|League of Legends|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, macOS|
|Release||October 27, 2009|
|Genre(s)||Multiplayer online battle arena|
League of Legends (abbreviated LoL) is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows and macOS. The game follows a freemium model and is supported by microtransactions, and was inspired by the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne mod, Defense of the Ancients.
In League of Legends, players assume the role of an unseen "summoner" that controls a "champion" with unique abilities and battle against a team of other players or computer-controlled champions. The goal is usually to destroy the opposing team's "Nexus", a structure that lies at the heart of a base protected by defensive structures, although other distinct game modes exist as well. Each League of Legends match is discrete, with all champions starting off fairly weak but increases in strength by accumulating items and experience over the course of the game. The champions and setting blend a variety of elements, including high fantasy, steampunk, and Lovecraftian horror.
League of Legends was generally well received upon its release in 2009, and has since grown in popularity, with an active and expansive fanbase. By July 2012, League of Legends was the most played PC game in North America and Europe in terms of the number of hours played. In January 2014, over 67 million people played League of Legends per month, 27 million per day, and over 7.5 million concurrently during peak hours. League has among the largest footprints of any game in streaming media communities on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch.tv; it routinely ranks first in the most-watched hours. In September 2016, the company estimated that there are over 100 million active players each month. The game's popularity has led it to expand into merchandise, with toys, accessories, apparel, as well as tie-ins to other media through music videos, web series, documentaries, and books.
League of Legends has an active and widespread competitive scene. In North America and Europe, Riot Games organizes the League Championship Series (LCS), located in Los Angeles and Berlin respectively, which consists of 10 professional teams in each continent. Similar regional competitions exist in China (LPL), South Korea (LCK), Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau (LMS), and various other regions. These regional competitions culminate with the annual World Championship. The 2017 World Championship had 60 million unique viewers and a total prize pool of over US$4 million. The 2018 Mid-Season Invitational had an overall peak concurrent viewership of 19.8 million, while the finals had an average concurrent viewership of 11 million.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Business model
- 3 Setting and lore
- 4 Development
- 5 Release
- 6 Reception
- 7 Professional and collegiate competition
- 8 International competition
- 9 References
- 10 External links
League of Legends is a 3D, third-person multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game. The game consists of three current running game modes: Summoner's Rift, Twisted Treeline, and Howling Abyss. Another game mode, The Crystal Scar, has since been removed. Players compete in matches, lasting anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes on average. In each game mode, teams work together to achieve a victory condition, typically destroying the core building (called the Nexus) in the enemy team's base after bypassing a line of defensive structures called turrets, or towers.
In all game modes, players control characters called champions, chosen or assigned every match, who each have a set of unique abilities. Champions begin every match at a low level, and then gain experience over the course of the match to achieve a maximum level of 18. Gaining champion levels in matches allows players to unlock their champion's special abilities and augment them in a number of ways unique to each character. If a champion loses all their health, they are defeated but are automatically revived in their base after enough time passes. Players also begin each match with a low amount of gold, and can earn additional gold throughout the match in a variety of ways: by killing non-player characters known as minions and monsters; by killing or helping to kill enemy players; by destroying enemy structures; passively over time; and through unique item interactions or champion abilities. This gold can then be spent throughout the match to buy in-game items that further augment each champion's abilities and gameplay in a variety of ways. Champion experience, gold earned, and items bought are specific to each match and do not carry over to subsequent matches. Thus, all players begin each match on a more-or-less equal footing relative to their opposing team.
Across matches, players also earn rewards that are applied to their account. Player accounts begin at level one and progress onward with games played. Player level is separate from character level; both a level 30 account and a level 5 account would begin at character level 1 at the start of a new game. From 2009–2017, the maximum account level was 30, and as players progressed, they unlocked additional content and abilities. This system was reworked in November 2017, with the removal of the level 30 limit and removal of a Runes / Masteries system that gave-game bonuses to players based on their account level. Playing matches and leveling up provides "Blue Essence" (called "Influence Points" (IP) from 2009–2017), a currency that can be used in lieu of "real money" to access certain locked features.
Accounts are given rankings based on the Elo rating system, with proprietary adjustments by Riot Games. These ratings are used in automated matchmaking to make games with players of comparable skill level on each team.
League of Legends consists of three main maps, or "Fields of Justice." Each has different terrain, objectives as well as varied summoner spells and items. A fourth map, the Crystal Scar, was discontinued.
Summoner's Rift is the most popular map in League of Legends. On this map type, two teams of five players compete to destroy an enemy building called a Nexus, which is guarded by the enemy team and a number of defensive structures called turrets, or towers. One nexus is located in each enemy base on opposite sides of the map, in the lower-left and upper-right hand corners. These structures continually create weak non-player characters known as minions, which advance toward the enemy base along three paths: top, middle, and bottom lanes. Players compete to advance these waves of minions into the enemy base, which allows them to destroy enemy structures and ultimately win the match. Between lanes are neutral areas of the map known as the 'jungle', arrayed in four quadrants. A shallow river divides the map between the teams, but doesn't actually impede movement; all champions can wade through it no differently than dry land.
