To most of the world, League of Legends (LoL) isn’t a title that comes easily to mind when another person mentions it in a conversation. If you even mention the name, the most likely response from 7/10 people would be: “What is League of Legends?”. To learn more about League of Legends, let’s dive into the aspects that make it popular among people around the world that transcends age, gender, nationality, and even language barriers as a means to connect people everywhere.
What is League of Legends?
What is League of Legends? To put it simply, League of Legends is a multiplayer player-vs-player video game where two teams have to compete against each other to destroy the other side’s Nexus (main structure). Think of it as something like Capture the Flag except it involves killing each other’s characters and destroying a bunch of other structures in the process. Each team consists of 5 players that each play a unique role in the game. The game ends when either a Nexus is destroyed or one team surrenders.
League of Legends falls under the category of MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games which features a closed map system including three lanes and a neutral area covered by fog of war. The game also includes over 150 playable characters called champions that each have their own unique set of abilities that are used in battle. Much like every other MOBA game, League of Legends emphasizes the use of different roles that each player must choose to create a functional team.
Brief History of League of Legends
League of Legends began as a startup project by a developing Riot Games studio which included co-founders Marc “Tryndamere” Merill and Brandon “Ryze” Beck as well as the lead developer Steve “Guinsoo” Feak, who was a contributor to the popular Warcraft III mod – Defense of the Ancients (DotA). The small company also had a team of interns who worked on making the very first version of the game which was released as League of Legends: Clash of Fates.
When League of Legends was first released, the game was instantly popular since it was drawing its player base from an already existing community. As the first one to really commit to the development of a working MOBA with some reliable names on the credits, League of Legends instantly became a hit in the gaming community. As the years went by, the game only grew in popularity, slowly being available in more countries to further expand its player community.
League of Legends Today
In most countries, League of Legends has become such a popular title that if you ask “What is League of Legends” to any of the younger people on the streets, they’d probably say they at least heard of it. Countries like Korea, China, and most of Southeast Asia have such large fanbases that practically every household has it installed on their computer. While western countries probably aren’t as extreme, it’s still a title that people will have talked about at least once in their lifetime.
League of Legends today has such a large standing in real life as it has become THE biggest esports tournament in the entire world. The game has opened up livelihoods for millions of people not only in the entertainment sector but also in other parts such as journalism, esports management, marketing and analysis, and even merchandising & creatives. League of Legends is probably on the same level as something like baseball in terms of popularity and relevance to the community.
The Esports Scene
We mentioned that the League of Legends’ esports scene is probably as huge as the Baseball Scene in terms of popularity and relevance. The League of Legends esports scene has nationally recognized leagues in 12 Regions (not including the divisions in countries such as Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, etc). It is also recognized as an international tournament even being an official part of the Asian Games. This is a huge step for video games and shows what is League of Legends potential on the international stage.
The Esports Scene may sound like something similar to a comic convention but in reality, esports events have the best productions rivaling even that of The Superbowl. Specifically, Riot Games’ League of Legends World Tournaments are so technologically advanced that it holds live concerts featuring big names and brand sponsors such as Louis Vuitton, in addition to the Hologram Concerts featuring the community’s favorite characters voiced by international celebrities.
Related to the Esports Scene, the Organizations associated with League of Legends play such an important role in developing the community. Organizations don’t only compete against each other by getting the best players in the different parts of the world, they also promote the game by adding some branding to the title. While the vast majority of the players get bored after the first few months, it’s the organizations and the community they build that really make most of the players stay interested.
Like physical sports organizations, Esports Organizations develop communities by interacting with the fanbase that the players and personalities have. Organizations also sell merchandise so that the fans can properly represent which teams they are rooting for which creates the perfect economy. The best part about organizations is that it gives livelihood to a lot of people on different specializations whether it be on the traditional work or as content creators.
When it comes to answering the question “What is League of Legends?” there’s no better people to answer this question and propagate interest than the community. The League of Legends community is often depicted as “toxic” and unfriendly but that is often overblown, especially in social media. While we’re not denying that encountering people with unpleasant demeanor isn’t uncommon, it’s not like half of the players or people are like that.
