League of Legends. © Riot Games

League of Legends is the finest example of the multiplayer online battle arena genre, a real-time strategy game published and developed by Riot Games. Developers adopted and tweaked some of the concepts that made Defense of the Ancient famous and introduced more than 100 new characters. Although the game is inspired by the famous Warcraft 3 mod, it is truly innovative and has a smooth learning curve that makes it more suitable to beginners.

Key facts about League of Legends

  • LoL has rules that are easy to pick up, an easy progression system and the League of Legends requirements are reasonable allow for the game to run smoothly on all devices.
  • The game is funded by micro transactions that are completely voluntary, while the basic package is available for free to anyone.
  • League of Legends has more than 100 heroes and new champions are introduced often and all of them can be purchased with virtual currency.
  • This game is famous for each its customization options and players are given the freedom to purchase League of Legends skins to enhance the visuals of their heroes.
  • Players who choose to enjoy the game for free and paying customers have the same chances to make it to the top and the latter don’t have any special privileges.

What is League of Legends?

League of Legends is a free to play multiplayer online battle arena, where players compete on one of the four maps. The gameplay differs slightly for each map, but ultimately players need to defeat opponents and destroy their nexus. The game is funded through micro purchases, with players spending real cash on Riot Points that can be turned into by skins, champions and various bundles.

Screenshot of League of Legends. © Riot Games
Screenshot of League of Legends. © Riot Games

The League of Legends characters can also be unlocked using Influence Points which are earned at the end of each round. The IP are of great importance as they are only currency accepted for purchasing League of Legends runes. Since these have a positive impact in-game and enhance the skills and abilities of all heroes, Influence Points are worth accumulating.

Gameplay of League of Legends

League of Legends is played on four distinct maps as follows: Summoner's Rift, Twisted Treeline, Crystal Scar and Howling Abyss. The average length of a game is 30 minutes, but many last as long as one hour. A few come to an end before the 20 minutes mark. This is the threshold after which players are allowed to surrender.

En route to defeating the enemy nexus, players capture and control strategic points. These actions result in advantages for the teams. At the beginning of the match, the champions in League of Legends start from Level 1 and go up to Level 18. As they grow, they unlock new and more powerful abilities. The gold they accumulate can be spent on increasingly powerful artifacts.

Any League of Legends guide will encourage players to kill as many AI controlled minions and monsters. Players receive gold for each kill and the biggest amounts are awarded to those who manage to kill an opposing hero. While all the players start as relative equals, before the game begins, they can choose a different set of basic abilities and special runes. The latter are purchased with IP points, so those who spend enough time playing the game will be able to unlock all of them without paying at all.

The League of Legends Runes and Masteries need to be factored in by professional players, as they give a slight advantage which counts at the highest level. In the absence of a single player campaign, the multiplayer is all that matters and the advanced matchmaking pits players against opponents of a similar Elo ratio. The system also punishes those who quit the game, display poor behavior or insult their opponents and teammates by swiftly handling bans.

Screenshot of League of Legends. © Riot Games
Screenshot of League of Legends

Plot of League of Legends

As mentioned above, League of Legends has no mission pack and no campaign whatsoever, but multiplayer action is extremely complex. Blind Pick and Draft Pick are the most popular ways to select the champions before the game begins, with the latter allowing players to ban three League of Legends characters. Team Builder and ARAM are new additions to the game, forcing players to play random heroes or encouraging them to construct teams based on their chosen role.

Despite the fact that League of Legends lacks a campaign, therefore has no proper plot, the Champion introduction makes the absence go unnoticed. There are more than 100 heroes right now and they fall into six main categories, serving as assassins, fighters, mages, support heroes, tanks and marksmen. All of them are introduced with glamorous short videos, and Riot made sure that they come with a short and clear description of their skills as well as a compelling narrative.

Development of League of Legends

Riot Games recruited some of the brilliant minds that worked to produce the custom map for Warcraft 3 that was known as Defense of the Ancients.

Click here for the full Dota 2 review.

DotA players and prominent community members found it worthwhile to work on a stand-alone game, powered by its dedicated engine. The game was revealed in 2009 and closed beta started in April, while the game became available worldwide in late October. The fact that it was free to play while relying exclusively on voluntary deposits insured its popularity.

The popularity of the game greatly exceeded expectations and hundreds of new people were hired, including many great developers. League of Legends custom skins, more runes and dozens of new heroes were gradually added, while Riot also released brilliant cinematics from time to time. It didn’t take long for the game to surpass the popularity of Defense of the Ancients and proved to be extremely successful among those who didn’t play the original Moba game in the first place.

Screenshot of League of Legends. © Riot Games
Screenshot of League of Legends. © Riot Games

Where can I download League of Legends?

League of Legends can be downloaded for free on Riot’s official website and players don’t have to pay a dime, no matter how long they play. All the micro-transactions are voluntary and aimed at those who want to customize heroes with new skins or add other vanity trophies to showcase in games. Real money can also be spent on purchasing new heroes without actually accumulating the Influence Points needed.

What are others saying about League of Legends?

League of Legends exploded after its release in 2009 and two years later it had more than 30 million players, while becoming the most popular game in Korea. The game received great reviews when it was launched and all those who went through the trouble of taking a second look at LoL revised their rating upwards. Many found it worthwhile to emphasize the fact that developers invested a lot of time to improve the game after it was officially launched and the current version is much better than the original.

League of Legends tournaments

No other game generated as much interest and money as League of Legends, with hundreds of major tournaments being hosted throughout the year. The World Championship is the best-known event and the first edition was held in Sweden, the country with the most successful League of Legends players at the time. The prizes kept growing and the winners of the next tournaments won a massive $1 million, while the runners-up had to settle for a quarter of 1 million.

League of Legends tournaments bring in huge crowds, but millions more are watching these events as they unfold in real-time. Players from Taiwan and South Korea have dominated the recent events and since 2013, the game is the most popular of all e-sports in these countries. Top League of Legends players are now recognized as professional athletes by the United States immigration services, which allows them to enter the country much easily.

Many regular players are watching the League of Legends tournaments from the comfort of their home and it is now even possible to bet on these games. Some of the biggest bookmakers have a dedicated category of eSports and League of Legends matches represent a healthy slice of their offer. Domestic and international leagues enjoy ample coverage, but the World Championships is the flagship competition.

My rating of League of Legends

I have played LoL since beta and I had the chance to watch the game grow and evolve into the best multiplayer online battle arena in the world. It followed the recipe for success imagined by Defense of the Ancients developers, but brought so many new things that it would be unfair to relegate it as a clone.

League of Legends is an immensely challenging and highly addictive game that set the bar impossibly high for competing MOBA games. For all these reasons, but also for the unswerving commitment of the development team, I’m happy to give it a perfect 10 out of 10 rating.

Overall Score