Is League of Legends dying? A quick glance at current state of the game

Is League of Legends dying? A quick glance at current state of the game

League of Legends is a MOBA-type of game with over 10 years online. Over the decade, there have been millions of players around the world who decided to spend their time on the Summoners? Rift and have fun. Or at least try. Some of them made it to the pro scene, earning thousands of dollars, along with the undying fame and respect. Some have reached a certain social status as streamers thanks to their hard work, patience, and above average skills. On the other hand, a part of the 120-million player base has proven to be so weak, that Riot Games had to create a division especially for them.

But today?s? question is about the state of the game after so long being present on our PCs. Is the League of Legends dying? Are players leaving or maybe it?s the opposite? Is 200 years of experience enough to keep it going?

THE COMMUNITY

Numbers don?t lie. Reportedly the League of Legends player count exceeds 100 millions. There are 80 million Summoners playing every month, and nearly 30 million playing daily. Streamers and content creators with hundreds of thousands and even millions of subscribers are nothing unusual.

The League of Legends player count doesn?t seem to fall. It?s rather stable, if not growing.

THE ESPORT

League of Legends is the top of the top for, when it comes to esports corresponding with a real sport. USA became the first ever country that acknowledged LoL players as sportsmen for the visa purposes. When NA LCS turned to franchising, several NBA teams rushed in. 100 Thieves are partially owned by Cleveland Cavaliers. Clutch Gaming is an esport brand of Houston Rockets. FlyQuest is a part of Wes Edens business, who is the co-owner of Milwaukee Bucks. Golden Guardians are the Golden State Warriors product. Echo Fox was founded by former NBA player, Rick Fox. In the EU we have teams like Schalke 04 or Paris Saint-Germain, started by the soccer teams.

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Year after year, the Worlds Championship are gathering millions of fans to watch the best LoL players fight for the win. The prize pools are growing, and although they are still behind the likes of DotA 2 or Fortnite, scoring hundreds of thousands dollars is nothing to sneeze on. The games are oftentimes measured, calculated, let alone boring, but it?s not because of the nature of the game, but because of the teams proficiency and tactic over flashy plays. However, we can still watch action-packed, swinging back-and-forth games, with outplays, great shot-calling, incredible comebacks, and overall heroic moments.

League of Legends is, by far, carving a path for the esports to grow bigger and stronger, gaining more popularity and respect, especially among the radical conservatives, who claim that the sport requires you to go outside, and doesn?t require an Internet connection. Let?s settle this down once and for all. There is no need for taking anything away from somebody. Athletes that excel at physical competition should not look down upon athletes sitting in front of the screen. There is absolutely no need for contempt and hatred. We all try to follow our dreams and develop the talents. Nobody should ever force a great basketball player to play LoL, and vice-versa. LeBron James should not judge Faker by his physicality, and Faker should not look at LeBron through the prism of his ability to CS. Let us all do what we are the best at.

Besides, someone who says, that there is nothing weary in sitting in front of the computer and clicking, have no idea about the topic, and should never be vocal about. Knowing only one side of the coin doesn?t give you perspective to judge. Try the SKT T1 vs. JAG special from LCK season 8. 94 minutes of pure mental effort, backed by mechanical prowess. Sit down for an hour and a half, clicking the mouse and the keyboard like the best player in the region. Then, and only then, you earn the ranting rights.

THE MONEY

There are thousands of people from a humble booster, laboriously leveling new lol accounts to lvl 30, through streamers with hundreds of viewers, up to coaches, pro boosters, content creators, and ultimately the pro players, who are making money with League of Legends.

The subscribers count on YouTube grows constantly. Every champions has its signature streamer or YouTuber. There is constant demand for lvl 30 accounts, boosting, and advanced high elo accounts. People who are sick and tired of the game quit, selling their time and work, and newcomers are buying their time so that they don?t have to waste their own life. Twitch.tv is brimming with viewers, especially during the events. Last LoL Worlds Championship gathered millions of fans all over the world to watch the best players struggle.

And the best players? They are making a ton of cash as well. Endorsements and sponsorships, regular paycheck, tournament wins. Keep in mind, that they are also streaming and uploading videos on YouTube, which gives them a buck or two.

