New To League/Welcome

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Welcome   Introduction   The Metagame   Map Features   Understanding the Stream   Important Items   Champion Flashcards   Glossary    
Doublelift, the AD Carry for Counter Logic Gaming, gets a pentakill against TSM. Games of League of Legends are fast-paced and exciting, and -- for new players or viewers -- they can be very confusing.

What is League of Legends?

League of Legends is a game in the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre. Two teams, consisting of five players each, compete against each other to be the first team, to destroy the opposing teams Nexus. In their way stand not only the opposing team's 5 players, but also a number of computer (AI)-controlled units. Players themselves control units called "Champions," and they must destroy enemy "Towers" and "Inhibitors" in order to get to the Nexus. Destroying these buildings grants players in-game resources that make their champions stronger. Once a nexus is destroyed, the game is over and everything is reset for the next game.

Game Flow

During the first part of the game, known as the "lane phase," champions try to kill minions in order to get stronger. That strength comes in part from buying items. At a certain point in the game, when teams feel like they are strong enough, they will group together as a unit, of four or five, to fight each other (fights with lots of people involved are called "teamfights") and kill towers. If a team loses all the towers in a lane, and then an inhibitor, their Nexus becomes vulnerable. If a team kills the enemy Nexus, they win the game.

WTF is Going On?

You can find this information here.

How to Tell Which Team is Ahead

There are a couple things you can look at. How much blue do you see on the minimap? How much red? Where are champions positioned? If you see a lot more blue than red, the blue team is probably ahead. If you see a lot more red than blue, the red team is probably ahead.

If the champions are all near the blue team's base, the red team is probably ahead. If the champions are all near the red team's base, the blue team is probably ahead.

You can also look at the spectator information. The scoreboard at the top shows kills, towers, and gold. Generally, the team that has more kills and towers will be ahead, but the best indicator is gold. If one team is ahead by 5k gold at 20 minutes, that's a pretty big deal. If a team is ahead by 10k gold at 30 minutes, that's a pretty big deal. If the game is still going on at 50 minutes, it's harder to tell.

One other really important thing to keep track of is the current state of Dragon buff stacks. If one team has killed Dragon 4 times, and the other team 0 times, that's a huge advantage for the team with 4 stacks. Usually, casters will talk a lot about the stacks of Dragon stacks when it's relevant.

How to Watch a Teamfight

Teamfights can be very confusing to watch if you don't already have a very good understanding of how the game works. So if you're completely new to League of Legends, you should do just two things.

  • Figure out who the two AD Carries are.
  • Watch to see which one dies first.

Generally, the team whose ADC dies first will lose the fight.

Suggested Reading Order

Of course, League of Legends is a lot more complicated than this, and once you understand more of the game it gets extremely exciting! The pages in the introduction will help you get an idea of the mechanics that govern gameplay. Once you understand that, head on over to the other tabs to learn the things you will need to, in order to have a deeper understanding of the stream.

If you don't mind not knowing why things are happening, and only want to be able to understand the stream on a basic level, that's fine! You can still enjoy Worlds, or any other tournament. In this case, don't worry too much about reading everything in the introduction, just look at the pages in the other tabs, and consult the glossary (control+F is your friend) if you're ever unclear about a term.

And if you're familiar with other MOBAs, such as Dota 2, you'll probably find the following pages most useful in explaining League-specific concepts: Unit Attributes, Vision, and some important items. Also read about the metagame.

Other Resources

If you're confused about what's going on even after reading the information here, we recommend a couple things. First of all, make sure you have a Twitter account, and follow @eSPediaLive and @LoLeSportspedia. Our volunteers will be tweeting from those accounts, announcing champion picks and other players, so you will be able to read what happens, even if you can't understand it just from watching the stream.

You can also tweet questions at us! Depending on the volume of questions we receive, we may not be able to respond to absolutely everything, but we'll do our best. And we'll also start to build up a FAQ section based on questions we receive there. If you have a program that allows you to view multiple columns of tweets side-by-side, make a column just for League of Legends-related accounts.

In November 2013, Riot released an introductory video to League of Legends. It's a bit out of date - the map has gotten a complete visual rework since - but you can check it out here (3m52s).

Wondering what teams to root for? Here's a bunch of articles, interviews, and other content centered around the teams and players at Worlds. You can also click here for a list of all of the teams, with links to their infopages and their players' infopages.

Newbie-friendly explanations of some games by Skyen:


The text in this section was primarily written by River, with graphics by Hova. Special thanks to James, Ling, and Michael!