Each team wishes to defend its own structures and destroy the other team's structures. These include:
- Turrets – Each lane is guarded by powerful defensive structures called turrets. Turrets deal exceptionally high damage and will attack enemy minions and players that approach them. Turrets prioritize enemy minions in their vicinity, but will immediately attack enemy players if they attack allied players. Thus, by advancing an allied minion wave into the range of a turret, a player can do damage to the structure without themselves being attacked. When destroyed, turrets provide gold and experience. Turrets that are destroyed are destroyed permanently for that match and will not respawn. Some turrets, depending on location, will regenerate health over time if they are damaged but not destroyed.
- Inhibitor – Each lane contains one inhibitor. A lane's inhibitor can be attacked after a team has destroyed the three turrets guarding its lane. Destroying an inhibitor will cause the allied Nexus to spawn Super Minions, more powerful Minions that provide a buff to surrounding Minions. If destroyed, inhibitors will respawn after five minutes.
- Nexus – Each team has a Nexus that can only be damaged once all the turrets in a lane, that lane's inhibitor and the Nexus turrets are destroyed. Destruction of the enemy team's Nexus ends the game.
Some objectives are 'neutral', meaning that they will not attack champions who pass by, but champions can choose to fight them if they wish to gain a reward at the cost of having to fight for it. They include:
- Jungle monsters – Neutral monsters spawn at various intervals in the Jungle, and provides players with gold, experience, and sometimes other rewards for killing them. They are the most common neutral objective.
- Elemental Drakes/Elder Dragon – Elemental drakes are powerful monsters located in the bottom half of the river. All members of the team that kills the drake are provided with buffs that last the entire game and accrue cumulatively. The drakes are flavored after the Four Elements, with each drake granting a thematically appropriate buff. A random elemental drake will respawn six minutes after the previous one is killed. The Elder Dragon spawns instead after 35 minutes have passed in-game. When killed, it provides a stronger buff than an individual elemental drake, but is temporary, unlike the earlier drake rewards.
- Rift Herald – The Rift Herald is a powerful enemy located in the upper side of the River. Killing the Rift Herald allows it to be summoned again as a battering ram to attack enemy towers. This monster will never respawn after it is killed.
- Baron Nashor – Baron Nashor is the most powerful neutral enemy, located in the upper side of the River. It will spawn after twenty minutes, replacing the Rift Herald. All living members of the team that kills Baron Nashor are given a buff which makes nearby minions more powerful. Baron Nashor will respawn seven minutes after it is killed.
Many of the details have changed over time; League is not a static game, with mechanics being both introduced and removed since launch in 2009. For example, the Rift Herald was only added in 2016, and had its abilities reworked in 2017; Dragons gave gold rather than buffs from 2009–2014, and the dragons only became elementally flavored drakes in 2016; jungle monsters have been added and reworked; the length of time it took for inhibitors to respawn was 4 minutes rather than 5 minutes for a time; Baron Nashor gave a stronger buff to the statistics of champions but no buff to minions from 2009–2014; and so on.
In the Twisted Treeline, two teams of three players compete to destroy the opposing team's Nexus, which is guarded enemy Towers. It is conceptually similar to Summoner's Rift, but smaller to account for three vs. three rather than five vs. five. Rather than Summoner's Rift 3 lanes of turrets and 3 inhibitors, Twisted Treeline has only 2 lanes and 2 inhibitors, with the jungle in between. The other differences are the addition of two "Altars", control of which grants the occupying team a variety of bonuses, and the replacement of Baron Nashor with Vilemaw, an evil spider deity. Living members of the team that slays Vilemaw are granted a temporary bonus, similar to the one granted by Baron Nashor.
The Howling Abyss is used for "ARAM" (All Random All Mid) matches, and is five vs. five. The difference between the Abyss and the other maps is that there is only a single narrow lane of turrets and an inhibitor and no neutral jungle area. Thus, rather than skirmishes and hidden movement, the Abyss focuses exclusively on large team-fights in the sole middle lane. Players cannot return to their allied base to replenish health and mana or purchase items unless they have been killed. ARAM was launched as an official mode in September 2013.
The Crystal Scar was used for Dominion mode, a discontinued game format where teams of five players competed to capture control points and hold those points for the longest possible period of time. The map consists of a circle with 5 control points. Each team controls a base known as a fountain, located at the bottom left and right-hand corners of the map. Each team scores points by capturing and owning more objectives than the other team over time, which is then reduced from the other team's "life" total. These points count down from an initial score of 200. The first team to reduce the other team to 0 points wins. Dominion was launched on September 26, 2011 and was retired on February 22, 2016, although the Crystal Scar is used for certain other rotating formats, such as Ascension.
- The Tutorial is the first game type available to new players. The tutorial is played on the Howling Abyss and is intended to teach new players the rules and gameplay of League.
- Co-op Vs. AI is available to new players after completing or opting out of the Tutorial. It is played on Summoner's Rift, Twisted Treeline, and (formerly) the Crystal Scar, and pits teams of human players against an opposing team of computer-controlled artificial intelligence champions.
- Normal Matchmaking uses an automated matchmaking system to pair teams of similarly-skilled players against one another.
- Ranked Matchmaking is available to players upon reaching account level 30. It uses a similar system as Normal Matchmaking; however, pre-made teams must be of comparable ELO strength, so expert players and weak players are not allowed to team together in Ranked. After playing 8 or more Ranked games, accounts are given a public "rank" that roughly correlates with their ELO ranking.
