The Summoner's Rift is the most commonly used Field of Justice.
The map was given a graphical and technical update on May 23, 2012 and remade from scratch in November 12, 2014.
Summoner's Rift is located in a remote forest between Freljord, and the Ironspike Mountains. The Summoner’s Rift is one of a few locations in Valoran where magical energy is at its greatest concentration, making it a highly sought-after locale to pursue magical endeavors.
Historically, the forest where the Rift resides was the site of several battles between the Protectorate (Stag crest) and Magelords (Owl crest) summoners, two sides who sought out to use the natural magical energy of the area for their personal use.
The large amount of concentrated magic has it mutated the local wildlife. From giant frogs, giant birds to two headed wolves it has also attracted the attention of a powerful Dragon who currently resides in one of the battle torn ruins. Sentinels, Bramblebacks and Krugs are creatures made from local flora and earth infused to construct a magical being. The Rifts unstable magic has inadvertently cause the reemergence of Baron Nashor, a large Serpent/Worm largely believed to be dead for centuries. It has his corruption affecting the land around him.
Other known creature that live in this area are species of forest chameleons, ducks, Antlermice, Porowls, crows, dragonflies and butterflies.
The objective of Summoner's Rift is simple – destroy the enemy nexus. In order to do this, champions must traverse down one of three different paths (or lanes) in order to attack their enemy at their weakest points they can exploit. Both teams have their lanes defended by numerous turrets; each turret grows in strength the closer it gets to its respective nexus and each turret must be eliminated in order to gain access to the next turret in that lane. Cooperating with fellow summoners is an absolute requirement for success, as it is easy for a champion to find themselves ambushed by enemies in the lanes of the Rift.
The newest and most venerated battleground is known as Summoner's Rift. Traverse down on of three different paths in order to attack your enemy at their weakest point. Work with your allies to siege the enemy base and destroy their Nexus!
- 19000 unit distance from nexus obelisk to nexus obelisk (measured with Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole).
- Three lanes to fight your way to the enemy base.
- A forest populated by neutral monsters of varying degrees of toughness, the toughest of which provide buffs and/or gold for your whole team.
- Powerful turrets defend key areas on the map. You must confront these in addition to your enemies if you are to make headway toward victory.
- A map dividing river that lies in neutral territory, allowing for quick travel between lanes.
- Two bases at opposite corners of the map, populated by a shop, a nexus, two turrets to defend the nexus, and inhibitors that suppress the other team's minions.
Summoner's Rift during its history had a total of four shopkeepers.
- The first one was a Manbacon. This is an infamous race that is living in Runeterra. Manbacionians usually set up shops in a small pack and they also like to smoke. He sold some standard starting items like the , the , the . He was selling his weaponry at both the Blue team and the Purple team bases.
- The second shopkeeper was an elderly male Yordle with a cart pulled by an animal resembling a big cat or a rabbit of an unknown species (PBE data mining posted here revealed it to be a "yonkey"). He replaced Manbacon and he was also present for both the Blue and the Purple bases.
- A pair of new shopkeepers replacing the previous vendor: in the Blue base there's an elderly female Yordle with a large animal resembling a Bantha from and in the Red base there's an elderly male otter merchant attending his shop inside a large hot-air balloon that got punctured.
It is the default and first version released of the map.
Winter VersionA variant of the regular Summoner's Rift with a winter seasonal variants, designed for the 2009 Snowdown Showdown event. This version was a permanent option before it was replaced with the Autumn Version on November 2010. It was also available during the 2010 Snowdown Showdown, replacing the Autumn version temporarily and made a return for the 2011 Snowdown Showdown in December 2011. The Winter Version of the Summoner's Rift has a few differences:
- A mostly white background, because of the snow.
- Snow falling and covering the terrain.
- The River is frozen.
Autumn VersionThe Autumn Version of Summoner's Rift was a special variant designed for the 2010 Harrowing Seasonal Event. It replaced the Winter Version as the secondary version available and renamed Autumn Version after a poll on November 2010. It was temporarily replaced again with the Winter Version for the 2010 Snowdown Showdown. The Autumn Version uses music from the Twisted Treeline.
- There are coffins at bottom right area of the map. These signify the "death" (cancellation) of several champions.
Summoner’s Rift Update
May 23, 2012 brought graphical and technical updates to Summoner’s Rift. The updates brought players better aesthetics as well as improved overall graphical performance for players on lower settings. Some of the enhancements included:
- Better game performance at low and mid spec.
