In a League of its Own

Posted: October 21, 2012 in Reviews

There’s a buzz in the gaming community and for good reason. A relatively new game called League of Legends has been breaking records left and right. With the membership count at 70 million and growing, this 3 year old game created by Riot Games is quickly becoming a household name.


League of Legends, or LoL has become more than a game. It has its own professional and global competitive circuit with professional gamers, team sponsors, and a prize pool of 5 Million dollars. Basically it is the NFL for gamers. Just recently the League of Legends Season 2 championships took place in Los Angeles on October 13th with the winning team taking home a million dollar prize – a world record for E-Sports. In addition, the event had 900,000 concurrent viewers at a single time, making it the largest E-Sport event in history.

The game’s tremendous success doesn’t lie in its groundbreaking gameplay nor in its stunning graphics. In fact, it has neither of those things. The basic gameplay has actually been implemented in several games before it and the graphics are so average that nearly any consumer computer can run it. No, the main source of LoL’s success originates in the game-maker’s masterful skill in public relations. Below are just a few of the major ways Riot Games has spread its reach.

  • Facebook – As soon as the game was released Riot created a facebook page for League of Legends and in just three years it has already reached nearly 4.3 million likes.
  • Twitter  Company employees constantly update their twitter pages to keep players posted on new content they’re working on.
  • Youtube –  In addition to regularly posted videos about new game content, Riot games uploads a video blog about the game every week called Summoner’s showcase that talks about the best player-created content (artwork, cosplay, music, videos etc.) of the week.
  • Reddit – The immensely popular social news site Reddit has its own tab just for League of Legends : http://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/. Often employees of Riot games makes posts on Reddit to get feedback from the player base in order to improve the game
  • Online Streaming – As the most popular E-Sport game, League of Legends has the most views on the two biggest online game streaming websites, Own3D and Twitch.Tv. Here both professional and amateur LoL players post live videos of themselves playing for all to watch.
  • Promotional Merchandise – Riot games provides free promotional accessories and items for large events for their games. During the Season 2 finals, the University of Maryland League of Legends club received a promotional package from the company for hosting a viewing party of the championships.
  • Official Forum – On League of Legend’s official website players can post threads about anything pertaining to the game and usually Riot employees will reply to these posts.

Through its proficient use of social media and public out reach, Riot games has given a lesson to game developers about amplifying their game’s popularity. Those who want a piece of the action should consider checking out the game and joining College Park’s own League of Legends club (http://www.facebook.com/groups/umcplol/?fref=ts).

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Comments
  1. lzimme says:

    This sounds so cool! There’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to connect with your users, and it looks like Riot Games has mastered the right approach. One thing I might add is what the game is about or how you play. At the end I wanted to know more, which is good, but I had no idea what the game was about or if I’d enjoy it. Good post!

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