You are on page 1of 7

Huergo 1

Jose Huergo
Mrs. Mann
1501.5 D
15 November, 2014
Observing the Growth of League of Legends
In today’s modern urban society, we recognize the gaming industry as one of the most
profitable sectors in entertainment. From this industry, Riot Games’ League of Legends has begun to take the world by storm. League of Legends is a Five-on-Five game in which both teams
try to destroy each other’s bases using the unique abilities of over 120 different selectable characters. League of Legends is the world’s most popular game, it is internationally recognized, and
has been the spark that has ignited the birth of a new form of entertainment known as eSports.
League of Legends brings people together from all over the country, and is extremely profitable
not just for Riot Games, but even for some of its players.
League of Legends is by far the most popular game in the world. Since its launch in 2009,
its player base has increased to gargantuan numbers. According to Riot Games, League of Legends has had a peak of 7.5 Million players playing at one time as of January 27, 2014. Even more
shockingly, Riot also announced that there is an average of 27 Million people that play League of
Legends each day. However, the most mind-blowing statistic that Riot announced was that there
are approximately 67 Million people that play League of Legends monthly. To put this in perspective, there are more monthly League of Legends players than there are in the population of
France (65 Million). There are many reasons for the success of League of Legends, but the main
reason is the brilliance of Riot Games. League of Legends is truly an epitome of the free-to-play
business model as no investment is required to unlock exclusive content, and any money spent

Huergo 2
on the game will be spent on cosmetic changes or content that would otherwise be unlocked with
time. Riot also constantly seeks feedback from its players to ensure it’s working toward a state of
balance. Riot is a beloved company by the community, and rarely thought of as greedy, despite
using a usually-derided micro-transaction model to survive. Riot’s customer service is second to
none. Riot is constantly interacting with its audience to maintain a balance in the game, listening
to the ideas of players for more content, and making sure the community does not partake in inappropriate behavior. This makes every player feel important and useful, which is the reason for
the immense popularity of League of Legends.
The popularity of League of Legends spans throughout the entire globe. There are currently twelve different servers from which the game can be played. These servers are allocated
in: North America, Oceania, Western Europe, China, Korea, Southeast Asia, Europe Nordic &
East, Latin America North, Latin America South, Brazil, Turkey, and a Public Testing Server
which is accessible from any region. Each region shares a love for the game, and brings about
many different ideas and methods to improve the game. For example, players in North America
might have innovative ideas for new content, while Korean players share new brilliant strategies
to achieve victory. Every server has a specific set of Riot Games Staff which maintain the server’s functionality and interact with the community in that region. When asked about how the
global appeal impacts the game and community “Fishing for Urf", one of North Americas top
players, said “The more people that are interested in playing, the more time they’ll spend playing. This leads to more content for Riot to release which gives the players more motivation to
continue to play. This ultimately ends with more profits for Riot, along with a better experience
for the players.”

Huergo 3
In every region there are professional League of Legends teams that compete all year
against one another in organized competitive events known as eSports for a chance to participate
in the League of Legends World Championship. In the World Championship, top teams from
each region come together to compete against each other. Each region has its own unique way of
playing the game. For example, Chinese teams prefer to fight as much as possible, while Korean
teams take a more strategic and methodical approach to the game.These events are called eSports
because they share similarities to actual sporting events such as: sponsors, immense audiences,
analysts, commentators, etc. The League of Legends World Championship is the pinnacle of eSports. During the months of September and October, the top teams in every region gather in one
place to compete in the World Championship for immense amounts of money. There have been a
total of four World Championships. The growth of League of Legends and eSports can be seen
by analyzing the World Championships each year. The Season 1 World Championship took
place in a tiny room with a small audience of mainly Riot Games Staff for a grand prize of
$50,000; however, there was about 200,000 people watching online. Season 2 was the beginning
of the growth of League of Legends, with the World Championship Finals taking place in USC’s
Galen Center with a total of 8.2 million viewers; Season 3 saw the continuation of the growth
and the explosion in popularity. 32 Million viewers watched Korean team SK Telecom T1 earn
the “Summoner’s Cup” along with a record-breaking $1 Million in front of the sold-out Staples
Center. This was by far the most viewed event in eSports history. On top of solidifying League
of Legends as the most popular game at the time, Season 3 World Championships also proved
how Korean teams were by far the strongest. After this event, Koreans were heavily favored in
any sort of international competition. Most Recently, 16 Teams competed this year in the Season
4 League of Legends World Championship for an unbelievable prize pool of $2.13 Million. If

Huergo 4
the Staples Center seemed like a shocking venue for the World Championship Finals, Season 4’s
World Championship Final would leave you speechless: the venue for this event was in the Sangam Stadium otherwise known as the “Seoul World Cup Stadium”! This is the historic landmark
which hosted the one of the most viewed sports events of all time, the 2002 FIFA World Cup. In
order to celebrate the Season 4 World Championship, critically acclaimed band Imagine Dragons
wrote their hit single “Warriors” specifically for this event. Over 60,000 people watched the Season 4 Champions in Korean team Samsung White hoist the “Summoner’s Cup” live at the Sangam Stadium. Although Riot hasn’t released any official numbers for the viewership count on
Season 4 Worlds yet, there are estimates that project a view count of about 60 Million people,
nearly doubling the record-breaking view count of the Season 3 World Championship.
League of Legends is more than just a game to many people all across the globe. To some
it is a medium of staying in contact with old friends, to others it is a way of monitoring selfimprovement and competing by climbing the ranked ladder. It is a profitable job to some of the
best players in the world. Lastly, it is a perfect business model for entrepreneurs who are yet to
even touch the game. League of Legends is a marvelous form of entertainment for everyone, especially with the rising phenomenon of eSports. One doesn’t have to know the strategies of the
game to enjoy eSports; simply watching a stage full of 60,000 people that don’t even speak the
same language rejoice together and connect internationally is more than enough for someone to
gain enjoyment from the game known as League of Legends. (Word Count: 1204)

Huergo 5

Works Cited:
"One World Championship, 32 Million Viewers." League of Legends. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
"Servers." League of Legends Wiki. Wikia. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
Tassi, Paul. "Riot's 'League of Legends' Reveals Astonishing 27 Million Daily Players, 67
Million Monthly." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
"Summoners Distribution - League of Legends." Summoners Distribution - League of Legends.
Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
"League of Legends Home." League of Legends World Championship 2014 Prize Pool Revealed.

MMOSite, 6 Aug. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.

Huergo 6
Tassi, Paul. "40,000 Korean Fans Watch SSW Win 2014 'League of Legends' World
Championship." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 15 Nov. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
"Interactive Timeline." League of Legends Interactive Timeline. Riot Games. Web. 15 Nov.
Chalk, Andy. "League of Legends Has Made Almost $1 Billion in Microtransactions." PC
Gamer. PC Gamer, 15 Nov. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
"$17,947,201.59 in Prize Money Awarded in League of Legends Tournaments." E-Sports
Earnings. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
Gaudiosi, John. "Riot Games' League Of Legends Officially Becomes Most Played PC Game In
The World." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 11 July 2012. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
"Seoul World Cup Stadium." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Nov. 2014. Web. 15 Nov.

Huergo 7