League of Very, Very Rich Legends

By Alec Meer on August 15th, 2011 at 4:33 pm.

I want to be rich. Why can't I be rich?

A number for you: $5 million.

A context for that number: the total prize pool for the tournaments dubbed ‘Season Two’ of League of Legends.

It’s not one prize however, but split between numerous “local, national and international tournaments to foster and grow the League of Legends eSports scene.” Still: that’s a big old cheque.

As the recent purchase of a Dota team for $16 million also demonstrated, eSports ain’t no gigglin’ matter: this is serious business, able to earn those who excel at games a small fortune, and in turn drawing huge sponsorship deals. No wonder Valve seem so keen to get in on it with their own Dota 2 and, apparently, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Question is, does this new enormo-prize pot signal that Riot Games aren’t about to lie down and let Dota 2 steamroller ‘em? And what happens once Blizzard finally unleash their own ‘Blizzard Dota‘ for StarCraft II? WAR IS COMING.

Also coming: season two of LoL, this Autumn.

Thanks, Jukka.

, , .

66 Comments »

  1. Xerian says:

    Then theres the whole 1.6 million prize in the tournament of beta-Dota 2… Durr. Das good money.

    • KaputtChino says:

      Actually you can’t compare the two prize pools.

      DotA2s prize pool is for one single tournament while the LoL prize pool is the pool for the champions of a whole season. Now if you consider that the first season, which will end in the near future i believe, started with the end of the open beta.

    • paterah says:

      Of course you can compare them. The next championship is a year from now. The season 1 didn’t start until summer of last year and concluded this june at Dreamhack.

  2. pakoito says:

    Embarrassing, trying to buy their popularity and comp scene again. No spectators, no replays, stagnant meta, pay2win, they’re lucky they have the Chinese investors.

    Now, for casual players trying to get into MOBAs without much hassle it’s still a great game.

    EDIT FOR CLARITY: Fun to play =/= fun to watch. LoL gets first right, HoN/Dota get second right.

    • CMaster says:

      By all accounts, even if the competetive scene isn’t flourishing, the game is raking in the cash at the moment.

      I guess I do have to agree that in theory the sign of being genuinley competetive would be thrid parties funding big-prize events, not the developers. In practice though, I know that at a lot of tourneys in the past, the games were picked by sponsors – ie devs/publishers paying for it.

    • Drakoji says:

      Can you explain me how LoL is Pay2Win? You can’t buy anything with RPs that make you better than anyone else.

      By the way, they didn’t do worse than Valve announcing the 1 mil. prize money, Valve did that to “buy” the scene.

    • tenseiga says:

      Ive played Dota, HoN, demigod and LoL. Lol is unlike dota enough that its fresh, its casual enough that its enjoyable, the community is marginally better, the progressing is always nice, and its free. LoL is king till dota 2 comes out thats for sure.

      also you can buy runes and stuff which would require a LOT of grinding to get especially when you have champs to unlock.

    • stevedore says:

      You can’t buy runes for RP (the purchased currency), only IP (the earned currency). Sure, you could buy IP boosts which would speed up the process, but still requires you to play and earn it.

      Riot has been pretty solidly in the “no paying for in-game power” camp from my experience.

    • drewww says:

      It’s definitely shocking that they don’t have replays / spectating work yet, but you have to be impressed by how many viewers the major LoL tournaments bring it. At the last Dreamhack the LoL stream had more than twice the combined viewers of both SC2 streams. It’s a testament to the solid design work they did that a game with horrible ecosystem features is still such a success. HoN has had all those features earlier and yet it’s largely failed to create and support a serious pro scene. You have to admit there really is something compelling about how Riot built the core LoL gameplay that works for more people.

      And really, you need to set aside the pay2win stuff. That really has nothing to do with competitive play and has turned out to be a really effective way to scaffold people into the game. At a high level it’s just a slight metagame feature.

