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What is League of Legends?

One of the most popular esports titles after DOTA, League of Legends (League, or LoL) is one of the most popular MOBAs of its kind. A MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) is a strategy genre where two teams of virtually any size compete on a battlefield with unique characters, abilities, and items. Generally in MOBAs each team has their team structure that can be destroyed in order to win the game, as well as non-player units that move across the battlefield to assist the players on each team. League of Legends is one of these strategy-heavy games, and has historically been one of the largest esports titles in the world.


On release in 2009 by Riot Games, League of Legends was released. Riot developers took inspiration from DOTA during the game’s production, and League was released as a free-to-play game with heavy monetization. Since its release, the game’s player base hit a staggering eight million concurrent players, and the game even has an Emmy Awarded TV show in the form of a game adaptation to its name.


League of Legends calls its player-navigated characters “champions”, and it has over 160 champions as of 2022. Each champion has a unique design and set of abilities, which players can choose based on their preferences or teamplay potential. There are five players on each team, and they must pick a unique champion with no duplicates. Each of the five players on a team occupies a part of the map in the game, and goes up against their counterpart on the other team. The five roles in League are Top, Jungle, Mid, Bottom, and Support. Every role has their own focus while the game is played, but there are overarching goals for every player.

During a match, the goal is for players to collect gold in order to buy items which increase the strength of their character. Gold is accrued by defeating non-player units called “minions”, getting takedowns on the opposing team’s champions, destroying structures, and passively over time. After utilizing gold and increasing champion stats, the objective is to play around the map to capture different “buffs”, which give heightened abilities to the team that captures them. Each game is its own ecosystem, and lasts anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes.


While League of Legends is a free-to-play game, many of these games keep up with the development life cycle by monetizing other elements. In League, this monetization comes in the form of champion “skins”, or visual alterations to the character model in-game that all players can see. Skins can be anywhere from $2 to $40, and can be bought directly or randomly generated through “Chests”, a form of Loot Boxes. At the AEA, we always warn parents to be informed and aware of monetization forms in every game, as it has become much easier over the years to purchase currency in games.


To end off the explanation of League of Legends, it cannot be overstated that it is the most popular esports title worldwide. Competition for the game originated in 2011 in Sweden, with the Season 1 World Championship to commemorate its first competitive ranked season. Teams from all over the world competed from various esports organizations, and eleven years later League of Legends events are some of the most widely viewed and most popular esports tournaments in the world.

For a beginner, League has a large learning curve, and is not as beginner friendly as other titles. Due to its age, however, there is content all over the web about how to learn and play the game. Being part of the community that boasts the most popular esport is a fantastic pastime, and the AEA hosts a League of Legends series every season for you to play the game in a fun and competitive environment!


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