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League of Legends Wikipedia

League of Legends (LoL) is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, inspired by the mod Defense of the Ancients for the video game Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. It is a free-to-play game, supported by micro-transactions. It was first announced on October 7, 2008, and released on October 27, 2009. League of Legends was generally well received at release, and has grown in popularity in the years since. According to a 2012 Forbes article, League of Legends was the most played PC game in North America and Europe in terms of the number of hours played. As of January 2014, over 67 million people play League of Legends per month, 27 million per day, and over 7.5 million concurrently during peak hours. (Source by Wikipedia LOL)


League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena where players take control of a character called a champion, and are matched with and against bots or other players in teams. As of December 13, 2013, there are 117 different Champions from which to choose. Players meet up usually in "lanes", and gain levels from killing the opposing team's Champions controlled by players and Minions that regularly spawn and attack the other team. The player earns a small amount of gold passively, but gets more by killing minions, towers that guard the lanes, neutral monsters, and enemy champions. With this gold, they can buy items to strengthen their champion for the duration of the game. On the classic Summoners Rift and Howling Abyss maps, the game is ended by destroying the last structure on the map, the enemies' "Nexus" from which minions spawn. Other maps have variations of rules and objectives, such as Dominion where the team's Nexus will lose health when the opposing team has at least three of the five towers in their control.

League of Legends
League of Legends.png
Developer(s) Riot Games
  • WW Riot Games
  • CH Tencent Holdings Ltd
  • AS Garena
Director(s) Tom "Zileas" Cadwell
Producer(s) Steven Snow
Travis George
Designer(s) Christina Norman
Rob Garrett
Steve Feak
Artist(s) Edmundo Sanchez
Troy Adam
Composer(s) Christian Linke
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X
Release date(s)
  • WW October 27, 2009
Genre(s) Multiplayer online battle arena
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Distribution Download

The player is personified as a "Summoner" and acts as the persistent element in the game, to be used to track statistics and scores for each player. Summoners gain experience points and "Influence Points" (in-game currency) for each battle they participate in. Experience points lead to persistent level gains for the Summoner, up to a maximum level of 30. The benefit of gaining levels is unlocking Mastery Points and Rune Page slots (below) which improve the overall strength of the Summoner's chosen champion in-game. The Summoner can also choose two summoner spells.These spells significantly impact gameplay, and have a high cooldown while costing no mana. All spells can be improved by masteries, which are developed in a skill tree. Masteries are perks that affect gameplay, structured in a skill tree. All of the masteries are passive effects, although some augment items which can be activated. They are grouped into Offensive, Defensive, and Utility categories. Masteries can be re-distributed at will between battles.

Similar to masteries, runes affect gameplay in minor ways. Runes are categorized into Marks (offensive), Seals (defensive), Glyphs (magic) and Quintessences (utility). They must be unlocked in the Store; it is possible to own multiple copies of one rune. Summoners must arrange their runes in the Runebook to benefit from them. The Runebook has limited number of slots for each rune type, but more rune pages can be purchased from either Influence Points or Riot Points. Combining two equal-tier runes produces a random rune of the same tier, while combining 5 equal-tier runes produces a higher-tier rune.

The League of Legends Store allows players to purchase additional options through Riot Points (RP) and Influence Points (IP). Riot Points must be bought using real money, while Influence Points are earned by playing the game.

Moderation is conducted through a democratic system known as The Tribunal. In this system, player-submitted reports are reviewed by other players on a case-by-case basis. The reviewing players then submit their opinions on the legality of the behavior demonstrated. A consensus renders the decision official. It is notable that players are unable to be permanently banned through this system, since "all permanent bans are distributed manually." Reviewers receive a Justice Rating based on their accuracy to encourage thorough analysis of cases.

Game modes and matchmaking

League of Legends is a session-based game. Matchmaking creates teams with even average MMR (Matchmaking Rating) of the constituent players. MMR uses the Elo formula with proprietary adjustments.
  • Tutorial mode is a set of two introductory games that teach the basics. It is intended to help new players learn important concepts, which might not otherwise be obvious.
  • Custom mode allows players to create games that players opt into rather than relying on matchmaking to create the teams. In custom matches, the teams can be uneven (for example, 3v4 or 2v5) and may include a mix of players and bots, which are computer-controlled champions.
  • Co-op vs. AI mode matches players against a team of bots. Similar to the Tutorial mode, it is also intended mainly as a way for inexperienced players to learn, but it also used by more experienced players as a way of experimenting with new ideas or getting an easy First Win of the Day.
  • Normal matches are player vs player, and has either Blind Pick where both teams can pick whatever champions they want all at the same time, or Draft Pick where a randomly assigned team captain chooses three bans to disallow the enemy from playing those champions, and then players choose their champions in an ordered format. After champions are all chosen, players may trade with each other, allowing for players to pick for each other for strategic effect.
  • Ranked mode is available to players that are level 30. Ranked uses the Draft Pick system exclusively, and players are seeded into a League system based on the outcome of their matches.
  • ARAM (All Random All Mid) mode randomly picks champions that the players are able to play, allowing up to 2 re-rolls if the player is unsatisfied with their pick, and also may trade with others if both parties own the champions to be traded.
  • One for All is a limited time game mode, first available during the Harrowing 2013. The champion selection works similar to Draft Pick where a randomly selected team captain picks three bans. The difference is that each team member votes for one champion that the entire team will play as.
  • Showdown is also a limited time game mode, first available during the Snowdown Showdown 2013. Each team (either composed of 1 or 2 players) fight to be the first to achieve a goal; taking down the first turret, reaching 100 minion kills, or killing the opponent (two kills were needed in 2v2). 

