Clash is the upcoming weekend tournament mode for League of Legends. As some of you may remember, it was originally unveiled and announced for release in 2018. Initial testing took place in the later months of 2017. The testing phase ran into many issues, and Riot quickly pulled Clash from testing. It was officially delayed for re-development.
The original version of Clash was meant to run in a very particular way. Players would assemble teams of 5 and enter the competition under a chosen team name and logo. The intent behind this was to evoke the feeling of being a pro team in a competition. Clash events would run for 3 days at a time every 2 weeks, with either a premium or basic ticket. Players would have to purchase tickets as a way into the tournament, using either Blue Essence or Riot Points. The level of ticket that a player buys corresponds to the level of prizes they could win for competing. While a buy-in may seem unnecessary, Riot had their reasons for including one. “We hope that all teams are committed to see each tournament through, and tickets are a way to keep the games high-stakes,” stated the official Clash FAQ.
That original version of Clash was pulled quickly after testing began in December 2017. Riot released an update detailing their plans for the future of Clash, namely that they were going back into a tweaking and testing phase and would be running small tests across each of the regions. They needed to do more work to ensure that the new mode and its various features would hold up across the platform as a whole.
League of Legends Clash: how it works now
With the latest update, we now know that Clash is quickly reaching a playable release version and will be rolling out in 2020 with two beta tests, the first one on December 7-8 and the second on December 14-15. Clash will roll out with some notable changes from the original. The main difference concerns the runtime of each tournament. Rather than a single tournament over three days, this new version of Clash will have a single tournament per day over the weekend, with games occurring every two weeks. Teams will be able to play in either or both tournaments. However they would still need a ticket to enter each one.
Another difference for this iteration of Clash is the bracket structure. In the 2017 version of the bracket, the first day would have consisted of a bracket of 4 teams. The second day expanded that to 8, doubling in the third day to host a full bracket of all 16 remaining teams. In this new Clash, the shorter tournament runtime means that there will no longer be a bracket increase per day. Teams will now be competing in a bracket of 8 per tournament, with the Scouting phase happening a few days prior. If a team loses the first match it plays, however, it would get placed into a consolation bracket. From there it can still earn rewards and possibly come back into play at a later time.
Players are certainly excited to see Clash once again, and hopefully this time the mode is here to stay. With pre-season having just started, it will be interesting to see how tournaments go as the meta changes over time.