League of Legends Nominated for Most Passionate Fan Base - Dragon Slayer Awards 2014
It's time again this year for the Guild Launch Dragon Slayer Awards, and our sister site brings us an impressive list of nominees for Most Passionate Fan Base. If you're anything like me, choosing just one game's fan base for this award is no easy task. In order to make that choice easier, let me take a moment to show why League of Legends deserves your consideration this year.
League of Legends was developed and is maintained by Riot Games, has been around since October of 2009, and was heavily inspired by the Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. The game has competed often with World of Warcraft in terms of active players with a population of regular players numbering in the tens of millions monthly.
League is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game that is free to play with microtransactions to buy skins for champions and unlock extra champs faster. Gameplay-wise, players control a single champion and use strategy and teamwork to overcome an opposing team of champions and destroy an objective within their heavily fortified base while protecting an objective within their own. Matches are fast-paced and require quick reflexes, knowledge of each champion and their abilities, and a great deal of strategy. The game boasts one of the largest eSports communities in the gaming industry due to the level of skill, accuracy, and precision required to go pro.
That's all the statistics out of the way, but why the nomination for most passionate fan base?
League of Legends Fans Made a Band - Pentakill
Many games can boast about how many players they have, but how many can claim that its fans made a heavy metal band and published an album? That's right. The band Pentakill is comprised of 5 League of Legends fans who wanted to show their devotion to the game by writing and performing songs to display its brutal, Metal aspects.
Now, Pentakill - like all fans - takes their art very seriously. The topics of their songs range from the lore of characters to the brutality that items like "Deathfire Grasp" bring to the game once a champ picks them up. Their songs are beloved amongst the fandom because not only do they sing about the game but also about playing the game.
These fans are all about showing how hard League of Legends rocks!
League of Legends Fan Artists
Now, it might actually be harder to find a game that doesn't have fan artists, but League of Legends' sheer volume of fan art is almost unbelievable. For the almost 5 years the game has been out fan art has been made and posted for characters, bots, and even the developers at Riot.
Seriously, there's an official tumblr for League fan art, a reddit page run by Riot devoted to fan art, and the official game site has a section for fan art. Heck, part of the reason the game's fans publish so much art is because of how Riot encourages its fan base and occasionally whips them into a frenzy.
The developers even hosted a YouTube show called "Summoner Showcase" until September 2013 where Riot devs would showcase various pieces of fan art.
One thing that distinguishes League of Legends' fan art from other games, though, is how Riot really encourages fans to show off their talents - whatever they may be. Throughout all the forums linked above you can find not only drawings and paintings but cosplay, cooking, gifs, sculpture, and much more. If a League fan has a skill you can almost bet that it has been used to show their adoration of the game.
League of Legends Cosplay
Not only does League of Legends encourage and inspire an incredible amount of art from its fans, but many fan artists have gotten the courage to become full-time artists and graphic designers because of the support and encouragement they received from the developers and their fellow fans.
So we just tackled art above, but I wanted to take a moment to really highlight this aspect of fan art. League of Legends has inspired more cosplay in less than five years than almost any other game. Not only that, but League cosplay is some of the most immediately and easily recognizable at conventions.
This area - possibly more than any other - is really where the fandom shows its passion. Thousands of gamers don the garb of their favorite champion at conventions around the world year after year.
Cosplay has brought the fans closer together as a community than anything else, and more than one set of lifelong friends was made at a convention when a cosplayed Jinx ran into a fan dressed as Vi.
The sheer hours that these fans put into their costumes is astounding! Some costumes can take months to put together properly, but the fans do it time and again to show their love for League of Legends and their favorite champs.
Again, I'm not saying that there aren't great cosplayers for other games, but the sheer volume of League cosplay you can find with just a simple google search is a major indicator at how vast the game's fan base really is - and how passionate each player is about the champions. It helps, of course, that Riot has made a game with so many options to choose from to cosplay.
Wow!... So How Do I Vote?
If you like what you've seen so far and think this fan base is as crazy and passionate as we do what are you waiting for? You can vote for League of Legends as 2014's Dragon Slayer Award Winner for Most Passionate Fan Base here.