The 2010 World Cyber Games Grand Finals in Los Angeles hosted a League of Legends tournament, at which teams from China, Europe, and the America competed. The Counter Logic Gaming team from North America won the tournament, earning a $7,000 prize.

The Season 1 World Championships in June 2011, held at Dreamhack in Sweden, featured US$100,000 in prizes. The European team Fnatic defeated teams from Europe, the USA, and Asia to win the tournament and received US$50,000 of prize money. Over 1.6 million viewers watched streaming broadcast of the event, with a peak of over 210,000 simultaneous viewers in one semi-final match.

After Season 1, Riot announced that US$5,000,000 would be paid out over Season 2. Of this 5 million, 2 million will go to Riot's partners including the IPL and other major eSports associations. Another 2 million goes to Riot's Season 2 qualifiers and championship. The final one million goes to small organizers who apply to Riot to host League of Legends tournaments.

After a series of network issues during the Season 2 World Playoffs that led to several matches being delayed, Riot revealed on October 13, 2012, that a special LAN-based client had been quickly developed, designed for use in tournament environments where the effects of lag and other network issues can be detrimental to the proper organization of an event. The LAN client was deployed for the first time during the first quarter-final and semi-final matches played following the re-scheduled matches, and was in use during the finals.

On October 13, 2012, Taiwan's professional team Taipei Assassins (TPA) triumphed over South Korea's Azubu Frost 3-to-1 in the Finals of Season 2 World Championship, and claimed the $1 million in prize money.

In October 2013, Korean team "SK Telecom T1" and Chinese team "Royal Club" competed at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. SK Telecom T1 won the grand prize of $1 million, and Royal Club received $250,000.

As of 2013, League of Legends is the most popular e-sports game in South Korea.

On March 23, 2013, the cinematographic studios in Rome hosted the Italian launch of League of Legends; more than 1,500 people were present, along with Riot Games developers, journalists and various guests. The show schedule included a cosplay contest and a challenge match between two Italian clans.

On July 11, 2013, one of the publisher's managers Nick Allen announced that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services now recognizes League of Legends pro-players as professional athletes and the visa application process is now simplified for them. These changes allow professional players to stay in the United States for up to 5 years.


Riot Games was co-founded by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill. They partnered with Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, the previous designer of the popular Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne custom map Defense of the Ancients, and Steve "Pendragon" Mescon, the administrator of the former official support base for the map (www.dota-allstars.com) to develop League Of Legends. Using the original DotA created by Eul (the original Defence of The Ancients map for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos) as a base, Guinsoo made DotA Allstars by inserting his own mix of content, greatly expanding the number of the heroes, and adding recipes, numerous items and various gameplay changes. Guinsoo then passed version 6 of the map on to a new developer, IceFrog.

The idea of a spiritual successor to Defense of the Ancients that would be its own stand-alone game with its own engine, rather than another Mod of Warcraft III began to materialize at the end of 2005. League of Legends was born "when a couple of very active DotA community members believed that the gameplay was so much fun and so innovative that it represented the spawning of a new genre and deserved to be its own professional game with significantly enhanced features and around-game services."

Riot Games officially opened its office in September 2006, and currently[when?] has over 1000 people working on League of Legends, "including their robust technology platform to service and operate the game as well as a team dedicated to community relations."

According to Marc Merrill, when creating the various champions in the game, instead of leaving the champion creation to just a few people, they decided to open up the champion creation process to everyone in the company based upon a template where they could vote on which champions made it into the game.

The game was in a closed beta from April 10, 2009, to October 22, 2009. It then transitioned to open beta until release.

In March 2013, Riot Games released a beta version of an OS X client in addition to their Windows client.


Riot Games has signed deals regarding the distribution of League of Legends in Asia, Europe, and North America. The game is expected to be released in the rest of the world also. The game has already released and is distributed in Australia, the United States, Canada, Europe, Philippines and South Korea. No public announcements regarding other regions has yet been made.

In Asia, Tencent Inc., China's largest Internet value-added services company, best known for its QQ Instant Messaging client will be in charge of the distribution to Tencent's growing 300 million Internet user base through its leading QQ Game portal. The deal is one of only a handful of partnerships to bring a U.S.-developed online game directly to China.

