The most popular game in the world is incredibly complex -- here's how to play it

The most popular video game in the world is also one of the most inscrutable.

It’s called “League of Legends” — “LoL,” or “League” for short — and it regularly draws sell-out crowds to massive stadiums around the world.

It is, by far, the most popular eSports game played competitively, with popular teams making millions in sponsorship and winnings.

It’s also a free game, meaning anyone can hop in and play at anytime. But trying to jump in to an already established community can be intimidating. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s your simple, comprehensive breakdown to “League of Legends.”

'LoL' is what's known as a MOBA -- that's short for 'multiplayer online battle arena.'

YouTube/Riot

Other MOBAs include 'Dota 2' and 'Smite.' Each game has its fans, but they all have a lot in common.

YouTube/Riot

The main goal of the game is to destroy the enemy's 'nexus,' a central structure at their base. They will be trying to destroy your team's nexus, too.

YouTube/Riot

In 'League of Legends,' you'll start by picking your character. There are 131 characters (!!!) players can choose from.

Riot

Most of these characters must be purchased to play, but players can use currency earned through winning matches, too.

Also, Riot Games (the company that makes 'League of Legends') makes a random assortment of characters free-to-play for a week or so at a time, giving players opportunities to try out new characters so they can decide which ones they actually want to drop their hard-earned cash on.

Each team has five players.

YouTube/Riot

Different characters fulfil different roles on the battlefield. Some deal a ton of damage but can be killed easily. Others don't deal much damage on their own but can heal their teammates.

YouTube/Riot

Each character belongs to one of six categories that dictate their general strengths and weaknesses: Assassin, Fighter, Mage, Support, Tank, and Marksman.

There are several paths between each base, called 'lanes.' These are the main areas of traffic where you'll encounter your enemies from the opposing team.

YouTube/Riot

There are also neutral zones called 'jungles,' where monsters lurk, attacking anyone who gets in their way. Defeating these monsters grants players additional experience to help them level up and purchase items.

YouTube/Riot

At the start of every battle, everyone starts on even footing, at level one. As you defeat enemies, your character will level up, gaining new abilities and getting stronger.

YouTube/Riot

You will also earn currency as you defeat enemies. You can use this currency to purchase items during the game that will help give you an edge.

YouTube/Riot

In addition to enemy players, you'll face off against computer-controlled minions, known as 'creeps.' Each team has these minions that automatically march towards the enemy's base, attacking anything that stands in their way.

YouTube/Riot

Before you can take down the enemy's base, you have to destroy their tower defences, because they can kill you really quickly if they're not dealt with.

YouTube/Riot

Each game ends when one team's base is destroyed. This can take 15 or 20 minutes, but some games can go on as long as an hour.

YouTube/Riot

Most MOBAs are playable on computers, but there have been an increasing amount coming to consoles, like 'Smite.'

YouTube/Riot

There's a new MOBA coming to PlayStation 4 and PC later this year called 'Paragon,' which is playable as a part of an open beta test right now.

Epic Games

Like 'Smite,' 'Paragon' features an over-the-shoulder perspective as opposed to the zoomed-out tactical view of 'Dota 2' and 'League of Legends.'

Epic Games

There's no denying the importance of MOBAs on the gaming world -- Riot Games says 27 million people play 'League of Legends' every day.

YouTube/Riot

So, if you haven't tried 'League of Legends' yet, give it a shot! It's pretty fun!

YouTube/Riot

And if you get really good, you can get paid for it!

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