Cody “KINGBLUNKERS” Allison here again. Today I am diving into probably my most played game, League of Legends!
League of Legends.
League of legends is a competitive MOBA created by Riot games, debuting in 2009. MOBA stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. I’ve personally been playing the game since season two which started late in 2011. This is probably the game I’ve spent the most time in. Since its beginnings in the gaming community, League of Legends has grown itself quite the reputation, so I want to explore this game in depth. With the goods, the bads, and the inbetweens.
The basic objective here is you, as a Summoner, are paired with 4 other teammates in a 5v5 battle for control over Summoner’s Rift. Each Summoner is in control of one of over 130 different characters called champions. Each champion has a unique identity and is armed with spells/abilities to conquer their foes. All 5 team members work together to push through one of 3 lanes. knock down turrets, inhibitors, and victory is sealed once you finally destroy the enemy nexus. By killing objectives, minions, and enemy players you will earn gold. This gold is used to buy items from your base, which makes you even stronger.
The challenge and beauty of learning League of Legends is its depth. Like I said over 130 champions, each with their own abilities, you have to know quite a bit of information about this game in order to truly master it. Not only do you have to know what your champion is capable of, but you have to know the enemy champions so you can effectively oppose them. AND knowing your teammate so that you can coordinate your efforts.
Strictly speaking you CAN pick any 5 champions on your team, but most of the time, you follow the meta. The meta is really just the current state or expected play style. The long standing meta is you pick one of the 5 roles, Riot has even created the matchmaking queue to follow this, so I don’t believe this will change any time soon.
Top, Jungle, Middle, ADC, and Support
ADC and Support
These inhabit the Bottom lane. ADC’s are generally long ranged DPS characters, meant to stay at a distance and pump out damage. This is usually a high priority target for the enemy team. Support is there to keep your ADC alive during the laning phase. (Laning phase is the first 10-15 minutes of the game). Supports for the most part can do one or more of the following things: heal your teammates, shield your teammates, speed them up, or CC the enemy. (Crowd control= Stun, slow, knock away, etc) Supports are also primarily responsible for a large part of the team’s vision control.
Vision control is one of the most important aspects of competitive play. League of Legends has a fog of war system. Meaning that if you, your teammate, or your minions aren’t in a specific area, you cannot see what’s happening there. However, your enemies could easily be waiting for you. Additionally, you can lay down a couple different types of “wards” which are small areas of vision. This will allow you to spot the enemy and safely navigate the rift as it’s impossible to see where everyone and everything is at the same time.
Named for the lane that this role is played… In the middle lane. Again, anything can be played, but often times you will see assassins and mages in this lane. Mages are magic-damage dealing champions, often times able to unleash a lot of damage in quick succession, then must escape or wait out cooldowns on their abilities in order to get back into the action.
Assassins are similar but dealing attack damage. There is way too much to cover all the ins and outs of the lane.
Played primarily in the dark. Remember that fog of war i talked about. Junglers rely on the neutral monsters that are placed throughout the jungle. Killing minions/monsters near your teammate causes you to share experience. The jungler is now allowing their laners more XP while getting their own. The jungler is establishing more vision, and Ganking the lanes. Ganking just means joining the lane for a brief time to create an advantage, normally to kill an enemy or pressure them and make them need to leave the lane.
Jungle champions can cover quite a wide variety, but a common trait is mobile, good at clearing jungle camps, and able to help the other lanes.
Played in the… well Top lane… it’s pretty simple. Top lane is similar to mid in that you can play whatever you like… but most commonly you are going to see tanks, bruisers, and champions with sustain.
Top lane can feel like an island sometimes. It’s about the 1v1 with the enemy top laner. Tanks are strong, hard to kill champions that can take a beating. Bruisers are still pretty tough, but focus more on damage than defense. With this many champions and diversity… again repetitive theme, this is probably generalizing too much. Just go play the game.
