A Look Back: Twisted Treeline

Most of us know and love Twisted Treeline as the small, two lane, two altar, seven monster jungle, 3v3 game-mode now on the live servers, but what some of you may not know is that Twisted Treeline – while always being a 3v3 map (and also supporting 6v6 in custom games) – started out much different. With a life span of three years (2009 to 2012) let’s take a moment to reminisce in what once was.


The original Twisted Treeline was released on October 17, 2009 as League of Legends’ second game mode. With a larger jungle than our current one, jungling was much more common than it is now, leaving the two lanes to be both 1v1. And though there were no altars in this large jungle, there was still much for teams to fight over:

  • Four camps of non-elite monsters for experience
  • Wolf/Green buff (Nature’s Fury: +20 attack speed and 10% cooldown reduction)
  • Banshee/Grey buff (Crest of Flowing Water: +45% movement speed)
  • Lizard/Red buff (Blessing of the Lizard Elder: Slows enemies and gives you damage based on level)
  • Dragon/Purple buff (Crest of Crushing Wrath: Every member of your team receives +1% damage per champion level to their basic attacks and abilities)

Yes, you’re reading right. There were once FOUR buffs to obtain in Twisted Treeline, giving you the possibility to be quadra-buffed; however, the monster buffs were not on a set timer, so you had to be lucky to come across them as they spawned.


Wards were also very much a thing in old Twisted Treeline, and with its thin, flashable walls and its bushes placed all throughout, they were a must if you wanted to avoid ganks. These walls were also perfect for junglers like Lee Sin, Shaco, and Malphite to jump over at their leisure, and since Lee Sin could also hop to his wards, he was a very unbalanced pick on this map.

In 2012, Riot announced a brand new version of Twisted Treeline in hopes to fix some of the balance issues. The goal of this new map was to have faster games by fixing the choke points around the inhibitor, which allowed for turtling. The jungle was also changed drastically. The top jungle was almost completely removed, leaving only the pit we know today as Vilemaw’s home. The jungle that was left was replaced with regular spawning camps and the Lizard Elder was replaced with two altars for each team to capture. The shop was also updated with various new items to support every role on this 3v3 map.


Twisted Treeline has changed a lot over the years. From a larger, unbalanced map with overall longer games, to a small, well balanced map with a focus on shorter games, I believe that Riot has done well in their decision to change the map. While the old map was also tons of fun, they have done well in designing their new one. As the game grows, things must be sacrificed and changed to ultimately make the game better as a whole.

Though I wholeheartedly believe the game has evolved for the better, I also hope to see the old Twisted Treeline in the game’s new Rotating Game Mode Queue as a featured game mode. Seeing this old map in the game again at least a couple times a year would be very refreshing. They could even possibly update the textures to match all the new ones. Are my hopes set a little too high here? Probably.


Did you like the old Twisted Treeline better than the new one? Do you hope to see it back as a featured game-mode? Do you have any old League of Legends memories you would like to share? Let us know in the comments and on our Facebook!

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