Time Magazine says League of Legends is one of decade’s best games

By Nick Johnson


Dec 20, 2019

Reading time: 3 min

Riot Game’s MOBA has made Time Magazine’s list of the “10 Best Video Games of the 2010’s,” cementing its place as one of the best and most popular games of the decade.

League of Legends joined nine other video games on the list published by Time Magazine. League of Legends and Epic Game’s Fortnite were the only two multiplayer games on a list dominated by single-player titles. While Riot’s flagship game officially released in October 2009, it wasn’t until the 2010s that LoL grew into an institution within gaming.

While League has grown in popularity every year since its release, the late 2010s have been especially explosive for the popular multiplayer game. In an announcement for League’s 10th anniversary on October 15, 2019, Riot Games revealed that League of Legends sees a record-breaking average peak player count of over 8 million people across all regions each day.

By comparison, Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive reached a total lifetime peek of 850,485 players in March 2016, and hasn’t reached that number since.

Part of the draw of Riot’s trademark game is its free-to-play status and modest hardware requirements, helping to make the game extremely attainable and successful across the world. League of Legends falls into the “easy to understand, but difficult to master” category. The skill gap between new and veteran players is enormous, and this separation instills in users a desire to improve and to play more as Riot continuously introduced new champions and keeps the game fresh.

Esports multiplies League of Legends’ popularity

League of Legends’ mass appeal is bolstered by the world’s most popular esports scene. Riot Games runs esports leagues across the world separated by region. Hundreds of thousands tune in every week to watch their favorite teams compete against one another, and players enjoy celebrity status around the world with League’s massive audience.

Once a year, these regions come together for what is known as the League of Legends World Championships, or simply “Worlds” to those more familiar with the title. 

Held in Paris, France, the 2019 League of Legends World Championship saw over 100 million viewers tune in over the course of five weeks. The grand final match between the European region’s G2 Esports and China’s FunPlusPhoenix drew 44 million peak concurrent viewers.

Riot has even created original music for the game, specifically original songs for the World Championships. Last year, Riot released POP/STARS, a hip-hop/pop hybrid song sung by the fictional pop-group K/D/A, which is comprised of League of Legends characters.

POP/STARS was recorded and performed by a quartet of female pop singers, each voicing a different League character. The song was so popular that it currently has over 111 million listens on Spotify and its music video boasts 293 million views.

League has become so influential that Riot Games and Louis Vuitton announced a partnership on September 23 of this year that included a one-of-a-kind Louis Vuitton trophy case and a League of Legends collection made by the famous fashion brand. The resulting clothing line sold out within minutes of its release in spite of some pieces costing thousands of dollars.

League of Legends joined games like Minecraft, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and mobile phenomenon Pokemon Go on the list.