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The history of the League of Legends

Not the game, the place.

Riot Games

The League of Legends is a complicated thing to talk about, especially since it’s been erased from the entirety of the LoL canon. But every time we do one of these histories, it tends to pop up, and there are plenty of folks out there who don’t even remember its existence. Well, it’s time to educate yourself on one of the stupidest things in the history of League of Legends.

What is it?

The League of Legends is essentially an in-game reason for the game League of Legends to exist. That’s the whole premise, but it does get a little deeper.

Where did it come from?

Everyone on Runeterra was at war with each other and things were real bad. Each faction had their own great heroes called champions and magical, political leaders called Summoners (that’s us). After two great wars it was determined that war was bad and hurting the planet, endangering all life on Valoran (the continent that basically everyone lives on in LoL).

To stop Rune War III, the Institute of War and the League of Legends was founded. This was basically a mock battlefield. All nations on Runeterra opted to send their great champions to fight political wars on the Fields of Justice, a predetermined arena (like Summoner’s Rift) that would determine “real life” political decisions. The goal would be to solve conflict. If your side won, your nation got what it wanted and vice versa.

This stopped a great deal of actual war from breaking out all over Runeterra, although places like Noxus still messed people up old school from time to time. But the entirety of a League match is represented here as a stage. Champions are fighting for their nations under orders of the Summoners, minions are generated by low level Summoners, and there is even an in lore reason as to how the matches were broadcast (arcane energy of course) across Runeterra.

Riot Games

Who’s involved?

In the grand League of Legends, there is a council of three powerful Summoners who are often called the High Council of Equity. They are basically the game commissioners but are also responsible for being the court rulers in political squabbles.

There are eight cities associated with the League of Legends, all of which should be familiar to you, the educated League player:

  • Noxus
  • Demacia
  • Ionia
  • The Freljord
  • Bandle City
  • Piltover
  • Zaun
  • Bilgewater

Each of these states has an Emissary of the League, who is essentially just their representative in the Institute of War. They bring forth any political problems their state has and presumably issue challenges inside the institute itself.

The League Wiki also some pretty interesting, extremely old looks at the old champions’ associations with the League.


Whatever happened to it?

Years ago, back in 2014, Riot made the decision to remove all mention of the League of Legends and the Institute of War. This was the fabled “lore reboot” that you my have seen us talk about over the past few years.

There is a pretty sizable blog that explains the decision making process, but it can be boiled down pretty easily to: it held the story team back from making engaging, interesting stories. While it was certainly hard at the time to swallow such a massive departure from the old lore, it’s done wonders for the actual quality of the story in LoL.

However, just because the League of Legends is technically gone doesn’t mean that its shadow doesn’t hang over League like a weird, dark cloud. Have you ever hear a voice line like, “You can’t cage me, Summoner,” or “Only you can hear me, Summoner?” This is the era where that came from.

Maybe one day we will reach a point where everything has been updated past the League of Legends. But for now, there is always a reminder just around the corner of how things used to be. You just have to know what you’re looking for.