In Europe, Riot Games has signed an international licensing partnership with GOA, the videogames department of Orange's Content Division and Europe's largest gaming portal. On October 13, 2009, GOA and Riot announced that they would start channeling server access for players located in Europe, to GOA's dedicated servers. This restriction meant that players located in Europe would not be able to play on Riot's servers in the United States. Due to negative community feedback, the channeling decision was rescinded October 16, 2009. In North America, Riot Games will self-publish and operate the game and all of its customer service aspects.

On May 10, 2010, Riot Games announced that they would take over distribution and operation of the game in Europe.To do so, Riot Games established a European HQ in Dublin.

On July 14, 2009, Riot Games announced that League of Legends will be free with "no catch".There will be a digital copy for download, but there is also a Digital Collector's Copy that will be available to purchase that contains exclusive skins, $10 credit for Riot Points, and 20 champions to access without unlocking them normally via gameplay as well as 4 "special" runes; the Collector's Pack is currently available for $29.99. Even though the game is free, Riot Games "plan[s] to continue to add content (characters etc...) with a full production team at very frequent intervals." Using both free-to-play and freemium models, the game is supported by microtransactions (see store) rather than ads or boxed copy sales.

On February 25, 2010, Riot Games announced that League of Legends would be distributed in Southeast Asian countries by an unspecified publisher and blocked SEA IP addresses pursuant to its distribution agreement. The community has raised a number of concerns about the deal and the immediate IP block. On July 16, 2010, Riot Games announced that Garena would publish the game in Southeast Asia.Additionally, Southeast Asian players had the ability "transfer accounts" to import their progress stored in North American or European servers, into the Southeast Asian server.

Popular reception

In a release published in November 2012, Riot Games claimed that League of Legends had accumulated 32.5 million players, 11.5 million of whom play monthly, of which 4.2 million play daily, making it the most played online game in the world. In March 2012, League of Legends became the #1 title in Korean PC Cafes. In Taiwan, it is estimated that almost 5 percent of their entire population played the game, with almost 1 million players subscribed on the server.League of Legends is also very popular in the Philippines, and it is the second most played game in internet cafés in the country (just behind Defense of the Ancients). As compared to fellow MOBA games Heroes of Newerth and Dota 2, Mike Minotti of VentureBeat considered the game the easiest to learn, and with the fastest gameplay pace of the three. According to Riot in October 2013 the game had 12 million active daily players and 32 million active monthly players. In January 2014 the game had 27 million active daily players, 7.5 million concurrent players at peak times, and 67 million active monthly players.

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 78.72%
Metacritic 78%
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A- 
Allgame 3.5/5 stars
Eurogamer 8/10 stars
Game Revolution B+ 
GameSpy 4/5 stars
GameZone 4.5/5 stars
IGN 8/10 stars
Publication Award
Gamespy Gamer's Choice Award for PC Game of the Year (2009)
IGN Reader's Choice Award for PC Best Strategy Game and PC Best Multiplayer Game (2009)
Gamasutra 2010 Best Online Technology
2010 Best Online Visual Arts
2010 Best Online Game Design
2010 Best New Online Game
2010 Audience Award

Critical reception

League of Legends has received generally favorable reviews, and currently holds a Metacritic score of 78 out of 100.

IGN awarded League of Legends 8.0 out of 10, highlighting an enjoyable game design, inventive champion design with good customization options and lively visuals. However, the game's confusing launch was criticized: it was felt that the title was released too early, with some features missing and others to be removed. Finally, the reviewer noted that high level players in the game have "little patience for newcomers," though the reviewer believed that matchmaking (not implemented at the time of review), would solve the problem by matching players of similar level together.

The game has been criticized for server unreliability and unmoderated gameplay (such as player grief and harassment).A system to report players who misbehave in-game has been implemented, allowing a player to report others for undesired activities such as verbal harassment, intentional disruption of the game (e.g., 'feeding' the enemy team, making them gain kills and thus gold, by dying on purpose), staying away from the game for extended periods of time, and leaving the game. Riot released a peer review system called the "Tribunal" in May 2011.

As of October 2012, Riot Games claims League of Legends has over 32 million registrations and averages 12 million players worldwide per day. Global concurrent users online peaked at over 5 million players as of March 2013.In July 2012 Xfire released a report stating that League of Legends was the most played PC game in North America and Europe, with 1.3 billion hours logged by players in those regions between July 2011 and June 2012.

Awards and nominations

Date Awards Category Result
December 14, 2009 IGN PC Best Strategy Game 2009 Readers' Choice Winner
December 21, 2009 Gamespy Gamers' Choice Awards 2009 PC Gamers' Choice Winner
October 8, 2010 1st Game Developers Online Choice Awards Best Online Technology, Visual Arts, Game Design, New Online Game, Audience Award Winner 
October 29, 2010 Golden Joystick Award Online Game Of The Year Winner
October 21, 2011 Golden Joystick Award Best Free-To-Play Game Winner