League of Legends
League of Legends is one of the most popular widely played multiplayer online battle arena games developed and introduced by Riot Games initially for macOS and Microfost Windows back in October of 2009. The game is supported by Microtransaction following a freemium model. League of Legends creators Steve Feak, Rob Garret and Christina Norman were inspired by another popular game Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne especially with the game’s mode Defense of the Ancients.
In the game, players assume the role of summoner which is an unseen creature controlling a champion with some unique abilities. Each summoner battles against opponent team’s champion or computer-controlled champions. The ultimate goal of the game is to defeat an opponent team by destroying its nexus which is its structure lying in the heart of a protected base. This is the initial mode of the game, but there are many other modes introduced over time.
Each League of Legends match is pretty much same where all champions start off fairly weak, but gradually increase in strength by accumulating experience and items over the course of a game. The champions include various elements like steampunk, high fantasy, Lovecraftian horror, and folklore. The game was amazingly well received back at the time of its release in 2009 while rapidly growing in popularity including an expansive and worldwide fanbase.
The game back in 2012 was the most played game in Europe and in North America in terms of the number of hours played. More than 67 million people from all over the world played the game in January of 2014 which means more than 7.5 million players were active during its peak hours. Then Riot Games estimated that there are more than 100 million active players every month. This amazing popularity of the game led the developers to introduce various merchandise like apparel, toys, and accessories also creating tie-ins to other media through web series, books, documentaries and music videos.
When it comes to the game’s competitive scene, it has a widespread scene. The game’s developer Riot Games organizes every year the League of Legends Championship Series in Europe and North America located in Berlin and Los Angeles. This major League of Legends series consists of ten professional teams in every continent. There are similar competitions held in South Korean Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan and other regions. These regional League of Legends competitions culminate with League of Legends World Championship which takes place every year. When it comes to the last year’s League of Legends World Championship it had more than 43 million viewers and an amazing total prize of more than $6 Million.
When it comes to the other professional League of Legends tournaments, Intel Extreme Masters was held since 2011 until 2017 gathering teams from all regions once a year. There is also a tournament Mid-Season Invitation held since 2016 featuring six teams from every region. Last year’s champion was team SK Telecom T1. The team also was able to take home the title from League of Legends World Championship. Another tier 1 professional tournaments include Latin American Cup South and North, League of Legends Japan League, League of Legends Continental League, Oceanic Pro League, and League of Legends Championship Series for different regions including North America, Korea and other.
When talking about the most successful League of Legends teams to date, we need to pay special attention to teams from the Asian region, as four of the very best come from this region. With almost $6 Million in winnings to date, SK Telecom T1 is the world’s leading LoL team, followed by Samsung at $2.4 Million, Edward Gaming at $2.4 Million and Taipei Assassins at $1.5 Million. Of course, it is not all about the money won, but the winnings do in most cases represent how well a team has done over time and there is absolutely no doubt that SK Telecom T1 is the best LoL team of all times.
While teams from other regions such as America and Europe have been making solid results in recent years, Chinese and Korean teams absolutely dominate the competitive LoL scene with their experience, advanced tactics and incredible levels of competitiveness that is hardly matched by anyone else. Having won the Worlds in both 2015 and 2016, there is no doubt that SK Telecom T1 is the most dominant team currently competing and it remains to be seen how long it will take for another team to dethrone them.
League of Legends game is well-known for having some of the highest prize pools in the history of eSports industry, so there is no wonder that some players were able to score over $500,000 in earnings throughout their careers. When it comes to the most successful players, leading player is definitely SK Telecom T1’s player Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. Faker is definitely the greatest player of all time who has earned $1,056,863 tanks to participating in three World Championship titles, multiple LCK regional titles and two MSI titles all earned under the banner of leading team SK Telecom T1.
The second most successful and highest-paid player is former SKT’s jungler Bae “Bengi” Seong-wrong with earnings of $810,683. He decided to leave a three-time world champion team in order to join Chinese team Vici Gaming. Third most successful League of Legends player is Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan who has been instrumental in leading SKT team towards three major titles. He has earned $794,785 being the best support player in the world for quite some time. Lee Duke Ho-seong. Wolf is closely followed by Bae “Bang” Jun-sick and Lee “Duke” Ho-seong who also were part of the team SKT. Duke decided to leave the time in order to join Invictus Gaming, while Bang has reached his greatest success playing for SKT helping his team to secure multiple international and regional titles.