professional play earlier this year in order to pursue a career in content creation. 

The remainder of the LEC team will remain unchanged–with Sjokz and Quickshot both boasting their ninth consecutive years as prominent faces of European League of Legends broadcasting. Joining them will be an impressive roster of play-by-play casters, analysts and interviewers, with Medic, Vedius, Drakos, Ender and Laure all returning for 2021. 

The LEC will return on Jan. 22.


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degster: “I really want to play constantly against the best teams in the world”




Abdul “⁠degster⁠” Gasanov will grind CS:GO as much as he can while waiting for the right offer, the 19-year-old told after Espada made him and Robert “⁠Patsi⁠” Isyanov available for transfer and released the rest of the team last week. The Russian AWPer averaged a 1.25 rating in 2020, but is this enough to convince the top teams, including the ones in his own region, to sign him?

degster is on the market after Espada decided to disband the team

“in my mind, if I grow and show that my level of play is higher than that of the rest, then any team could have a place for me,”degster told “I understand that all this is conditional, but I believe that I need to continue to work on myself with even more diligence, and then people who want to win will want to play with me.”

The 19-year-old had been playing for Espada since May 2019, helping the team to cement a stop inside the top 30, but that was not enough to keep the roster together. degster said that the team had been in regular contact with the management before the disbandment was announced and that the players understood why the organisation pulled the plug on the project.

The Russian AWPer added that he feels ready to make the jump to the top flight, reaffirming the same winning mentality that he had displayed when interviewed for our One for the future article.

“I really want to play constantly against the best teams in the world,” he said. “I have already played against them in practice and official games, and some adaptation is necessary, but I am confident that I can do it and I will work even harder for this.”

With no official matches on the horizon, it’s presumably harder for a player to stay motivated, but degster already has a plan. “I’m going to play FPL and watch all the games from best teams when the season starts,” degster said. On Sunday, he helped Sprout to win ESL Meisterschaft Autumn, putting up a series-high 1.34 rating in the nail-biting final against BIG.

Teams should soon be lining up to sign degster, but they will first need to reach an agreement with Espada. Smaller CIS organisations usually demand huge buyouts, but the 19-year-old has assured that Espada will not keep him from joining another team in case an interesting offer arrives. His faith will soon be put to the test as the player break is about to end.


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How to fix freezing and crashing in Apex Legends




Freezing and crashing are the last things you want when playing Apex Legends.

Apex has improved leaps and bounds since its release in 2019—from both a gameplay and narrative perspective—but despite Respawn Entertainment’s best efforts unstable FPS and lag are still all too frequent in the award-winning battle royale.

Widespread reports of freezing and crashing have littered the forums with some players experiencing game-jittering, and others complaining that they can’t join a match.

Why you can’t run Apex

If Apex isn’t loading and you’re stuck on a loading screen, first check if your system meets the game’s minimum requirements.

You most certainly don’t need to break the bank to play Apex, but there a few requirements to take into consideration. If you’re running an AMD Phenom processor, for example, you’ll have to upgrade your CPU.

Apex freezing and crashing checklist

If you’ve met all of Apex’s minimum requirements and you’re still scratching your head unable to join the game, there are a few tweaks that you can make to your system that could help solve the issue.

Update your driver

Keeping your driver up to date is crucial when playing Apex. AMD and Nvidia have released drivers for their video cards that optimize and fix issues related to the game. Install them and see if they take effect.

Downgrade your driver

If you updated your driver to the most recent versions mentioned above and it’s still not working, rolling back to the previous version of the driver is advised.

Disable Freesync, G-Sync, and others

Some video cards have sync options that could cause issues with Apex when paired with the game’s own Vertical Sync. Disabling this feature may solve freezing and crashing.

AMD processors

A few players on the forums have reported issues with AMD’s FX-6000 series processors. Some say small tweaks, like playing in windowed mode, solved their problem, while several others claim that disabling two out of the six processor cores through your BIOS fixes the issue.

Please note that doing the former will drastically reduce your PC’s performance and may cause issues in other software.

Make changes to your game and PC

Repair the game files

Repairing your game files is often a quick and simple fix to freezing and crashing.

When you launch Origin, go to your library, select Apex Legends, and click on the gear icon right of the orange play button. This will open a menu with a repair option.

Reinstall Origin and Apex

If freezing and crashing continue to plague your game, reinstalling Origin and Apex won’t hurt. The issues could stem from Origin, a program that is often unreliable.

Add firewall exceptions for both Origin and Apex

A few players have reported their Windows firewall had been preventing access to Origin and Apex. Try disabling it manually.

Disable Origin’s FPS overlay

It seems like Origin’s overlay that shows your FPS counter might affect the performance of your PC. Follow our guide on how to enable the FPS overlay, but uncheck the box on Origin instead.