    • pakoito says:

      HoN failed to create a scene how? Not buying their place in WCG, ESL and the like? Most of the DOTA pro players migrated to HoN, not LoL, and a few who did were soon back like chu`. The meta is better, the skillcap higher, the games more enjoyable, it only lack visibility which LoL has with buy-in on events, f2p fanbase and ads all over the internet. This is the last example of measuring ad budget now with Valve instead of indie studio S2Games.

      The other guy saying they don’t sell advantages. Whoever paid more has the bigger hero pool for picks and counterpicks, but that doesn’t really matter because most heroes can fill most roles or farm into lategame…some better than others, of course, players need to know who to buy ($$$).

    • Drakoji says:

      I think that with the weekly rotation and your own hero collection you always have a good balance where you can pick and counter pick like you say, by the time you reach level 30 (where counter picking matter) you’re supposed to have a good collection of them. At least I do.

    • DK says:

      “E-sports” angry at game, say game not doing enough for them. Game makes money like hotcakes because they DONT listen to “E-sports”.

      News at Eleven. It’s pathetic how hard the “competitive scene” tries to make themselves appear as though they were anything but a tiny minority and how the games media is actually buying their soapbox-speeches about how “we’re totally important!”

    • arccos says:

      It seems like alot of people are mixing up competitive gamers with professional gamers. Competitive gamers would want replays, spectating, a high level of play, etc. Pro gamers would want more money in the pot, combining prize money and sponsorship opportunities.

      So it looks like LoL wins on the pro front for now. I have no idea who would win the hearts of competitive gamers more.

      From the perspective of someone who plays neither, it seems like alot of HoN players are desperate to bash LoL every chance they get. Why? Are there not enough HoN players? Or is it just the usual “my game is better than your game” Internet rivalry crap?

    • pakoito says:

      I guess that google trends data makes LoL the best e-sport ever, over Starcraft 2, Quake Live,Counter Strike and Street Fighter together.

      Amazing news, will only watch mirror matches of Ashe + Soraka farming bot for 40 minutes EVERY SINGLE GAME.

    • KaputtChino says:

      @pakoito:
      how come you react so insulted by LoL being successfull? I mean no one even mentioned and/or compared LoL before you started to talk every aspect of LoL down.

      At the moment you simply seem like a snooby player who thinks his game is more pro, therefore he is more pro and has the right to insult every game that’s not his game.

      I will happily play LoL and lose and have fun. Because in HoN I had not one game were i had fund despite losing, while LoL did.

    • Calneon says:

      He’s annoyed by the people saying LoL is a better esport because it is more popular.

    • pakoito says:

      ^^^
      This.

      I don’t mind HoN, Dota or Dota2, just not LoL. It’s like saying CoD is more e-sporty than CS 1.6 because it’s more popular. No, it’s easier, sillier and somehow funnier to some people but it is not fair, balanced and complete enough to be an e-sport.

      Plus, watching LoLs comp matches is even more boring than your average MOBA; which already require lots of ingame knowledge to understand what happens on the screen, opposed to games like SF or SC.

    • KaputtChino says:

      Well that’s a point then.

      But on the topic of being balanced and fair i have to disagree, but we will have to agree to disagree since I don’t think you will listen to any discussion on that matter.

      I personally enjoy the LoL comp matches, that might be due to me understanding the game pretty well and even learning a thing or two from the matches. And I can’t really approve of your CS 1.6 vs COD:whatever comparison, since both games need skill, even though i dislike both a lot.

    • kyrieee says:

      “In practice though, I know that at a lot of tourneys in the past, the games were picked by sponsors – ie devs/publishers paying for it.”

      And none of them have had any staying power. People show up to grab the money, but there’s no proper competitive community to support it.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Jesus. You always jump on LoL whenever it’s mentioned. Just live and let live. If Dota and HoN are really as vibrant as you say they don’t need malicious posts to defend them.

      It’s not pay to win, I had no problem unlocking runes from levels 15 to 20. Most people don’t play every type so it’s pretty easy to unlock all the heroes in your class, if not all the heroes out there.