The League of Legends community, like society itself, is growing and evolving with each passing day. It’s not difficult to find a group of people that have the same interests as you when it comes to League of Legends. Whether it’s just the social media experience or a physical group of friends that like to play together, do stuff like cosplay, or just discuss recent happenings within the topic of League of Legends, you’ll definitely find the right people to talk to in this game.
The Cultural/Social Relevance
League of Legends has become more than just a game but has become a big part of the cultural and social exchange of people around the world. Both the players and the viewers have been introduced to the different cultures around the world thanks to Riot Games’ advocacy of inclusivity and representation. Both the game itself and the media that they put out such as music, character stories, and esports events provide a closer look at the world beyond what’s ours.
Riot Games has been pushing the message to the people in a way that’s relevant enough to create an impact but doesn’t push it hard enough that the non-progressives don’t start complaining. It’s the perfect system to drag people to support your cause and the game to grow even more. The message to support inclusivity and representation isn’t just in the game nor its events but also through the popular personalities that help spread what is League of Legends’ advocacies to the internet.
How to Start Playing League of Legends
Now that you know what is League of Legends and the different sectors regarding it, let’s talk about how you can start playing the game yourself. Installing League of Legends is extremely easy but the hard work will be when you start learning how to play the game itself. The game has some really complicated mechanics for people that haven’t tried playing any other MOBA game before but Riot Games made sure that the learning curve isn’t too steep for beginners.
Here’s how you can start playing League of Legends:
- Download the League of Legends Client here. *Note that this is the US link. It should be easy to find the download link for other countries by simply Googling “League of Legends Download” which should redirect you to any official Riot Games/League of Legends website or Garena (if you’re from Southeast Asia).
- Create an account on the website linked above. Do this while the game is downloading.
- Once the game is downloaded, open the game and start playing through the tutorial.
For the first few games, you’ll be playing against characters played by computers but you’ll eventually receive the option to play against other players. During this stage, you should try to learn about fundamentals about the game. If you want some in-depth knowledge about different parts of the game, you can visit the LoLFinity Guide Section to read up on the different advanced strategies that you need to know about if you plan to become a competitive player.
What to do in League of Legends
When it comes to what is League of Legends’ ultimate end goal, there are two possible answers to that question. The first one is to be the Number 1 player on your Server by attaining the Challenger Rank. The second one is to win the League of Legends World Championship, which is reserved for professional League of Legends players. There are other minor goals such as meeting new people, mastering certain champions, or collecting the vanity items from the shop.
For players that are starting out, the goal is simple – to improve at the game. League of Legends is a competitive PvP game so don’t think for a moment that things won’t get heated. We’re not pressuring you to train 24/7 but learning some tidbits every game you play by learning about game mechanics or champion abilities should be your goal every game. You can do this by yourself or play with friends to make the experience even more enjoyable and less stressful.
What if I don’t like League of Legends?
It’s okay. People enjoy different things which are what make us interesting creatures. Playing League of Legends is still a nice experience so don’t be afraid to give it a go by playing at least 3 games so that you really get the full experience of what makes it enjoyable. No one is going to hold it against you if you don’t enjoy the game but if one of the people you know keeps pestering you about it, simply tell them that you tried and just couldn’t find anything that you like about it.
Not finding interest in the game and disliking it are two completely different things. The first one is something that’s just human nature. The second one certainly has a reason. If you dislike League of Legends, that’s okay too — but you shouldn’t be the kind of person that starts trashing on the game to the community just because you didn’t find anything that you can connect on in the game. As we said, people enjoy different things and no matter what that is – it should be okay.
How do I talk to my friends about League of Legends?
If you want to jump into the conversation but know nothing about the game, don’t try to pretend that you relate to certain topics because they’ll most likely know right away that you’re faking it. The best way to talk to your friends about the game is to ask questions and advice. This is the best way to initiate a conversation with a LoL player without sounding pretentious.
Is it hard to play League of Legends?
Like any other competitive PvP game in the world, learning how to play League of Legends takes time and dedication. Yes, it’ll be hard to master the game in a way that most professional and high-rank players do but playing it on a decent level isn’t as difficult as people make it to be. Play for a month straight and that should put you on the path to success.