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League of Legends - 500 beta keys and an exclusive reveal

Oct 8, 2009 UPDATE: This contest is officially closed and we are no longer accepting requests for closed beta keys for League of Legends: Clash of Fates.
Everyone who entered (and followed the intructions) should have received an email with a closed beta key and a link to help you set up your beta account.

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Defense of the Ancients (also known as DotA) just might be the most important mod ever made for a PC game. DotA is one of the main reasons why millions of players still play Warcraft III today, and it has influenced quite a few recently released and upcoming spiritual successors to the team-based/action RTS.

League of Legends, developed by Riot Games, is one of the latest and most promising titles to the join the ranks of this increasingly popular genre. Players team up and control powerful hero units as waves of NPC cannon fodder spawn at base points and crash against each other at choke points throughout the map. The goal is to work with your teammates to lead your army into your opponents base while powering up and taking down enemy players.

It’s got RPG goodness, the nice point-and-clickyness of traditional RTSes, great teamplay mechanics, and delivers a first-person shooter-like PvP rush. Best of all, according to Riot Games, it will be released as a completely free game when it opens up to the public later this year. Check out our recenthands-on previewfor more details.

But why wait til League of Legends goes live? The closed beta is in full effect, and we’ve got exclusive news about the newest character who was just introduced to the game for testers last week. We’ve also got 500 closed beta key codes to pass out to anyone who wants to start creeping and pawning ahead of the crowd.

Here are the latest details on Katarina, the Sinister Blade, courtesy of Riot Games.

Katarina, the Sinister Blade

Hero Type: Assassin

Many of the noble daughters of Noxus are content to live their decadent lives of privilege. Not so with Katarina. Daughter of the feared Noxian General Du Couteau, the girl was always more interested in her father’s blades than in the dresses her sisters spent so much time fussing over. Her father, ever the opportunist, happily fostered her bloodlust. Katarina was trained by the finest warriors under her father’s command and, once she bested them, by Noxus’s most lethal assassins. The ruthless woman first cut her teeth performing covert missions in the Ionian War, but the challenge of such engagements was simply not enough to sate her ambitions. Katarina wanted not only to be deadly, she wanted to be feared and adored. The League of Legends called and Katarina eagerly answered.

Katarina is a swift close-quarters combatant who specializes in killing tanks. Having studied the anatomy of nearly all known creatures, she knows where to strike so that her opponents cannot easily recuperate – and in such a way that they will bleed as much as possible. Her attacks can even circumvent a foe’s ability to regenerate. When she really gets going, she is a whirling flurry of blades, attacking with ferocious speed. She is likewise capable of throwing her blades at nearby enemies, allowing her to strike from a distance. Katarina is also trained in the mystical art of the Lightwalk, which allows her to teleport to an enemy’s position and strike, up close and personal.

The blade-mistress of Noxus is like a black widow – beautiful, but deadly.

Sep 25, 2009

A professional take on Defense of the Ancients, by the original creator