Get Up to Speed on League of Legends

Portrait of Tiffany Tran
August 8, 2022
Skin Splash Battle Professor Graves

League of Legends is a 2009 free-to-play 5v5 MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game that utilizes real-time strategy and teamwork to win. This video game was inspired by DotA, a fan-developed MOBA mod for the video game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Ultimately, the goal of League is to reach the enemy’s base and destroy their “nexus”, a structure in front of the fountain (where each player respawns or returns to when they want to go back to the base). This is done by piloting a champion with unique abilities, obtaining gold, and purchasing items to defeat the other team.

In addition to having an international competitive scene with 12 leagues, League of Legends is among one of the biggest esports in the world.

Developer Information

Riot Games

Primary Platforms

Microsoft Windows, OS X

Accessing the Game

This free-to-play video game can be downloaded here: LINK

League of Legends is a 5v5 MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game that utilizes real-time strategy and teamwork to win. It's a fun and complex game that can be played using a variety of different game modes, all of which have some key gameplay differences. Regardless of the game mode you're playing, there are some common elements that make up every League of Legends match.

These are current and past maps that are in the game.

Summoner’s Rift (SR) - The main gameplay map for League of Legends, this remote forest is where two teams consisting of five players each play against each other. It consists of three lanes (Top, Mid, and Bottom) and a jungle that consists of various monsters. Minions spawn from the base periodically in order to advance each lane. Additionally, a team’s side consists of two turrets and an inhibitor per lane with each base containing a nexus. This is mirrored on the enemy’s side.

Twisted Treeline (TT) - A retired map, this consisted of two lanes and a jungle. This is considered to be a mini-version of the Summoner’s Rift map.

Proving Grounds / The Howling Abyss - This map is on an icy bridge that is one lane only. Minions spawn from the base periodically in order to advance each lane. Unlike Summoner’s Rift, there is no jungle. However, there are health relics that players can take to regain health and mana.

The Crystal Scar - An objective control map, two teams consisting of five players each capture-and-hold different capture points on the map to destroy the enemy nexus. This is a retired map.

Champions are the characters that players control in League of Legends. There are over 100 champions to date. They are usually played in one of the five roles: Top, Jungle, Middle, Bottom (also referred to as ADC), Support. Some champions are better suited for certain roles than others, and some can be played in multiple roles. In the game, each champion has at least three main abilities, an ultimate, and a passive.

They can be purchased from the shop using Blue Essence or Riot Points.

A list of champions can be found here: LINK

Leveling up your champion over the course of a match is a key element of League of Legends. Every time players start a new game, their champions can level up from levels 1 to 18. As a champion levels up, it gets more powerful and has the opportunity to select which abilities to focus on improving first.

In addition to leveling up, purchasing items within the game allows players to increase their champion's power even further. Similar to leveling up, items are reset every time a new match has begun. Items can provide benefits ranging from simple stat increases to more complex gameplay elements like the ability to make your champion completely invulnerable for a few seconds.

Gold can be obtained from destroying minions, objectives, structures, or enemy champions. It is used to buy items to strengthen your champion.

Runes are characteristics in the game that allow a player to enhance their champion. Runes are selected during champion select.

A player can own up to 25 rune pages. However, there are five preset pages that are useful for players that are new to the game. Players that are level 9 and below can only use preset pages.

If needed, players can buy more pages in the store.

Players can level up their account by playing games or by completing missions. At each new level, a player receives a champion capsule which typically contains blue essence or a champion shard that can be upgraded to be a permanent champion.

Over the years, League of Legends has created many different game modes for players to enjoy.

  • Riot Games has a great overview of League of Legends that focuses on the “Summer’s Rift” map/game mode | LINK

  • Find out more about one of the largest esports in the world | LINK

  • A page detailing how to play League of Legends | LINK

  • Riot Games releases Patch Notes on updates to League of Legends | LINK

Portrait of Tiffany Tran
Written by Tiffany Tran
Published on August 8, 2022