League of Legends is the most popular eSport in the world today. More than 67 million players log in each month. An average day sees 27 million individual players log in, and at peak play times more than 7.5 million players are battling it out on “Summoner’s Rift.” The game’s popularity is apparent when one looks at the size of the game’s professional scene. There are full time professional leagues in North America, Europe, Korea, China, Japan, Brazil, and seven other countries. There are countless more semi-professional leagues and tournaments. Top professional players can bring in hundreds of thousands a year, before counting the prize money they win.
The game’s success at the professional level has made an impact at the amateur level. Each year, the University League of Legends Campus series pits the top 32 collegiate teams against each other in a fight for for more than $300,000 in scholarship money. The High School Starleague offers more than $20,000 in scholarship prizes to students from around the country.
What is League of Legends?
League of Legends pits two teams of five against each other, tasking them with invading each other’s territory and destroying the enemy’s “Nexus.” At the beginning of each match, players select one of the the game’s more than 130 characters. Each character has different strengths and weaknesses, and interacts with other characters differently. This allows teams to craft unique strategies that fit their preferences and abilities. While the early stages of the game give players a chance to earn advantages through strong individual performance, games are decided by effective team play. Large 5 on 5 “team fights” occur around important objectives and the team that can work as a unit will come out on top in the end.
This video from the company behind the game provides a five minute introduction.
Why Play League of Legends
League of Legends is the most popular eSport in the world for a reason. The game itself is a lot of fun, but it also teaches a number of useful skills.
- Adaptability – Players must react on the fly to the enemy’s play style and strategic choices.
- Teamwork – Individual play will earn an advantage for your team, but organized teams prevail over individual stars who don’t work together.
- Decision Making – Players need to prioritize the different objectives on the map by deciding which is the most valuable at any given time.
- Multi-tasking – Players must balance earning experience and gold, taking objectives, and fighting the enemy team.
- Coordination and Reaction Time – Combat between players requires quick reactions and accuracy.
- Other benefits – Like traditional sports, players learn to handle defeat, be graceful in victory, and how to reflect on themselves, their skills, and how to improve.