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In a loaded announcement posted to the League of Legends dev blog, Riot Games made several major announcements today. One fairly massive piece of news buried in the post was a nugget announcing that the game’s long-standing 3v3 game mode, Twisted Treeline, would be permanently retired at the end of the season.

Twisted Treeline comes to an end

The blog, written by Riot_Mort, detailed:

Outside of the player population, Twisted Treeline’s art, map design, and even game pacing don’t meet today’s current quality bar and player needs. We debated on whether an ARAM-esque level of support would bring it up to standard, but the lack of growth from the previous efforts we mentioned led us to the conclusion that it just wouldn’t be enough to make Treeline a healthy long-term mode. So at the end of this season, we will be retiring Twisted Treeline. Like Dominion before it, we’re sad to see a longtime part of the game disappear. But we feel this is the best decision for League, as it lets us keep our focus on our larger game modes.

The reasoning for the mode’s retirement is the lack of player support and participation. As we covered earlier this year, Nexus Blitz had been ruled out as a permanent game mode option by Riot Games due to the steep decline in players by the end of the event. Twisted Treeline, as it turns out, perpetually has a smaller player base than even Nexus Blitz at its lowest point.

One of League’s original alternative game modes, Twisted Treeline has been a place for League players to get the MOBA experience of Summoner’s Rift on a different map with a different meta. However, Treeline has always suffered from low queue sizes, even in times when we added new items, map-specific champion balance, and even the Twisted Treeline redesign waaayy back in 2012. At present, it falls short of even the numbers we saw at the end of Nexus Blitz’s second run. This small population leads to long queue times, poor matchmaking, and ultimately an unsatisfying PvP experience for many of the players who do queue up for Treeline.

Ranked rewards for 2019

Players will still be able to participate in Twisted Treeline until the end of the season and will thus still be able to earn rewards for this year. Getting to Gold in the 3v3 Ranked Queue will still reward a Victorious skin for 2019. Furthermore, the most loyal Twisted Treeline players will be given additional rewards once the mode is retired. Eligibility for these rewards will be based on the number of games played in Twisted Treeline prior to today’s announcement.

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