Over the course of gaming, countless titles have grown to receive world recognition and build a diehard fanbase. But no title compares to that of League of Legends. Ever since its release in 2009, this MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) has become the greatest single Esport in the history of competitive gaming and is home to the largest fanbase in the world.
On average, there are over 700,000 players in-game, battling it out in the arena. The game has even expanded into many spin-off titles, a complete board game, and just this last November, launched a TV series called “Arcane” receiving an impressive 9.4 score on IMBD, as well as a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But how did League of Legends find itself where it is today?
Evolution and changes
The game is constantly evolving with new patches every two weeks. The meta is always changing with new balance changes. This allows for every champion to have a seasonal moment of glory. The pacing and length of the game changes along with content that is added or changed as well. The most recent changes, as of February 2022, are the dragon changes. It was introduced in 2020, and they expanded upon it in the pre-season of 2021.
Every game is different because there are a lot of combinations between over 150 champions and the random element of elemental dragons as well. Many items were added, deleted, or reworked over the years, and they are the core of building a specific hero. Games that come from the RTS genre, in general, tend to rely on more strategy in general, and League of Legends went in an action direction, and it keeps paying off. The game is more accessible, which could be bad for some players because it means that it is easier overall than it was some time ago. However, the difficulty of the game often depends on your ranking and the champion you are playing.
Eternals and Events
There is a lot of diversity when it comes to creating character builds, and you can play a single character in many ways with the reworked item system. Champion reworks also add a breath of fresh air into some older heroes. In addition, the ever-changing events add a lot of meaning to playing the game. A lot of missions require you to play the game, you do not need to accomplish any hard specific missions. Just play the game and earn rewards. The game is full of events like Ruination, Pool Party, Christmas Events, Halloween Events, and more. They often add thematic skins and other rewards like icons or ward skins to earn in your collection.
Finally, when it comes to just feeling of purpose by playing the game apart from missions, Riot Games has added Eternals to the game. It is another way of tracking your progress with various milestones that measure how many kills you have on a specific champion, how many enemies you have defeated or hit with your Ultimate, and much more. Statistics are fun, yay!
Champions on Summoner’s Rift
There is a lot of diversity when it comes to champions. Every character has its own set of abilities. Four active abilities and a passive one. It is often more complex than that because champions like Aphelios have basically about 16 abilities and 25 interactions that all work differently, but not every champion is so complex. However, it all results in you having a lot of freedom of choice while choosing the role and character you want to focus on and learn. The thing that differentiates League of Legends from other games is that it is still very accessible for casual players. You do not need to play ranked and master every champion in order to stay relevant and have fun. It is rare these days, and League does that very well.
Lore of Runeterra
League of Legends always had some kind of story behind the characters, but in the last couple of years, they expanded upon it tremendously. With a lot of character reworks that add a lot of freshness into the game, there are a lot of changes or re-writes to this character’s lore. More often than not, connected to the entire region of Runeterra. Gangplank’s rework added a lot of lore to Bilgewater for example.
League of Legends is one of the biggest games when it comes to e-sports, and Riot keeps pushing this notion forward. E-sport is slowly going in its own direction, like a split branch of gaming. League of Legends is at the top of the mountain when it comes to organizing events like Worlds. Millions of viewers all around the world gather to watch some match in a game. It seems amazing, and connecting communities, especially among gamers, is always a good thing. It is pleasant even for people who do not play the game. I even found my friend’s parents watching the finals of Worlds 2021 on national TV as a broadcast. They had a lot of fun watching a video game that they have no clue what it is about.
Wider Media Expansion
Last but not least, in recent years, League of Legends is much bigger than the classic game itself. The world grew big and is expanding into other video games like Ruined King: A League of Legends Story which is a strategy game focused on just a few characters. Legends of Runeterra is a build-your-own deck card game. In addition, there are a lot of other video games in production, including an action RPG and fighting game set in the world of League of Legends. There is also a board game called “Mechs vs. Minions” which offers a lot of innovative gameplay and mechanics. I played it, it’s surprisingly good.
Finally, the amazing success of a TV Show by Netflix and Riot Games called “Arcane”. It was the main mainstream expansion to date and was definitely a success. The marketing was huge around it and the second season is already in the works, set for its earliest release in 2023. The game is really good and expanding upon the world created over a decade ago keeps the interest going. All the updates to the game help the core experience to attract new players, as well as make old-time veterans come back from time to time and play a game or two of Full AP Nunu. Just remember to have fun, no matter what game you play.