- Updated textures across Summoner’s Rift.
- Improved animations on many of the monsters, including the Ancient Golem, the Lizard Elder and, of course, Baron Nashor.
- A new, animated shopkeeper to service all of your champion’s item purchases.
Summoner’s Rift Evolves
On November 12, 2014 a new update to Summoner's Rift went live for use on the Team Builder queue and all bot modes. Then in November 19 the updated Summoner’s Rift was released for all queues, replacing the old one entirely. This time the update has been more heavier than the previous one, and the map was remade from scratch, changing the overall art style. From the minions, to the monsters, the structures, the decorations, the vegetation and even the music it was all completely remade. The new Summoner's Rift is in all respects a new map, made preserving the spirit and gameplay of the older Summoner’s Rift. The new elements are:
- A new handcrafted artistic style to Summoner’s Rift.
- Gameplay on the map is more readable than in the previous map. Making action the top priority on the screen rather than the environment.
- Cleaned up a lot of the terrain (so that the widths of the visuals match the width of the mesh).
- This is particularly noticeable in Red-side jungle.
- Purple Team changed to Red Team.
- Red base features an owl and mage motif with curved linear shapes. Blue base is inspired by a stag and paladin theme with blockier shapes. Both of the owl and stag sigils meet in middle lane.
- Fog of war upgrade - fog is darker and the fade between fog and non-fog is now more abrupt/crisp (it's not a gradual fade).
- General bug fixes.
- Camera angle adjusted to be more similar to Howling Abyss (higher angled, less perspective).
- This should make the difference between playing up and down less significant.
- Large and Epic Jungle monsters now show their current health value above their health bar.
- Bottom and top lane brushes are now centered between their respective towers (previously off-centered by ~450 units).
- Ambient critters have been added in the map.
- New minion and monster icons.
- New Kill indicators on screen (including a hexakill indicator).
- Updated look to minions, cannon minions and super minions.
- Red minions wield axes while blue minions war hammers.
- Two new shopkeepers for both of the Bases.
- Each jungle quadrant has a unique theme. Blue buff jungle has a blue hue, while the Red jungle has a red hue. West jungle is more destroyed by the influence of Baron Nashor while the east one retains its more natural look.
- New Summoner’s Rift music.
- The Ancient Golem and its Lizard henchmen have been replaced with the Blue Sentinel golem and two monolithic Sentries.
- The Golem and Big Golem have been replaced by the Krug and Ancient Krug, respectively.
- Wolf has been replaced by Dire Murkwolf and Murkwolves.
- The Wraiths have been replaced with bird-like Razorbeaks, led by a Crimson Razorbeak.
- The Wight has been replaced with the Gromp, a walrus-frog hybrid.
- The Lizard Elder camp is now inhabited by the Red Brambleback, a fiery ent-like creature, and two Cinderlings.
- Dragon and Baron Nashor have received Visual updates and kit reworks.
- A new passive monster has been added in the north and south parts of the river, Rift Scuttler.
Summoner's Rift conceptual art
"Summoner’s Rift has come a long way since League’s launch in 2009, but our latest update to ol’ trusty was the biggest change in the map’s history.
While all updates go through iterations and testing, Summoner’s Rift required a huge team of artists to concept and sketch out art for months before we started working in 3D. To celebrate the end of SR’s beta run, we’re releasing a few of the concept art pieces the environment team created, complete with notes and insights from the artists themselves."