- Custom Games allow players to play any map with any combination of player or AI teammates and opponents.
League of Legends also includes three ways teams may choose what champion they will play for a given match:
- Blind Pick allows the two teams to select their champions simultaneously. The players only learn the champion selections of the opposing team when the match begins. It is available on Summoner's Rift, Twisted Treeline, and the Crystal Scar for Normal Matchmaking games and Co-op vs. AI, and for all modes in custom games.
- Draft Pick allows each team to ban five champions each (a total of ten champions banned), removing them from the match. Teams then take turns selecting their champions while being able to see the selections of the other team. It is available on Summoner's Rift for matchmaking games, and for all modes in custom games.
- Random Pick randomly assigns a champion to each player. Players accumulate re-rolls by playing multiple matches, which they can use to randomly select another champion for that match. It is available on Howling Abyss for ARAM (All Random All Mid) games, and for all modes in custom games.
There are currently 144 champions in League of Legends as of May 14, 2019. League divides its champion types up a number of ways. The most salient difference is the type of damage a champion deals; some champions deal largely physical damage, which is resisted by the armor stat, and other champions deal largely magic damage, which is resisted by the magic resistance stat. Some champions deal with a combination of both and can choose which to emphasize; some rare abilities deal 'true' damage which is not mitigable by either armor or magic resistance. Riot Games has classified all champions as one of six types to aid beginners. Not all champions perfectly fit their type, of course. The official Riot classifications are as follows:
- Marksman: Marksmen, also known as "AD Carries", are ranged champions that usually deal with physical damage. These champions deal sustained damage over time rather than in a short burst, and are usually the best at destroying objectives like enemy turrets or elemental drakes. They tend to have weak defense, though. Examples of marksmen are Ashe, Caitlyn, Miss Fortune, and Varus.
- Mage: Mages, sometimes known as "AP Carries", are champions with powerful magic damage skills and support skills, but weak defense and low mobility. Mages are a diverse set of champions. Some emphasize killing single champions from range very quickly; some specialize in the area of effect damage to multiple targets; some specialize in immense range to attack enemies safely from afar. Examples of mages are Karthus, Lissandra, Lux, and Swain.
- Assassin: A champion who specializes in killing another champion as fast as possible, usually within melee range. These champions tend to go after the enemy's AD/AP Carry and other 'squishy' champions, but tend to have weak defenses themselves if caught. They are distinguished in having excellent mobility which allows them to reach and strike at priority targets. Examples of assassins are Diana, Fizz, Katarina, and Zed.
- Tank: Champions who are hard to kill and soak up damage for their team. In exchange, they usually deal less damage but can compensate with useful "crowd control" abilities to distract or disable enemies or force enemies to fight through them first before they can attack the "carries". Examples of tanks are Malphite, Sejuani, Rammus, and Zac.
- Fighter: Champions that blend the attributes of a damage dealer and tank, combining moderate survivability with damage. A common designation for close-range melee fighters, since they need to be able to survive long enough to close in on their target. Examples of fighters are Jax, Xin Zhao, Rek'Sai, and Wukong.
- Support: Champions whose skills are meant to directly aid the rest of the team by providing healing, buffing allies, debuffing the enemy team, or a combination of the above. Support champions often are paired with another champion in the early laning phase of the game where the support doesn't attack minions, but instead focuses on aiding their partner and harassing the enemy champions. Supports are also expected to pay the most attention to the map as a whole, placing wards which grant vision and watching for surprise enemy movements. Example of supports are Alistar, Nami, Soraka, and Taric.
Item choice plays an important role in the above and can shift the style of a champion. For example, if the champion Jarvan IV purchases all damage items, he functions something like an Assassin; he can kill enemies quickly but dies rapidly himself. If Jarvan buys all defensive items, he's a Tank focused on disruption and buffing his allies. Somewhere in-between, he's a Fighter. In the same way, champions like Morgana, Annie, and Lux can build item sets that are focused on high damage like a Mage, or item sets focused on disrupting enemies and aiding allies like a Support.
Featured game modes
Riot Games, starting in 2013, has released a number of special limited-time game modes. These special modes would usually be accessible for two weeks, then retired. In 2016, Riot announced that "Rotating Games Mode" would be a recurring event, so that every weekend a previously released game mode would be made accessible again for that weekend. Game modes include Ultra Rapid Fire (URF) and All Random Ultra Rapid Fire (ARURF), Hexakill (Twisted Treeline), One For All (Summoner's Rift), Nemesis Draft, Nexus Blitz, Nexus Siege, Legend of the Poro King, Doom Bots of Doom, and Hunt of the Blood Moon, Ascension, One For All (Howling Abyss), Hexakill (Summoner's Rift), Black Market Brawlers, Definitely Not Dominion, and Snowdown Showdown.
The Ultra Rapid Fire (URF) mode was originally a 2014 April Fools' Day prank that proved so popular it became a proper rotating game mode; in URF, champion abilities have no resource cost and have their cooldowns reduced by 80%, double the normal cap of 40% that can be attained through items. Additionally, champions have increased movement speed, reduced healing, faster passive gold gain, and faster attacks.
