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It’s been a while since we’ve had a meaty update on Clash. A few months back, we ran tests in various regions, trying to ensure Clash can offer a stable and fun experience for everyone. These tests didn’t run as smoothly as we’d hoped, and some players still had trouble getting into their Clash games. Because of these difficulties, we’re delaying the launch of Clash while we make fundamental changes to the mode, and we’ll continue with tests later this year.
The Latest Regional Tests
Last year we outlined the issues that were preventing Clash from running smoothly. At their core, Clash’s technical problems were the result of too many games starting simultaneously, which overloaded the platforms that run League of Legends. In preparation for the last round of regional tests, we implemented short-term fixes—like decreasing the server load from Clash by staggering game start times—and began work on long-term fixes—like refactoring the monolithic platform so that starting games causes less strain.
Even with these improvements, the bracket launching process still tried to start too many games simultaneously, which unfortunately resulted in players having trouble getting into their Clash games.
So, as you might’ve surmised by the lack of additional updates, we’re putting regional tests on hold while we make some changes to Clash. Our goal is to strike the right balance between reducing server load and preserving the tournament format to ensure Clash is still the exciting competitive experience we’ve promised.
Changes to Clash
Given this goal, here’s our current plan for revising Clash.
Rolling Bracket Starts: Instead of a single start time per skill tier—where everyone would need to lock-in at say, 5pm—-your team will be able to lock in at any time during a multi-hour window. Once locked in, your team will get placed into a bracket as soon as one is available, and the games will begin. This will help us to stagger game start times and also allows players who can’t make the lock-in time to still join the tournament.
Two Single-Day Tournaments: Rather than one three-day tournament, we’re changing Clash weekends to be two separate one-day tournaments. This significantly reduces the complexity of the tournaments, making it easier to repair brackets or matches that end up breaking for whatever reason. There will be 8-team brackets on both days, and your team can enter on one or both days.
Bracket Recoverability: With the tournament structure simplified, we’re building in additional bracket repair tech to help fix any issues that crop up over the course of a given tournament. If your opponent DCs before the match, for example, we can try to repair your bracket by substituting in another team for your first match.
We’ll be taking the following steps to get Clash ready for launch:
- Development (in progress): Now that we’ve created a new format, we need to modify Clash to support it.
- More Internal Testing (starting soon): We reaaally want to make sure we test everything we can before putting Clash in front of players.
- Regional Testing (summer 2019): We’ll run regional tests to build confidence with the changes. If the regional tests are successful (or only run into easily fixable issues), we’ll run more regional test until we’re confident we can launch in all regions.
- Global Beta (TBD): Once regional tests all run smoothly, we’ll ramp up towards a bigger beta across multiple regions simultaneously.
- Launch (TBD): We have more confidence in the scalability and resiliency of our new design, so once we complete a successful global beta—and see the new system works to scale and across all regions—Clash will be ready for prime time.
We believe in Clash and want it to succeed just as much as you do. We’ll keep you updated as we reach the milestones above. Thank you for your unrelenting patience and support.