League of Legends, also called LoL for short, is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game. While MOBA games have been popular in the past, with games like Starcraft being pioneers in the genre, League of Legends drew gamers both casual and hardcore alike. The underlying design is both simple to understand and has remained constant over the years. Some might call it a glorified capture the flag, with the game ultimately being one of objective defense.
From being a rather subdued launch in 2009 to becoming one of the most popular online multiplayer titles of all time, and the formation of clubs like l9, the game has come a long way in terms of popularity and longevity.
The game’s developer, Riot Games, opened its office in 2006, and League of Legends was first announced in October 2008. It transitioned into open beta a year later in October 2009, and was released later in the same month. While Riot Games self-publishes and operates the game and its customer service in North America, it has signed deals regarding distribution in other parts of the world.
Upon launch, League of Legends was well received by gaming publications and individual reviewers. Many reviewers highlighted a highly enjoyable game design, plenty of customization options and an equally good champion design. The game also received praise for its visuals. The gameplay was also well received with the general consensus being that the game was intense and strategic.
Negative remarks ranged from accusations of an early launch; with several features missing or lacking polish.
By January 2014, League of Legends had amassed over 67 million monthly active players. The game became particularly popular in Korea. It remained the number one online multiplayer game well into 2016, before being displaced by Overwatch. Reports suggest that League of Legends is the most played game in Europe and North America.
The game was nominated for several awards, and won the Reader’s Choice Award for PC Best Strategy Game by IGN. It was also nominated for several Game of the Year awards by leading gaming publications.
League of Legends has one of the most active and competitive online gaming community. It is one of the world’s largest eSports, with several annual tournaments taking place worldwide. The prize money of these competitions is in the range of several millions of dollars.
Riot Games organizes collegiate level tournaments in the United States and Canada, and offer scholarship money to teams that reach playoffs. Several clubs like l9 have also been formed, consisting of high profile players. Competitions also attract a lot of viewers. In fact, more than 27 million people tuned into watch the League of Legends World Championship