Teamfight Tactics is an "auto battler" game mode implemented on June 26, 2019. Based on the Dota 2 mod Dota Auto Chess, the mode centers around a battlefield consisting of hexagons, which players may take turns to strategically place champions onto a game board. After champions are placed, a short battle automatically commences, with the outcome - the number of champions killed - determining the health and gold of each player. Once a player's health is completely depleted, they are out of the game, with the last player standing being the winner. Through a feature called Shared Draft, every couple of rounds, players have access to a free arsenal of champions to select from. Players with lower health eventually are given the opportunity to choose their champions first, allowing for better odds for them to recover during a losing game.
League of Legends is funded through microtransactions using Riot Points (RP), an in-game currency that can be purchased by players in the client store. RP can be used to purchase champions, champion skins, ward skins, summoner icons, emotes, and certain multi-game boosts. An additional currency, Blue Essence (BE) (known as Influence Points from 2009–2017), is earned by playing the game and leveling up. League of Legends is free-to-play and all in-game purchases with a material effect on game-play may be acquired by either RP or BE. The final currency, Orange Essence (OE), can be used to unlock champion skins, ward skins, summoner icons, and emotes via the "Hextech Crafting".
Setting and lore
League of Legends takes place in the fictional world of Runeterra. In Runeterra, the champions of League of Legends are a collection of heroes and villains who have a variety of backstories, often related to the political struggles of the various countries of the main continent of Valoran. Additionally, some champions are extraplanar and come from worlds other than Runeterra, but are visiting for their own purposes. These champions sometimes clash with each other, roughly reflected in the gameplay of League of Legends.
The setting has gone through two phases: the "original" setting that was canon from 2009–2014, and the rebooted setting from 2014–present. The original setting was very focused on justifying the exact mechanics of a game of League in the world of Runeterra. The MOBA predecessor to League, Defense of the Ancients, featured two warring sides with two separate hero rosters; however, in League, any combination of champions was legal to create a team. To explain this, in the original setting, Valoran was functionally ruled by extremely powerful time mages who could intimidate the other nations into compliance with their whims. They created the "Institute of War", also known as the "League of Legends", to resolve disputes and act as something like an international sports league. In these disputes, "Summoners" (a.k.a. the game player) could control any of Runeterra's greatest heroes or villains in their struggles, thus justifying why a team of 5 characters who all hated each other might form. Additionally, these time mages would actually power-down the characters to "level 1" before each match to make things 'fair'; some character's backstories even involved them explicitly having their powers sealed by the Institute of War due to them being too powerful otherwise, such as the demigoddesses Kayle and Morgana. This explained why characters might participate in multiple matches and have to relearn the same skills each time. After a match, a "Judgment" would sometimes be handed down, with the winning Summoners able to give land and privileges to those they favored.
The narrative team at Riot eventually decided this setup was too constraining, and "rebooted" the story behind League of Legends in 2014. In essence, the original story put too much emphasis on the faceless player stand-in Summoners and the Time Mages of the Institute; "the very idea of all-powerful Summoners made Champions little more than puppets manipulated by godlike powers." Any interesting champions the Narrative team created were rendered as secondary, mere servants to the Summoners, unable to influence their own destiny. Many champion's lore did not give them reason to join the Institute, such as serial killer fire spirit Brand or void monster Rek'Sai. Riot wished to let champions take the center stage and have stories of their own, pursuing their own unique goals. For example, Riot has since released a plotline about a lost empire in the Shurima desert and a plotline about a clash between the pirate Gangplank and the pirate-hunter Miss Fortune in the city of Bilgewater, both of which were driven by the champions of League of Legends, not Summoners. Riot compared this style of narrative to comic book characters and classic literature, where interesting characters can have many adventures over time and not necessarily have all of them make sense in the same continuity. A side effect of this is "that the game and story aren’t one-to-one copies of each other."
The world of Runeterra consists of a number of countries and city-states, locked in a web of rivalry, alliance, and conflict. The two largest and most powerful entities are the states of Demacia and Noxus, who have fought wars in the past, and are in a Cold War-esque state currently, with each seeking to quietly undermine the other. Demacia is inspired by an idealized Medieval European kingdom, while Noxus is reminiscent of the Roman Empire. Demacian champions tend to value themes like chivalry and honor, while Noxus prides itself on vision, might, and guile. Piltover and Zaun are a city-state at the forefront of technology; Piltover, the "respectable" half of the city, has a "steampunk" style, while Zaun, the neglected undercity of Piltover, is a darker vision of the power of technology, engaging in ethically questionable research. The Freljord is an icy domain riven by a three-way civil war between rival claimant Queens Ashe, Sejuani, and Lissandra. Bandle City is a peaceful domain of yordles, a race of small humanoids unique to League of Legends. Ionia is an island nation with a strong connection to magic and features champions inspired by monk and ninja archetypes, as well the Vastaya, a race of animal-human hybrid creatures also unique to League of Legends. Bilgewater is a port town with a pirate theme. The Shadow Isles is an island chain that was magically corrupted, and has become haunted by a malign force known as the "Black Mist" which leeches life and empowers the undead. Targon is an ancient mountain peak with a Greek mythology theme. Shurima is a recently resurrected empire that was until recently lost to the desert, with a somewhat Egyptian theme. Icathia is another fallen and abandoned city where Void monsters from another dimension have crossed into Runeterra, with a Lovecraftian theme.
