League of Legends: What it is and Why You Should Play

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
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League of Legends/Riot Games
League of Legends/Riot Games /

Why Should I Play League of Legends?

You might have read that description and thought that this kind of video game isn’t really for you, or you might be exciting and itching to load into a game. No matter who you are and what type of gamer or just fan you are, League of Legends has something for everyone!

It’s competitive!

If I was to describe League of Legends to a complete new player in one sentence, it’s a cross between chess, baseball, golf, and poker all in one. That might sound insane, but this game requires a lot of smarts, strategy, and planning (like chess and poker) along why quick reflexes (like baseball), the ability to make decisions with precision and execute them (like golf) and do that every second of the game.

League of Legends is a game with a lot of depth, so there’s always a way to learn and grow. There’s 150 champions, with new ones released every few months. The rules of the game are constantly tweaked and changed so, while the core gameplay we described above stays the same, the best way to achieve those goals constantly changes.

There’s a ranked ladder on Summoner’s Rift, where you can test your mettle against other players, climbing to the very top if you put in the time and effort to learn how to play the game, hone your reflexes, and perform with precision.

It’s full of interesting characters!

You may think that the champions are just pieces that you control like pieces on a chessboard, but the truth is they are so much more than just game pieces. Each champion has it’s own unique way to fit in the game, sure, but the characters also have their own deep personality and backstory.

There’s Garen, the noble protector of his region’s leaders, who prizes honor but abhors magic while not knowing his own sister, Lux, is a powerful mage. There’s Xayah and Rakan, the adorable lovers duo who are from a mystical race of half-human, half-animals. Yasuo is the swordsman who was cast out of his home for a crime he didn’t commit and now seeks vengeance on those who betrayed him.

There’s an entire universe of League of Legends full of characters as interesting as those listed above, each with their own deep backstory. This lore has become so rich that Riot has expanded to comics and (soon) an animated show to delve into the world of the game.

Even if you don’t want to read all the lore or watch the shows, the champions’ personalities come through while you’re playing the game. Each champion has multiple unique interactions, jokes, quips, and taunts that display their personality.

That’s why so many fans of the game become addicted to playing one champion, because they appreciate and identify with their personality. With 150 unique characters to check out, I’ll bet one of them feels like they were meant for you.

It has a ton of content to consume!

We mentioned the comics and the show coming from Riot, but that is just the tip of the iceberg! League of Legends is famous for having a huge landscape of content out of the game including streamers who play the game in front of an audience in places like Twitch or Youtube, cinematics (basically short movies) featuring some of the characters from the game, and other video guides and content that fans make every day.

There’s also cosplayers who will dress up like their favorite character, artists who will draw champions or scenes, people who write funny posts like this one about which champion we think smells the worst. People draw comics and art, write their own fanfiction lore, create jokes and memes, and it’s all shared across the internet for you to consume.

The League of Legends subreddit is the heart of that content space, where fans create funny posts, discuss how to improve at the game, come up with theoretical champions, or discuss the professional esports scene. Just knowing about this game opens up a world of endless content for you to consume.

It’s got a thriving esports scene!

In addition to playing, you can follow one of the professional leagues, where the very best players battle in a showdown of superiority. Some may dream of one day joining their ranks if they play long enough and get good, while others might be interested in watching the best players to learn from them, and others still might just want to relax and watch someone else duke it out. With regional leagues all across the world (the four biggest are North America’s LCS, Europe’s LEC, Korea’s LCK, and China’s LPL) there are plenty of teams to check out.

Even better, most professional players will stream themselves playing League of Legends from time to time, so you can watch your favorite pro play and interact with them! It’d be like if Lebron James would stream his shootarounds and talk to fans, and it happens all the time!

It’s got an amazing community!

When most people hear about League of Legends from their friends, they hear about the toxicity that runs rampant across the player base. And I won’t try to sugarcoat it and say that there aren’t a lot of toxic players in this game who will insult you, call you names, and tell you to drink household cleaning products if they get angry during a game. Those people exist in every competitive game, and with a game as big as League of Legends that is an unfortunate reality.

However, outside of those bad apples (and the game publisher, Riot Games, does a fantastic job at punishing players who are toxic in-game) there is a thriving community of players and fans that you can connect with. From fellow fans of your favorite champion or professional team to commenters on the subreddit or the chat of a small streamer, there are so many ways to meet and connect with people who love this game.

The community has donated to countless charity streams, Riot themselves have donated to causes like their social impact fund and environmental protection, and there is even a skin, created in the early days of the game, made by and dedicated to a child from the Make-a-Wish foundation. While League of Legends gets criticized for the toxicity of its community, it also deserves the praise for the societal good it has contributed to and inspired.

Next. 50 tips to improve at League of Legends. dark

From helping others to just meeting new friends or even connecting with old ones, League of Legends has a powerful way to bring people together. It’s brought together couples, helped people out of dark places, and created countless friendships, the game survives because of how great it is to queue up with a group of friends and play together.

To download League of Legends for free, click here.