A new challenger has appeared on the UCC campus, but have no fear. . . it’s a gaming club. The Umpqua University League of Legends club, led by UCC student McKenzie Callahan, is working on their five-person team for competitive gaming.
League of Legends is a multi-player online battle arena game. Other widely popular titles within this genre include Warcraft III and Defense of the Ancients, also known as DotA.
“It’s like a really complicated version of capture the flag,” Callahan said. Players control their champion from a third-person perspective and must first clear at least one of three lanes in order to reach the enemy base, dubbed the Nexus. Each lane is defended by three turrets, one inhibitor, two towers and human-controlled avatars called “champions.”
Over 100 champions can be chosen by the player. Some champions may rely on a particular skill set to maximize their effectiveness, while other champions blend skill sets. For example, the larger class of “tank” champions (aka support) is broken mainly into two groups: Vanguards have high damage output and Wardens primarily protect teammates from threats. However, their ability to soak up damage more than other teammates often necessitates filling both offensive and defensive roles. In addition, marksmen champions are similar to Vanguards in terms of being capable of high damage output, but marksmen are far less tough than Vanguards.
Jargon is widely used within the League of Legends community. Marksmen are also commonly called “attack damage carries” (ADCs). Mages are sometimes referred to as “ability power carries” (APCs). The term “squishy” is often used within the League of Legends community to describe marksmen, mages and other relatively fragile champions because of their limited toughness.
The dynamic gameplay lends itself to a vast number of tactics, some of which are not by design, including social ridicule. The atmosphere can be unhelpful and unforgiving to many users.
UCC’s club has set up a general rule to prevent the spread of degrading remarks from the club’s inception. “We didn’t allow any saltiness. If someone gets salty, they can’t come back for a couple of weeks,” Callahan said.
While many popular titles are cast aside by their core community when the next installment gets released, or when a preferable franchise takes the limelight, League of Legends retains a stalwart fan base of millions more than seven years after its release date.
Callahan accredited the developer, Riot Games, with the continued success of the game. “They have made a community. Riot listens and responds to the community. They are constantly updating content. For example, they recently added support objectives that can only be carried out by support,” Callahan said.
Players of any skill level are welcome to join the club; students can visit TC 104 in the Technology Center on Friday afternoons from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The team currently has five members, allowing them to fill a necessary team for competition, but Callahan said that the club is looking to secure alternate positions for competitions.