Of the current maps, Summoner's Rift is set at the Institute of War from the 'original' League storyline; the Twisted Treeline is set in the Shadow Isles; and the Howling Abyss map is set in the Frejlord.
The game's developer, Riot Games, was co-founded by Brandon "Ryze" Beck and Marc "Tryndamere" Merrill, who were roommates while they attended the University of Southern California. They partnered with Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, the previous designer of the popular Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne custom map Defense of the Ancients, and Steve "Pendragon" Mescon, the administrator of the former official support base for the map, to develop League of Legends.
The original inspiration for "DotA" was a 1998 mod for StarCraft created by community member Aeon64 called "Aeon of Strife". After the release of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its subsequent World Editor in 2002, DotA was created by another modder, Eul. He ported and expanded the "Aeon of Strife" mod to the new engine and named it "Defense of the Ancients". Guinsoo later made DotA Allstars by inserting his own mix of content to "DotA", greatly expanding the number of heroes, added recipes and items, and introduced various gameplay changes. Guinsoo then passed the mod to IceFrog after accepting a job at the newly formed Riot Games.
The idea of a spiritual successor to Defense of the Ancients was that it would be its own stand-alone game with its own engine, rather than another mod of Warcraft III, began to materialize at the end of 2005. League of Legends was born "when a couple of very active DotA community members believed that the gameplay was so much fun and so innovative that it represented the spawning of a new genre and deserved to be its own professional game with significantly enhanced features and around-game services."
Riot Games officially opened its office in September 2006, and, as of 2013, has over 1,000 people working on League of Legends. According to Marc Merrill, when creating the various champions in the game, instead of leaving the champion creation to just a few people, they decided to open up the champion creation process to everyone in the company based on a template where they could vote on which champions made it into the game.
League of Legends was released on October 27, 2009. Riot Games self-publishes and operates the game and all of its customer service aspects in North America. Riot Games has signed deals regarding the distribution of League of Legends in Asia, Europe, and North America. By July 2013, the game has been released and was distributed in Australia, the United States, Canada, Europe, Philippines, and South Korea.
The game is distributed in China by Tencent Inc., the largest Internet value-added services company in China best known for its QQ Instant Messaging client. The game has been distributed to Tencent's growing 300 million Internet user base through its leading QQ Game portal. The deal was one of only a handful of partnerships to bring a U.S.-developed online game directly to China.
In Europe, Riot Games initially signed an international licensing partnership with GOA, the video games department of Orange's Content Division and Europe's largest gaming portal. On October 13, 2009, GOA and Riot announced that they would start channeling server access for players located in Europe to GOA's dedicated servers. This partnership did not last; on May 10, 2010, Riot Games announced that they would take over distribution and operation of the game in Europe. To do so, Riot Games established a European HQ in Dublin.
On July 16, 2010, Riot Games announced that Garena would publish the game in Southeast Asia. Additionally, Southeast Asian players had the ability "transfer accounts" to import their progress stored in North American or European servers into the Southeast Asian server. The game has since been distributed by Garena in Taiwan as well.
In March 2013, Riot Games released a beta version of an OS X client in addition to their Windows client. The Mac client was since moved out of beta and OS X / macOs players have had full access to League.
Riot has since expanded to many countries, after the initial North America / Europe / Korea / Garena's Southeast Asia launch. In 2012, a Brazilian and Turkish server were added; in 2013, Latin American and Russian servers; and a beta of a Japanese server was launched in 2016.
League of Legends received generally favorable reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. IGN initially awarded League of Legends an 8 out of 10 in 2009, highlighting an enjoyable game design, inventive champion design with good customization options, and lively visuals. However, the game's confusing launch was criticized: it was felt that the title was released too early, with some features missing and others to be removed. Finally, the reviewer noted that high level players in the game have "little patience for newcomers", though the reviewer believed that matchmaking (not implemented at the time of review) would solve the problem by matching players of similar level together.
Leah B. Jackson of IGN re-reviewed the game in 2014, changing IGN's score from 8.0 to 9.2. Jackson hailed the game "as an example of excellence", praising the variety of champions, rewarding progression systems, and fast but intensely strategic team play. As compared to fellow MOBA games Heroes of Newerth and Dota 2, Mike Minotti of VentureBeat considered League of Legends as the easiest to learn and to have fastest gameplay pace of the three, while the other two feature more complex gameplay mechanics and are considered closer in style to the original DoTA All-Stars. In 2015, the game placed 15th on USgamer's The 15 Best Games Since 2000 list.
In November 2011, Riot Games stated that League of Legends had accumulated 32.5 million players, 11.5 million of whom play monthly, of which 4.2 million play daily. Riot said in October 2013, the game had 12 million active daily players and 32 million active monthly players. In January 2014, the game had 27 million active daily players, 7.5 million concurrent players at peak times, and 67 million active monthly players. Global concurrent users online peaked at over 5 million players as of March 2013.
