When you read a list of the most popular games today, you’ll notice that League of Legends always cuts. This free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) has captivated the hearts of gamers across the globe since its inception.
It pits 5 players against 5 others, using their chosen champions to destroy the enemy base. While you can find so many MOBA games right now, many gamers decide to stick to League of Legends.
The fast-paced game style proves addictive. Riot Games, the makers of League of Legends, also does a terrific job releasing updates to provide players with new champions to play, items to try out, bugs to fix the game’s balance. It’s interesting to learn that at any given time, nearly 8 million people are playing League. That’s a staggering number. You’d be hard-pressed to find other games that can come close to this.
A Quick History Lesson
League of Legends was released in 2010. During its younger years, it proved to be a huge hit among MOBA fans. However, only a few people would have told you that League would be as big as today. The game was super fun, exciting, and addictive, but who would have thought that something from Riot Games could compete against some of the industry’s biggest names?
Back then, avid gamers would have to pay a flat fee to play their favorite game. MMO games, meanwhile, mostly required players to pay a monthly subscription. Of course, it’s a business for the game publishers. They need money to cover the servers and updates costs and make money. Giving away a game completely for free was a foreign concept about a decade ago. But League of Legends has proven that it’s a model well worth trying.
Even in this era where everybody seems to be gaming on their smartphones, League remains as popular as ever. Many mobile games are free-to-play and offer in-game purchases to make their characters stronger. So, what gives League the edge over these games? The primary problem of most free-to-play games today is that they do a poor job maintaining the game’s balance. Meanwhile, League always listens to the feedback of their players to guarantee that no champions are overpowered or totally useless.
Sure, players can buy skins to improve their characters’ look, but these skins do not influence the balance of the game in any way. This makes League anything but a pay-to-win game. Knowledge, skills, and experience separate the best players from the rest. You can’t splurge cash and expect to win every single match.
This completely free-to-play model is perhaps its most successful attribute. Anyone can download and install it in minutes. You are guided from the very beginning until you hone your skills and climb up the ranks. But other reasons give League of Legends its incredible staying power. Let’s explore them below:
As mentioned earlier, Riot never fails at releasing game updates that address bugs, introduces events, and release new champions and items. Of course, there will always be a group of people who complain after every update. They harp about a champion getting nerfed, the game getting laggier, or whatever other reason they have. But these updates are why players keep playing this game. For instance, at the end of every season, radical changes are introduced, such as new monsters, different map layouts, and lots of new stuff to keep players engaged.
If you’ve been playing League for some time now, then you know that it’s extremely competitive. This applies in particular in Ranked Mode, where you get to climb up the ranks as you improve your skill level. Ranked Mode may have many memes roaming the web, but it’s one of the foundations that hold the game firmly in place. Countless gamers battle it out to achieve higher rankings, and ranked mode is one of the biggest money-drivers for Riot.
It’s safe to say that most players have had their fair share of negative experiences playing in Solo Queue. But what’s interesting is that even so, they keep playing it. Toxic players can’t be avoided, but they’re not reason enough to quit. Many gamers have also reached the Challenger level, and this is when they knock on the doors of professional League of Legends gaming.
Popularity of Esports
League of Legends now enjoys a lot of success, but it shares the spotlight with many other online games. Esports has seen an incredible rise in popularity over the last decade. It even gets mainstream media coverage. Who would have imagined that one day we’d see young players on their computers playing in some of the biggest arenas in the world? And on your favorite sports channels?
Stadiums are filled with fans eager to support their favorite teams. It feels like any other sport. As evidenced by the hugs shared among team members after a win and tears they shed after a loss, the competitive spirit is there. And e-sports is getting bigger by the day. It’s interesting to think how big it will be in the coming years.
Short, Fun Games
Some players might raise their eyebrows on this one, saying that matches take a long time. But you have to compare the game length relative to other games. When you play MMORPGs, it’s hard to get anywhere if you only have 30 minutes to spare. Single-player games will take an awful lot of time to complete if you don’t play much. But in a Rivalry League of Legends Tournament, you can play a quick game and feel you’ve achieved something.
Matches only take half an hour, give or take. Sure, hundreds of different factors come into play that affects the length of each match. Some matches can take more than an hour, but they’re few and far between. This makes League of Legends the go-to option for many gamers who do not have the luxury of time on their hands. Even one short game with friends proves to be satisfying.
Summing It Up
League of Legends has grown in popularity simply because it’s an excellent game with great developers working behind the scenes.
Yes, the increased press coverage and the emergence of platforms like Twitch game is a serious boost, but all this would have been useless if it’s a game not worth playing. Approaching 10 years after its initial release, League of Legends remains successful, and this trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.