Categories
League of Legends Stories

Why League of Legends is so Great

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.

League of Legends Great Dragon
Image via Riot Games

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 Great Esports
Image via Riot Games

Esports Scene

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.

Categories
League of Legends News

How Riot Games Dominated Tournaments During a Pandemic

With the outbreak of the Covid-19, esports, like the rest of the world, ground to a halt. Starting with IEM Katowice in 2020, hundreds of events were canceled, switched to online, had their crowds removed, or were otherwise changed in response to the coronavirus.

But even as the rest of the esports world was canceling and moving their biggest tournaments online, Riot Games managed to put on three enormous tournaments: Worlds 2020, Mid-Season Invitational 2021, and Worlds 2021. But how did Riot Games succeed where so many other tournaments, such as Dota 2’s The International and CS:GO’s Majors, were forced into cancellation?

The feat of Worlds 2020

Image via Riot Games

Riot Games and their League of Legends competitive scene was not immediately immune to the cancellations that ripped through the esports world in the wake of Covid-19. With their leagues moved online, taken out of studios, and in some cases, postponed, competitive LoL and the newly revealed Valorant competitive scene suffered in early 2020.

Most notable was the cancellation of MSI 2020. The Mid Season Invitational 2020 was initially scheduled for May 2020. But after the outbreak of the Pandemic was canceled in April of that year. It looked like, in all likelihood, Worlds 2020 would share the same fate. After all, several massive international events like Worlds had to be canceled that same year. 

But Riot had an ace up their sleeve: The backing of parent company Tencent. It’s impossible to know just how much sway the state-backed Tencent corporation pulled to ensure that League of Legends got its Worlds 2020. But suffice to say, Worlds 2020 was held in China, with a limited crowd for some days. 

But beyond just greasing the gears with some corporate connections, the measures taken to ensure a safe environment were astronomical. Taking place on a closed set in the Shanghai Media Tech Studio, teams traveling to the event were all placed in the same hotel. Each squad was forced into a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Employees faced similar strict restrictions. Ultimately there were no reported cases during the event.

Many would criticize Riot’s all-spanning control of the competitive scene for League of Legends. But when faced with needing to operate an international tournament in a bubble, it’s hard to fault the total control.

Iceland saved the day in 2021

Image via Riot Games

With the Pandemic continuing into 2021, instead of the eight or 12-month crisis, many had initially predicted, more competitive events would have to be scaled down or canceled. With Riot’s newly launched VCT for Valorant and the new 2021 season of League of Legends starting, it looked like the continuing Pandemic would scupper it. But for several reasons, that wasn’t an option. 

In many ways, Riot Games was snookered by its past decisions. To have held Worlds 2020 and set expectations of what could be achieved in a pandemic so high, only to scale things back in 2021, would be unthinkable. It would have sent two messages: Firstly, Worlds 2020 was a mistake; an event born of hubris and brute force (accurate on many accounts). And secondly that it was a one-off miracle and not something that could be replicated by Riot Games again. Especially not outside of China, without the influence of Tencent on its side.

Scouring the globe, the ideal venue for Riot Games 2021 events became clear. Iceland and its capital of Reykjavík was the perfect location. Nominally a European location, but with enough restrictions and a small population to have prevented huge numbers of coronavirus cases, Iceland was ideal for esports events.

Valorant Masters, MSI 2021, and Worlds 2021 were all hosted in Reykjavik in the Laugardalshöll arena under similar lockdown conditions to Worlds 2020. As a result, the three huge events were pulled off with no press, no audience, and just players and staff isolated in arenas.

Looking ahead to MSI South Korea

Image via Asia Tech Daily

With all these successes, it’s no surprise Riot Games is again looking to hold an event during a global pandemic. This time it’s rumored to be in South Korea, with the League of Legends MSI 2022. What measures Riot Games will put in place remains to be seen. The company has operated well with strict measures, but the overall attitude to the Pandemic has changed over the past two years.

We live in a world where most competitors will be double or even triple vaccinated against the virus. The cases in South Korea have steadily increased over the past months, but so has testing. And in many cases, the Omicron variant of Covid-19 seems to have less severe symptoms, especially for the vaccinated. Under these conditions, Riot Games once again attempts to hold an international tournament. Over the past two years, they’ve proved they’re more than capable of doing so.

Categories
League of Legends News

How 100Thieves is Crafting Unique NFTs — and Avoiding Backlash

Esports organization 100 Thieves made their entrance into the World of NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) earlier this week with the 100 Thieves Championship Chain digital collectible release. As a free NFT was given away to celebrate the team’s LCS Lock-In victory, the relatively small backlash was one of the more notable factors about the announcement.

