If you haven’t been living under a rock, then you’ve probably heard of League of Legends. Released in 2009, this game has exploded in recent years and now boasts over 100 million monthly players. To put that into perspective for you that makes League of Legends the most popular game in the world by a long shot.
It’s so popular that even if you combine the monthly players for DOTA 2, PUBG, Overwatch, CS:GO and World of Warcraft you still wouldn’t be anywhere near it. However, the real question is: How did League of Legends get so popular in the first place? What makes it the most popular game and why can’t players seem to get enough of it?
To explore the popularity of League of Legends, we’re taking a look at LoL’s unique features that make it stand out from other games. We’ll also have a look at its history to see how this ever-changing game has managed to keep things new and fresh for nearly 10 years.
Crafting the Masterpiece
League of Legends was released in October 2009 after months of research and testing. Based on a free mod for the game Warcraft 3, League of Legends was the first stand-alone game of this genre to be released. When the game first came out many players had never experienced a MOBA before and wanted to try it out. Riot, the developers behind the game, where the first company to create a stand-alone MOBA and many people were skeptical. In fact, it wasn’t just the first standalone MOBA, it was also their first game ever.
Straight from its initial launch, League of Legends was a huge success, and its popularity only started to grow from there. In just 2 short years, LoL managed to gain over 11.5 million monthly players. For a brand-new game from a brand new games company, this was a huge success. Many early testers loved the range of characters, unique gameplay and replay ability. Compared to other games that you would complete once and get bored, LoL had almost unlimited replay ability.
After getting over 11 millions players onboard, Riot decided to take their game to the next level by going international. In 2011, Riot announced their first eSports tournament for the end of Season 1. Taking place in Dreamhack, the event was the first of its kind and saw various teams battle it out for a prize pool of $100,000. Although there had been plenty of eSports gaming tournaments around before this one, this tournament was special.
The Season 1 championships wasactually one of the first MOBA tournaments. Nowadays there are 4 MOBA tournaments held every year for games such as DOTA 2, Smite and Heroes of the Storm. However, back in 2011, League of Legends had one of the first MOBA tournaments.
This tournament alone gathered lots of attention for the game and by the end of 2012 League of Legends had over 32 million players. From then the game only started to get bigger and bigger. Every year the developers released tens of new champions and updated the game with lots of new features. These constant updates and changes added to the game also helped boost the game’s popularity. Players were excited to see new things coming to the game and it made them want to play it even more.
Since it’s initially released in 2009, Riot have released over 110 new champions. Considering the game is free to play, this is an impressive feat. Many games released 8 years ago don’t receive updates anymore. So for a game to be continuously updated every month for nearly 10 years without charging players, you can see how much the developers have invested.
In less than 10 years League of Legends has gone from coming out of beta with 50,00 players to over 100 million monthly players. As we look to the future, League of Legends is only going to get bigger. The game is still being updated with new features continually being added. League of Legends is also just starting its 8th competitive season with another World Championship planned at the end of the year. With so much going on in the LoL world, it’s easy to see how it managed to get so popular.
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