By March 2012, League of Legends had become the #1 title in Korean PC cafés. League continues to be popular in Korea; it remained the #1 game until the middle of 2016, when Overwatch displaced it, and is still the #2 game (disclaimer: these numbers do not include home playership rates). In July 2012, Xfire released a report stating that League of Legends was the most played PC game in North America and Europe, with 1.3 billion hours logged by players in those regions between July 2011 and June 2012. League of Legends is also popular in the Philippines, and was the second most played game in internet cafés in the country in June 2013, behind Defense of the Ancients. In Taiwan, it is estimated that almost five percent of the entire population had played the game by 2016, with almost a million players subscribed on the server.
As of August 2018, the game has an active user base of over 111 million players. As of 2018, the game has an annual revenue of $1.4 billion, making it one of the highest-grossing games of 2018, behind Fortnite and Dungeon Fighter Online.
Awards and nominations
In 2009, the game won the Reader's Choice award for PC Best Strategy Game in IGN's Best of 2009 Awards, and the PC Gamers' Choice in GameSpy's Gamers' Choice Awards 2009. In 2017, the game was nominated for Best Spectator Game in IGN's Best of 2017 Awards.
|2010||1st Game Developers Online Choice Awards||Best Online Technology, Visual Arts, Game Design, New Online Game, Audience Award||Won|||
|Golden Joystick Awards 2010||Online Game of the Year||Won|||
|2011||Golden Joystick Awards 2011||Best Free-to-Play Game||Won|||
|2015||The Game Awards 2015||eSports Game of the Year Award||Nominated|||
|2017||2017 Teen Choice Awards||Choice Video Game||Nominated|||
|Golden Joystick Awards 2017||eSports Game of the Year||Nominated|||
|The Game Awards 2017||Best eSports Game||Nominated|||
|2018||45th Annie Awards||Best Animated Television/Broadcast Commercial (Legends Never Die)||Nominated|||
|2018 National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards||Game, eSports||Nominated|||
|2018 Italian Video Game Awards||Radio 105 eSports Game of the Year||Nominated|||
|16th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards||Best Original Song ("Legends Never Die")||Nominated|||
|39th Sports Emmy Awards||Outstanding Live Graphic Design||Won|||
|Golden Joystick Awards 2018||eSports Game of the Year||Nominated|||
|The Game Awards 2018||Best eSports Game||Nominated|||
|Gamers' Choice Awards||Fan Favorite Game||Nominated|||
|Fan Favorite eSports Moment (Cloud9's League of Legends World Run)||Nominated|
|Fan Favorite eSports Game||Nominated|
|Fan Favorite eSports League Format (Championship Series)||Nominated|
|Gaming Moment of the Year (Tyler1 returns to League of Legends)||Nominated|
|Fan Favorite eSport Event of the Year (League of Legends Worlds)||Nominated|
|Australian Games Awards||eSports Title of the Year||Nominated|||
|2019||17th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards||Best Original Song ("Pop/Stars" by K/DA)||Nominated|||
|2019 Italian Video Game Awards||eSports Game of the Year||Nominated|||
Professional and collegiate competition
League of Legends is one of the largest eSports, with various annual tournaments taking place worldwide. In terms of eSports professional gaming as of June 2016 2016, League of Legends has had US$$29,203,916 in prize money, 4,083 players, and 1,718 tournaments, compared to Dota 2's US$64,397,286 of prize money, 1,495 players, and 613 tournaments.
At the collegiate level, Riot Games sponsors play of the game by college teams in the United States and Canada, offering scholarship money to teams that reach their conference playoffs. Riot organizes their own four regional conferences, but also partners with two NCAA athletic conferences, the Peach Belt Conference and Big Ten Conference, who organize their own conference play based on their existing institutional membership. Additionally, since 2017, the Big Ten has partnered with Riot to provide $35,000 in scholarship funds yearly to each of the Big Ten's 14 member teams and to broadcast play on the conference's own television network, BTN, through 2019.
League of Legends is part of the electronic sports demonstration events in the 2018 Asian Games, held in Indonesia. Eight countries are able to participate after qualifying from their respective regional qualification tournaments, with Indonesia automatically qualified as the host nation.
| South Korea
| Chinese Taipei|
- Nguyen, Thierry (September 1, 2009). "Clash of The DOTAs". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on November 28, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2009.
- "New Player Guide". League of Legends. Riot Games. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Gaudiosi, John (July 11, 2012). "Riot Games' League Of Legends Officially Becomes Most Played PC Game In The World". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Sheer, Ian (January 27, 2014). "Player Tally for 'League of Legends' Surges". Wsj.com. Archived from the original on January 30, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
- Twitch's 10 most-watched games of 2015 Archived February 26, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
- The 10 most streamed video games this week Archived February 27, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 3, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- https://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2016/09/13/riot-games-reveals-league-of-legends-has-100-million-monthly-players/#14cd760910b1 Archived January 15, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
- "2015 SEASON: 10 Teams, Expansion Tournament & Circuit Points". Archived from the original on March 20, 2015.
- 2016 League of Legends World Championship By the Numbers Archived December 25, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
- Update: Fan Contribution to Worlds 2017 Prize Pool Archived January 30, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
- "2018 Mid-Season Invitational By the Numbers". www.lolesports.com. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
- "New Player Guide". leagueoflegends.com. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014.
- "Game Modes". leagueoflegends.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014.
- "Retiring Dominion | League of Legends". na.leagueoflegends.com. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
- "Champions : League of Legends". Riot Games. Archived from the original on February 28, 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
- Upcoming Changes To Leveling, IP, & Rewards Archived November 7, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. Riot Games.