NFTs have been a contentious subject within esports and gaming, as many organizations rush to capitalize on the current boom. But the response from fans has been tepid or worse, with examples like Ubisoft Quartz seeing universal criticism and Team 17’s MetaWorms project dead on arrival

That’s why 100 T’s relatively uncontroversial release of a digital image of the actual chain they gave their players is so surprising. The team has managed to dodge much of the negative PR. But how exactly did they manage this?

They controlled the narrative

100T Nadeshot introduced the NFT project in a carefully worded video announcement (image via 100T)

Careful use of marketing and branding meant that 100 T’s Championship Chain didn’t initially trigger the automatic backlash that NFTs have garnered. The term NFT is already tainted due to highly publicized scandals, scams, exit cons, etc. Just using the terms “fungible” or even “token” in a release can mean instant death for a launch like this.

Instead, 100T concentrated on the digital collectible aspect, comparing the project to trading cards, comics, and memorabilia. It’s a smart move, as while NFT’s are pretty much radioactive as investments, gaming collectibles and trading cards are surging in value. So while this is also a bubble that is perhaps inflated by disingenuous investment, it’s still a more prestigious and valuable option.

In fact, the first mention of NFTs is in the FAQ section. While savvy consumers will have already noted that you needed to connect a token wallet to get the collectible, the less informed or interested just won’t get that far. The marketing and messaging on this release were targeted at 100T fans who are already investors in crypto, NFTs, and interested in digital collectibles.

It did not make the mistake of attempting to appeal to the general fan base aggressively. This limited the criticism to elements that they’d prepared for. They explained the environmental impact, comparing it to “sending ~2.5 emails.” And they headed off people asking why you’d buy a digital chain by explaining it as an achievement system or a collectible.

They gave it away for free — for a reason

100T’s Championship Chain was a digital replica of a real-world object. Owners of the new NFT will bank on the collectable surging in value in the future (image via 100T)

Giving away the Championship Chain was a smart move for several reasons. Firstly, it’s hard to criticize giving away something for free because it’s free at the end of the day. Secondly, 100T has created a built-in consumer base for its next NFT. 

The release already alluded to the fact that the team hopes “fans can look back on the moments in our history that they were there for and have pride in.” This would suggest the team will be creating more tokens in the future. Whether these will be free or not remains to be seen.

While currently the collectibles “aren’t intended for resale,” there’s nothing to say that will be the case in the future. The high-minded, read between the lines pitch of these tokens is that you will have a collection of 100T Championship collectibles in the future. At some point even further in the future, this exclusive and limited collection will be valuable because of its scarcity. And then, the free token that 100T has given fans will reward both parties with financial boons.

It’s theoretically one of the smartest moves into NFTs we’ve seen in the gaming space so far. But like with most NFT projects, it’s built on assumptions about the future that all parties are now gambling will come true.

Categories
League of Legends

Doublelift Slams TSM in Flame-filled Stream Rant

Retired attack carry Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng has ripped into Team SoloMid stating that he “Hates” the team in a long on-stream rant. The former TSM player slammed the organization on November 9th during a stream.

The rant covered numerous bases, including issues with his retirement. The former TSM star suggested he was effectively forced into retirement by the organisation, after TSM stated they couldn’t get Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh to be his Support. SwordArt also departed the organisation this past off-season

SwordArt reportedly had told Doublelift that “If me and Bjergsen were still playing, we’d have 100% won.” He continued to slam TSM, stating “It would be a personal pleasure of mine to see TSM never win anything again.”

But Andy “Reginald” Dinh wasn’t going to take the criticism lying down. He took to Reddit to respond to the allegations and get his side out

Another party stuck in the middle is Aleena “Leena” Xu. The president of TSM, currently in a relationship with Doublelift, and formerly in a relationship with Regi, let her feelings on the situation be known in a response on the TSM Discord.

Ultimately her point is that they’re both wrong and both have big egos. Something that shouldn’t be a surprise for fans of either party.

The drama could even be labelled as nostalgic. It reminds of the long-passed days of TSM Baylife, and YouTube videos showing Regi in shouting matches with Marcus “Dyrus” Hill, and Shan “Chaox” Huang. It’s highschool-level drama at the highest levels of esports. 

Whatever your reaction, the damning claims of Doublelift should echo in the minds of TSM fans for months to come. Especially if the team fails to achieve the high levels of success in League of Legends that are expected of them.