We believe that people, who made their fortunes on LoL will not quit, not in the nearest future at least. And streamers and YouTubers are the inspiration for new players to chase the dream of being a content creator, playing their beloved game, and earning loads of dollars from it.

Also, don?t forget the Riot Games themselves. Probably they are the ones who earn the most.

THE FUTURE

The 10th League of Legends anniversary brought some significant surprises. The most important ones are the new Riot Games projects.

THE CARD GAME

Surprisingly enough, the card games are reliving their renaissance right now. Perhaps the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its innovative Gwent has something to do with it, either way Riot Games decided to cut their own piece of the pie. The mechanism is tried and trusted. LoL has a wide lore with many characters with champions not being the only ones with a story behind them. The initial part of the job is done. Riot has a foundation of the game. What?s left for them is to figure out, how the thing will play out.

THE TACTICAL SHOOTER

A game called Project A, is supposed to be, what Riot Games call a tactical shooter. It means, it?s mostly a character-based shooter with abilities used to create a tactical advantage, instead of wreaking havoc, and conducting a genocide. Bad news for all you Hanzo afficionados ? there will be no kill-all-enemies-randomly skills. The rioters stated, that characters? abilities will only be tools to enable players efficient shooting at their opponents. From what we have seen in gameplay trailer, the game has a potential to be really dope.

THE MMORPG

It?s hard not to notice the popularity and potential of a good MMORPG game. If it gains recognition and large enough player base, it can generate great profit over many years with a room for players to make money as well. If there was something worth considering by Riot Games, it was definitely the MMORPG version of LoL. The lore of Runeterra offers more than enough space for an MMORPG to develop. From a LoL players? perspective, we can say it would be awesome to do some quests and assist LoL champions in their struggle. There are many factions (Ionia, Demacia, Noxus, Void, Vastaya, Yordles), areas, characters, lore stories that you can build an MMORPG world around. We can?t wait to see what is Riot Games up to.

THE MOBILE MOBA

There are dozens of MOBAs released on the mobile devices already. Some are better, some are worse, but none of them is signed by Riot Games, and based on the League of Legends. None of them is Wild Rift. Riot had to rebuild it and adjust so that mobile users can comfortably play it, but they made it.

Let?s face it ? you can laugh your lungs out, making fun of mobile gamers, but Clash of Clans has more subscribers on YouTube than League of Legends. Legit. Also, what is the crucial factor here ? you can?t take your PC everywhere. We live in weird era, where sometimes the road to the workplace takes us hours weekly. There is no better way to kill time during such a trip than too play a mobile game. Even NBA players like Harrison Barnes or Jeremy Lin admitted they play mobiles. So it doesn?t matter how loud you laugh, mobile games are getting more and more legit.

As we can see, Riot Games not only progresses vertically improving their staple title which is League of Legends, but they also spreads horizontally onto another genre. The diversification is probably the best thing they could have done with such a creative potential and resources. Who knows, maybe one day there will be a vast hype on shooters? Maybe the card games will return to their former glory? Maybe LoL will be dying at some point? Riot Games will be prepared for such condition, as they will have more than one game in more than one genre.

THE UNLIMITED POTENTIAL

There is a thing about games such as League of Legends, DotA 2, or other MOBAs.

No game is the same.

You can have the same game plan every time, but 10 out of 10 times something goes not as planned. We don?t mean all the possible combinations with Runes, Champions in each team, Summoner Spells, none of these. These factors are countable, and even though the number would be astonishingly high, it?s still limited.

To us, it is the unpredictability factor that makes people stick to LoL. Let?s have a quick comparison to a typical MMORPG. How?s the gameplay in MMO going? You create a character, do some quests, dungeons, raids, group content. You follow the progression, earn skill points, find better gear, level up, until you are maxed out. What then? All quests completed, all bosses killed, all the best gear fills your character?s slots, and there is nothing more for you to do. What?s next? The only saving grace of an MMORPG is new content, but sometimes it?s not enough. Some players may say: ?Meh, I?ve done everything in this game, I?ve been everywhere, what else are they going to do? Add another raid? Another boss? Naaa? I pass.? and they go away.