    • oddshrub says:

      League of Legends is the most popular MOBA game, and being popular gets you haters. Much like World of Warcraft, Mc Donnalds and Starbucks.

      Haters gotta hate.

  3. IDtenT says:

    DOTA 2 is clearly the Premier League and LoL Serie A.

    • Anton says:

      Blizzard Dota = Futsal?

      =P

    • pakoito says:

      HoN is Series A. LoL is Spanish Handball League.

    • Dana says:

      How HoN may be series A, if no one plays it :(

    • pakoito says:

      50k always online, hello? It’s not LoLs numbers of course but still over most Steam uberfamous games. Besides LoL is “another game not dota we improved it”.

    • Blackseraph says:

      Yeah no offense intended, although you intend to offend my game as well as you can.

      But HoN has essentially failed, they had to even rerelease the game to free to play, and still it got nothing on lol, which btw has always been more succesful, not to mention more fun to play.

    • pakoito says:

      Fun, yes, easy to play, yes, successful, yes. Now, competitive and e-sporty it is not.

    • MrLebanon says:

      HoN would be 1000x enjoyable if the community wasn’t filled with the biggest douchebags in the entire world

      Join a “noobs only” game only to be flamed by everyone in the lobby for being a noob

      lost my first few games and now I get raged at for my record of 1 Win 6 Losses before the game starts. It’s full of a bunch of nerds on their high horses

    • zergrush says:

      I’d take fun over “competitive” and “e-sporty”. But I didn’t find LoL much fun after trying it =(

      It seemed somewhat more passive than dota, with less damage and more health overall. Quite boring, at least on the beginner matches.

    • pakoito says:

      You’d take fun while *playing*, yes, but when *watching* a competitive game you want it to be exciting, and LoL it is not.

    • Starky says:

      Problem is nor is HoN – or DotA for that matter – the game is dull as dishwater for anyone who doesn’t play it quite a lot, and have a relativity solid understanding of it’s mechanics, items and tactics.

      Hell if anything because LoL is an easier to understand game – easier to explain to a spectator, it is actually more fun to watch for people who don’t play – but worse than HoN/DotA for those that do.

      Bottom line is all of the DotA clones are really, really shitty spectator games.

    • BurningPet says:

      Dota and Hon has shifted toward heavy ganking metagame which makes them a lot more interesting to watch.

      LoL, while i admit i am deeply enjoying to play, is a really boring game to watch. flash and ghost pretty much negates early ganking, so that leaves the farming stage over extended. and it is boring to watch 30 minutes of people killing creeps.

  4. Anton says:

    Who ever can deliver a LAN component wins for me!

  5. Froibo says:

    Trying to step up DOTA2′s 1 million dollar tournament I suppose.. Doubt it will do much to sway the competitive out there, then again some will resort to pay money to be optimal in that game so not a bad business model I guess.

  6. CaspianRoach says:

    Do you see what they did there? I certainly do.

  7. Gravy says:

    For all this talk of DOTA 2 this and DOTA 2 that its not even been released yet, Thanks.

  8. Premium User Badge

    El_MUERkO says:

    I’d rather a $4m prize fund and $1 spend making 5/6 new 5v5 maps :/

  9. lonesock says:

    You guys missed an opportunity to photoshop that screenie so Udyr’s name was HoN and Cho’Gath’s name was LoL.

  10. MuckingAbout says:

    *sigh* I wish they’d pump this money in the actual development of the game, like Spectator Mode and better server engineering, instead of mindlessly pumping out new champions every two weeks…

    • mickygor says:

      Spectator mode’s already been developed, it just needs to be rolled out. No more money necessary.

  11. Kaira- says:

    No, thank you.

    Had a discussion with a friend of mine about this today (he’s an avid e-sports watcher, I mainly watch some foot-to-ball-games). I think money like this seems very… outlandish for a sport in which no physical things happen, but then again, the money in rally and F1 is far more and those are pretty much as boring as e-sports if you ask me. And well, the prize pools are pretty much a logical continuum to tourney prize awards and lan-competition prizes and such. Still, I’m pretty torn with this subject. But as they say, “he who asks is not the stupid one, but the one who pays”.

