Esports has come a long way with League of Legends and gained an immense fan following over the years. Before gaining massive popularity and tournaments that reached more than 100 million viewers, League of Legends was just a speck in the vast universe of games. It was more of an idea than an actual game.

The journey of League of Legends from rags to riches was challenging. Even the producer of Riot Games accepted that the game was terrible for a long time. According to him, nobody at Riot Games was willing to play it because it was horrible, but they had to play it because they were forced to play.

Jeff Jew, and some other staff members, spent their time playing other games as League of Legends was being developed. They were told to play League of Legends every day after getting busted by one of the team leads. They did play it resentfully at first, but soon after, they got addicted to it and started playing it regularly. All of this happened just before the launch.

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How did it begin?

According to the co-founder Marc Merril, the inception of League of Legends was more of a philosophy than a game design.

Marc Merril and co-founder Brandon Beck were college friends. Both ended up living together in an apartment in West Hollywood after graduation while doing their respective jobs. These two friends started the LEAGUE OF LEGEND trend.

The Idea of League of Legends

Both the idea of League of Legends, a video game that was like a no-brainer from the people's perspective, but was very clear about how to get their ideas in shape as they had no knowledge about game development and designing. But since they had a great interest in gaming, they got involved in different gaming companies as advisers to the board of directors. That increased their knowledge about game development and polished their skill set.

The company they were working at was already struggling at could not build the game they wanted because of the lack of the latest and mature technology. In 2005, the company's new CEO contacted the two and asked for their help to revive the company again. The two of them were down with that idea.

Both Marc and Brandon had recently started playing a popular modification of Warcraft 3. They took the idea from there and thought they might be able to build this sort of DOTA-style game. The Warcraft 3 Mod cleared many things in their head and paved the way for a new genre of play, the multiplayer online battle arena.

According to them, a game should not be released, only to be forgotten. It must keep growing and expanding, offering new content and becoming more like a television series than a single movie.

Jeff Jew met the two at a DOTA tournament at USC. Both were looking for passionate kids who were skilled at the game and had some skills and knowledge about game development but they failed. Jew was introduced to them by another fan named Paul Belleza.

They took an interest in Jew because he had been playing that game for 40 hours per week. They told him to swing by their office sometime.

Amidst the whole story

Soon after opening the Riot Games office, Jew became the first intern. The office was not very fancy, which made Jews think that they were really starting from scratch. Their team consisted of Marc, Brandon, Jew, an engineer, producers, and a VFX designer. Soon after, they hired someone who proved to be a very vital person for their company, Steve Feak.

Steve was thrilled when he learned about their plans for developing a DOTA-style game. Although Steve had no prior experience working with a team, he had been doing well independently. At Riot Games, he was able to experience true teamwork.

The whole team worked really hard while developing the game. They initially named it Onslaught, and it was ready for demonstration. The team presented the game during GDC and met a lot of publishers. They did not want to sell the competition but wanted to profit off the back of in-game sales.

The struggle behind League of Legends

After failed meetings with the publishers, Marc and Brandon raised $1.5 million from several investors and family members. While they were travelling across the country, the team at Riot Games started to fall apart. Their ideas clashed, and three of the team members left. Those who left had to start over, and Onslaught finally became League of Legends.

The game was finally launched in October 2009. It took the industry by storm after its release. People loved the exciting characters and innovative gameplay and soon got hooked on it. On top of everything, it was a free-to-play game that made its access very easy. The professionals held World Championships, which contributed a lot to its popularity.

The first international tournament was held at DreamHack,whic, still considered the premier tournament in the history of League of Legends. It gained immense success, and tournaments with more than 100 million views were held worldwide,, which is wild.

Apart from everything, the most significant achievement of Riot Games is that even after 11 years of its release, people still find it relevant and play it regularly. There are still massive competitions with bigger and better players, which are still adding to the success of this game.


The journey of League of Legends has been a challenging one. The whole team had to face many obstacles before becoming one of the best games that are still loved by a lot of people all around the World. The game is free-to-play, and easy to master, with frequent updates and a lot of social appeals that have contributed very much to its immense popularity. We are sure that we will see people playing this game with the same enthusiasm and zeal this year as they played it when it initially came out.