While League of Legends has been around seemingly forever at this point, I somehow just never really got into it. Oh, I signed up for an account, messed around in a game or two (all versus bots, of course), but didn’t really feel that hook that so many others have.
But when Dota 2 came onto the scene, my interest was immediately piqued. I was lucky enough to get a beta key, and have been playing it nonstop ever since. But invariably, friends, acquaintances, and Twitter followers will tell me to drop Dota 2 and start playing LoL instead. While I have very little objection to this, I keep wondering: why?
I’m not knocking LoL. I’m not gonna fangirl out and say that Dota 2 is definitively better – because hey, how would I know? But I DO have to wonder what it is about LoL that keeps it still so much more talked-about.
Isn’t Dota 2 supposed to be that shiny new game? Shouldn’t everyone being vying for coveted beta keys? Laws of supply and demand and all that; doesn’t limiting the supply – in this case beta keys – increase the demand? And since I never caught onto LoL in its early days, I thought I’d strike while the iron was hot and become an early adapter of its Valve-made counterpart.
Based on the little knowledge I have of LoL (essentially the fact that you can’t deny enemy creep kills), it seems like it could be better suited to my personal play style. But looking at the wider fanbase – which one will come out on top? Can the two peacefully coexist in the world of esports, or will Dota 2 continue to take a backseat even after its launch?
And if the latter case should occur…should I switch to LoL?
Now, I’m not asking whether I should try LoL or not – it’s a given that I’m going to at least give it a shot. But based on the apparent similarities, I have to doubt I’ll end up with a strong preference for either over the other. So in the end it comes down to what my friends are playing, what the community is like, and, though I hate to admit it, which is more popular. While I’m not advocating doing things just because they’re popular, I do know that the popularity of a game matters tremendously. For instance, the larger a game’s player base is, the more attention it gets from its developers – they have the budget to hire a staff to administer regular patches and bug fixes, interface with the community, and develop new content. Assuming I’ll like Dota 2 and LoL more or less equally, it seems only logical to stick with whichever one is more popular.
So in the end, which will come out on top?