The world of eSports has been expanding rapidly over the last few years. Electronic sports are on channels such as ESPN and have enjoyed tremendous success through twitch.tv and other streaming services. At the forefront of the new world of eSports is the MOBA, League of Legends. League of Legends is a free-to-play Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, a genre which has its roots dating back to the Real Time Strategy Game, Warcraft, and it’s original Defense of the Ancients (DOTA for short) mod/game mode.
The game consists of teams of five players each taking control of champions from different time periods and worlds, and each champion has defined roles and abilities making each one entirely different from the next. The game also takes elements from its RTS roots with the minion waves which fill each lane, and the turrets in place to act as team boundaries.
The ultimate goal of every game of League of Legends is to take your enemy’s nexus, which takes the form of a giant crystal in the middle of the team base. Bases are situated at opposite ends of the map and lanes run between them. There are three lanes: top lane, which is usually where heavy bruisers and tanky champions work; middle lane or mid where ability power mages and assassins usually are; and bottom lane where an attack damage carry marksman champion and their support are situated. In between the lanes are the jungles, which are teeming with wild creatures that provide the player who slays them temporary buffs and sometimes team-wide buffs. The jungle has its own dedicated role with the jungler, a player controlling a champion whose main objective it is is to get those jungle buffs. The metagame for the jungle is up for debate right now as some rather large changes were made in the newest patch 6.9. Generally the goal of each game of League of Legends is to work together with your team and take down enemy building to work towards the ultimate objective of taking down the nexus.
League has the largest active player base of any game on the Internet, as such the game has garnered massive popularity and developed a competitive community. There are still casual players and aspiring players. I myself am working to get to level 30 and be able to play in ranked matches. Still some of my friends are serious players who enjoy the game. Senior Matt Kerner explained to me, “I had been on twitch and saw on the homepage that League was the number one most popular game at the time. I started watching and it turned out that it was the world championships with Team Cloud 9. Since then I started playing, and Cloud 9 is still my favorite team.”
For those interested in playing League go to leagueoflegends.com and download the game. Most computers can run it without issue and it is free to play. I implore everyone to give it a try if they can.