If you are interested in esports in any way you shouldn’t miss out on the League of Legends World Championship. Right now teams that didn’t win first place in regional tournaments are duking it out for a spot in the final bracket for Worlds. There are two groups of teams and the first and second place team in each bracket will continue into that final bracket. Group B will play again tonight starting at 7PM PST. Hopefully that wasn’t too confusing but if you haven’t played LoL before you’ll find that the game itself has a pretty steep learning curve. Let me try to fill you in on what you need to know for Worlds!
PICKS AND BANS
Each game starts out with picks and bans. Each team can ban 3 champions which means NEITHER team can play this champ in the game. After that each team takes turns picking their champions. This part seems boring but it’s actually pretty strategical and having good picks and bans can give a team a significant advantage.
THE POINT OF THE GAME
Unfortunately, although the objective is clear, the meta can be somewhat complex. The goal for each team is to destroy enough turrets and inhibitors to destroy the opposing team’s nexus. Turrets are pretty self explanatory. There are 3 turrets in each of the three lanes. Players can’t get too close without minions nearby or they will be hit by the tower which does a lot of damage, especially while champions are still low level. Each successive turret hit does more damage than the previous one. When a team destroys a tower they all get 150 gold no matter how close they are to the turret. Each team has three inhibitors and they are located behind the third turret in each lane. They cannot be attacked until the tower protecting it has been destroyed. Once a team has destroyed an inhibitor each member receives 50 gold and their Nexus will start spawning super minions which have a lot more health and attack power than normal minions. Inhibitors will respawn after few minutes. The nexus for each team spawns minions at intervals which travel down each of the three lanes and attack the opposing teams minions and towers. The nexus has two turrets protecting it and destroying a nexus results winning the game.
There are a few other significant things to note on the map. There is an Ancient Golem and an Elder Lizard are neutral NPCs on each side of each team’s jungle. The jungle is the forested area between the lanes which separated by the river. The Ancient Golem gives blue buff which gives the champion increased mana regeneration and cool-down reduction on abilities. The Elder Lizard gives red buff which gives the player increased attack speed and makes their auto-attacks slow any enemy they hit. These respawn every five minutes There are also three smaller camps that just give gold and experience. These are generally called wolves, wraiths and golems. These have a much faster respawn rate.
Dragon is another source of global gold for the teams. Killing dragon gives each team member 190 gold and it respawns every 6 minutes.
Baron Nashor is a huge worm-like monster that resides on the top side of the jungle and gives 300 gold, 900 experience and a buff that gives ability power, attack damage, health regeneration and mana regeneration if killed. This buff can often get teams that are behind an advantage and therefore a chance to catch up or even win.
There are a handful of spells a player can choose between for each match. A player can only pick two. The most common ones are flash(allows the player to flash forward either to escape or chase), barrier(shields the champion for 2 seconds), exhaust(reduces attack speed, damage and movement of an enemy), ghost(champion moves faster for a few seconds), ignite(does a certain amount of damage over time to a champion. It’s usually used to secure kills), teleport(allows champion to teleport to a friendly NPC unit) and smite(deals a certain amount of damage to enemy NPCs).
So there are three lanes, right? Who goes down what lane? There is a standard meta that is generally followed by most players. The idea is to get each member of the team the most gold and experience as they possibly can. This requires players taking a lane by themselves if possible. I will outline each position but first let me explain the concept of CS and last hitting. CS stands for Creep Score. Creeps are the little minions that spawn from each team’s nexus. The player wants to kill all the minions but they want to make sure that they get the last hit rather than a minion or turret. Getting the last hit means that the player gets gold from the kill. Getting gold means you can buy items from the store. Each champion starts at level 1 each game. Being near kills is enough to get you experience but not gold. Gold is usually the key to winning a game. The more gold your team has, the better equipped they are and the harder it is for the opposing team to catch up. Okay let’s dive into the positions.
ADC: This stands for Attack Damage Carry. That probably doesn’t make sense to you so let’s break it down. Attack Damage is the stat in the game that refers to your auto-attacks. ADCs are ranged characters and now that I think about it, riot likes to call the position “marksman” but no one else does. The ADC is supposed to carry late game, meaning that they will ideally sit in the back of the group and make everything die mainly from using their auto-attack. The ADC goes bottom or ‘bot’ lane with a support.
SUPPORT: Bot lane is the only lane with two people in it. This is because the support doesn’t attack any of the minions so they share experience but not gold. The support’s job is to protect the ADC early in the game because they are very vulnerable. They are also supposed to help secure kills for the ADC. Support characters usually have CC (crowd control) meaning stuns, roots, silences, slows, or pulls. They also may have buffs, shields and heals to help the players sustain in lane. Late game their main job is to put wards around the map, allowing their team vision. Depending on the specific champion they can also instigate team-fights or help their team disengage from team-fights.
JUNGLER: This player will be roaming the forest area we talked about earlier. They get all their gold and experience from the monsters in the jungle and occasionally from ganking an enemy player. Ganking means they will travel to a lane and help their team kill the enemy team. It’s often unexpected because the enemy team doesn’t know where the jungler is if he’s not in a lane. The jungler also has the summoner spell “Smite” and secures objective kills like the dragon and Baron Nashor.
MID: Middle (“mid”) lane usually has an ability power focused champion which means they rely on the damage from their abilities instead of their auto-attack. Mid lane farms by themselves but is also susceptible to ganks from the jungler from each side of the lane. Mobile assassin or mage characters are usually played here.
TOP: Top lane is pretty self explanatory. Usually top lane requires a tanky character meaning they can take a lot of damage. Top lane is pretty isolated from the rest of the map. Late game they should be in team-fights trying to be the focus of enemy attacks so that the squishier ADC and mid-laner can do a lot of damage to the enemy team.
There are far too many items and champions to explain them here. Most of that knowledge just comes from playing the game. I think with this intro to LoL you should be able to watch worlds and enjoy it. The commentators really do a great job of explaining things so you won’t have to be experts.
I’m sure I missed something important. If anyone has questions just let me know here! I’m not an expert by any means but I love this game! Try it out sometime!