League of Legends is one of the most famous and infamous video games currently played today. A lot of people have strong opinions on this game, but how is it really?
By Eric Porco
League of Legends is a 2009 multiplayer online battle arena (or MOBA, for short) video game by the studio Riot Games. In the video game, five players control “Champions”, a set of characters with unique abilities, as they face off against another five players on the opposing side of a map with their own selection of Champions. The objective of the game is to destroy the opposing team’s towers, and eventually their “Nexus”, or base.
The game has broken numerous records in Esports and even video game history in general. At multiple points over the game’s lifespan, it has been reported as the most popular online multiplayer game on the market, purporting millions of concurrent players. For nearly a decade since the game’s release, the popular streaming service “Twitch.tv” has seen the viewer count for people playing the game maintain itself near or at the top very consistently.
Despite its popularity, League of Legends is probably one of the most polarizing video games played today. You will hear from many people, especially people who play League of Legends, that it is one of the worst games they have ever played and that their time spent playing was a complete waste. That may sound extreme, but similar sentiments are often the premise of many jokes at the game’s and playerbase’s expense. On the other side of things, League sports a massive playerbase whose presence speaks for itself and there are many large content creators that have made their living on League of Legends, still playing to this day.
League, funnily enough, is also infamously known for its incredibly toxic community. In the League of Legends’ competitive circles, there exist many people who are extremely passionate about the game, often to an unhealthy degree. These people often manifest that passion through blazing words of insult and hurt, and such a thing can be observed as early as your first day of playing. This has been handled as a genuine and serious issue, with the developers at Riot Games going through multiple phases of different reporting systems in an attempt to quell the toxicity from their game.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why would someone play a game like this?” To answer that question, it is important to take a look at some of the positives of the game. One of the positives is the variety of characters that can be played. League of Legends currently has 154 different champions available for play, which makes for a very wide variety of situations to encounter in a game. This allows for a feeling of freshness when playing the game, as the characters being played on both sides of each match require the players to adapt to their situation accordingly— matches are often decided by which team can adapt better and more effectively.
In addition to this, another notable positive of the game I would say is how fun it is to play with friends. If you can muster up a group of non-toxic friends to enjoy the game with, League of Legends has a lot of potential to be a fulfilling competitive experience. Another notable positive is the depth that the game has to offer. League, despite its popularity, is quite a hard game for new players to understand, as it hosts many concepts people not familiar with the genre would have a hard time understanding. This does in turn, however, allow for what I think is a healthy amount of depth for a competitive game.
(Image Credit: MMOs.com)
However, there are a couple of negatives that I think are important to go over. The League of Legends balancing team, the people in charge of balancing the game for competitive play, often do not do a great job, releasing champions that devastate the state of competitive play for the game in any match they are in for the initial weeks of their release.
Another negative aspect worth considering has been previously mentioned. Some people get to a pretty unhealthy level with this game; they take the game way too seriously and make the game unfun for others due to their toxic behavior towards others in-game. This is why I would say it is incredibly important to find others to try out the game with, as that is likely the best way to avoid toxic scenarios and the best way to be ready to deal with them should they occur.
Overall, however, I would say that I thoroughly enjoy playing League of Legends, despite the negative aspects, as considerable as they are. I play primarily with a group of friends who play the game on and off with me, and we take the game only somewhat seriously, which is in my opinion the optimal way to play the game. Get some friends together and hop on League of Legends—you might enjoy yourself or you might end up hating me forever for telling you to do so. Only time will tell.