― Riot ForScience
"Here’s a super late painting we created to hone in on the spawn area’s lighting. The beta launch of Summoner’s Rift actually had zero lighting, but we slowly added elements in as we updated the map."― Riot ForScience
"We painted this up to study how we could show terrain transitioning from areas near Baron to places way away from him."― Riot ForScience
"These are some concepts that we sketched out for an asset to replace the small cluster of trees in the original SR bases. We wanted to replace that blocker (the term we use for something you can’t move through) with something a little more visually interesting and architectural."― Riot ForScience
"Remember the old wraiths? We sketched out a TON of ideas for things that could replace them. After trying a few of these guys out, we started leaning towards some bird-like creatures that eventually evolved into the raptors you see in the rift today. (1. Vulture Monkeys, 2. Dire Porci Rat, 3. Shroom Thugs, 4. Crystaling, 5. Mudworm, 6. Mandrake gone bad, 7. Stummpils, 8. Plant Chomper, 9. Scorpo FIles, 10. Flame Pixie, 11. Not Warrior, 12. Globs)"― Riot ForScience
"Old baron was... well... a bit of a sock puppet. After trying a few ideas out, we ended up using the model that would later be in A Twist of Fate. But we still iterated, making tweaks to his head area, and giving him a huge body that we could really show off in his spawn animation."― Riot ForScience
"These are a couple of early studies looking at the composition of the north spawning platform and shop. The first is earlier, and from it we refined shape language, values, how busy the area would be, and overall composition."― Riot ForScience
"These are super early sketches of the northern area, which we wanted to feel more destroyed than the rest of the map to emphasize Baron's catastrophic impact. These drawings pushed really far in that direction."― Riot ForScience
"We used a sharp shape motif for the Paladin (or south side of the map) that would stand in contrast to the Mages (North side). The Paladin elements in the map are strong squared shapes and motifs that stand out from the sharp, aggressive, and dynamic shapes used by the north side."― Riot ForScience
"These are some explorations looking at how the rift would infuse one of the more natural creatures on this mountain."― Riot ForScience
"Back on Howling abyss we designed one of the shopkeepers to have this massive pack-yak. We really loved the idea but we could not get him to work within the constraints of the Freljord. He eventually became a she, and fit perfectly into SR. We always knew that we wanted some type of shipwrecked balloon-riding yordle for the north shopkeeper."― Riot ForScience
"We knew really early on that wraiths didn't feel indigenous to the rift, but it took a really long time to find a critter that would fill his shoes."― Riot ForScience
"The team really resonated with the idea that the magic of the rift physically forming into its guardians, and the Brambleback in particular to reflect the raw aggression that you feel when you pick up the red buff."― Riot ForScience
"There was a lot of focus on how we wanted a unique dragon from other IPs and fantasy games. We tried a grounded dragon, but ended up with a thick, heavily armored guy, so carried on until we gravitated around this study, which put us on the path to finding the unique League take of a dragon."― Riot ForScience
"We spoke about quadrants during the map update's beta stint, but here's a really clear representation of what we wanted to pull off. It's a really early painting, but even still you can see the redwoods in the north, the cairn-stones in the east, and the overgrowth and vines in the south. We ended up going with a different direction in the west jungle, but its color palate and tone is still pretty similar."― Riot ForScience
"This concept shows the contrast between the paladins and mages use of magic. In the case of the Paladins, magic is used in a very tightly restrained and controlled way; In the case of the Mages, magic is used in a more organic and chaotic way. This hearkens back to the old map and the Order vs. Chaos sides."― Riot ForScience
"In this top lane vista sketch, we wanted to explore rock shapes and study the integration of the background elements. This is a more wild version of the area that you see in SR now... and has a lot of eggs."― Riot ForScience
"Here's an exploration of the architecture we had out in the periphery of Summoner's Rift. We really wanted to use this blocked off space to show structures that the native cultures built, hopefully giving you guys a sense of a consistent and cohesive world."― Riot ForScience
"Our early minion concepts explored ideas like minions made out of animated magic scrolls, bolts of cloth animated by magic, and even just sound."― Riot ForScience
"This was actually a very late exploration of Dragon. Many of our earliest ideas for Dragon were not even dragons at all, but ran the creature gamut of what could fill that role on the map before we decided to go back to a more traditional scales and wings creature. The dragon we have in-game is a combination of the proportions of the first dragon, the head and wings of the third dragon, and the tail of the seventh guy!"― Riot ForScience
"This Baron illustration was one of the first images that was created for SR. We heavily referenced him for all of production. The way he is constructed (using stylized but very aggressive shapes) guided how we created everything from creatures to rocks to trees from that point on."― Riot ForScience
"This concept was an attempt to apply a very heavy and distinct theme on a specific quadrant of the map. The cracks show that you're near Baron, and we created giant trees that were ripped down when Baron spawned, with tons of new life grown back since."― Riot ForScience
"We explored two opposing animal types as the potential themes for the different sides of the map. Here are some early sketches!"― Riot ForScience
- The general layout of two long lanes extending on the border of the map and a middle lane between them, each crossed by a river, was inspired by the fan-made mod Defense of the Ancients, popular map for Warcraft III of which once Steve 'Guinsoo' Feak was serving as the main designer.
