League of Legends is one of the most popular video games in the world, with one of the most popular esports scenes in the industry. The official numbers reported for the 2018 League World Championship claimed 99.6 million unique viewers, 44 million concurrent peak viewers, and an average of 19.6 million viewers per minute. The game and the esports scene are mindbogglingly popular, especially in Korea and China, which have viewership numbers alone that basically dwarf other entire esports scenes on their own.
Commensurate with the game's explosive popularity, the known places for fans to congregate like /r/LeagueOfLegends are gigantic, but the esports scene doesn't get nearly as much attention as it probably should on more core-focused gaming sites like Era, /r/games, gaming news outlets, etc. Hopefully we can make sure Metacouncil doesn't fall into that trap of ignoring one of the most important games/esports with this thread.
Sure you say, we basically all know League is huge. But why should we care?
- One, because the game is pretty darn exciting to watch, and the scene is filled with some vibrant, fun personalities.
- Two, because the esports team that Riot employs (together with the art teams that work/contract for the game in general) puts together some of the dopest, most effortful, fun production in the esports industry.
(North America) LCS: 1/26/19
(Europe) LEC: 1/18/19
(Korea) LCK: 1/16/19
(China) LPL: 1/14/19
(Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao) LMS: 1/17/19
(Brazil) CBLOL: 1/12/19
(Russia) LCL: 2/16/19
(Japan) LJL: 1/19/19
(Vietnam) VCS: 1/17/19
(Latin America) LLA: 1/19/19
(Oceania) OPL: 1/18/19
(SE Asia) SEA Tour: ?
(Turkey) TCL: 1/19/19
The basic format is Spring Season -> Spring Playoffs -> Playoff winners of each region invited to the Mid-Season Invitational -> Summer Season -> Summer Playoffs -> Summer winners qualifies for the 2019 World Championship.
There are a few extra intricacies to that basic format that might be a little confusing, but nothing too major, assuming nothing else changes format this year (which it could!).
I'm only really familiar with the League scenes within NA/EU
EDIT: Okay, at this point I'm a little less than halfway through the NA teams and already running out of things to say, and this is taking way too long. These descriptions will be shorter than I thought, and/or added to later.
- 100 Thieves
- Ssumday: Top laner, fairly known for his tank/bruiser play but is quite able to pop off and play carries as well.
- AnDa: Jungler, promising but newer to top level League play, brought up to the main team in some trying circumstances last year.
- Huhi: Mid laner, OG CLG player, among many other things is one of the best Aurelion Sol players in the world.
- Bang: Bot laner, new import from Korea, two time world champion.
- Aphromoo: Support, probably among the best native supports that NA has ever produced, well known for his Bard, Thresh and Blitzcrank.
- Licorice: Top laner, new to LCS last year, already one of the best top laners in NA, known for picking unusual, non-meta champions.
- Blaber: Jungler, another rookie talent, known for his explosive, heartattack style of play.
- Svenskeren: Jungler, imported from EU, known for slick Lee Sin play.
- Goldenglue: Mid laner, one half of the swole bros alongside Sven.
- Nisqy: Mid laner, newly imported from EU.
- Sneaky: Bot laner, known for his cosplays.
- Zeyzal: Support, another rookie, plays lots of Braum and Tahm Kench.
- Clutch Gaming
- Counter Logic Gaming
- Darshan: Top laner, known for playing a mean Jayce in the past.
- Wiggily: Jungler, promising talent.
- PowerOfEvil: Mid laner, EU import, infamous for a terrible manifesto he wrote explaining his move to NA on Reddit.
- Stixxay: Bot laner, looks like POE could be his brother.
- Biofrost: Support, mechanically gifted.
- Echo Fox
- Solo: Top laner.
- Lourlo: Top laner, brother of a professional SMITE player (lmao).
- Rush: Jungler, KR import, previously played in NA, back after playing for a top KR team.
- Fenix: Jungler, another KR import.
- Apollo: Bot laner.
- Lost: Bot laner, OCE import, first NZ player to compete outside of the OCE scene.
- Hakuho: Support.
- Golden Guardians
- Hauntzer: Top laner, known for not really grinding the ladder and playing custom games.
- Contractz: Jungler, to make you feel old, his name and love of gaming came from playing Minecraft.
- Froggen: Mid laner, EU import, beloved streamer, known as the best Anivia player in the world.
- Deftly: Bot laner.
- Olleh: Support, KR import.
- Optic Gaming
- Team Liquid
- Team SoloMid
- 100 Thieves
- exceL Esports
- FC Schalke 04
- G2 Esports
- Misfits Gaming
- SK Gaming
- Team Vitality
- Q: Isn't this the game run by some people that had some massive workplace environment scandal last year?
- A: Yes, LoL is run by Riot. For all the problems with the actual company, the esports scene seems to be fairly well run. Instances of harassment and toxic behavior seem to have been (generally) dealt with quickly and fairly appropriately. If the esports side of the game has any issues, it's been with making sure the teams are providing adequate resources/pay/etc, with a few notable scandals, mostly outside of the major regions though.
- Q: Isn't [insert player] someone with [insert bad behavior or bad ideas]?
- A: It's certainly likely that there are a few players with some bad reputations or histories, but I don't think that's necessarily unique compared to what you'd find in mainstream sports. Their inclusion in this OP, if any are there, should not be understood as an endorsement of their behavior.
- Q: What are the variations you mentioned to the format of the esports season?
- A: It has to do with how the season is played and who qualifies to what part of the World Championship, if their qualification is direct or indirect. Some leagues play "Best of One," some play "Best of Threes." The winners of the Summer Season from the major regions do qualify directly to the World Championship, and the leaders in overall points from both seasons also qualify directly from LCK, LPL, LEC, LCS and LMS. The winner of the Regional Finals from the LCK qualifies directly to the World Championship as well.
- The final spots in the World Championship are determined by the play-in stage which is the more indirect qualification, where the CBLOL, LCL, LLA, TCL, LJL, OPL, SEA Summer champions as well as the winners of the Regional Finals from the four other major regions (LPL, LEC, LCS, LMS) fight for four remaining spots.
- Q: Where can I get spoiler-free links to VODS?
- A: Eventvods is your best bet probably.
- Q: Where is the OT title from?
- A: From a champion's (Illaoi) in-game quotes.
- Q: I want to learn more about how to play the game, and the history of the esports scene, where do I start?
- A: Obviously, YouTube is the place to go, but ask if you have a specific question and I'm sure people will have advice.