- "New Player Guide". Leagueoflegends.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "Summoner's Rift". leagueoflegends.com. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015.
- "League of Legends Objectives guide: Priority and Timers". boosteria.org. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.
- Rift Herald Archived July 6, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
- 2016 Season Update Archived November 7, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
- "The Twisted Treeline". leagueoflegends.com. Archived from the original on July 2, 2015.
- League Of Legends' "All Random All Mid" Mode Gets Official Archived June 29, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
- "The Crystal Scar". leagueoflegends.com. Archived from the original on January 25, 2014.
- League of Legends: Dominion mode launches Archived August 22, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
- "Retiring Dominion". Archived from the original on March 16, 2016.
- "Matchmaking Guide". Riot Games Support. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015.
- League of Legends Champions list
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 21, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Beginners Guide to League of Legends". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015.
- Mackey, Patrick (May 9, 2013). "The Summoner's Guidebook: How do assassins work in League of Legends?". Engadget. Archived from the original on August 17, 2017.
- ROTATING GAME MODES FAQ Archived December 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- "Riot Broke League Of Legends, And Fans Love It". Kotaku. Archived from the original on April 4, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- "League of Legends Releases Ultra Rapid Fire Mode". IGN. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- Gilroy, Joab. "An Introduction to Auto Chess, Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords". IGN. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- Ye, Josh. "Auto battlers started with Dota Auto Chess and now Valve and Riot Games are joining in". Abacus. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
- Gilliam, Ryan. "Riot Games is making its own League of Legends Auto Chess game". Polygon. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- Gnox, Tommy (September 4, 2014). "Dev Blog: Exploring Runeterra". Riot Games. Archived from the original on December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- Plunkett, Luke (September 4, 2014). "League Of Legends Just Destroyed Its Lore, Will Start Over". Kotaku. Archived from the original on December 16, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- http://kotaku.com/league-of-legends-takes-its-new-lore-for-a-test-drive-1633297077 Archived December 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- League Of Legends Just Killed Off A Champion Archived December 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- "Regions". Riot Games. Archived from the original on March 1, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Demacia". Riot Games. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Noxus". Riot Games. Archived from the original on March 23, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Piltover". Riot Games. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Freljord". Riot Games. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Ionia". Riot Games. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Shadow Isles". Riot Games. Archived from the original on April 5, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Shurima". Riot Games. Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- "Void". Riot Games. Archived from the original on May 21, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- New 'Twisted Treeline' Map Now Live! A Complete List Of Shadow Isles Patch Changes To 'League Of Legends' 3v3 Map Archived December 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- "Riot Games Insider Team". Riot Games. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
- Mike Minotti (September 1, 2014). "The history of MOBAs: From mod to sensation". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on April 20, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
- Hansen, Dustin (November 22, 2016). Game On!: Video Game History from Pong and Pac-Man to Mario, Minecraft, and More. New York, NY, USA: Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC. p. 458. ISBN 1250080959. Archived from the original on April 20, 2017.
- Ford, Suzie. "League of Legends: Marc Merrill Q&A". Warcry Network. Defy Media, LLC. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- Mike Snider (July 11, 2013). "'League of Legends' makes big league moves". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
- "RIOT GAMES INVITES ALL GAMERS TO JOIN THE LEAGUE OF LEGENDS BETA BEFORE START OF THE PRE-SEASON" (PDF). Riotgames.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 24, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "League of Legends pre-season to begin October 27, 2009!". Riot Games. September 29, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- "League of Legends - GameSpot.com". GameSpot. Archived from the original on March 19, 2013. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Maierbrugger, Arno (July 25, 2013). "Top PC games in Filipino computer cafés". Inside Investor. Archived from the original on August 9, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- "Riot Games Inc establishes EMEA Headquarters in Dublin". IDA Ireland. July 15, 2010. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
- "Riot Games Partners with Garena to bring League of Legends to Southeast Asia". Riot Games. July 16, 2010. Archived from the original on July 22, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- "首頁 《英雄聯盟 LoL》官方網站". 《英雄聯盟 LoL》官方網站 - 全球第一多人連線���戲，挑戰你的電子競技夢想！ (in Chinese). Archived from the original on February 6, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
- "Review: League of Legends makes its way to the Mac". MacWorld. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 1, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Riot Games Tokyo". Riot Games. Archived from the original on February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- "League of Legends is coming to Japan!". in2 LoL. Archived from the original on February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- "League of Legends Japan Server Got its First Game Trailer". MMOSite. Archived from the original on February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- "League of Legends for PC". Metacritic. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- "League of Legends for PC from 1UP". 1UP. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- "League of Legends – Review – PC". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- Hunt, Geoff. "League of Legends Review for the PC". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- "GameSpy The Consensus League of Legend Review". GameSpy. Archived from the original on April 26, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- "League of Legends – PC – Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on May 10, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- Jackson, Leah B. (February 13, 2014). "League of Legends Review – PC Review at IGN". Archived from the original on August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
- Butts, Steve. "League of Legends Review". IGN. Archived from the original on November 10, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
The strategy elements are sound, and it can be fun to just pick a lane and start chewing through minions as you work your way towards enemy towers and champions. But sometimes it feels like League of Legends throws too much at the player, both in terms of the number of champions and the general confusion of the larger battles. While that's not enough to dampen your enthusiasm of the game, the vague status of the launch and the more-than-occasional hostility of the community just might.