With League of Legends you have a clear time frame. 25 to 45 minutes of playing, boom, Nexus down, everybody go home. You can queue up again, if you please, or go out for a walk, if you?ve had enough. You can queue up as you come back, or do something else. The game of LoL ends after the Nexus is destroyed, and starts with the epic: ?Welcome to Summoners? Rift.? The only grind here is collecting all champions, which is unnecessary, to be fair, as an average player?s champion pool consists of less than 10 characters. What are you going to do, once you end the game? Queue for another one, and see what life brings. Will I carry, or get carried? Will we have a n00b on our team, or maybe it?s the enemy team with a bad luck? We?ll see.

And that?s the point. The game is shifting, it hates stagnancy. No one likes stagnancy, and that?s what the MMO are. Unless you are playing WoW, PoE, or Lineage for money-making purposes, or it?s social aspect, you will not be willing to play at all. Nobody wants to play the same game over and over.

THE EMOTIONS

Finally, we get to the point, which probably made the LoL game so popular. We love to hate it, and we hate to love it, but still, it brings feeling unparalleled with another game. The moment you get your revenge kill, the second you are outplayed, the killing blow to the Nexus, or the game-changing play ? it?s a bread and butter of LoL. It?s what we are playing the game for.

WHO SAYS THAT LOL IS DYING?

In spite of its undisputed commercial success and millions of playing everyday, there are some prominent individuals claiming that League of Legends is dying. A very peculiar persona to make such a claim is The Rain Man, one of the members of the TSM squad in 2011. He was a top laner just before Dyrus. In a YouTube video in 2018 he stated, that the game is dying and more and more players are leaving LoL to play, for example, Fortnite or Overwatch. It was true back then, as many players quit League due to idiotic patch changes, which turned the game into a dull farmfest focused around getting your ADC fed. Nobody wanted to play it or watch it. But things changed.

Today, we have a lot of naysayers ranting about how the League of Legends is unrewarding, unplayable, RNG-based, straight trash, and so on. However, the repetitive pattern here is that it?s mostly players who are easy to tilt, cry over something, known for toxic behavior, like hashinshin. Should we listen to them? Definitely not. The League of Legends is for us, and even if sometimes there is a smurf ruining our game, or a feeder, it?s for us to have fun. Let?s keep it that way.

Also, there is a huge difference between ?dying game? and ?the game that doesn?t meet my expectations?. Every hard-stuck Bronze self-proclaimed champion with each consecutive loss will whine about the game being trash. Every hard-stuck Diamond dead sure about him deserving a spot in the Grand Master, failing to do so on his own for a third straight season, will say the game is for idiots. Every player who got banned for cheating, elo boosting, or toxic behavior will have only bad things to say about the League of Legends. And yet miraculously the same group of best players in the world reach Challenger effortlessly, with some of them playing professionally.

SUMMARY

League of Legends is on the market for a decade, and this period has been like a marriage. It had its rises and falls, the better and worse moments, strange or boring metas, and a couple of other issues. There were times where people were leaving for other titles, and then again returning to the LoL. The times of smaller popularity, and less profits for streamers, and times of insane prosperity. Things have been all the way around. But League of Legends thrives, being a worldwide phenomenon, gathering millions of fans for Worlds, and even more to queue up for the day. So by all means ? League of Legends is damn alive, and not going anywhere. And if you spot someone crying that LoL is a dead game, it?s probably a Yasuo main with 0/10 power spike, or a hard camped top laner unable to place a ward in the River.

FAQ

HOW MANY PEOPLE PLAY LEAGUE OF LEGENDS?

Rough estimations from LoL 10th anniversary speak of 120 million League of Legends players count to ever step on the Summoners? Rift, with around 80 million playing each month and 27 million to play each day.

IS LOL THE MOST PLAYED GAME?

Nope. Surprisingly, it?s the mobile hit ?Candy Crush Saga? to have the highest player base count.

HOW MUCH LONGER WILL LEAGUE OF LEGENDS LAST?

It?s hard to tell, but the game has at least a couple of years ahead of it.

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