This may come as a surprise to a lot of people, but I have some opinions about League of Legends, a video game for personal computers. Because of this, I have learned that I can be kind of a pain in the ass to play with. League makes me mad a lot of the time. I could not tell you how many times I have hyperbolically shouted about how unbearable it is that Riot hasn’t fixed something or taken it out of the game. I mean, how is Shaco still in the roster? Come on, you guys!
Thankfully for me, I have plenty of friends that I play League with who will either call me out for my bullshit or have productive conversations about why I think something is bad or hate it. Many of those people work at this very website. In fact, one of the founding editors of The Rift Herald, Pete Volk, still maybe thinks that I hate League of Legends. Who could blame him? Here is the deal, Pete and the rest of the world: I love League of Legends because I find it flawed. It will never be perfect. Even if they go through and fix all the champions that I hate, there will be something that could still be improved.
League of Legends is a big game. There is a lot of content and each piece of content actively affects another. Shyvana is a fun champion that can be absolutely ruined by some items. Is she a bad champion? Sometimes, it depends on the meta and the circumstances. League will never be flawless — ever. Someone out there has detailed a full list of ways that every champion and system could be made perfect and balanced and that would ruin the game forever, I promise.
What I love about Riot is that they try. They are always striving to balance the game. Yet at the same time, they are throwing monkey wrenches into the machine, bringing tanks back or creating a dive meta. Why? Because the game would get stale otherwise. I love Overwatch, I really do (stay with me League friends), but that game doesn’t see changes often enough. The director of the game even said that he doesn’t believe in shifting the meta for the sake of shifting the meta.
As a League player, I hate this. I want to play more Overwatch, but I get bored after playing for two weeks hard core. Things change and metas shift at the same rate that the tectonic plates shift across the Earth. League is always building. Always adding things. Always balancing. Always breaking. It keeps the game so fresh and interesting that I will never stop playing it.
There are things that get added to the game that I love. Look at the Warwick rework, the Urgot rework, Aurelion Sol, Camille, Ivern, elemental drakes and plants. I love all of those changes. For how much Riot does, they are bound to put stuff that I hate into the game as well — Illaoi, Zz’rot Portal, Shaco buffs. Other people like that, and that is OK. Pete loves Illaoi. I think that makes him a maniac that must be stopped, but he likes her nonetheless. I cried tears of joy when Mundo got buffed, because I love Dr. Mundo. I am sure that plenty of other people uninstalled their game at the very thought of facing League’s most infamous, roided out raid boss on the rift.
Perhaps I don’t say it enough, but the things that I think are really great in League make it worth playing even when the stuff that I hate is at its most extreme. Despite this, no matter what the meta is or what role I am playing, I can find something to complain about in League. Ask me about any champion — even my favorites — and I can leverage an impassioned argument about why they suck.
That is the beauty, isn’t it? It prompts passion, both negative and positive.
I want League to get better, and you know what? It is. It is always improving. My coworkers tease me about how much I talk about season 4 and how it was the golden age of League of Legends (to be fair, Samsung White is one of the most incredible esports teams to ever exist). I would be lying to you if I said that season 4 wasn’t my favorite time to watch League, but it doesn’t mean that it was the best. It was smaller and I was still relatively fresh to the scene, so each new revelation and iteration meant more. League is better now than it was then and it will be better tomorrow than it is today.
The day that Riot stops implementing new things and updating League is the day that it dies. They know that and so do we. A game that is constantly in motion can never be perfect. Perfect is boring and flawed is beautiful. Maybe this is just me, but I would rather have a flawed game than a perfect one, if only to see how it improves and grows over the years.
I have hard thought, angry opinions about League. That isn’t a sign that I hate it, though it may appear that way to friends that I play with. To me, that shows how much I love it. A game that makes me sit and brood after losing is one that I am clearly passionate about. It is rare to find a game that warrants passion after over five years of near constant play, but League is that for so many people. I will love it in my way just as you will love it in yours. Just know that I apologize in advance for screaming into your ear.