Esports primer: League of Legends

Esports are passionately followed by millions of fans around the globe on a daily basis. With the games featuring a wide range of formats, competition types and schedules, Field Level Media is producing a series of overviews to introduce you to the most popular titles, teams and personalities.

Today, a look at an esports classic: League of Legends.

League of Legends (or LoL) is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game played in the third person.

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Teams of five players battle each other on a single map called Summoner’s Rift. The map has three main pathways connecting both teams’ bases called lanes: top lane, mid lane and bottom lane. In each lane, teams have structures called towers or turrets that shoot at enemy units.

Once the game starts, computer-controlled units called minions or “creeps” spawn and run down the lanes at regular intervals, attacking any enemy unit they encounter. The minions can be killed for gold and experience.

Between each lane is an area referred to as the “jungle,” where camps of neutral monsters can be killed for gold, experience and occasionally buffs (temporary stat boosts or effects).

A river runs through the center of the map, dividing it into near-symmetrical halves. The bottom-oriented team (the one whose base is in the bottom left) is referred to as “blue side” while the top-oriented team (top right) is called “red side.”

The object of the game is to destroy the opponents’ towers until reaching the opponents’ Nexus, a giant crystalline structure in the heart of a team’s base, and destroying it.

Caps’ former team, Fnatic, is a historical powerhouse in the region. Fnatic are led by bottom laner and captain Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, who has been playing professionally since 2012.

Finally, North America’s best internationally performing team has been Cloud9. Led this year by top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie and bottom laner Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen, Cloud9 hold the honor of having the best international performance from a League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) team with a third/fourth-place finish at the 2018 World Championship.

LCS mainstay Team SoloMid (TSM) had made consistent international appearances until the past two years. TSM are led by mid laner and co-owner Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg.

Last year’s LCS champions, Team Liquid, are currently struggling, but they still have a talented roster, led by North American bottom laner legend Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng.


Each region has its own broadcasting channel on Twitch.tv. Europe and North America also broadcast on YouTube at the LoL Esports channel, while Korea and China have their own YouTube channels, LCK Global and LPL English, respectively.

–Noah Waltzer (@pairodice), Field Level Media

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