As one of the most played video games of all time, chances are that you've already stumbled into League of Legends at some point, or at least know somebody who has. Given that it's free to play and there are countless people playing it of all skill levels, there's really no reason not to give it a whirl.
That said, there's a big difference between casually sampling League of Legends and playing it seriously. Everyone starts out innocently enough as they figure out what all the characters and items do, or how a standard game will generally proceed... but there's one moment that people who stick with the game all experience.
At some point, all those players have seen somebody playing better than them in some way and thought to themselves "How can I improve to get to that level, or beyond?"
And that's where this article is here to help! There's a staggering amount of content available online concerning League of Legends, ranging from endless YouTube series and clips, to hundreds of streams daily, to various websites compiling all sorts of wonderful information and statistics. Rather than touch on all of that and potentially overwhelm you, we're going to focus on one potential avenue to improvement for today.
So, here are 10 different channels or streams where you can go to learn a little bit more about the game, if only by watching those at the top and learning how they play.
A former professional player in the North American League Champion Series for multiple teams, Voyboy has since become a staple of the League streamer crowd. This is quite often the first stream recommended to those looking to learn to improve their game, as Voyboy is fairly relaxed and tends to spend time discussing his thought processes and decision making as he plays.
Although originally a top laner, you'll find him playing in many different positions on his stream, so this is best to watch for a primer on general mechanics and game knowledge. He also plays a mean Yasuo.
A Diamond 1 Jungle main, Foxdrop has advertised his channel as being aimed at helping people become better LoL players since the very beginning. In addition to compilations of his own play, he regularly puts out guides and videos to help talk players out of commonly occurring mistakes, strategies for succeeding in the current meta, and highlight how to play individual jungling champions.
Since learning to play as a jungler can be quite the big stumbling block for players wishing to improve, Foxdrop is a great resource for getting over this hurdle.
During the early years of League of Legends, there was often intense discussion about who was the best player in their respective roles, and it was incredibly rare to not hear Froggen's name brought up for the mid lane. Most notable for his time on the world class CLG.eu team during Season 2 (later rebranded as Evil Geniuses), Froggen has since changed teams multiple times across both Europe and North America. While he's struggled to find success more recently, few would deny his individual skills even to this day.
Almost as well known as his competitive exploits are Froggen's prolific streaming habits. There is a veritable wealth of footage available from his many Twitch streams highlighting some very impressive mid-lane play. Froggen also holds multiple records for the most minions farmed in competitive games, so he's a great source to watch for getting tips on farming up gold. Finally, Froggen's play on Anivia is masterful, with thousands of games played on just that one champion. There's nowhere better to go for advice on playing the Cryophoenix.
Compared to the others listed thus far, Saber is a relative newcomer to the League scene, but his skill is undeniable. A Challenger ranked player on the North American server, he's one of the best players to watch and learn from in order to improve one's skills on Marksman champions. His Twitch stream always aims to be educational and he's always ready to explain his thought processes behind every play, good or bad.
In addition to his stream, his YouTube channel contains a number of guides, full games, and a few montages just for fun. Of all the players featured on this list, Saber is one of the least well known, so be sure to drop by his stream and spread the love.
Another ex-professional player from the early days of League of Legends, Krepo was also on CLG.eu/EG alongside Froggen and was notable for being one of the better support players in the world.
Like Froggen, Krepo moved from team to team over the last few years attempting to reclaim his glory days, but unlike his teammate he eventually retired from professional play. Instead, he is now a shoutcaster and analyst for pro games, utilizing his skills and experience to provide stellar predictions and high level analysis alongside a healthy dose of wit and a lovable personality.
The best way to find Krepo's material nowadays is to watch him commentate pro matches in the European LCS, but he also streams on Twitch occasionally. His streams are just as insightful as his analysis, and he tries to explain his actions for the viewers as he goes.
That's been one source for each major role in the game of League of Legends, and should be a good starting point for educational material. So now let's move on to some more advanced stuff!
Bunny is a support player and streamer under the Cloud 9 banner that became famous for amazing play on the champion Thresh. While he hasn't always succeeded at translating that ability to other characters, his Thresh play is immaculate and worth watching, and a lot of his actions can be translated to your own support play.
