League of Legends: Dead Game?

Is League of Legends a dying game? We analyze whether this statement is true or not.
Fans LoL Worlds
So many fans at the World Championships... does this look like a dying game to you? | © businessinsider

Riot Games has built an empire upon one game. Thanks to the huge success of League of Legends, we've got new games like Hextech Mayhem, collaborations with Fortnite and even completely different games by the developer.

Riot's business plan is insane. They've managed to create a gigantic universe based around a single MOBA as well as never before seen hype around live events in any esport. There are arenas filled with passionate fans and some even go to university to study in esport specific programs thanks to League of Legends.

But... slowly the hype is dying down, no? With 159 playable champions, all of whom have their own play style and their own mechanics, it seems like players are getting tired of always having to learn new things over and over again.

Not to mention the constant item buffs and nerfs and let's not get started on how some champions are just completely neglected – looking at you Aurelion Sol – and the constant aggression from other players. No wonder the player base in League of Legends is shrinking, but is this enough to warrant us saying that League is a dying game? Well, let's just take a look at the past.

Since When Has League of Legends existed?

League of Legends was released in 2009 by Riot Games as a direct counter to Valve's Dota. It didn't even take two years for the game to amass a total of 10 million players. And well, the player base has only grown since. As of January 2021, there are over 110 million players which log onto League of Legends each month. GG, Riot Games.

And some more stats for you guys: The first League of Legends World Championship in 2011 – where Fnatic won – had a total prize pool of $50,000. Now compare that to the $489,000 which EDG managed to get at the 2021 Worlds — and let's not forget that the EDG players were all gifted houses by the teams' owner.

But guys, listen here, in 2016 SKT T1 got over 2 Million dollars in prize money and in that same year, League of Legends had over 10 million players more compared to now. And there was no pandemic that confined us to our rooms and forced us to spend hours upon hours gaming away. So what happened? The numbers are still very high and there are still millions who log into the game, not to mention there are other reasons why League of Legends might not be considered a dying game.

The League of Legends Esports Scene

Worlds 2019
Filled arenas, how we miss those. | © Riot Games

Come on guys! I can't be the only one who would rather watch the League of Legends World Championship instead of some boring game of soccer... right? Well, clearly I am not the only one because League of Legends is able to fill stadiums and arenas – no matter what grandma and grandpa say.

Even if the in-game community is toxic as hell, the broadcast, live event and cast of any League of Legends match is insane. Riot Games has perfected the art of putting on live events with exciting and thrilling shows. Not to mention the players, who pull off insane performances each time they get on stage or log into the game. So much goes into the broadcast and the competition, it just makes you want to watch more and more.

It's the emotions that League of Legends awakens in oneself, the classical love-hate relationship and the 'last game' feeling at 3 o'clock in the morning, which is all part of what makes this game so special. Each game is different with so many champions to choose from, which makes each champion-select a new experience. So that begs the question:

Is League of Legends a Dying Game?

No. League of Legends is not dying. Yes, Riot is making ways in new games, branching out into different genres with Valorant, TFT and even the RPG Ruined King. So maybe, some numbers have since fallen, but the gaming industry continues to grow and each year, each World Championship grows in viewership. Not to mention, each year, there are some upgrades to the game.

Though... to be honest, we do think it's time for a new map @Riot Games — or just bring back Twisted Treeline.