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

With Worlds on the Line, Sunday 22nd is Make or Break for 4 LoL Teams

League of Legends Worlds 2021 is set to kick off just a few months from now, but some of the best LoL Teams in the West find themselves on the edge of elimination from the event. Out of Team SoloMid, Cloud9, G2 Esports, and Fnatic, only two of these teams will make it to Worlds 2021.

In a landmark series of games over the weekend (Sunday 22), the very makeup of the LoL competitive scene is being reformed.

We break down these two huge matchups and how their outcomes will affect Worlds 2021.

Fnatic vs. G2 to Become an EU Representative at LoL Worlds 

Fnatic and G2 Esports are the two most decorated LoL teams in Europe. With dozens of championships between them, it would seem trivial that these teams would head to Worlds 2021. But, instead, we find them battling it out to even attend.

Despite their normal top-tier play, Fnatic has struggled in both Spring and Summer splits. Sitting strictly at the middle of the table, the team has barely made it to the playoffs in both seasons. Now they have to win this game to even find their way to Worlds 2021.

G2 Esports, with its new roster including Martin “Rekkles” Larsson (a former Fnatic player), has managed to top the tables but struggled in both post-seasons. After two playoffs, they now find themselves taking on historical rivals Fnatic for an international competition spot.

As the teams clash at 16:00pm BST, in a best-of-five competition, they’ll be battling for more than a semi-final spot. They’ll be fighting for survival and the chance to join the ascendant MAD Lions as Europe’s representative at Worlds 2021.

Cloud9 and TSM to Clash With LoL Worlds Spot on the Line

After an incredibly impressive 3-1 victory over Immortals on Friday, the regular season champs, TSM, now have Worlds squarely in their crosshairs. Their match against Cloud9 on Sunday is their most important all year.

On Thursday, Cloud9 3-0’d Evil Geniuses to secure their spot in this matchup. Having spent much of their summer split trying to replicate the success of Spring, the team now struggles in the post-season. By rights, they’d automatically be headed to Worlds alongside Team Liquid. But, instead, they face LCS rivals TSM for this semi-final spot.

What’s so crazy about this matchup is that it’s only round 3 of the Championship. There’s still a trio of incredible matchups on the way, although few will have as high stakes. In the morning, we saw the LPL and LCK have similarly high-profile matchups, and LoL Worlds 2021 feels closer than ever.