League of Legends desperately needs its own TFT Remix Rumble

Teamfight Tactics was born in the shadow of its older brother, League of Legends, and has stayed there for the past four years. TFT has relied heavily on League for most of its content, whether that be skin lines or narrative events. As a result, TFT has never really managed to break the reputation of being League of Legends’ ‘extra’ mode. That was until Remix Rumble came onto the scene, however.

I wouldn’t blame you for not being up to speed with the latest Teamfight Tactics news, but if you’ve been ignoring Riot Games’ premiere auto battler, you’re the one missing out. It’s no secret that Teamfight Tactics is hardly a flagship title, but what it lacks in budget and marketing, it makes up for tenfold in its enjoyable gameplay loop, fantastic atmosphere, and innovative updates; something its older brother has been lacking in recent years.

My journey with Teamfight Tactics can be described as ‘consistent’ – I’ve always made a point to try each set, even the mid-sets. But I’ve never managed to get hyped for TFT, and as such haven’t really wanted to climb its ranked ladder.

And, honestly, I was pretty content until I watched the League of Legends 2023 World Championship Final. Being a T1 (formerly Rogue) fan, I was understandably excited to see who would win between T1 and Weibo Gaming; I even got tickets to watch it in the cinema. But while I waited for the third match to start, the TFT Remix Rumble advert came on and totally changed my plans for the night.

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It was effectively a music video for Remix Rumble, and from start to finish I was entranced. The dazzling visuals and mixing of genres and skins evoked a feeling in me that I hadn’t felt since ‘Get Jinxed.’ I turned to my partner and she was similarly enthralled, our conversation switched from the world’s biggest MOBA to an auto battler only one of us had ever played before. We finished watching the finals, but our conversation on the drive home wasn’t about T1’s amazing performance or Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok winning his fourth championship – instead we wanted to know more about Remix Rumble.

For the past few weeks I’ve been almost exclusively playing Teamfight Tactics, with short breaks to keep up my end-of-season climb in League of Legends. I initially kept my trait selection to genres I enjoy, as Remix Rumble brought the innovative feature of ‘Soundtrack Evolution’ to TFT, meaning every trait you add to your board alters the in-game soundtrack. In terms of gameplay, I’ve seen great success with the Country, Pentakill, and Disco traits, but the addition of Maestro to the board adds a flare to the soundtrack that can’t be quantified on a leaderboard, and that’s what it’s all about.

A colorful, futuristic TFT board from the Remix Rumble event

I was introduced to League of Legends back in 2013 with the release of Get Jinxed. Thanks to the team at Riot Games, I’ve shared countless hours of fun over the past decade, but none of that would have happened if the team behind Get Jinxed decided not to push the envelope. While it has been left behind in terms of production value by the likes of Warriors, Legends Never Die, and Gods, it holds a greater importance for me than any of those.

Teamfight Tactics has continued to innovate and grow over the past year, while League of Legends has effectively stood still, and I think it’s partially down to a difference in approach between the teams working on these games. The team behind Teamfight Tactics wants to engage with their community and respond to criticism in a way that not only improves the game but also creates a healthy environment for players. I believe that Remix Rumble harkens back to ‘the good old days’ of League of Legends, not thematically but to a time when the sky was the limit and innovation was on the horizon.

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Sadly, it feels like those days are behind us now when it comes to League. With over-stylized skins ruining champion clarity, event pass value being reduced, and events lacking innovation in comparison to the likes of Burning Tides, it’s clear the focus isn’t where it needs to be. Where Remix Rumble is reinventing the auto battler wheel, League of Legends is standing stationary.

The team at League of Legends can still learn from Teamfight Tactics, though. After all, League of Legends Season 14 proves that Riot is hoping to change up the game. Until then, however, I’ll be battling it out in the TFT arenas, ensnared like Amumu in the music video, vibing away to Jhin’s twisted violin and Bard’s smooth, melodic jazz.

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