- The monster camps in this map were made to spawn everytime the same places since V188.8.131.52: before that, wolf camps and golem camps randomly alternated.
- Urf's Ghost can be found in the halloween version near the top of the river (Top Lane) just to the right of the top most brush found in blue's jungle. He will even attack passing Warwicks and either do 1 damage or pop his if the bubble is up on the Autumn version of the map.
- Garena announced that the map will polished red (Be aware that news source is Turkish) within Play it Red event due to Garena Carnival for a limited period in Garena server on June 2014.
- A Poro will spawn in each of the bases if a Freljord champion is on the team.
- If five Pool Party skins (or Rumble in the Jungle or Surfer Singed) are present on the map, a yellow rubber duck will spawn on Summoner's Rift near the bottom Middle part of river instead of a normal duck.
- If five or more Bilgewater champions (or champions with Bilgewater skins) are present on the map, two sharks will spawn in the lower right corner of the map.
- Numerous Helmet Bro helmets can been seen in various locations on the map:
- Several Items that have been removed from the game can be seen on the map:
- Two can be seen in one of the towers surrounding Summoner's Rift.
- A can be seen in the Red Shopkeeper shop. The sign on the item use to say "sold".
- Old shield can be seen in the Blue Shopkeeper shop.
- A can be seen hanged up on a stone tablet at the south-west part of the map.
- Old Baron Nashor's skull can been seen in the Baron pit.
- A smiley face is a tribute to a smiley face that was present on the old map, which was also located on exactly the same spot, at the southern part of the map.
- "The Sword in the Stone" at the north-east part of the map is a reference to and to legend.
- A random cogwheels can be seen on the eastern part of the map.
- At the eastern entrance of the Red base, when first entering the map, a frog can be seen scurrying and falling to his death.
- His official fandom name is "George, the Suicidal Frog".
- A grave altar with a gold spatula of Urf is at the same location as his old grave on the Autumn map grave was.
- Elder mage face can be seen carved on one of the tables on the map . It is a reference to the mage statues from the old Summoner's Rift map.
- A Gromp statue can be seen at the north-east part of the map, near red teams Gromp.
- Numerous rune writings can be seen carved on the walls and into the floors of both the Blue and Red bases, as well as around the map.
- Bard's face symbol have been seen in various locations on the map before his initial reveal. Since his release, those symbols have been removed from the map.
- A stone wall carved with the Protectorate and Magelords around a crystal can be seen at the north east part of red teams lane. In the Beta version of the map, the wall had no carvings and it was cracked.
Summoner's Rift map has been used for certain special, limited-time, featured game modes that circulate in and out.
- During the Fall of 2013, Riot's first featured game mode was called One for All mode 
- The mechanics were similar to Classic mode, with the only different being that all champions on each team are the same
- This mode would later inspire the creation of the One for All: Mirrored mode
- An Icon was to be given by playing this mode.
- Between April 1 and April 13, 2014, Riot made Ultra Rapid Fire mode and since then this mode has been coming back each year for April Fools Day
- An Icon was to be given by playing this mode.
- The mechanics were similar to Classic mode, with the added twist of the mode:
- Between July 17 and July 27, 2014, Riot made Doom Bots mode.
- In this mode players fought against champions controlled by computer generated AI.
- The Bots themselves got enhancements to their abilities and passives.
- There were 3 levels of mode difficulty, with each level the bots would get considerably "cheaper".
- An Icon was to be given by playing this mode.
- The Summoner Rift concepts are usually done before Riot make 3D in-game models. Sometimes they will make a concept, but it does not work in the game. Examples: The design is hard to click on; Or it does not fit the environment; Or it does not look like tanky enough; or look weak enough; The creatures have to look, in relation to each other; at the correct power level or defensive power level. An environment piece has to be visually appealing but not distracting to champions or effects. All the concept work is about trying to answer those questions. Does it work with gameplay? Does it fit the big picture? Art serves gameplay.
- A Raptor, Forest chameleon, and Antlermice can be seen in Kog'Maw's classic splash art.
- The stag symbol of the Protectorate looks similar to Braum's shield.
- The owl symbol of the Magelords looks similar to the Porowl, a species of owls that live in Summoner's Rift.
- Summoners Rift Shopkeepers will be getting their Voice-over in future game patches, similar to the Howling Abyss shopkeepers.
- This map has ties with the Protectorate and Magelords showcased in Aatrox's lore.
For an in-depth look at the map, go to this link.
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