League of Legends: Everything You Need to Know
Ever since being released way back in 2009, League of Legends, otherwise referred to as LoL, has been one of the premier titles in esports.
Categorized as a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), LoL has a steep learning curve and an infamously toxic community.
To learn more about League of Legends, be sure to read on.
How Do You Play League of Legends?
League of Legends’ steep learning curve means that it may take you hundreds upon hundreds of hours to grasp even the basics of the game. It is unforgiving, and sometimes, downright confusing. But learning the game can make for quite the rewarding experience, as you try to learn what the most common strategies and playstyles are for each champion, as well as a particular role.
In League of Legends, players are in control of a “champion”.
A champion can be of six different categories. This includes Assassins, Fighters, Mages, Marksmen, Support, and Tank. They are also fitted with a number of abilities and one perk. Furthermore, there are five different player roles in League of Legends, namely ADC, Top, Mid, Jungler, and Support.
The nuances of each champion are usually what make beginners give up. Most players spend hundreds if not thousands of hours understanding how each champion should be played in a particular role and in a particular situation.
Add the fact that League of Legends involves pitting five players against another five, with each player playing a different role and a champion, and chaos reigns.
The main goal in League of Legends is to make the enemy team give up or “surrender”, or destroy their Nexus.
In League of Legends, players can level up their champions and earn gold, as well as additional bonuses and skill points, by killing minions, opposing champions, and enemy structures, especially turrets.
There are three lanes where players can play in League of Legends, with an open area in between each lane known as the “jungle” where non-affiliated monster camps spawn every few minutes.
Who Are the Best Teams in League of Legends?
For the longest time, it was the South Koreans, specifically, SK Telecom T1, who dominated League of Legends.
SK Telecom T1 is the only organization in League of Legends to have ever won a World Championship, LoL’s biggest annual tournament held every October-November, back-to-back (2015, 2016). SK Telecom T1 also has the most World Championship titles in League of Legends history with 3 (2013, 2015, 2016).
In recent years though, the rest of the world has started to catch up to South Korea.
Case in point, for the past two League of Legends World Championships, no South Korean team has ever made it to the Grand Finals. Instead, it’s been a Chinese team (LPL) up against a European (LEC) every time.
Outside of SK Telecom T1, the only team to have won more than one World Championship is Generation Gaming (2014, 2017). Also, apart from these two, only Fnatic has appeared in the Grand Finals of a World Championship twice. Fnatic was also the first-ever team to win the World Championship back in 2011.
Who are the Best LoL Players?
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is widely considered as the best League of Legends player of all time. Some would even go as far as to say that he is the most mechanically talented player in all of esports.
With three World Championships to his name, all of which on SK Telecom T1, it’s hard to dispute the claim.
The now-retired Bae “Bengi” Seong-ung is also considered right up there among the game’s best players. He is Faker’s former teammate with SK Telecom T1. As of 2019, Bengi has retired to serve his mandatory military service.
Outside of these two, it’s not easy to name a player that has stayed on top of the game consistently for a long time. However, Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winthen is starting to make a case for himself. That is, if he already hasn’t.
Caps have appeared in two consecutive World Championship Grand Finals. He first made it there with Fnatic in 2018. Then, the following year, he played a major role in G2 Esports’ run at the 2019 World Championships. Although he suffered losses both times, making it all the way to the final stage, especially with different teams for two years in a row, is no easy feat.
How Do I Keep Up With the Competitive LoL Scene?
Unlike other titles in esports that have minimal structure, Riot Games’ have followed largely the same structured competitive setting for a number of years.
In League of Legends, top-level competitive teams compete in any one of the five professional leagues listed below:
- North America: League Championship Series (LCS)
- Europe: League of Legends European Championship (LEC)
- Korea: League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK
- China: League of Legends Pro League (LPL)
- Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao: League Master Series (LMS)
All five leagues feed into the annual League of Legends World Championship. Other teams from regions not listed above will get a chance to compete for a spot at the annual World Championship via their region’s respective international qualifiers.
In addition to their structured leagues, League of Legends also holds two important tournaments in the middle of the season.
The Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is similar to a “mini” World Championship. It’s held in the halfway mark of the season. The champions from the first half from each of the five major regions, otherwise known as the Spring Split, compete, along with a qualifying wildcard team from other non-represented regions.
The second tournament is the Rift Rivals (RR), which was previously a series of five cross-regional tournaments. However, as of March 2019, only two cross-regional tournaments remain (EU vs NA and KR vs CN vs LMS).
Representing teams at the Rift Rivals tournaments are chosen based on their performance during the first half of the season. The tournament usually held after the Mid-Season Invitational.
Different from other esports titles, Riot Games, the game’s developers, manage most if not all of the competitive side of League of Legends.