League of Legends

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League of Legends
League of Legends logo.png
Developer(s)Riot Games
Publisher(s)Riot Games
Director(s)Tom "Zileas" Cadwell
Producer(s)Steven Snow
Travis George
Designer(s)Christina Norman
Rob Garret
Steve Feak
Artist(s)Edmundo Sanchez
Troy Adam
Jay Davies
Composer(s)Christian Linke
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)October 27, 2009
Genre(s)Multiplayer online battle arena
Mode(s)Online Multiplayer
Media/distributionDownload,[1] DVD
System requirements

Minimum System Requirements[2]

Recommended System Requirements[2]

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League of Legends
League of Legends logo.png
Developer(s)Riot Games
Publisher(s)Riot Games
Director(s)Tom "Zileas" Cadwell
Producer(s)Steven Snow
Travis George
Designer(s)Christina Norman
Rob Garret
Steve Feak
Artist(s)Edmundo Sanchez
Troy Adam
Jay Davies
Composer(s)Christian Linke
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)October 27, 2009
Genre(s)Multiplayer online battle arena
Mode(s)Online Multiplayer
Media/distributionDownload,[1] DVD
System requirements

Minimum System Requirements[2]

Recommended System Requirements[2]

League of Legends (LoL) is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows,[3] inspired by the popular Defense of the Ancients[4] map for Warcraft III. It was first announced on October 7, 2008, and released on October 27, 2009.[5] The game was in a closed beta from April 10, 2009, to October 22, 2009.[6] It then transitioned to open beta until release.[7]




Players are formed into 2 even teams of Champions, 3v3 or 5v5. As of 27 September 2012 (2012 -09-27) there are 105 different champions from which to choose. Each player begins at opposing sides of a map in an area called the Spawning Pool, near what is called a Nexus. A match is won when either team's nexus is destroyed. To destroy a Nexus, each team must work through a series of Turrets placed along a path to each base referred to as a Lane. Along the way, each player gains levels from killing the opposing team's champions and Minions (NPCs that constantly spawn and attack the other team) and defeating neutral monsters. Completing objectives rewards players with gold which is used to purchase items.

Game modes and matchmaking

League of Legends is a session-based game. Matchmaking occurs based on the average Elo ratings of each individual players, with slight proprietary adjustments.[8]

The game can currently be played in five different modes: Tutorial, Custom, Co-Op vs. AI, Normal and Ranked. Custom mode allows players to manually create custom game sessions that other players can find on a game list and join. Co-op vs. AI is a mode where players are matched either alone or as part of a group against a team of bots.

The Ranked mode originally became available to players of level 20 and higher, but was later changed to only be available to players of level 30 (players can still queue for Ranked games if they are over level 20, but only if they are in an arranged team).[9] Ranked uses Draft Mode where each team can ban up to 3 champions from the game, and the two teams cannot play the same champion. In addition, opponent Champions picks are visible before the loading of the actual game. Second, an exclusive, visible rating is calculated based on the player's performance in Ranked games. The player is placed on the ladder according to their rating, and top teams on the ladder have a chance to compete in the "$100,000 Global Finals" at the end of the season.[9] Season Two, launched in November 2011, introduced the addition of six-ban games, ranked teams and a complete change of the masteries.[10]

Fields of Justice

Maps in League of Legends are called Fields of Justice.[11] There are currently three Fields of Justice that the players can choose from, two 5-vs-5 maps and one 3-vs-3 map.

A match puts two teams with a fixed number of players against each other. Each team has its base, which contains the re-spawn point, item shop and nexus. The two bases are connected by lanes. Periodically, waves of minions spawn from the nexus, AI-controlled troops that walk down the lanes, engaging any enemies they encounter. The lanes are lined with turrets that engage enemies within range. Once a turret is destroyed, it cannot be rebuilt. Each lane has an inhibitor on both ends. If a team destroys the enemy inhibitor, more powerful "super minions" will spawn for that side. Unlike turrets, inhibitors respawn after a fixed amount of time.

Besides the lanes, the maps also contain "jungle" areas, which contain neutral monsters to be killed for bonus gold and experience. Some powerful neutral monsters grant the killer a temporary buff that will help them in battle. Another special terrain feature is the brush. Brush blocks the line of sight of units, allowing champions to hide and set up an ambush.

The goal of each team is to destroy the enemy Nexus. The first team to achieve this is the victor. Victory is also attained if the opponent surrenders, using a voting system where 4 out of 5 must agree, but only after enough time has passed.