  12. KaL_YoshiKa says:

    I do wonder where replays are. It’s one of the biggest problems I have with LoL and they still can’t be bothered to stick in a first party replay feature – I fear this is going to be VALVE DOTAs main advantage.

  13. Steven Hutton says:

    Every time I try to play league of legends it tells me I have to wait half an hour to connect to their servers.

    I find this incredibly frustrating.

    Also, call me shallow but I’m put off by the graphics. If only Demigod hadn’t been so disappointing.

    • Koozer says:

      Before LoL and HoN was released I thought LoL’s graphics looked absolutely vomit-inducing, but in motion LoL is so much clearer, let alone better to look at, than HoN.

  14. zeroskill says:

    This thing has 2 more days to live before it gets crushed into the ground.

    • Unaco says:

      That’s not very nice now, is it? Can’t all these games just get along with each other, and co-exist peacefully? Can’t they learn from each other, work together towards a better gaming future? “United we stand, divided we fall” they say.

    • zeroskill says:

      “That’s not very nice now, is it?”

      No, its not.

  15. Koozer says:

    How dare the bots use cunningly disguised links! Now I’ll have to run Spybot.

  16. Kaira- says:

    Shame that you can’t set link previews for bit.ly like you can for tinyurl.

  17. Koozer says:

    It’s a shame this genre generates so much hate. A double shame it all seems to be directed from HoN into a tight beam of fury towards LoL.

    • StenL says:

      But that is wrong. Most if not all DotA-like comment threads on this site are LoL players shitting on HoN and then acting incredibly offended when someone does the opposite. Incredible double standards among the LoL community, and this is not only on RPS, but on every other gaming site that I visit.

    • Koozer says:

      Original posts deriding LoL: 6
      Original posts deriding HoN: 0

      Also, you get arses everywhere, on all sides, for all points of view.

    • zergrush says:

      To me the LoL players seem to be the less angry of the dota-clones bunch,

    • Starky says:

      Most LoL players only play it casually for fun with buddies, and couldn’t give a flying sod to defend it from the rabid HoN fans.

      HoN players tend to be a lot more intense and passionate about the game – and as we all know [nerds + passion + elitism + internet] = giant raging douche-bags.
      That and the HoN community actively encourages and supports this sense of elitism and superiority, where as the LoL playerbase just doesn’t give a fuck (for the most part).

      In many ways it is similar to the WoW hate from players of other “more hardcore” MMO’s – and just as pointless.

  18. manveruppd says:

    You guys should do a RockPaperShotgun Number of the Week! :)

    • Premium User Badge

      Daiv says:

      This week, the saucy number 9.

      Tune in next week for the next number, which will be a positive integer prime…

  19. Reefpirate says:

    How the hell did this genre become so popular? Most inaccessible game ever… Douchiest community ever… Most obscure ‘metagame’ ever… And yet it’s using up Valve resources and earning all sorts of money for its players. Why????

    • zergrush says:

      It’s not THAT inacessible or obscure, tho.

      The “mechanic” requirement is not very high, if you can control an army decently in any rts you can play dota with your feet.

      Timing and map awareness come with time, and the people screaming at you for screwing up probably lack those as much as you do. If you google a simple item and skill build for whatever hero fancies you and stick with, don’t try to solo and focus more on not being killed than on killing you’ll learn to play quite quickly. It’s only a matter of finding a bunch of friends to play with ( or not caring about whatever bullshit your teammates spill ).

    • InternetBatman says:

      It’s not really inaccessible, especially not LoL. There are four moves and recommended item builds.

  20. kmkmkmmm says:

    spree shopping
    http://bit.ly/n6SVQy

  21. godkingemperor says:

    I wish Demigod had been less of a mess, it certainly had the best aesthetic out of all these