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Earlier last month, news broke that League of Legends, the addictive rehash of MOBA games like DotA and Heroes of Newerth, has officially earned the right to call itself the most popular game on the PC platform. This data was pulled from statistics over at time-tracker gaming service Xfire. As Xfire is a little outdated (or so you can argue), many have disputed the crowning of LoL.
In Korea, League of Legends has quickly taken over and has overthrown the long-time king, StarCraft II. Korea is an incredibly competitive country in eSports. In Europe, it’s quickly becoming beloved and has peaked titles like World of Warcraft. In the United States, LoL has every reason to remain top dog for a very long time.
We’ll go with this reason first, as I believe it’s the biggest contributor to the game’s success. There is no flat free or subscription required to play LoL. Upon hearing that, you’re not crazy to think, “But yeah, it’s got one of those ridiculous cash shops that you’re going to have to put money into if you want to remain competitive.” Not true at all.
The only items in the game that cannot be purchased by a currency obtainable by playing at a completely free level are items that change cosmetics. Skins and themes. These are completely useless other than to change the appearance of your game and characters. Other than that, RP (Riot Points, the points-for-cash currency) can also buy boosts and “packs.”
Champions and runes, the two most important contributors to the competitive atmosphere of the game, can be obtained using either RP or IP (Influence Points). IP is obtained through playing games.
It’s Very Competitive
The nature of MOBA games allow them to be some of the most complex, strategic, and dynamic available online. League of Legends is a game of chess right from the moment you queue into a game.
Be it a blind pick normal or a ranked draft, the game begins when you enter the draft lobby. Competition kicks off selecting a team of champions, where a team with the better team composition has a huge advantage going right into the game. Choosing the correct set of masteries and runes is also a huge factor in the early game.
There are over 100 available champions in the game, which makes for a ridiculous combination of possible teams. Selecting a team that synergizes in the lane and late game phase is a battle of brains in itself. I’ve yet to even need to mention the complexities of the game itself once things get flowing. It’s a chess match for the long haul and the team of players who know the game the best and are able to execute as a team the best will win. It’s a very good feeling when you win a competitive game as a team.
League of Legends pushes out patch after patch after patch. Not only are they constantly striving to even out and improve the gameplay, but new gameplay elements are constantly introduced.
Since I began playing League of Legends around three months ago, I believe a total of four or five new champions have been released. In that same window of time, turrets have been greatly changed, the entire visual landscape of Summoner’s Rift has been improved, ARAM has made its rise, and the first ever theme has dropped. Riot always makes sure to keep this game fresh and to keep the level of gameplay at a standard that its players are pleased with.
Too much of the same thing begins to wear on a game. That may be what happened to games like Guild Wars and World of Warcraft (despite new expansions every other year). LoL is constantly flowing and changing, forcing players to adapt and learn along the way.
These are just three of the reasons why LoL is such a great and popular game, and there are many more. Let me know why you think LoL is the king of PC gaming in the comments.