- Minotti, Mike (July 27, 2013). "Comparing MOBAs: Dota 2 vs. League of Legends vs. Heroes of Newerth". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 3, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Page 2: The 15 Best Games Since 2000: Number 15 through 11". USgamer. Gamer Network. July 28, 2015. Archived from the original on July 29, 2015. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
- Ryze (November 18, 2011). "Community Grows to 32 Million". Archived from the original on September 22, 2012.
- Purchese, Robert (January 28, 2014). "LOL: 27 million people play it every day!". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on January 30, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- "League of Legends players summit a new peak". Riot Games. March 13, 2013. Archived from the original on March 19, 2013. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- "League of Legends now #1 Game in Korea". Mmo-champion.com. Archived from the original on October 26, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- Prell, Sophie (January 29, 2013). "League of Legends plans to dominate eSports with consistency, quality, and accessibility". The PA Report. Archived from the original on August 26, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- "Report: Overwatch overtakes League of Legends as Korean net cafes' most popular game". Archived from the original on June 27, 2016.
- https://gangnamgamers.com/top-20-games-in-korean-pc-bangs-rankings-dde93eeaf20c#.9fx91lg6s[permanent dead link]
- Maierbrugger, Arno (July 2013). "Top PC games in Filipino computer cafés". Investvine. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
- "Taipei lights up to celebrate". Taipei lights up to celebrate 1 million LoL players. Archived from the original on March 15, 2016.
- "Culture clash: Why Arena of Valor is struggling in America". GamesIndustry.biz. August 10, 2018. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- "Market Brief – 2018 Digital Games & Interactive Entertainment Industry Year In Review". SuperData Research. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- Jonathan Currinn (October 23, 2018). "Basshunter Has Released His First Single In 5 Years This Week Titled 'Masterpiece' Inspired By League Of Legends". CelebMix. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
- "PC Best Strategy Game Readers' Choice 2009". IGN. December 21, 2009. Archived from the original on March 1, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- "PC Gamers' Choice 2009". GameSpy. December 21, 2009. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- "Best of 2017 Awards: Best Spectator Game". IGN. December 20, 2017. Archived from the original on December 26, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- Gamasutra staff (October 28, 2010). "Riot's League of Legends Leads Game Developers Choice Online Award Winners". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on June 2, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
- Pakinkis, Tom (October 30, 2010). "GJ10: Online Game Of The Year is..." Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- Liebl, Matt (October 22, 2011). "League of Legends Wins 2011 Golden Joystick Award for Best Free-to-Play Game". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 23, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- "Nominees | The Game Awards 2015". The Game Awards. Ola Balola. November 12, 2015. Archived from the original on November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
- Rubin, Rebecca; Knapp, JD (August 13, 2017). "Teen Choice Awards 2017: 'Riverdale,' Fifth Harmony Shut Out Competition". Variety. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
- Gaito, Eri (November 13, 2017). "Golden Joystick Awards 2017 Nominees". Best in Slot. Archived from the original on January 10, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- Makuch, Eddie (December 8, 2017). "The Game Awards 2017 Winners Headlined By Zelda: Breath Of The Wild's Game Of The Year". GameSpot. Archived from the original on December 9, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- Flores, Terry (December 4, 2017). "'Coco' Tops 2018 Annie Awards Nominations With 13". Variety. Archived from the original on December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
- "Nominee List for 2017". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. February 9, 2018. Archived from the original on February 15, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- "Horizon wins 7; Mario GOTY". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
- "Italian Video Game Nominees and Winners 2018". Italian Video Game Awards. March 14, 2018. Archived from the original on March 21, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- "2018 Awards". Game Audio Network Guild. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
- Stewart, Jack (May 9, 2018). "League of Legends becomes the first esport title to win an Emmy after last year's World Championship display". Daily Mail. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- Hoggins, Tom (September 24, 2018). "Golden Joysticks 2018 nominees announced, voting open now". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
- Sheridan, Connor (November 16, 2018). "Golden Joystick Awards 2018 winners: God of War wins big but Fortnite gets Victory Royale". GamesRadar+. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
- McWhertor, Michael (November 13, 2018). "The Game Awards 2018 nominees led by God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2". Polygon. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
- Grant, Christopher (December 6, 2018). "The Game Awards 2018: Here are all the winners". Polygon. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- Glyer, Mike (November 19, 2018). "2018 Gamers' Choice Awards Nominees". File 770. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
- "Your 2018 Winners". Australian Games Awards. December 19, 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
- Lagumbay, Emmanuel (February 14, 2019). "2019 G.A.N.G. Awards Finalists". Game Audio Network Guild. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
- "Italian Video Game Awards Nominees and Winners". Italian Video Game Awards. April 11, 2019. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
- Segal, David (October 10, 2014). "Behind League of Legends, E-Sports's Main Attraction". New York Times. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 10, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on January 12, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 12, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 12, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "AESF Game Result" (PDF). Asian Electronic Sports Federation. July 11, 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 31, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: League of Legends|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to League of Legends.|