As a titan in the gaming world since its 2009 debut, League of Legends continues to be one of the most popular games online with a vast player base. Known for its competitive, engaging, and strategic gameplay, LoL continues to keep its players on their toes by releasing limited-time-only game modes that are incredibly fun and addictive. While the primary game mode, Summoner’s Rift, has remained, there are numerous other modes that have been completely removed from the platform. Leaving behind fond memories as players hope for their return, let’s embark on a nostalgic journey as we reminisce about five unforgettable, now discontinued, League of Legends game modes.
Introduced way back in 2011, Dominion mode brought forth a fresh, fast-paced twist to LoL’s typical strategic gameplay. Instead of battling across the Summoner’s Rift map to destroy the enemy Nexus, two teams of five clashed over control points that were scattered across the circular Crystal Scar map. The first team to drain their opponent’s Nexus health to zero by maintaining control over most of these capture points were the ones to emerge victorious.
Dominion was a popular favourite that promised non-stop action from start to finish. With a constant struggle for territory control, this game mode had fights happening at every corner. Players loved how its unique mechanics allowed champions that typically struggled on Summoner’s Rift, to shine. Unfortunately, Riot Games decided to retire Dominion back in 2016 due to low player rates and balancing issues. Here’s to one day hoping it’ll make a temporary return!
Does anyone remember Shurima? This cool desert map that housed the Ascension game mode was a player favourite thanks to its special objectives and high-intensity battles. Instead of focusing on lanes, towers, or defeating the enemy Nexus, teams of five would face off while trying to slay the Ascended Xerath which granted massive power and point bonuses.
From trying to balance fighting the enemy team, the ascended, and securing relics scattered all over the map, players certainly had a lot on their hands with this game mode. To win, teams would have to hurry to hit 200 points which were gathered from a combination of kills, capturing the relics, and defeating the Ascended. Although this game mode was part of a larger event, the Shurima Event, its discontinuation has left many fans yearning for the return of such event-based modes.
3. The Legend of the Poro King
If a blend of holiday merriment and heated battle is your cup of hot cocoa, you’ll fondly remember the Legend of the Poro King. Launched as part of the Snowdown Showdown back in 2014, this wintery game mode left fans in much excitement over the fun and hilarious additions it provided.
Engaging in 5v5 matches on the Howling Abyss, this game mode had an incredibly fun twist - instead of standard abilities, players were able to throw Poros (LoL’s cutest critters) as projectiles at opponents. By successfully landing ten Poro-tosses, the team would be able to summon a gigantic Poro King to aid them. Soaking damage, healing allies, and providing a re-entry point to the fight, it’s safe to say the Poro King was a warmly welcomed teammate. But despite its seasonal popularity, this game mode didn’t stick around permanently. Occasionally returning for holiday events, players hope that one day this beloved game mode can become permanent.
4. Nexus Blitz
A short-lived experiment in 2018, Nexus Blitz was Riot Games’ attempt at creating a faster, more casual game mode. With a quick 15-minute average game length compared to the usual 40-minute one, it was perfect for players who were seeking fast-paced, action-packed matches. The jungle featured a unique two-player tandem, and the game introduced dynamic events like Bardle Royal and Push the Cart.
Despite its warm reception, Nexus Blitz unfortunately was unable to earn a permanent spot in the LoL’s game mode roster due to the difficulty of maintaining the balance between champion meta, event mechanics, and the fast game progression. Still, for players who were lucky enough to experience it, this game mode will always leave a fond memory.
5. Twisted Treeline
Originally one of the alternative maps to Summoner’s Rift, Twisted Treeline offered 3v3 matches in a much more compact, two-lane forest map. This game mode introduced unique mechanics like Vilemaw, who was the equivalent of Baron Nashor, and special alter control objectives.
Though Twisted Treeline was greatly beloved for its strategic diversity, quicker matches, and change of gameplay, its lower play rates and an ongoing struggle to balance champions had Riot retiring the mode in 2019. Its departure marked the end of an era and many players still hold hope for a similar 3v3 mode in the future.
As the developers at Riot Games continue to come up with new game modes, many players hope to one day see these five beloved game modes return once again. With each offering such a unique experience, they’re perfect for spicing up the usual gameplay that LoL provides. And with such fond memories attached to each one, it’ll be the perfect treat for players who have supported the company for so long. Fingers crossed!