Categories
League of Legends

EDG Defeat DWG KIA To Win Worlds 2021

Edward Gaming has defeated DWG Kia to become the 2021 League of Legends World Champions. In a thrilling five-game series, EDG managed to undermine the seeming dominance of their LCK opponents DWG to take home the victory in a 3-2. 

The series started with a bang, as EDG immediately struck first, taking the first point from DWG in a shock upset start. DWG had been heavily favored heading into the series, with EDG, a lower seed from the LPL, being considered a weaker opponent than others DWG had crushed in the playoffs.

But in the opening game, EDG shocked DWG, decisively claiming first blood, before striking at Baron pit and winning a crucial team fight.


This put DWG on the back foot, with the Korean team playing with renewed intensity. The team quickly equalised in Game 2, and pushed into the lead in Game 3. Despite a bump in the road, it looked like DWG was on track to be champions.


But EDG never said die. The squad were able to equalize the score, forcing a brutal game 5 situation. With Worlds 2021 on the line, EDG faced off in a new best-of-one for the entire championship. 

EDG’s win ends DWG’s hopes for a repeat victory, after the team claimed the gold in Worlds 2020. The win also marks a return to form for China. The region raised the LoL Championship Trophy in 2019 and 2018, with Invictus Gaming and FunPlus Phoenix taking gold. But last year, Korea regained their champion status. 

The finals in Reykjavík, Iceland were somewhat marred by recent revelations of deception by Riot Games. But for EDG, the victory is as pure as it can be, becoming just the 9th team in history to claim a World Championship.

Categories
League of Legends

Riot Games Allowed Chinese Press to Worlds 2021, Ignoring Own Safety Measures

On Sep 9, many were disappointed to find out that Worlds 2021 would have no crowd, and no press. Content creators, endemic press, fans, etc. would not be allowed on site in Reykjavik, Iceland. 

In an official announcement, Riot Games outlined it’s desire to “focus on ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved in hosting, producing, and competing at the event.” However, in a new statement by Korizon’s Ashley Kang, and Dot Esports’s Jacob Wolf, it’s been revealed that several third-party new outlets from China, as well as LPL-affiliated content creators have been on site.

In the days leading up to Worlds 2021, all press and media were restricted from travelling to the event, despite repeated requests from news outlets. When pushed about the seeming attendance of Chinese media, Riot confirmed it had allowed them on site, in direct violation of their own previous safety measures.

When outlets pushed to request attendance for the upcoming finals for Worlds 2021, they were rebuffed. Riot Games seems content with it’s stance of allowing Chinese outlets and not the rest of the world to Worlds 2021.

Ultimately, this statement has sparked debate about Riot Games and their dubious media tactics once again. In 2018 and 2019, Journalist Richard Lewis found himself the subject of ire after pointing out the hypocrisy of Riot Games and it’s background control of the r/lol subreddit.

Beyond this, the increase in screened questions, open hostility to news outlets, and favouritism has soured many to the company. Riot Games is eager to present itself as a global company with international values. However, it’s actions seem incredibly far from those standards. 

Categories
League of Legends

Backlash after MAD Lions “owner” Slams Carzzy in Twitter Rant

Social media erupted late on Sunday evening (Oct 24) as it appeared that one of MAD Lion’s owners had heavily criticized the performance of Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság in a post on Twitter.

The tweet by “Revenant”, whose Twitter bio described him as a MAD Lions Co-owner, was a scathing critique of MAD Lion’s starting AD player. Roughly translated to english, the tweet stated that Elyoya and Kaiser are trying to carry the rest of the team. The tweet also claimed that Revenant thinks Carzzy is not good enough for the LEC level, and if it were up to him he’d have put Victor “Flakked” Lirola in as a sub.

Fans and personalities instantly jumped to the defense of Carzzy who felt it was incredibly unprofessional for an “owner” to criticize a player in this manner. 

However, in a tweet posted some time later, it was revealed that Revenant was not a MAD Lions owner at all. He was instead a partnered content creator who’d taken it upon himself to add the “co-owner” title to his Twitter profile.

In a statement by MAD Lions, the team backed Carzzy and stated they fully supported the team and all of its players.  

MAD Lions were eliminated from Worlds 2021 in a Quarter Finals match on the afternoon of Oct 24. The team managed to successfully navigate the group stage and put on a good showing for most of the tournament.  

However, many feel they faced one of the eventual finalists of the tournament in DWG Kia. MAD Lions were the last LEC team remaining in Worlds 2021.

