League of Legends' Leagues of Fans
League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game that has become wildly popular since its release in 2009. There's something about the way the fans of League of Legends talk about it that makes me really want to get in on the fun. Their passion is downright infectious.
The Works of the Fans
One of the coolest things about fan communities is the way they adapt and expand the lore of a game, book, or show. It lets the fans get really involved in the story behind the game and gives the fans a chance to show off their talents. For example, League of Legends fan Rachel J. Corey created a comic that delves into the back story of the champion Diana.
Another group of fans are showing their love for League of Legends by designing a fighting game with League Champions as characters called League of Fighters. So far all that's been shown is a trailer with one character, but it's still really cool to see players be inspired by the game. Interestingly enough, Riot Games, the designer of League of Legends, has given their blessing to the project, meaning it won't get shut down by a pack of wild lawyers.
The Tournament Scene
Fan participation in League of Legends tournaments is insanely huge. Ever since the first World Championship in 2011, where 1.6 million people tuned in for the action, the League of Legends tournament scene has exploded. In 2011, the grand prize was $50,000. 2012's World Championship saw a grand prize payout of $1,000,000. It has become such a big deal that United States immigration now recognizes professional League of Legends players as pro-athletes, allowing them to get visas more easily. League of Legends has been able to grow so rapidly because the players truly love the game. It really shows that when people share a passion for something, they can make big things happen.