By Jake Heronemus
League of Legends was released in 2009 but still remains to be the number one played PC game in the world. The Season 3 League of Legends World Championship was the most watched Esports event in history with 32 million viewers during its airtime and 8.5 million viewers at one time.
To put this in context last year’s Season 2 World Championship was viewed by 8.2 million viewers and only 1.1 viewers at any one point in time.
League of Legends can seem like a pretty daunting undertaking when viewed from an over-the-shoulder perspective. It is fast-paced, a little confusing, and super exciting. League of Legends is a competitive online game which blends the speed and intensity of a real-time strategy game like Starcraft and the original Warcraft games with role-playing game elements much like its predecessor Dota 2.
There are many different elements which make LoL stand out on its own as a competitive video game. These elements include the vast selection of units called champions, the map setup, and the different ways which a group of three or five people may combine their forces to overcome the enemy team.
The first thing you do when starting a game of League is to decide whether you want two teammates or four. This determines your strategy and what map to play on because there are two maps designed for two teams of five and one team of three map.
Each map is split up into one to three lanes, including a middle lane, a top lane, and a bottom lane. The team of three map only has a top and bottom lane.
With each map, aside from a special team of five map, which is one path from your team base to the enemy base, there is an area called the Jungle. The Jungle is an area in between each of the lanes which houses many monsters which give gold and special passive powers to help champions gain more gold. While in lane, players receive gold by killing AI-controlled minion units which proceed down each lane in waves of seven.
The enemy base is guarded by three turrets evenly placed in each lane. These turrets have high health and damage output but only attack an enemy champion if one of their champions is attacked or if an enemy is the last to be in range of the turret’s attacks. There are two additional turrets at the end of the each base, protecting the power source called a Nexus. The Nexus is the main objective for each team, and has a large reservoir of health and the power it gives off will repair the two final turrets if they are not completely destroyed.
As of Oct. 10, there are 116 available champions to choose from in the game. These champions range from devious masterminds to epic monsters and everything in between. Each champion fits a different strategy and play style, and there are different types of champions. You can choose to be a tank, and take a lot of damage for your team. You can be a marksman and ping enemy champions from further away.
There are fighters and spell casters who use either physical or magical damage respectively to get up close and personal. A lot of players choose to play as assassins so they can turn invisible, get a hand up on the enemy champion, or be able to close gaps when chasing enemies down. My personal favorite is the support role where I get to generally assist my team.
Although the learning curve for League is steep at first, it evens out after a few matches and even faster if your first few matches are the tutorial missions. My experience in League of Legends has been overall a very happy one. I think the game is fun to play and acts as a nice time-passing tool. I give the game a solid eight out of 10, rather than a perfect 10, due to the learning curve.
There is a large community of summoners on campus and they always accept new players. If you would like to get into League of Legends I highly recommend it and you can learn more by asking around campus, emailing myself or Zenas Lopez at Zenas.email@example.com, or going to leagueoflegends.com.
Jake Heronemus is a junior majoring in communications. You may email him at Jacob.firstname.lastname@example.org