The most-played PC game in the world isn’t the Sims or SimCity or even World of Warcraft. It’s League of Legends, and it’s a lot of fun.
Part of this game’s success is that players can compete in tournaments against other players from around the world. At the 2013 championships, the top two teams gathered in front of thousands at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. A team from Korea, called SK Telecom T1, took home the $US1 million prize.
In 2013, it had 70 million registered users, up from 15 million in 2010, according to IGN. And of those 70 million registered users, it had 32.5 million active users. Together, they played a massive 1.3 billion hours each month.
The company’s success comes in part due to its business model: It doesn’t charge people to play. Once you’re in the game, however, you can choose to pay for certain characters or for cosmetic items, such as new costumes for the characters.
These payments have helped Riot Games, the company behind League of Legends, bring in more than $US624 million in revenue last year, writes Ian Sherr of the Wall Street Journal.
But just what is it that they’re playing? Let’s take a look at the basics and find out. (If you really want to dive deep in the gameplay, check out this beginner’s guide.)
The first thing you have to do is sign up. Here is the log-in screen, where you pick a unique username.
After you've logged in, it asks you to download the game. You can also watch a video about what you're getting into.
Now you're ready to download the game. Depending on your connection, this might take a while, so grab a cup of coffee and get comfy.
Once you've downloaded the game, choose a summoner name (which is how people will know it's you) and an icon. The summoner name can't be changed once you pick one, so choose wisely.
Before you start a match, you can talk with your team to figure out strategies. This is also where you pick your summoner, Champion and different spells you want to use.
Here's what the field of play looks like. Luckily you can play a tutorial, which really helps you understand the basics. For example, the main route that you take to attack the opposing team is called your 'lane.'
Those little pink guys are called minions. They belong to your enemies. You also have your own minions, but I'll get to that in a minute.
You earn the ability to get spells that will help you in battle. This particular spell will shoot a bunch of minions at once.
Finally, a real battle! You right-click on the things you want to destroy. Your enemy will send out a Champion to try to destroy you, but don't worry: you have a Champion that you can summon as well. Each Champion has different abilities.
The whole point of League of Legends is to destroy the other team's Nexus, basically making the game a very complicated and intricate version of capture the flag. Doing this, of course, takes a lot of skill, patience and strategy.
Once you've destroyed the Nexus, you've won the match! But it's not that simple. You have to get through enemy minions, turrets and Champions. And most maps have three different lanes and are much harder to traverse.
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