Forty thousand fans cheer for their favorite teams as many more watch from around the world. It isn’t basketball, baseball or any other conventional sport. This is e-sports — more specifically, the League of Legends World Championship. You don’t have to be a spectator, competitor or even know what e-sports are to enjoy the phenomenon that is League of Legends, or LoL for short.

LoL is a multiplayer online battle arena game (MOBA) in which teams of three to five players compete with each other on opposite sides of the map to destroy the others ‘Nexus.’

“It’s a game that teaches teamwork, strategic thinking and communication,” Matthew Strizak said the treasurer of the Plattsburgh State LoL club. “It’s a game all about tricking and misdirecting your opponent, club member Russell Fudger said. The club formed last year when a group of students realized they all shared interest in the game. It as a way to communicate and help find other people to enjoy the game with.

There’s much more to the game than the competitive aspect. In order to join a session, each player must pick a champion, which serves as the players avatar, and in RPG fashion each serve a different role in the game whether it be damage, support or tank.
Along with the varying roles, each champion has their own backstory associated with them.

For example, the champion, Ashe, mainly plays as a ranged attacker. Her story begins with her as a Frost Archer who wishes to unite the tribes of the Freljord, and being their queen, she is allied with the champion Tryndamere. While the backstory is not too important to everyone, it exists to give an emotional connection to those who need it. The games backstory is just one more avenue of appreciation that goes into world-building and beyond mechanics.

“The character models and the simplicity of the designs is one of the things that appeals to me,” Strizak said.

Beyond the game, the club helps those interested in the game connect locally, as well as globally.

“This game lets me interact with people from all over the United States and all over the world,” Fudger said.

While many who have heard about the game may be put off due to the negative press the game’s community receives, the club members reassure those who are interested in trying out the game.

“Give it a try you’re not always going to have a bad game or someone stereotypically rude,” Strizak said. In regards to newcomers, Fudger offered a piece of advice: “Don’t let anyone ruin your experience.”

More can be learned in the club’s Facebook group, SUNY Plattsburgh LoL, or by attending weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in Meeting Room 2 at the Angel College Center March 28. The club will be holding an event, there is no set location. To join, view the club’s Facebook page.

Email Luis Reyes at luis.reyes@cardinalpointsonline.com

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