“Enemy Pentakill,” the server announces as the enemy Yasuo claims his final target. Your screen turns grey, only revealing the taunting Yasuo and your dead body lying helplessly on the floor. In a team oriented game where communication and proper play making is crucial to the victory or the humiliating loss of a game, small variables can make a huge difference. Whether you’re a casual player or a hardcore spammer of rank games, we all find ourselves in the same place. Welcome to League of Legends.
So, what is League of Legends? The game is a MOBA, (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), in which two teams of five people each both have the same goal: To destroy the enemy nexus located on the other side’s base. But it’s not that easy, as many factors prevent one from doing so. From turrets, to minions, and to the obvious enemy team, overcoming all of these obstacles will grant the satisfaction of a victory. Failure to work as a team to complete crucial objectives will lead to your inevitable defeat.
Playing League of Legends is a fairly simple task. By using the keys Q, W , E, and R on a keyboard, you are able to activate the abilities of the champion you are playing as. And unlike most other games, your movement is actually controlled by the right clicking of your mouse on destinations located on your screen, or on your map in the bottom right corner. It shares a design with many other games, such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive, with the easy to pick up, but hard to master concept. There are other variables that go into playing League, but there are many videos online that demonstrate the fundamentals and the in-depth mechanics that are associated with the game.
Another reason for League’s success is its accessibility to the masses. League doesn’t have the most advanced graphics in game, nor are the sounds of the highest quality. This is a double-edged sword as this can be both a good and bad thing. The downside is that the characters look a bit distorted when played. But the upside is that the splash arts, which are drawings that introduce the characters, for the champions still look amazing and almost anyone with a functional computer can play it. In addition, the game is rated for teens, even though it targets mostly kids, teens, and some adults. League demonstrates this by having certain champions reflect their interests such as the infamous katana wielding samurai, Yasuo, to impress kids, and unrealistically beautiful women like Ahri, the nine-tailed fox, to attract the teen audience.
But all of this wouldn’t matter if the game itself weren't fun, which it is. The game’s fun derives on the player’s ability to “git gud” and the connections that are built through this team based game. It is an everlasting cycle that requires players to constantly be competitive to get better at the game, or a great place for people to socialize online. It brings the player glory and bragging rights every time he or she is able to solo carry a whole team. In contrast to the arguments that technology pulls people apart, League brings those people together as they work with one another to form friendships, get better, and most importantly, have fun. With this set mindset and others, it’s no wonder why this game is able to rake in more than 27 million players daily.
Even though League of Legends has been holding the number one spot as the most played game in the world, it doesn't come without its flaws. For example, both normal and ranked games will still occasionally contain smurfs, trolls, and people who are just toxic or salty. For non gamers, a “smurf” is essentially a person of a higher rank playing and usually outperforming those amongst him because he or she is playing on a lower ranking account. “Trolls” are players who purposely sabotage their own team in order to get a reaction out of them and report them for hate speech. But luckily, Riot, the developers of the game, have done an effective job banning and punishing these people. Someone who is “toxic” or “salty” is constantly trash talking both the enemy team and even his own team about random things in an attempt to spread hate. However, Riot also has a “no excuse” policy for this kind of behavior and reporting them will not only help you, but help the community in general.
League of Legends has stood the test of time. Starting in 2008, the game has seen its ups and downs and shows no signs of dying. Despite its setbacks, there’s a reason why League has over 27 million players daily worldwide. So grab your water to dilute that salt and start your account today to join one of the many players online. Will you be the carry, or the carried?