When Riot Games announced “Clash” for League of Legends, a tournament mode comprised solely of premade 5 vs. 5 teams, it promised to provide an experience that was similar to that of major eSports events. There was a lot of excitement surrounding the announcement and players were eagerly waiting for the new game mode to go live on public servers. When the launch date neared, there were a lot of technical issues in North America that led to it being immediately cancelled right before it was supposed to go live. It appears now that Riot has finally come to understand the nature of the problem, and as such, has just announced in a dev blog post that the new mode will be delayed indefinitely until they are able to get it working as intended.
It’s a lengthy post, but in short, the League of Legends backend isn’t capable of handling the massive number of games that need to be created simultaneously for Clash tournaments to operate. Riot’s response to this is to try and reduce the amount of strain that Clash will put onto their servers, as well as “staggering” game starts to minimize the number of games that are being created at the exact same time. While this is being worked on, all regional tests will be cancelled until further notice.
Riot didn’t reveal a specific timeline, though they did provide a graphical outline of their intended working process.
Here’s a brief summary of each of these stages.
Transparency and PBE tests
We’re going to share regular status updates on how we’re doing on the road to relaunch, and to help us verify the fixes and changes for game starts, we’ll be running Clash tournaments on PBE. These tests might be buggy as we roll out fixes.
We’ll then go back to each region to ensure all our systems can cope with a staggered global release and that we have the right processes in place to support each region. Every regional test will have free entry. These will vary from quick one-day tournaments to three-day beta weekends that will be close to the full experience, but we’re likely to still be triaging some issues.
Finally, we’ll launch Clash for real, but only when we have high confidence in Clash’s stability.
Right now, Riot hasn’t said anything concrete as to when they expect Clash to be relaunched. The only thing mentioned in the dev post is that there will be free regional tests “before the end of the year.” Hopefully this means that Clash will be set for a comeback sometime early 2019.
For a company as large and with as much resources as Riot Games has, the whole Clash fiasco is a sigh inducing headache. How is it that they couldn’t anticipate the server strain that Clash would cause and adjust accordingly? It would have been better if they hadn’t given us an official release date before they were ready for a smooth launch, rather than this “dangle a cookie” in our face situation that we find ourselves in. Clash is one of the most exciting game modes that has come to the game and in the face of a lot of competition from newer titles such as Fortnite and PUBG, would’ve helped significantly in keeping the game a little more fresh. The Clash failure is a big mistake at a bad time.