League of Legends is known as one of two major DotA-inspired online games and launched just last October. Since then, LoL has garnered a substantial following, thanks to its free-to-play setup and the inclusion of DotA Allstars' Steve "Guinsoo" Feak and Steve "Pendragon" Mescon in development.
For anyone already familiar with Defense of the Ancients already understands the premise of League of Legends. Like Heroes of Newerth, the idea was to make a standalone game similar to DotA but not just another mod of Warcraft III. Riot Games was born with these ideas in mind.
With its very own engine, refined visuals, and massive champion roster, LoL manages to stand apart while borrowing basic gameplay from DotA. This summer, Riot will be releasing a major update and the game's very first competitive season, Season One.
PvP.net received a makeover for the occasion, though changes extend beyond that. Pre-season introduces a "Ranked" game option alongside "Normal," plus the usual Tutorial and Practice. Ranked matches are split into three premades, split into 3v3 or 5v5 premades, or 5v5 solo. Ranking is affected by your performance in a match, and ranked players will appear on a public League of Legends ladder.
Ranked matches are preceded by the new Draft Mode, which works pretty much like a live draft. In this mode, players have an opportunity to ban champions, and drafted champions cannot be chosen by the opposing team. For the sake of fairness, the second ban team get to start drafting first.
No word on any new maps, so it's safe to assume you'll still be spending Season One on Summoner's Rift and Twisted Treeline. On the bright side, it isn't a question of "if" but "when." Riot plans to introduce new maps eventually.
Even limited to the two choices (with cosmetic varieties "Summer" and "Winter") League of Legends is well worth anyone's time. LoL provides an enjoyably addicting experience for seasoned DotA players, and newbies should have less trouble with LoL than the Warcraft III MOBA.
The game's acronym isn't lost on its creators either.