It was 2014. I had just started high school. My friends suggested I pick up this game on my new laptop. “It’s so cool!” they said. “We can all play on a team together!”
A quick peek at the game’s website showed a brand-new way of playing competitive games with a massive cast of colorful and powerful champions. So, one September evening, I started playing “League of Legends.” I didn’t know it then, but the next five years of my life would be devoted to the biggest competitive video game in the world.
“League of Legends” is the progenitor to the landscape of competitive gaming today and helped spawn a whole new genre of video games: The MOBA. In “League of Legends,” two teams of five compete to destroy the opposing team’s base by blowing up the giant crystal located behind a battalion of towers set up periodically across three lanes. Players must defeat waves of lesser enemies in order to collect gold and experience to enhance their champion’s power and eventually destroy enough towers to finally be able to attack their main base and win the game.
“League” functions on each player performing a specific role. Players in the top lane collect gold and help win team fights later in the game. The middle-laner roams between the top and bottom lanes to help secure kills and extra gold for their team and themselves. The players in the bottom lane play off each other. One exists to build up lots of damage and act as the hard hitter in team fights, while the other supports the one in the damage lane. The last player roams around the jungle connecting the lanes, killing powerful monsters and securing key kills on enemy players throughout the game.
“League” is a fairly simple game to understand once you start playing, but the depth of the mechanics and itemization options quickly open up numerous playstyles and options for players to access. Pair that with 148 different champions to pick from and you’ve got an absolutely absurd number of ways each game can play out.
Competitively, “League of Legends” hauls in cash by the millions each year, and the world championship held in places all over the world is the toast of streaming services across the internet. If any video game has garnished the support, funding and sheer clout of football, it’s “League of Legends.”
But, should you actually play “League?” Absolutely not. “League of Legend’s” art, story and design team are second to none. Their game balance team and the overall community is absolute trash. It’s common practice for veteran players to make a new account and easily destroy newer players, as well as an asinine amount of general toxicity. I wanted to get some game time in to get a fresh look at “League” today, but someone hacked into my account and decided to get it permabanned, so make sure you’ve got one heck of a password if you decide to play.
Much like “Rainbow Six: Siege,” “League” requires communication and team play. While there are text and voice channels available for use, not playing with a full squad is rolling the bones on someone who may intentionally help the enemy win or just leave the game altogether.
“League of Legends” can be an absolute blast with the right friends, but any time you play without those friends will probably not be worth the time it takes to turn on your computer.