Riot Announces Three New Champions, Spectator Mode at E3!

Riot Games was on hand at E3 2011 down in Los Angeles, allowing us to get a sneak peek at some of the champions that are heading to League of Legends. Let's take a closer look at what we saw.

The first Champion we met was Yorick the Gravedigger. This is a melee champion with strong attacks and one who can initiate fights for your team. His main theme is that he can summon ghasts that will help him in combat. Each of these three ghasts will have different attacks, including simple melee attacks, an AoE effect or the option of transferring all effects to Yorick, himself.

Yorick may have all of these ghasts out at one time, and whenever he does have one out he will receive a different buff from his passive. The one catch with the ghasts, though, is that they only last for a short amount of time, so summoners should use them strategically in combat. His Ultimate is still on the drawing board, but their idea is for an AoE skill shot that will slow and immobilize enemy champions that are caught in the path of it. Take a look below at some concept art for Yorick.

The next champion we took a look at was Leona the Radiant Dawn. Since many people have been asking for it, the Riot team is finally making a female tank-type champion. The first look at the concept art showed her looking like a paladin with sunburst themes on her armor, sword and shield. We weren't able to learn too much as to her abilities, but one of Riot's main ideas for her Ultimate was a beam of sunlight that slows enemy champions and after a certain amount of time, brings down a large damaging attack to anyone in the circle.

Last, but certainly not least, there was Skarner the Crystal Vanguard. The team has been thinking about more monster-like enemies and they've touched on the idea for this champion more than a few times in the past. Skarner is a giant, vicious-looking Crystal Scorpion. One of the ideas for an ability was to make Skarner impale someone on his tail for a few seconds and drag that person around with him. How scary would it be to see a huge scorpion come out of the bushes, grab someone, and pull them back out of sight?

Riot Games was also happy to announce that Spectator Mode is in development and looking excellent from what we were able to see. For the time being, Spectator Mode is only available in custom games. When joining a custom game, spectators are able to talk to the players and view the drafting process and champion selection. Once the game starts, however, they can no longer talk to the players. One of the primary concerns facing Riot is cheating. To combat any potential cheating, there will be a delay on the game from the Specators point of view, disabling anyone from trying to sway the game one way or another.

While the game is going on, there is a new custom UI for the spectators, so they can keep track of team kill scores, team gold aquired and buildings destroyed at the top of the screen. Spectators can also see all of the players in the match with UI portraits on either side of the screen for both teams; clicking a portrait takes the camera to the chosen champion. At the bottom, you can see individual scores for each player, items they've purchased with tooltips and the typical minimap to keep an eye on the field. There is also an option to turn the Fog of War on and off at will.

So far, the spectator mode looks like it will be a good way to still participate in the game without having to actively, well, play. The team is polishing the feature now and it should be ready in the next few patched or so.

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