Ask any Summoner what the most frustrating part about League of Legends is, and I can guarantee you 100% of the time you’ll receive a response directly attacking the matchmaking system. In a competitive game, getting matched with other players who you don’t know but also rely on can be a horrid experience. But, in a sick sort of juxtaposition, its also the reason League of Legends has become as popular as it is.

You see, and this can be applied to MOBA’s in general, the very thing that makes playing a competitive match solo frustrating is the very thing that makes this game so damn entertaining to watch and play. Its the team aspect, and how powerful one team can become when working together and how weak another team is by comparison when they play as fragmented units. You can play the game for years, but if you don’t improve drastically over your MMR peers, you won’t see changes to your rank for a long time, even if you are better than your peers (which everyone thinks they are).

This, in effect, makes the game both ultra-addicting and incredibly frustrating. Players both hate it and love it, and hate themselves for playing it. LoL isn’t Counter-Strike. You can very rarely solo-carry a team that is just worse than the opponents in every way. Its a game of math: the player with more gold and the better kit for the specific match is going to win 99% of every game they play, save for any horrific mistakes they make. And those mistakes happen less and less the higher MMR you go, which means you know within the first 15 minutes (at the latest) if you’ve won or lost a match assuming you’re above Silver.

And that rush, of being so far and away more powerful than your opponent is what most players are chasing. They want to get fed, and they want to have fun frustrating their opponents. The calls of gank after gank after gank aren’t calls made because its what the team needs. They’re calls made because the loud laner is desperate to not have a fair match against their respective opponents, lest their skill be tested and found wanting. In which case they would, indeed, have to play from behind (AKA, Surr@20)

A lot of people don’t seem to understand that this is the main draw to the game. For 90% of the playerbase, its the opportunity to stomp on an opponent in a way that is completely unfair. Champion mastery, macro, and team-play just isn’t on their agenda, which means they are more and more likely to become more and more desperate in chasing that high following losses that occur, again, from their lack of interest in proper play.

I say this knowing full well that the reason League became popular in the first place because it was a far more accessible variant to DOTA. My point here is why it’s grown and remained the biggest video game in the world, not why it was successful to begin with. (Nid mid, obviously.)


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