The auto chess land rush rolls on. Riot is launching the public release of its take on the genre, Teamfight Tactics, this week inside the League of Legends client. But while it may be freely available, there are still some hurdles you'll have to jump in order to play this new autobattler.
Prior to now, Teamfight Tactics had only been available on the League of Legends Public Beta Environment, or PBE. This week, it launches in various regions to all live services, so all you'll need to play is an up-to-date League of Legends client. Here's the rollout, via Riot's North American streamer manager:
The staggered launch is not the only catch, however. If you're in the OCE or JP region, you'll need a level 10 or higher account to play on the first day, and transfers to other servers will be disabled until July 1. This is likely to keep eager players from all jumping to one server and overloading it.
Also, the practice tool will be disabled and custom modes will be limited to 10 players minimum, two more than the number required for Teamfight Tactics, to help offset an expected increase in server load. But all that said, North American League of Legends players should be able to access Teamfight Tactics tomorrow morning, with the European regions following in the evening.
Though Teamfight Tactics has been in the PBE for just about a week now, that hasn't stopped it from topping Twitch charts and drawing significant interest. The queue to get into the PBE has been clogged most days, and the Teamfight Tactics subreddit has been making jokes about the massive wait to get in and play a round. Well, at least the wait will be over for them.
I played some Teamfight Tactics ahead of E3 2019 and played many more matches since, and my impression so far is that it's a pretty solid competitor in the field. It plays with the mechanics of the original Auto Chess in some interesting ways and introduces a really fun, interesting twist with the shared draft. Also, the install base of League of Legends means it will probably skyrocket in player count. We'll see how the auto chess wars shake out now, as Valve, Riot, and Drodo all start competing for your time and attention.