League of Legends (LoL) is classified under the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre. For those of you who are a bit confused, what that means is that the game involves two teams of three to five players each, depending on the mode. Each team then starts on an opposing side of a map and the end goal is to decimate your opponent’s base (it’s actually a lot more complicated than that but this explanation will suffice for now).
The idea behind LoL spawned when a couple of very active DotA players realised that the game needed its own standalone – and updated – version. This was because DotA is simply a mod of the game Warcraft 3. So they formed Riot Games and began to develop League of Legends.
But they weren't the only developers to see the potential of DotA. Another development studio began a game called Heroes of Newerth, which was pretty much the same idea. The two games competed for a while but League of Legends is now the front runner.
Riot games first announced their intentions of developing League of Legends in early October of 2008 and partnered with some of the key developers behind DoTA, namely Steve “Guinsoo” Freak and Steve “Pendragon” Mescon. A year later and after seven months of beta testing, League of Legends was released to the public and has grown from strength to strength ever since.
League of Legends started out with a meagre forty champions (heroes) available for selection. Currently that number is standing at a staggering one hundred and eight! Over the last few years, League of Legends’ player base has grown drastically. It has become a force to be reckoned with, with the number of monthly active players sitting at around the 32 million mark with over one billion hours played collectively a month.
As you can see, the numbers say it all. Unfortunately for all those readers who actually play LoL, and like that adorable little scout Teemo, it seems he is dying 324 percent more frequently than he used to (sorry for you).
League of Legends – free to play
League of Legends is most importantly a free to play game. Everything in the game that affects gameplay has two ways of being obtained (these include champions and various other things in game). You can either grind Influence Points (AKA IP) which you do simply by playing the game. You can then, when you have grinded enough points, use them to buy heroes etc.
But the second option available to players involves spending actual money where you buy Riot Points (AKA RP) which you can use to buy all the above stuff and skins for your character. The skins themselves add no advantage to the player who uses them but, damn, some of them look pretty. Otherwise the game can be played completely free and many people enjoy it that way.
League of Legends Gameplay
Both social and competitive
While many gamers play and enjoy League of Legends as a social game, there is also a huge competitive side. League of Legends has become increasingly competitive over the years with the last world championships of 2012 sporting a $1 million prize pool for first place alone!
Another part of the game that Riot has been focusing on is broadening its spectator viability. Currently a lot of LoL games are streamed and are watched from all over the world, making it very easy for you to spectate these games. LoL’s future is looking very promising, with Riot announcing many changes to the game in season three, which will start early in 2013. They have changed a few mechanics of the actual game and changed the meta game, which is keeping everything very interesting. With plans to expand League of Legends as an e-Sport, Riot has announced that in 2013 they will gather the best players on the planet who will all compete in a Championship series and have regular games each week which will be streamed in HD and made available globally, absolutely free of charge.
With more heroes always on the drawing board and the competitiveness being kicked up a notch, with a staunch focus on spectating as well, I think Riot is onto a winning combination. So, do you want to play the game competitively on some level? Do Gaming has added League of Legends to its online league for 2013. It requires teams of 4 – 7 players and promises to be great! Registrations for the Do Gaming League (DGL) 2013 League of Legends season close on 31 December. For more information and to sign up, click here.