Dominion is the latest game mode released by Riot Games.[12] Dominion brings faster action and tactical gameplay played on a new map, The Crystal Scar, and features a new Capture-and-Hold playstyle. The Inhibitors and Turrets have been removed - instead, the map has five Capture Points. Capturing one of these points will turn it into a Turret and allow it to start spawning minions. Item availability is also different in Dominion,[13]. Two new summoner spells, called Garrison and Promote were released with the new game mode, with the latter also being available in Summoner's Rift. The summoner spell Teleport is the only summoner spell that is not available in this mode. The new game type is aimed to be much shorter than conventional 30-45-minute classic games: most Dominion games average about 15-25 minutes in duration.

Persistence and meta-game

The Summoner acts as the persistent element in the game, to be used to track statistics and scores for each player.[14][15] Summoners gain experience points and "Influence Points" (in-game currency) for each battle they participate in. They level up by getting enough experience. The Summoner can also choose two summoner spells.[14] 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.[14] Masteries are perks that affect gameplay, structured in a skill tree. All of the masteries are passive effects, although some augment summoner spells, 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). Runes must be unlocked in the Store and it is possible to have more than one copy of a 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 Summoners 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." Notably, players receive reward in the form of in-game Influence Points for agreeing with the outcome to encourage accurate analysis of the case.[16]

Competitive play

League of Legends has experienced success in the competitive video game field. The 2010 World Cyber Games Grand Finals at Los Angeles hosted a competitive tournament for League of Legends. The competitors came from around the world to compete, coming from China, Europe and the Americas. The victors were the Counter Logic Gaming team from North America and won a $7,000 prize.[17] The competitive play has also been stated as the reason of the removal of the Dodge stat in Season 2,[18]

Competitive play for League of Legends reached a new level during the Season 1 World Championships at Dreamhack held in Sweden during June 2011. The European team Fnatic defeated teams from Europe, the USA and Asia to win the tournament which featured US$100,000 in prizes and won a US$50,000 prize.[19] Over 1.6 million viewers watched the streaming broadcast over the course of the event with a peak of over 210,000 viewers watching a single semi-final match.[20]

The success of League of Legends since Season 1 has led Riot to announce a total of $5,000,000 USD to 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. [21]

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 affects 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 will be in use during the finals.[22]


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), were involved with Riot Games in the development of League Of Legends.[23] 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, largely 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 its current 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 was co-founded by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill. They partnered with some of the key creative minds behind the creation of DotA-Allstars, Steve "Guinsoo" Feak and Steve "Pendragon" Mescon. Riot Games officially opened its office in September 2006, and currently has about 100 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.


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, 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.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26] To do so, Riot Games established a European HQ in Dublin.[27]

On July 14, 2009, Riot Games announced that League of Legends will be free with "no catch".[14][28] 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.[29][30] 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."[31] Using both free-to-play and freemium models, the game is supported by microtransactions (see store) rather than ads or boxed copy sales.[32]

On 25 February 2010 Riot Games announced that League of Legends will be distributed in Southeast Asian countries by an unspecified publisher and blocked SEA IP addresses pursuant to its distribution agreement.[33] 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 will publish the game in Southeast Asia.[34] Additionally, Southeast Asian players have the ability "transfer accounts" to import their progress stored in North American or European servers, into the Southeast Asian server.


Aggregate scores
Review scores
1UP.comA- [37]
Allgame3.5/5 stars[38]
Eurogamer8/10 stars[39]
Game RevolutionB+ [40]
GameSpy4/5 stars[41]
GameZone4.5/5 stars[42]
IGN8/10 stars[43]
GamespyGamer's Choice Award for PC Game of the Year (2009)
IGNReader's Choice Award for PC Best Strategy Game and PC Best Multiplayer Game (2009)
Gamasutra2010 Best Online Technology

2010 Best Online Visual Arts
2010 Best Online Game Design
2010 Best New Online Game
2010 Audience Award

League of Legends has received generally favorable reviews, and currently holds a Metacritic score of 78 out of 100.[36]

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.[44]

The game has undergone criticism for server unreliability and unmoderated gameplay (such as player grief and harassment)[citation needed]. However, a system to report players who misbehave in-game has been implemented, allowing a player to report others for reasons 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 AFK (Away From Keyboard) for extended periods of time, and leaving the game. Riot released a peer review system called the "Tribunal" in May 2011.[45] Riot rewards influence points to players for reviewing reports entered by other players.

As of November 2011, League of Legends had over 32 million registrations and averages millions of players per day, with the number of concurrent users online at any given time peaking over half a million, doubling its player base in 4 months.[46][47]

Awards and Nominations

December 14, 2009IGN PC Best Strategy Game 2009Readers' ChoiceWinner[48]
December 21, 2009Gamespy Gamers' Choice Awards 2009PC Gamers' ChoiceWinner[49]
October 8, 20101st Game Developers Online Choice AwardsAudience AwardWinner [50]
October 21, 2011Golden Joystick AwardBest Free-To-Play GameWinner[51]


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External links