League of Legends is big, so big that its player base amounts to more than one percent of the global population.
In the recent story on Polygon, in the website’s long-form feature series, Riot Games confirmed the current League of Legends player pool is more 100 million.
League of Legends is a Massive Online Battle Arena (MOBA) where teams of five players choose heroes and to control parts of a map. It requires teamwork, strategy, and a lot of quick calculations. It is not the easiest game to jump into, but that has not deterred it from becoming one of the biggest online games in the world.
Many assumed Riot’s silence these past few years on its amount of users was because the game had been in decline. In 2014, Riot said it had 67 million monthly players with 27 million playing daily. Rumors of its decline were clearly exaggerated.
Riot’s Mark Merrill and Brandon Beck discussed their displeasure when talking about numbers. “It’s hard to parse, but at the end of the day, those things don’t even feel real,” Beck said. “The coolest thing is actually when we’re at the live events and get to meet fans face to face. Only then does it start to feel real. Otherwise, they’re just numbers on a screen all over the world.”
While the game has been a monumental success, some fans have not been happy with the way the company communicates with players, professionals, and sponsors. League of Legends is also one of the most popular e-sports in the world. Unlike traditional sports, e-sports can change dramatically due to a balance update. The most recent patch riled the community and led to a PR disaster for Riot. Team SoloMid, one of the most popular League of Legends teams, was at odds with the developer as well.
Merrill eventually did backtrack and attempt to rectify the issue. Either way, the game’s numbers continue to impress.