Every League of Legends champion has a favorite champion (or two or three). A new Champion Mastery feature will let you earn rewards with your preferred characters.
"With Champion Mastery, you now get points, ranks, and rewards for the champs you play," Riot said. "Now, if you want to show other players that you’re a dedicated Swain main, or a big cheese with Twitch, you can!"
The system also grades you based on how your performance compared to other players using the same character in the same role. Your grade determines your rate of progression through the ranks.
There are five mastery ranks for each champion in the game. With each rank, you'll earn a new crest that will be displayed next to your champion in your collection. Rank four and five will also bring a loading screen badge, custom emote, and announcement banner for the character. Here's a look at each crest and the emotes:
The feature is very similar to the Mastery system from fellow MOBA Smite. The primary difference seems to be the rewards. Smite gives players access to new skins and avatars by ranking up.
Any League of Legends players with a summoner level of 5 or above can earn Champion Mastery points. However, you won't be given retroactive points for your experience before this feature goes live. It doesn't matter if you've played hundreds of hours with Zac or you're the best damn Sion on the planet; you'll be starting off at zero Mastery just like everyone else.
Fortunately, getting Champion Mastery won't take very long. In a Q&A with players, Riot estimated that it'll take around 15 to 30 games to reach Rank 5 with a specific Champion. Mastery points won't decay over time from inactivity and you can't get demoted by losing or playing poorly.
"Ranked is the only system that gives players explicit feedback that they are improving atm (and sometimes not improving)," Riot explained. "In reality, every game you play you are typically improving to some degree. We want this system to fill that gap with a combination of the grading system and progression system. The grading system is percentile driven - so earning a high score means you performed in the top x% of players on that champ in that position. The grade governs the point gains. Ultimately we want a feedback loop that feels meaningful and if we don't feel like we've achieved that we will reevaluate."
Riot adds that Champion Mastery will be expanded over time with more tiers and rewards as well. So, while Tier 5 might not take much time at all, Tier 10 or 20 or whatever could require a substantial time investment.
Champion Mastery is available for testing on the Public Beta Environment now. In about two weeks, the feature will then go into beta for one region. Mastery Points will only be available through normal matches on Summoner's Rift at first while Riot refines the feature.
In other League of Legends point-grinding news, the Party Rewards are still live for a couple more days. This experimental feature gives players bonus IP for queuing up with friends. That should make it a lot easier to buy pricey new champions like Bard.