LoL Season 14: Release date, and everything we know

League of Legends Preseason 2024 key visual.
Credit: Riot Games

League of Legends Preseason 2024 key visual.
Credit: Riot Games

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The immensely popular MOBA, League of Legends, is constantly evolving, and fans have much to look forward to as the dawn of Season 14 approaches with the launch of Patch 14.1.

Season 14 will see major gameplay changes, such as sweeping terrain adjustments, map objective changes, and item overhauls. At the same time, Riot plans to improve several major systems within the game, including the introduction of a three-split ranked structure to speed up the ranked climb.

Further down the line, Riot also plans to release some exciting and unconventional new champions. Without further ado, let's dive right into what players can expect from Season 14!

When does LoL Season 14 start?

League of Legends Preseason 2024 kicked off on 20 November 2023 in the Public Beta Environment (PBE), LoL’s test server. LoL Season 14 was released onto live servers on 10 January 2024, which also markedthe start of the first split of 2024.

A screenshot of the League of Legends boyband HEARTSTEEL from the PARANOIA music video.
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Credit: Riot Games

Riot Games has decided to start Preseason 2024 later this year in order to give players more time to test and learn the new gameplay changes before they are released to the live server. In previous years, Preseason started in early October, which meant that the gameplay changes no longer felt new by the time the new Season started.

On top of that, Riot devs wanted to align the time in which players are most excited to play with the new changes with the time in which players are allowed to start their Ranked climb.

LoL Season 14: An overview of all major changes

Here are the main changes that Riot developers have experimented with in the League of Legends Preseason 2024 which have gone live in Season 14's patch 14.1.

Ranked system changes: 3-ranked split structure

In an effort to improve the ranked experience and speed up the ranked climb, Riot Games plans to introduce a three-split ranked structure in 2024: January, May, and September 2024. This means that, from Season 14 onward, there will be three ranked resets per year, instead of just one.

League of Legends Coven Syndra splash art.
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Credit: Riot Games

Riot Games has acknowledged that the current year-long ranked structure can feel like a real grind, with a long gap until a fresh climb. They also recognise that there is a down period at the end of the year where a lot of players want to play ranked but can't.

The new three-split ranked structure is designed to address these issues. With three ranked resets per year, players will have more opportunities to climb the ladder and earn ranked rewards. Additionally, the shorter split lengths should make each split more impactful and exciting.

Item system changes

As mentioned earlier this year in the "Preseason & Ranked Changes | Dev Update", it was announced that Mythic items are set to be removed from the game.

In an effort to diversify builds, Riot Games introduced the Mythic items system in 2021. However, this addition to the item hierarchy had an unintended consequence: it streamlined builds and subsequently stifled creativity.

A image of the shopkeeper in League of Legends.
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Credit: Riot Games

Riot devs acknowledge that the Mythic item system does not align with their desired direction for League. The current state of the game could greatly benefit from this item overhaul, potentially introducing a much-needed sense of build diversity to the game.

This sweeping item overhaul was spearheaded by Riot Games' aim to demystify the item system and shift power from items back to the champions themselves, granting players greater flexibility in their build paths.

We have compiled all removed and new items, as well as all reworked items in our Preseason 2024 guides here, so be sure to check them out:

Terrain and map changes

Riot developers have unveiled plans to make substantial adjustments to the terrain of Summoner's Rift in Season 14. This is particularly exciting news considering that the map has not undergone any significant changes since it was redrawn in 2014, aside from the addition of Elemental Drakes.

For Season 14, Riot plans to revamp the entire jungle, paving new jungle paths that allow for more security when moving between lanes. At the same time, these adjustments provide solo laners with increased agency and protection from potential ganks by enemy junglers.

An image of bot lane map changes in the League of Legends 2024 Gameplay Preview blog post.
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Credit: Riot Games

These map changes aim to introduce more symmetry to Summoner's Rift, placing both the red and blue sides on equal footing. Some of these map changes include:

  • New jungle and gank paths
  • Three Baron pit formations
  • Midlane brushes pushed further back
  • A wide wall positioned directly across major objectives
  • and more

Here is a comprehensive guide on "All LoL Preseason 2024 Map Changes" for your reference!

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Changes to map objectives

The menacing Baron Nashor and beloved Rift Herald (Shelly) are getting a massive rework. In Preseason 2024, Baron will take one of three forms when he emerges, each form provides the same classic buff, but alters how he fights and determines the shape of his pit:

  • Hunting Baron
    • Attacks: blasts all nearby enemies with lightning from above
    • Baron pit: no changes
  • Territorial Baron: creates a wall in front of the pit
    • Attacks: pulls champions near him with his handy new hands
    • Baron pit: creates a wall in front of the pit
  • All-Seeing Baron
    • Attacks: opens a Void Rift that creates a "damage over time" zone within the new tunnel pit.
    • Baron pit: closes off the front and opens up both sides, creating a tunnel

These new forms introduce diversity in how Baron fights unfold from game to game.

A screenshot of the new Territorial Baron in League of Legends Preseason 2024.
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Credit: Riot Games
Territorial Baron

Players can now also ride Shelly into battle! Upon crushing the Eye of the Herald, Rift Herald will spawn as usual, and any allied champions can right-click the Herald and jump onto it, allowing the rider to steer Shelly (similar to Sion's ultimate).

New Dragon ADC Smolder

As the Year of the Dragon unfurls, Riot Games is fanning the flames with the announcement of a new champion, the adorable fire-breathing misfit, Smolder! Smolder will be an AD caster marksman champion. Game Designer Jacob Crouch describes Smolder as hyper-scaling, short-ranged, and team fight-oriented, excelling in Area of Effect damage as the game progresses.

Smolder is set for release in patch 14.3, scheduled to launch on 7 February 2024, according to the official patch schedule.

That was everything we know about the upcoming League of Legends Season 14 update. Stay tuned as we continue to update this article with the latest details when they become available!

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