League of Legends is the multiplayer online battle arena with the biggest number of active players and a prime example of popular eSports. It was inspired by the worldwide hit Defense of the Ancient and developed by Riot Games for PC. The game built on the popularity of the first Warcraft 3 mod, but made ample changes to the gameplay. The number of heroes quickly surpassed the threshold of 100 characters and the roster is constantly growing.
Gameplay of League of Legends
The League of Legends gameplay bears many similarities to classic MOBAs and it involves two teams fighting for supremacy. Players can choose between one of the four maps available, Summoner’s Rift, Twisted Treeline, Crystal Scar and Howling Abyss. The first is arguably the most popular and the one played in online and land-based tournaments. The game pits two teams of five players each against each other and the goal is to destroy the enemy Nexus.
An average game lasts around 30 minutes, but even at professional level many matches have surpassed the hour mark. The longest professional match in recorded history lasted 94 minutes, and the record was set in 2018. Players can only surrender after 15 minutes if a unanimous vote is cast and can give up with four votes against one after 20 minutes. Abandoning the game or leaving exposes players to penalties that range from time penalties to account suspension.
League of Legends matches begin with players choosing their heroes and two unique summoner spells. Every character starts at Level I and grows by earning experience points until hitting the Level 18 cap. Players are rewarded with XP and gold for killing enemy champions and AI controlled minions, as well as opposing structures. The gold is spent to purchase items, which help characters inflict or withstand more damage, move faster and cast special abilities.
The League of Legends gameplay has the particularity of players leveling up individually, rather than a team. This means that a good player can carry the entire team later on if he or she levels up quickly and purchases powerful items. Having said this, LoL remains a team game where players need to work together to achieve a common goal. Good synergy and the right team composition can give a squad the upper hand right from the start.
League of Legends Heroes and Abilities
The roster of League of Legends consists of more than 140 heroes and new ones are added all the time. Riot games decided to slow down the pace at which new heroes are released, to give players more time to master existing ones. Each character has its unique set of skills and special abilities that can help the team. The ideal squad composition consists of a mage, an AD carry hero, a support, a tank and a jungler. The latter roams the map and supports one lane at a time, by ganking opposing heroes.
Based on their specialty, heroes have different skills, some inflicting damage and others shielding teammates from harm. The map is also populated by AI controlled monsters which give buffs to individual players or the entire team when killed. It is usually the job of the jungler to farm these creatures, but tougher ones require assistance from the entire team. Destroying enemy structures doesn’t grant a buff, but when inhibitors fall, more powerful minions spawn. Downed inhibitors do respawn.
The importance of heroes selection is emphasized by the fact that in professional games players can ban five characters before the game begins. Each player can ban one hero and team members take turns and singling out the most dangerous enemies. This adds a new layer of complexity to the League of Legends gameplay and encourages players to use advanced strategies. Casual players who choose to have fun in Team Builder and ARAM game modes play random heroes or join custom-made teams.
League of Legends Multiplayer and eSports Potential
League of Legends is one of the most popular eSports and the one with the most players, although Dota 2 competitions are still the richest. Riot Games is the driving force behind the biggest championships, but electronic sports organizations host tournaments of their own. The best-known and arguably the most popular event is the World Championship which brings together the best players from all over the world.
The winners of top League of Legends tournaments win hundreds of thousands of dollars and the World Championship prize pool consists of millions of dollars. South Korean players continue to dominate these competitions, but Europeans, North and South Americans are challenging their lead. The MOBA game is popular in Asian countries as well as in FIS nations and the player base continues to grow every year.
The extraordinary eSports potential of League of Legends is enhanced by the huge audience the game has on streaming services. Fans and active players alike frequently watch games and professional players streaming action on Twitch. Riot’s MOBA is also featured in the sports betting options of all major bookmakers that chose to include eSports in their offer.
Popular and Critical Reception
League of Legends was an instant hit in 2009 when the game was released and many people chose to play it even in beta. Today it has tens of millions of players and it is the most popular game in Korea, having surpassed StarCraft. Professional reviewing websites regard it as one of the best MOBAs ever created, well-balanced and with an exciting gameplay.
Its perceived simplicity brought it the praise of some players, while others chose to make the transition to Dota 2. Riot Games is constantly improving its flagship multiplayer online battle arena game and invests significant amounts in its development. The reporting system is aimed at filtering out toxic players and preserving harmony within its huge community.
Key Features of League of Legends
- League of Legends has a classic MOBA gameplay and dedicated features to make it user friendly.
- Micro-transactions are used for funding the game, but players don’t get an unfair advantage.
- League of Legends has an impressive roaster of nearly140 heroes and more are being added.
- The game is played at professional levels and eSports tournaments have huge prize pools.
The Bottom Line
League of Legends is one of the best multiplayer online battle arena games, with a stellar gameplay and extraordinary graphics. It is the best choice for those who have little to no experience with this genre, because of its smooth learning curve. The game has an impressive roster of characters, each with unique skills and special abilities that help them stand out from the crowd.
League of Legends is fun to play at both amateur and professional levels, while offering huge prizes to pro-gamers. Riot Games keeps investing significant resources into this game, to keep it at the top of the preference list. They have set the bar high and found a way to meet the increasingly high expectations of active players. The bottom line is that LoL is an easy to recommend MOBA to any PC players who are not afraid of a little challenge and seek an addictive and competitive game.