While much more of an entertainer than an educator, Bunny nonetheless has plenty of insight and tips to offer for Thresh and the support role in general. He streams regularly and maintains a YouTube channel.
Since Bunny embodies this, it's best to bring it up here: a common tactic for improving at League of Legends is to stop branching into many champions and instead focus on mastering a single one. If you can play that character well in all situations, then it allows you to focus more on learning about other aspects of the gameplay and flow of a match.
And that brings us to our next channel...
Lee Sin is one of the most technical champions in League of Legends. You can play him at a basic level with minimal effort, but his skill ceiling is incredibly high and allows you to perform all sorts of exceptional feats and stylish plays. It used to be considered a prerequisite of the best junglers to have good Lee Sin mechanics.
Enter Gripex, another single-champion-focused player who has dedicated an immense amount of time to Lee Sin. If you'd like to see just what the character can do when pushed to his limit and learn more about the jungling role in the meantime, Gripex is a good player to study. His YouTube channel features a variety of full length games as well as montages, and he streams on Twitch regularly.
Continuing the trend of mechanically impressive junglers, we have Rush, another pro player. Originally from Korea, Rush has made most of his impact in North America, proving himself repeatedly as a very skilled jungler able to carry games even at high levels. He's also managed to achieve and hold the #1 spot on the ranked ladder in Korea on multiple occasions, which is no small feat.
It's well established by now that Korea is the strongest region in League of Legends, repeatedly dominating international tournaments and producing some of the strongest players and teams to be seen in the world. Rush is an interesting example to learn from when trying to improve one's game. He speaks fluent English and communicates with his fans often -- even if it's just to crack a joke. Nonetheless, you can learn the best of both worlds from him, and his Twitch stream is highly entertaining. He also maintains a YouTube channel.
So, with a broad range of channels across all roles, as well as a brief introduction to the Korean dominance of the game, let's jump all the way to the very best in the world, shall we?
In League of Legends history, there has been no other player on the level of Faker. First arriving on the scene in Season 3 back in 2013, Faker has carved up the mid lane ever since, claiming countless MVP awards and winning just about every possible title in LoL. In fact, he is one of only two players (alongside teammate and friend Bengi) to win two World Championships, and is currently competing in the Season 6 finals to potentially win his third next week!
There are many ways to learn League of Legends, but if you want to learn from the very best, look no further. Faker's highlight reels are endless, and he has played a staggering amount of champions in competitive games, so odds are you'll find what you're looking for. He's worth watching even if just for the single greatest outplay in recorded League of Legends history.
Most of the videos you'll be watching won't be Faker's directly as he has no official channel on YouTube, but if you want to support him at his source, you can check out his Azubu stream. Be mindful that he doesn't speak great English and tends to be very focused when playing, so this is a more advanced means of learning -- learn through observation rather than instruction.
Having looked at some of the more educational and interesting personalities in League, this brings us to our final entry!
Through this article, I've hopefully been able to provide plenty of sources for you to get started on your League of Legends education. But more than any one player, regardless of role or individual skill level, League of Legends is a team game. So, perhaps the best way to learn is not just to watch individuals play, but to watch the very best teams in the world play together.
LoL Event VoDs is a channel that collects practically every major professional game of League of Legends from most regions for your viewing pleasure. Whatever you want to watch, whichever team or player you choose to study, it's all here to be found and savoured. In addition, the dedicated sub-Reddit has a complete list of all the games recorded with direct links, timestamps, highlights and more. There's no better place to learn than from the very best, after all.
There you have it: ten carefully selected channels and streams that you can use to help you learn to play League of Legends. However, after all of this, there are two points I want to really drive home to anyone wishing to travel down this path.
1. There is no real secret to success, and you won't find one by watching others. Most of the best players get this way through practice, practice, practice. It's helpful to have a guide, but at the end of the day, you'll learn most by getting out there and playing the game!
2. Whatever else happens, and no matter how good or bad you are (or think you are), the most important thing to remember is that League of Legends is a video game, and is meant to be enjoyed. What's the point in playing the game if you're not enjoying yourself in the process? Not everyone can -- or should -- be the best in the world, so whatever happens, just make sure to relax, enjoy yourself, and have fun regardless of where you end up.
So with all that said and done, what other streamers and channels do you find good for improving your LoL game, readers? I'd love to hear about it in the comments. Thanks for reading!