Riot has recently announced that they will be retiring their base-capture style game mode, Dominion. Overall, Riot has admitted that they haven’t been putting nearly as many resources into maintaining Dominion as they have been for the much more popular Summoner’s Rift 5v5 mode. They’ve also made the point that less than 1% of League of Legends’ player base even plays on the Dominion map consistently.
While it is sad to see it go, I can attest that I have not really touched Dominion since early Season 3, roughly three years ago, outside of the very occasional game of Fucking Teemo.
The failure of Dominion looks like the result of an unfortunate spiral of Riot not giving a good enough incentive for players to hop in the Crystal Scar and of players simply preferring the more competitive Summoner’s Rift format. I cannot really fault Riot, since I can see just how difficult and time consuming it can be to constantly balance both game types while new champions are being introduced regularly. The two game types are just so widely different, that it may not even really be possible to keep both of them balanced at the same time.
Lore-wise, the Crystal Scar does not really make sense anymore either. The Crystal Scar was originally a consequence of the Rune Wars, which Riot has retconned out of the League of Legends “history,” so the actual map for Dominion was kind of made obsolete anyway. I know that Riot hasn’t seemed overly concerned with their game’s lore anyway, and that the Summoner’s Rift doesn’t fit their current lore anymore either (unless you subscribe to my idea of a better League of Legends lore layout). Still, that is one less reason to keep the map around.
Finally, I don’t think this is really the last we’ll see of the Dominion game type, though the Crystal Scar map itself may be gone for good. Riot has been adopting a sort of tradition of releasing short-term alternate game types in lieu of permanent ones, such as the popular U.R.F. mode or Black Market Brawlers. Riot even released an altered Dominion game type for their Shurima event around the time Azir was released. I suspect that we will occasionally see Dominion come back in little short bursts, probably with more alterations each time.
For now, though, it is time we say farewell to Dominion.