There are both ranked and unranked modes. Additional social modes such as ARAM which gives you a random champion and puts all 5 champions in one lane for a quick feisty battle.
Additionally, Riot has added a rotating game mode which adds a fun interesting mode that rotates each weekend. I would make a guess to say everyone’s favorite is URF (ultra rapid fire) It’s a game mode where there are no resource requirements. ( no mana no energy), cooldowns are greatly reduced and healing is less effective. Its meant to be chaotic, quick, and fun!
Now that we have a basic understanding of the game and some of the options to play it, I want to talk about the environment surrounding league of legends.
League in the public eye
League of Legends has reportedly reached over 100 million monthly players and the growth isn’t stopping. And it has been pretty popular since its inception. There are some more facts and figures to speak about the impressive nature of this, but I’ll let you do your own research. Basically Riot is making money, and people are playing their game… a lot. Across the globe people are logging tons of hours playing the game.
And the people logging the most hours… get paid.
Both streamers and professional league players are making their livelihood playing this game.
One of my personal favorite streamers, imaqtpie, is an ex-pro who streams most weekdays and makes a livable income by getting twitch subscribers, fan donations, and sponsor paybacks. And qtpie is certainly not alone, many people are just like him with their own style/niche and people love to see these people play their game.
eSports, accounts for the professional league of legends players. North America, Europe, South Korea, China, and Taiwan all have well established leagues that host the top talent from the region. And many others are gaining traction in international tournaments (Brazil, Turkey, Australia)
All of these regions have their own formats and styles all in hopes to lead their regions and continue on to the World Championship every fall. Now… understand, the world championships of League of Legends is massive. They’ve sold out Staples Center, Madison Square Garden and a South Korean Olympic Stadium. Its an event I’ve watched every year and hope to attend in person eventually. If streams sound appealing, go to twitch.tv and find someone who is entertaining. Ask me for recommendations! If pro play sounds like your cup of tea, go to lolesports for NA LCS coverage and start following Friday January 20th.
Now, for my least favorite part.
League, as much as I love it, the game makes some its players…. Unfavorable.
League has a stereotype… with quite a bit of evidence, to be a game including angry people. League is HIGHLY competitive. The high level players dedicate a lot of time in order to rank up and win. However, the same competitive nature exists on low levels of play. And competition isn’t bad. But the hellbent desire to win creates people who say and do things that aren’t great. People can be mean, people say brutal things. And I think the reason is one game of league can be 45 mins long. If you get stomped in rocket league, you have 5-10 minutes of discomfort and agony… but oh well you move on and it’s done.
League you have a couple minutes of queue time, a couple minutes in load time and champion select, and 45 minutes of game. If you’re winning, most of the time you enjoy all the input, the win feels that much more rewarding. If you lose, that sucks. But usually when you lose, there is a teammate or enemy trying to tear you down on top of it. And not every game is this way, but if it gets to you, that 45 mins feels like forever.
I try to only speak positively and only about the game. Never insulting people, and will often try to message a teammate after the game if I think people were being too cruel to them and just remind them it’s just a game. And I will get into the larger picture in the future, but I believe the bitterness and anger comes from the desire to be pro, or to achieve in game greatness.
I hate bringing up the dark spot within league, but I want you to know about it, so that if you encounter it, you know that’s just part of the game and that not everyone is like that. I love the game, and if you play with me, I try to keep a positive attitude.
Reach out to me
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE message me if you have questions, I think League is a great game, and has an amazing company backing it up. I’m always happy when Riot connects with fans to explain why they changed something, and completely happy with the hextech crafting system, which basically allows you to win free skins/champions just for playing. And… I haven’t mentioned this yet… League can be completely FREE. The game is free. You can pay money to unlock champions faster, but eventually without ever putting in a dollar you can get every champion and game essential. Skins cost money, but that’s it.
Love you peeps,
I am completely serious about creating an environment where gamers can gather. Hit me up, build the community. Be a good gamer 🙂
Cody “Kingblunkers” Allison