League of Extraordinary Gamers
A n00b’s guide to competitive League of Legends
By Bigoa Machar, Layout Editor
My mom always told me that playing video games in my room for hours on end wouldn’t get me anywhere. And no, so far it hasn’t, but it has gotten the 50+ professional League of Legends players in the North American League Championship Series (NALCS). In the NALCS, players lock into Summoner’s Rift, the game’s 5v5 competitive stage and battle it out to see who is the best team in the region.
What is League of Legends?
League of Legends is one of the most popular games in the world, with more than 100 million players per month. With over 130 unique characters in the game, watching League of Legends may seem confusing at first, but once you know what you’re looking at it can be a whole lot of fun.
The primary goal of League of Legends is simple: fight through the enemy team and destroy the enemy’s nexus, a big shining crystal inside each team’s base. Before they can do that, teams must kill their enemies, minions, turrets and anything in between to get to the other team’s nexus while defending their own.
There are also three neutral objectives on the map: the dragon, baron nashor and the rift herald. They are all give certain power boosts useful in different stages of the game. The five types of dragons; fire, wind, water, earth and elder, all give different types of combat stats for killing the opponent while baron nashor gives power to your minions and a small boost to your team’s characters, making it easier to take turrets and leave the enemy’s nexus exposed.
All of the five players on a League of Legends team have a role that plays into destroying the other team’s nexus. The five roles are:
Top lane: A top laner’s job is to basically survive the early part of the game with the sustain built into their kit. As the game goes on, a good top laner will be able to push objectives on their own quickly and efficiently, again without dying. In large team fights, top laners will provide abilities that can root, snare or disable key members of the other team, or crowd control for short.
Jungler: The jungler perhaps has the most unique and tactical role on a League of Legends team. The jungler earns their money through killing neutral monsters and surprising the enemy team all over the map, creating something similar to an odd man rush in hockey.
Mid Lane: Not only are midlaners positioned in the middle of the map, but they are usually the centre of attention with high amounts of burst damage. Mid lane champions have the ability to kill many minions quickly, which is referred to as waveclear, and use that to create pressure in their own lane and roam the map and create pressure elsewhere.
Support: The support is basically the mom of the team, using their abilities to protect their team and prevent the other team from using their abilities to kill them. Supports usually provide crowd control or healing for their team. The support starts in the bottom lane, paired with the marksman.
Marksman: The reason why the support starts with the marksman in the bottom lane is because they are both at their weakest in the early game. A bit of a glass cannon, the markman’s job is to provide heavy damage per second (DPS) in team fights, using their ranged attacks to stay far away from the other team’s tanks and damage dealers.
There are 10 total teams in the LCS, all fighting for video game glory. Every week, teams play two best-of-3 matches to climb up the standings and qualify for the playoffs, where large amounts of money and e-sports glory awaits them. After the two separate seasons in the spring and the summer, the three best teams from North America put their skills to the test in the League of Legends world championship, where teams from other regions around the world go head to head for the Summoner’s Cup, the highest accolade in the game.
Competitive matchups for the NALCS take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the regular season. Check LoLesports.com for the full schedule.