League of Legends, with its upwards-of-67-million-players-a-month, is a phenomenon. As an esport it garners hundreds of millions of hours of viewer time, packs out arenas and has made its way onto mainsteam channels like the BBC and ESPN. But to the casual viewer it’s also an incredibly difficult game to decode. 10 champions out of a possible 128 run around the map, killing minions, monsters, structures and each other, throwing out colourful abilities and colliding with each other in a flurry of swords and spells.
To a neophyte spectator it’s too much information to handle, the commentators only adding to the chaos with their indecipherable terminology. “His control of the minion wave allowed a fast rotation, using TP to tower dive bot-lane and secure control over the dragon.” they might cry as your brain hopelessly tries to make sense of their word-vomit. (The same sentence making perfect sense to anyone familiar with the game or genre.)
This primer hopes to share with you a few of LoL’s greatest eSports moments and most spectacular plays in an effort to help the casual or unfamiliar understand exactly why this cartoonish lane pusher is so popular. This is why we watch: