Since its release in 2009, League of Legends, a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) developed by Riot Games, has exponentially grown in complexity and popularity. With such a huge, dedicated fan base it's no wonder its online community continues to grow. In fact, many players don't even know how small they are in the grand scheme of League of Legends. Check out some of these insane facts about the world's most played online game.
There are over 100 playable Champions!
In LoL, you take on the role of a Summoner, leading champions into head-to-head battles. The most common battlefield is Summoner's Rift, an arena in which teams of 5 champions compete to destroy the other's 'Nexus'. There are currently 126 champions to choose from, each with a unique set of skills. From Annie to Gangplank, from Morgana to Karthus, there are many ways to succeed as a Summoner. With new champions released regularly and champion stats changing periodically, League's replay value is immeasurable. By working together, the right line-up of champions are capable of unbelievable things!
Still a bit confused? Watch below to learn the basics:
Riot! Games Makes Bank With LoL Alone
The developers at Riot haven't even released another game yet. League generates all their revenue and it's far from chump change.
They made over 1 billion dollars last year: that equates to 18 million every 5 days. It is by far the most profitable MOBA in the market right now, even surpassing its biggest competitor, DOTA 2. Capital coming in from merchandising, professional circuit events, and players purchasing Riot Points (digital currency used to buy champions and skins) makes for a pretty large nest egg. Word on the street is Riot is finally developing a new game, but with League's success, they don't need to from a profit standpoint.
Player Stats Have Reached Legendary Proportions
From humble beginnings, League has amassed a player base almost too massive to comprehend. As of 2014, the stats are simply staggering:
- Over 67 million players battle it out in League every month (more than World of Warcraft)
- More than 27 million people play at least one game of League every day
- Over 7.5 million players simultaneously play League during daily peak hours
You Can Actually Learn Useful Skills Playing LoL
Despite all the common judgement gamers receive on a daily basis, most League players are not lazy nerds with no social skills. It is, after all, a team game. Life skills such as teamwork, planning, strategy, decision making and performing under stress can be improved with regular play. Its a common misconception that video games are easy and mind-numbing. League of Legends requires the player to react quickly, plan wisely, be able to recover from unexpected setbacks and communicate effectively.
Some teams communicate so well and are so crafty, they can come from behind and steal a win in less than 2 minutes. Don't believe me? Spectate a ranked game. The clear importance of team cohesion and communication will be easy to spot: just watch this end of game video from a professional circuit game. Displayed at the end is a 'backdoor' win, in which the rest of the team distracts and draws the enemy team away while a lone player ends the game:
Professional Games Are Wildly Popular
The 2015 League of Legends World Championships was broadcast live on Twitch and spectated in person at sold out venues. The thought of professional gamers makes many people laugh, but these guys are not joking. There are currently 10 pro teams operating in North America, another 10 in Europe, and several more throughout many regions of Asia. These professional teams work hard and play many games throughout the regular season to secure a chance to compete with the best teams in the world.
Pros make a salary for what they do and have their own fans. Teams get sponsored by well known brands such as iBuyPower, Intel, HTC, Logitech, even Coke Zero. eSports is becoming a powerhouse, and League of Legends is the most watched one. Every fan has a favorite team, every team has a website. Every website sells team branded merchandise and endorses their sponsors' products...sounds like football, racing and soccer, right? The attention the professional circuit receives is unbelievable. And it is surprisingly fun to watch: with in-game commentary and pre/post game discussion by hosts, interviews with players, etc.
Whether you love or hate the idea of eSports, there's no denying its staining power. I, for example, used to play LoL around the time of it's release then stopped due to lack of time and skill. Now, I follow my favorite pro team, Cloud 9, and enthusiastically stream as many games as my schedule will allow. Spectating the pros has actually reawakened my desire to play: I can only get better right?
Watch an entire World Championship match below! This particular match is quite entertaining and showcases the strengths of my Cloud 9 lovelies!