Categories
League of Legends

Worlds 2021: Beyond Gaming Mid Laner Banned in Gambling Scandal

Worlds 2021 was hit by scandal yesterday evening (October 8) as Taiwanese team Beyond Gaming saw one of it’s players banned from the event for gambling related offences. 

Riot Games announced that PCS mid laner, Chien “Maoan” Mao-An, had been banned in a competitive ruling posted on their social media late last night. 

The ruling, attributed to Tom Martel, Riot Director of Operations, stated that Maoan had violated Rule 9.3 of the 2021 World Championship Ruleset (sic). Breaking of this rule, pertaining to gambling, mean that he would be suspended for the remainder of Worlds 2021, pending an investigation.

According to leaked texts and documents, it appears Maoan distributed details of his Champion picks ahead of their game against Galatasaray. The series, which Beyond Gaming won 3-2, was a crucial juncture in the Worlds 2021 play-in phase. 

The inside information could have been used to make wagers on betting sites. Champion picks are just one of many stakes esports gamblers can make on League of Legends.

Former player Michael “bigfatlp” Tang weighed in, detailing his take on the leaked images in an expletive ladened post. The payment for Maoan’s potentially lucrative picks appears to have been a single selfie. It appears that when the picks were wrong, the other party reported Maoan to Riot Games.

Maoan’s suspension means that Beyond Gaming must face Hanwha Life Esports, and top-tier mid laner Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon without their primary mid laner.

Fans and supporters of Beyond Gaming have universally condemned Maoan, but rallied behind teammate Chiu “Doggo” Tzu-Chuan. The bottom laner has been a stand-out player for his team, by some reports, single-handedly winning games for his squad.

Beyond Gaming faces HLE on October 9 at 13:00 CEST.

Categories
League of Legends

DetonatioN FocusMe Makes History At Worlds 2021

Japanese League of Legends team DetonatioN FocusMe have made history at Worlds 2021, becoming the first team from the country to make it to the group stage. The team defeated Cloud 9 during the play in stage to secure the victory.

Their victory secures a group stage spot for an LJL team for the first time in Worlds history.

DetonatioN FocusMe have become somewhat of a staple of international League of Legends competition in recent years. The team reached their first Worlds in 2018.

They followed it up with an 8-9th place finish at the 2019 Mid Season Invitational, and another trip to Worlds that year. Again the team failedd to make it out of the Play-in stage, but still took at least one series win that tournament.

The team missed out on Worlds in and MSI in 2020, but returned for MSI 2021, and now Worlds 2021. The playoff position already marks the highest finish at an international tournament for both the team, but the LJL region as a whole.

Surprise at the victory swept over the Twitter world as the LJL team claimed a win over North America’s Cloud9. NA’s representatives in the play-ins have underperformed, and may contribute once more to the NA flying home early memes.

But beyond salty NA fans, most who love competitive League of Legends are excited to see the tiny Japanese server represented well on the international stage.

Categories
League of Legends

League of Legends Netflix Series Gets Trailer and Release Date

After months of speculation and just teasers to go off, we now have concrete information about Arcane, Riot Games’ League of Legends-inspired Netflix Series. The developer released a full trailer on Saturday, September 25, as well as release dates and more details.

The trailer seems to show the story will focus on LoL characters Jinx and Vi and their lives in Piltover. What’s more, the trailer appeared to show Caitlyn, Jayce, Heimerdinger, and Viktor, giving us a full array of the Hex-tech wielding cities champions.

We’ve known about the series since May, when Netflix first leaked details. Netflix has recently taken a big drive into video games, and specifically Moba-related, IPs. The streaming platform debuted Dota 2: Dragon’s Blood earlier this year to critical acclaim. Now Dota 2’s rival game League of Legends is set to hit the platform.

Along with a trailer, we also found out more about the cast. Vi will be played by Hailee Stenfield, with sister Jinx played by Ella Purnell. Have will be played by Kevin Alejandro, and Caitlyn by Katie Leung. 

Riot also revealed the staggered release schedule of the series. The show will release in three episodes’ Acts,’ with the first debuting just after the end of Worlds 2021 on November 6. The remaining parts will release on November 13 and November 20, giving us a month of Arcane action.

The hype around the series is tremendous, as for years, fans have been clamoring for something deeper than League of Legends’ champion profiles to sink their teeth into. Comics and interactive events have satisfied up until now, but a whole Netflix series is sure to please dedicated LoL lore fans.