LoL World Championship 2015: For Dummies

Tomorrow the 2015 League of Legends World Championship will kick off. It is the most watched video game in the world and the event in particular sets a standard on eSports viewership numbers. There will be many viewers tuning in that have no idea what is going on. That’s where I come in. I’m going to try to break down this event so that people who have never played League of Legends will be able to understand parts of the game and enjoy it with the rest of us. Of course this game is very complex and forever changing, but this is a noob-friendly guide. NOTE: This is mainly for players who have very little to no knowledge of League of Legends.

Step 1: Knowing the Game

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League of Legends is a type of game called a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). 2 teams seek to destroy each other’s base in an intense real-time strategy (RTS) brawl. Players control and customize a single character, and work with their teammates to accumulate resources and outplay foes. Each game is a fresh start and has no impact on other games. There are 5 players on each team in League of Legends. There are currently 126 champions in the game, all of which are different from the next. There are 3 lanes on the map, Summoner’s Rift, where games take place. They are the top lane, the mid lane, and the bottom lane. The 5 roles in the game are as follows:

  • Top Lane: A player that usually goes top lane by himself.
  • Mid Lane: A player that usually goes mid lane by himself.
  • Jungle: A player that gains his gold and experience from killing monsters in the jungle and is free to help out other players when he chooses too.
  • Marksman (ADC): A player that usually goes bottom lane with a lane partner and is an auto attack based champion.
  • Support: A player that usually goes bottom lane with the ADC in order to protect him and enable him to do as much damage as he can throughout the game.

Each game is different in League of Legends, and there is no set way on how to play. Starting at the 1:30 mark in each game, minions run out of each base and down the three lanes. Killing minions is a vital part of the game as it grants players gold and experience. Killing opposing players also grants gold and experience. Every player starts as level 1 each game, and experience allows them to “level up” until they reach the max level of level 18. With each level a player gains, they also gain an ability or level in that ability. Traditionally each champion has 4 abilities, Q, W, E, and R. Each champion also has a passive (ability they always have and never have to use) which makes them who they are. Each player also has two summoner spells in which they choose before the game and can help them play throughout the game. The most used summoner spell is Flash, which grants allows a player to move a certain distance in an instant. Gold is a very important aspect in the game because it allows players to buy items for their champions. The more items, the stronger a champion is. These items grant each champion certain statistics whether it be health, armor, attack damage, movement speed, etc. In each lane, there are 3 towers; the outer ring of turrets, inner ring of turrets, and inhibitor turrets. Each turret is important to your team, as it protects your team and base. Taking down a turret grants the entire team gold. The 3rd ring of turrets, inhibitor turrets, protect inhibitors. There are 3 inhibitors (one in each lane) and if a team takes down an inhibitor, super minions now march down that lane. Super minions are much harder to kill than regular minions and present a large amount of pressure on the opposing team. There are also two nexus turrets that protect the nexus. Teams win the game once they destroy the nexus. There are various neutral monster camps in each teams Jungle, but I will not go through all of them. There are also two large objectives on the map. Dragon, gives whatever team that has killed it a different set of buffs for the rest of the game. The other objective, Baron, gives gold to the slaying team, a increase on certain stats, and helps them recall back to base quicker. There are many facets to this game, learning this game takes a lot of time, so do not feel discouraged if you do not know why something is/has happened in a game or its meaning.

Step 2: What is Worlds?

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Worlds is the ultimate international tournament that crowns the best League of Legends team for the year. This is the 5th season of the game, making this the Season 5 World Championship. Worlds is a 16 team, month long event. Worlds consists of 3 teams from North America, 3 teams from Europe, 3 teams from China, 3 teams from Korea, 2 teams from Taiwan, and 2 teams from various smaller regions (Wild Card teams). Each team qualified due to there performances throughout the year. For Worlds there is a group stage, followed by a knockout stage. There are 4 groups of 4 and the top 2 teams of each group advance into the quarterfinals (final 8). Each team will play each other 2 times in the group stage, which equals 6 games per team. In the knockout stage, each matchup is a best-of-five (Bo5) where the first team to win 3 games will advance in the tournament. This continues until only one team is left standing in the finals. This year the World Championship is being held in Europe. For more details on the Worlds format and venues check out my article on that.

 Step 3: Important Teams and Players to Know

There are 16 teams competing, but I will not go through all of them. If you want to see the rankings of all 16 teams heading into worlds, check out this article. Let’s start with teams. The favorites to win the entire tournament are:

SK Telecom T1 (SKT): #1 seed from Korea. Also won the season 3 World Championship.

LGD Gaming (LGD): #1 seed from China. One of the hottest teams in the world coming into this tournament.

Edward Gaming (EDG): #2 seed from China. One of the strongest teams all year long. Won the Mid-Season Invitational earlier this year where the top team from each region competed in.

Fnatic (FNC): #1 seed from Europe. They went undefeated during the summer season in Europe. Have proven that they can compete with the top Korean/Chinese teams.

Here is the full list of teams and their groups.

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If you are looking for the best players in the world and want to support them, here are the top five players at this tournament.

1) Faker: He is the Lebron James of League of Legends. Plays mid lane for SKT. He has been the best player in the world for a couple years now. Already has 1 World Championship title as well.

2) Imp: Regarded as the 2nd best player in the world. He is the Marksman (ADC) for LGD Gaming. His former team Samsung White won the World Championship last season. He is looking to go back-to-back.

3) Ssumday: He is a top laner for KT Rolster. Extremely fun to watch. Can carry his team when needed. Best split-pusher in the world.

4) Clearlove: Regarded as one of, if not the best jungler in the world. Plays for Edward Gaming. Won MVP at the Mid-Season Invitational earlier this year.

5) Rookie: The mid laner for Invictus Gaming. By far the best player on his team and one of the best laners in the world.

There are many fan favorite players as well like CLG Doublelift, TSM Bjergsen, FNC Huni and others, but these are the best of the best.

Step 4: Why Should You Tune in

Millions of people will be watching throughout the entire month, why not join them? This is the biggest video game tournament of the year, and will probably be another record breaker in eSports when it comes to viewership. I watch the biggest events in eSports even though I am not familiar with the game and I still have a blast, so if you are a lover of gaming, the 2015 League of Legends World Championship has your name on it. Action kicks off tomorrow at 10:00 EST. For the entire schedule check that out here at  http://worlds.lolesports.com/en_US/worlds. For more knowledge and breakdowns on teams and groups for Worlds, check out my previous articles. Feel free to do some more searching if you want to learn more about the game.

 

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin