What Dominion was supposed to be is a fast paced challenging game mode that's perfectly suited for people willing to just jump in to the action, smack a few guys around and then leave satisfied for the day.

Unfortunately, as many of you that tried it know, that didn't pan out and Dominion quickly turned in to an imbalanced mess. And now, four years after its inception, Dominion is being retired due to less than 0.5% of the playerbase actively playing it. Here's what Riot's L4T3NCY had to say:

"We want to support game modes delivering consistently engaging and competitive experiences. Fewer than 0.5% of players actively play Dominion and we’re aware some number of even that small population is still bots. We haven’t been supporting Dominion, and we’ve trapped ourselves in a vicious cycle where the queue isn’t large enough to warrant major attention, but falls prey to bugs and periods of imbalance from the introduction of new champs and items (which then drives down the size of the queue, and so on).

In the absence of our attention, matchmaking and game quality in Dominion varies wildly based on daily engagement. Because of how matchmaking works, the longer someone looking to play Dominion waits in queue, the wider the pool of potential foes the matchmaker can pull from -- with such a small population, Dominion games can match up widely divergent skill levels after long enough queue times. Unhealthy queues that force players to endure long waits with fluctuating match quality ultimately creates an overall poor experience -- one we take responsibility for."

So while its unfortunate to see a whole game mode go away its probably for the best because now new players won't get roped in to long queues and completely unbalanced matches simply because the player population is too low. What I do think Riot should do is allow Dominion to be played through the custom games list thus preserving its legacy and allowing those that still enjoy it to continue doing so.

As a small reward to those most dedicated to the Dominion game mode, everyone that had 100 or more wins will be granted an exclusive new summoner icon. Icons might not be the most exciting things around but given how rare this one is I have a feeling its going to be quite the prestigious thing to show off with.

If you want to experience Dominion in all of its glory & imbalance now's probably the time because the population will be at an all-time high given that Dominion is being permanently removed from the game this Monday, February 22nd. And finally, here's the original Dominion announcement trailer, for old times sake: