Why the League of Legends fans should be outraged at falling out of the Fandom 250

INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA - NOVEMBER 03: Supporters watch the Finals match of 2018 The League of Legends World Championship at Incheon Munhak Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Incheon, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA - NOVEMBER 03: Supporters watch the Finals match of 2018 The League of Legends World Championship at Incheon Munhak Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Incheon, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images) /

On Wednesday, the Fandom 250 rankings were announced, revealing the best and most passionate fanbases across sports, media, and gaming. League of Legends was not one of them, and we fans should be outraged at that.

Last year League of Legends was ranked the 230th most passionate fanbase; now they have fallen out of the rankings completely. This marks the first year since the Fandom 250 rankings were first started in 2016 that Riot’s gaming juggernaut was not featured on this list.

That may surprise a lot of League fans, and bring joy to a lot of League haters who will no doubt crow about the “dying game.” Nevermind that the 2018 World Championships had a peak viewership of almost 2 million people excluding China, for a final that took place around midnight most places in the United States and early in the morning in Europe. Forget the fact that – when you add in Chinese viewers who were watching their first domestic team capture a World title – that peak viewership becomes over 205 million.

Surely, the critics will claim, most of those viewers were bots. No one is playing this dying game anymore, as evidenced by the still growing player base of over 100 million players and consistent growth to its subreddit population.

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Look no further than Twitch, where League of Legends is being dwarfed by the new hotness in gaming, Fortnite…sometimes. Sure, when players like Ninja or TimtheTatman are online, Fortnite’s streaming numbers balloon, but the same happens with League when Imaqtpie, Tyler1, or Vaporadark are live. Most times, the two games are about neck and neck, one truly eclipsing another when something big happens like a huge tournament or Drake joining Ninja that one time.

Besides, Fortnite is a far more interesting and complex game than League! Sure, you don’t get to play different characters and strategically navigate games with various win conditions, but Fortnite requires a ton of complex mechanics and strategy! You have to…kill trees and uh…build shit and then…hope you find a good gun before someone who killed more trees and built a big tower with good guns finds you. That’s way more entertaining than figuring out how to pilot the new champion!

Even though Fortnite has been the new hot trend in gaming this year and deserves its top spot in the gaming rankings, League still couldn’t beat out promising titles like…Overwatch, Mario, and the Legend of Zelda?

Overwatch is really League’s only true e-sports comparable. With the new Overwatch League, the gaming world had an alternative to the LCS and various CS:GO events. They showed that, in 2018, Overwatch was surely the superior viewing experience. I mean, their World Cup’s overall peak viewership was…over 800,000With Chinese viewers? Hold on, that can’t be right, the other major esport couldn’t possibly be doing less than half the viewership of League when not including Chinese viewers.

Chalk it up to League having a five-year head start, OWL will soon be running laps around the LCS you say. And don’t forget, Overwatch’s player base is going to outpace League’s soon enough at 40 million players currently. So maybe Overwatch isn’t there yet, but there’s also juggernauts like the Legend of Zelda and Mario.

Yes, the Legend of Zelda stays on the list for a second year after releasing a DLC add-on in 2018 and…having a lot of people interested in cosplay I guess. Whatever, it’s not like League has any characters that make for popular cosplay.

And Mario also had a release last year in Super Mario Odyssey. A game that passed 10 million units sold in 2018. That’s…nice that the population of people who care about Mario in 2018 is 1/10th of the people who play League of Legends.

Look, none of this is to dismiss most of the worthy inclusions on this list. Super Smash Bros was released for the Nintendo Switch this year, which is huge. Pokemon Lets Go dropped as did the trailer for Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, so it was a big game for that franchise and Nintendo as a whole. And, of course, Fortnite deserves its place in the sun as the most famous game on the planet before its player base abandons this incredibly repetitive, high-skill, casual game for a new hot craze.

The fact of the matter is, League of Legends is the most popular video game on the planet by just about any metric and it has been for almost a decade now. The game is constantly innovating, with new champion releases, incredible out-of-game marketing, and huge viewership numbers to back up its popularity.

While this year saw a plethora of new gaming crazes hit the market, leaving out the current king of the gaming jungle should get League fans riled up. Knowing the League community, we will stand up and RISE to the challenge like we always do.

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Let these newbies, these flash-in-the-pan crazes have their moment in the sun. To quote Scar from the Disney classic: “long live the king.”

What do you think, was leaving League of Legends off the list a terrible decision, or did the listmakers rightly identify it as a dying game?