The Ryze of eSports
League of Legends is a new type of competitive game that has just recently appeared, rapidly gaining fans and players alike. The category it falls into is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game, which originated from the game Defense of the Ancients, which was a modified version of Blizzard’s Warcraft III. A MOBA game pits two teams of 5 players against each other, each team vying to destroy the other’s base, or nexus, while protecting their own. The nexus is protected by three lanes of three towers each, forming a diamond-like shape that composes the map. Players must destroy all three towers in at least one lane in order to reach the nexus. The game is at once complex, challenging, and rewarding, pitting players against each other in a battle of both wits and skill.
What is most amazing is the fact that League of Legends players have gone professional. Companies entirely dedicated to eSports are being created, some solely for League of Legends, but others encompassing as many types of competitive gaming as they possibly can. Team Solo Mid, Team Curse, Dignatas, and Counter Logic Gaming are just a few of the companies that have formed just recently. And those are only the American ones. These teams are playing in tournaments almost monthly with tens of thousands of dollars on the line. Players on professional (yes, professional) teams are paid well for their time by the companies that hire them, with some players claiming to make upwards of one hundred thousand dollars a year.
After roughly three years of rapid growth, League of Legends and games like it show no signs of diminishing in their player base. In all certainty they could keep growing. At this point, the future is very bright indeed for eSports.