Chronobreak in League of Legends: What Is It? How Does It Work?
Chronobreak is a term that keeps cropping up during competitive game pauses in League of Legends Esports. Simply put, Chronobreak is Riot Games’ way of preventing the loss of professional matches due to game-breaking bugs or player issues.
Chronobreak is a system that allows League of Legends officials to record and review an ongoing match, identify the bug and rewind the match just before the occurrence of the bug to maintain competitive integrity without having to remake the entire match. Though the process might seem long and tedious for the viewers at home, this system prevents remaking the entire match and lets teams compete in a fair environment.
Riot for the first time unveiled this secret technology it was working on back in 2017 during a series between Cloud9 and FlyQuest in the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS) Spring Split. After a bug with Miss Fortune’s ultimate, Riot decided to use the “Deterministic Disaster Recovery Tool” or what is today called the Chronobreak.
Interestingly, this feature is named after the champion Ekko’s R ability - Chronobreak. The ability lets Ekko shatter his timeline, become untargetable and rewind to a more favorable point in time. He returns to whenever he was a few seconds ago and heals for a percentage of the damage received in that duration. Enemies near his arrival zone take massive damage.
Chronobreak system explained
In a , Riot Games explained the definition of a Chronobreak and how it works. It wrote, “Project Chronobreak is an esports feature that allows esports officials to “rewind” a live game to a specific point in time. This functionality was developed to deal with the occasional software bug or event hiccup that might otherwise force a complete remake of a game from the very beginning. We implemented the feature by making the LoL game server deterministic so we could re-play a recorded game and restore the server to the exact state it was in at an earlier time.”
Riot explained that it had been working on a deterministic server technology prior to this and stated that remaking a match was a frustrating experience for everyone involved. From a very basic tool it offered in 2016, Riot was able to produce a more robust feature the very next year.
Riot’s Server Network Recording tracks keypresses, match settings, and configurations, and the entire game is replayed on a server up to the point at which the officials decide they want to commence the game. Players then leave the old server and connect to the new game server.
We were able to deliver our minimum viable product in December of 2016 - just in time for the 2017 Spring Split. In the second week of LCS, Project Chronobreak was used on-stage for the first time in game two of C9 vs. Fly Quest when a bug caused a cannon minion to block Altec’s Miss Fortune ultimate."Riot Games
In May 2017, Riot was able to finish up version 2.0 of Chronobreak which featured better Graphical User Interface-based tools and a comprehensive automated test system to ensure the longevity of the feature.
Earlier on 20th Feb 2022, there was a Chronobreak in the 2022 LCS Spring Split Week 3 matchup between Evil Geniuses and Immortals. The Chronobreak was called for after EG’s support Philippe "Vulcan" Laflamme could not see the enemy Orianna cast her ultimate.
The implementation of Chronobreak was a huge step towards preserving the competitive integrity of League of Legends Esports. Though there have been instances where Chronobreak has gone wrong in the past, this tool overall has been a boon in the bigger picture.