“My game keeps freezing”

EA’s Support Forums have a topic called Community Crashing Troubleshooting Guide with additional suggestions to try out if you continue to have issues with freezing and crashing.


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The biggest prize money winners in esports history




In 2020, esports stars are hardly strapped for cash. While pro gamers were fighting for minuscule amounts of money and peripherals just a decade or so ago, today’s players at the highest level fight for millions of dollars each year.

In the last decade, thanks in large part to the popularization of Twitch, fans have started tuning into esports events at a prodigious rate. The growth has been impressive for each consecutive year since and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. That growth in viewership has gone hand in hand with a massive increase in prize money on offer.

In 2019 alone, more than $215 million was awarded across more than 4,600 tournaments. That’s compared to just $13.8 million recorded by tracking website Esports Earnings in 2012.

Nearly a quarter of the 2019 total was awarded at the ninth edition of Valve’s annual Dota 2 event, The International. A whopping $34.3 million was shared across the 18 participating teams, with eventual champions OG netting a total of $15.6 million.

Of course, these sums have inflated the overall top earners—in fact, the top 11 entries on Esports Earnings are Dota 2 players. But it’s not just Dota that has enjoyed this massive growth.

Here are the players with the biggest prize money totals in esports history, from the current leading games to the top titles from the past.

Johan “N0tail” Sundstein – $6.9 million (Dota 2)

Photo via Valve

The Danish Dota 2 veteran became the top earner in all of esports in 2019 after leading OG to victory at The International for the second year in a row. But even aside from his impressive payday at TI8 and TI9, N0Tail enjoyed incredible success alongside both OG and Team Secret prior to TI, which sets him at the top of this list.

Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf – $3.2 million (Fortnite)

Photo via Epic Games

Fortnite exploded in 2018. It quickly became one of the most played games in the world and it was only a matter of time before esports followed suit. The developer of the building frenzy, children-friendly bonanza invested millions of dollars into funding tournaments for the game—and one player, in particular, came out on top. Sentinels Bugha’s dominant performance at the Fortnite World Cup pushed the player into esports supremacy in 2019, earning himself an astonishing $3 million.

Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen – $1.9 million (CS:GO)

Photo via BLAST Pro Series

Danish frag master and Astralis rifler Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen won his fourth Valve Major with the greatest CS:GO team of all time in 2019. Dupreeh played a big part in the team’s rise to fame, cleaning up their act, and helping them push to the top of the standings in modern-day Counter-Strike.

Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok – $1.3 million (League of Legends)

Photo via Riot Games

The most celebrated pro gamer of all time, Faker is the one constant on the three-time world championship-winning roster, T1. The 23-year-old won the world championship in his debut season and he’s still regarded as the greatest player to ever compete in League.

Ian “C6” Porter – $1.2 million (Call of Duty)

Photo via Justin Binkowski

The North American Call of Duty star C6 has remained at the top of his game for years. Winning three world championships and 37 major tournaments over the course of his career, C6 has earned more than $1 million in winnings.

Feg – $1 million (Shadowverse)

Making a second appearance at the Shadowverse World Grand Prix in 2018, Japanese representative feg proved himself on the big stage and earned the right to call himself a champion. The somewhat unknown entity entered the digital card game tournament as the underdog, but instead of toppling under the pressure, he won the whole thing.

Cho “Maru” Seong Ju – $889,000 (Starcraft 2)

Image via Starladder

Asserting his dominance in the world of SC2, Maru has quickly risen up to become one of the game’s most successful players in terms of prize winnings. Maru bolstered his earnings by taking winning the $200,000 World Electronic Sports Games in 2018.

Park “Loki” Jeong Yeong – $705,000 (PUBG)

The 22-year-old South Korean PUBG player has gone on a tear over the last couple of years. He secured multiple top-three finishes, won the PUBG Global Invitational 2018, and dominated in the MET Asia Series in 2019.

Bradley “Frosty” Bergstrom – $684,000 (Halo)

The Halo player from North America has performed consistently across four of the franchise’s titles, with most of his success coming in Halo 5: Guardians. This includes his victory at the 2016 Halo World Championship, where Frosty and CLG took home $1 million.

To add to his prize winnings, Frosty also competed in Call of Duty last year, winning three events with the Flordia Mutineers. The player, however, has since switched back to Halo.

Lee “Flash” Young Ho – $668,000 (Starcraft: Brood War)

Starcraft: Brood War is regarded as one of the most prestigious and longest-standing examples of the first era of esports. Played almost exclusively in Korea, the level of competition rose to such a degree that it was rare to see new players rise up and dominate the old guard. But Flash was one of them. The Terran player succeeded in setting an entirely new benchmark for how to perform with the race and grew to become the main rival of Brood War’s top star, Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong.


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