Is League of Legends a Pay-To-Win Game?

When they see Free-To-Play as the game’s selling point, many people usually begin suspecting some foul play behind the scenes. 

You see, in the past few years, a bad precedent was set by the increasing number of fake Free-To-Play mobile and browser games that are designed to take as much money as possible from you. 

These cash-grabs and games that have infinite possibilities to get advantages through money are what we call Pay-To-Win games. In these “games,” players who spend the most money will emerge victorious. The entire gaming community shuns this design practice, and you should avoid these games at all costs (or rather no costs). 

Also read: Best Jungle Champions in Gold Elo

So, is League of Legends Pay-To-Win?

There are two answers to this question. Both of them are no. 

Let me explain.

League of Legends is free and has been ever since it was released in 2009. However, being a multiplayer and online game is a costly endeavor for any developer, even the richest ones. Servers and server maintenance, especially in the years of League’s release, are expensive things and can swallow up money quickly. 

Riot Games introduced Skins and other cosmetic items into the game to allow themselves a profitable business and game while keeping the gameplay unspoiled. This has helped them get a lot of money while keeping the game untouched. But that’s only the first no. What about the second?

Riot, motivated by increasing profits, has been releasing overpowered Champions to sell a lot of skins based on their popularity and controversy. People will flock to a strong and controversial Champion and likely buy a crap ton of Skins. 

This is a bad practice, but it doesn’t significantly impact the game itself. The impact is even more minor on the ranked and professional play. There’s always the ban button, and you can permaban Champions that you don’t want to see in your games, no matter how overpowered they seem. 

Though the game isn’t by any means Pay-To-Win, Riot did indeed release Champions a tad bit overtuned so they can use them to profit from Skins. Also, Riot releases a ton of Skins for Champions that are very popular, keeping some of the less popular ones in the dark. 

We can only hope that Riot will refrain from releasing overtuned garbage to the game, but considering how lucrative the business of Skins is, I doubt that’s ever going to happen. Riot is a large corporation that has recently sprawled into multiple spheres – Television, Mobile, etc. Profit is the name of the game for them now, and Skins are naturally their primary source. (  

We can only assume what will happen, as we cannot predict the future – but it doesn’t look too good based on what’s been going on for these past couple of years. 

However, the final answer to the question is NO, League of Legends is not Pay-to-Win. You cannot buy anything in the game that will give you an advantage. But it is a lucrative business that at times impacted the well-being and gameplay of the game. 

Also read: Best ADCs for Yuumi


League of Legends has remained one of the most played games for the past 12 years, and the popularity only seems to be growing, especially with the release of Arcane a few days ago. This signals a bad thing, as increasing popularity makes companies increasingly greedy, but let’s hope that Riot doesn’t do anything drastic to this beloved game for the sole reason of profit. 

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