League devs reveal Dominion return “very unlikely,” but there’s some hope

Andrew Amos
The Crystal Scar in League of Legends
Riot Games

It’s been almost five years since Dominion was removed from League of Legends back in February 2016. Riot don’t currently plan on returning the game mode, and the Crystal Scar map ⁠— but never say never, as there could still be some hope for Dominion fans.

Dominion was the third game mode released in League of Legends, dating way back to 2011. It was a unique take on the 5v5 game mode, focusing on capturing and defending five towers across the map.

It led to fast paced games, and had a small but dedicated following. However, it wasn’t enough to save it from the axe in 2016, when Riot removed the game mode for good and all but retiring the Crystal Scar map.

Capturing a point in Dominion
Riot Games
Dominion was “fast and fun,” providing much quicker gameplay than a match on Summoner’s Rift.

The map would only become a relic of history once Ascension was basically taken out of the rotating game mode pool, not having seen play since November 2017.

Three years on from that, and almost five since Dominion’s retirement, it seems increasingly unlikely it’ll ever return. The game has moved on a lot since then. Riot has even tried to nip the concept in the bud. However, there’s a never-say-never attitude behind it that lives on to this day.

“Crystal Scar is very unlikely to come back. [It was] built for an old environment renderer that’s no longer around. To return those maps, they will need to be rebuilt entirely. The only map so far that was built for the old renderer that was then rebuilt as-is for the new renderer has been Howling Abyss,” Reinboom explained in a December 16 Reddit post.

While the old Crystal Scar map is dead, that doesn’t mean Dominion or Ascension is. In fact, Riot have considered adding in Ascension as an event in Nexus Blitz, or even utilizing the map for an entirely new game mode.

“Ascension is unlikely to come back in the form you’re familiar with. If it’s coming back, it’ll come back on a different map. Currently, we’ve actually considered modifying the Nexus Blitz map for it, given how rounded the Nexus Blitz map is.


“If you notice the changes to terrain in the center “arena” area of Nexus Blitz, these changes are meant to help support much more interesting gameplay for other ways we can use that space.”

The same could then be said for Dominion. What was once a staple queue could return in all its glory ⁠— albeit in a different setting ⁠— in Season 11. While Riot have been tight-lipped about either modes return, fans shouldn’t let go of all hope just yet, because there’s still a chance.