League of Legends is now 10 years old. This is the story of its birth.
Before the millions of players, before the billions in revenue, before the esports tournaments that topped 100 million spectators, League of Legends was more of an idea than a game. And the game that did exist in the year-long lead up to its release wasn’t very good.
“The game really sucked for a long time,” said Riot Games producer Jeff Jew, who was an intern at the time. “Nobody [at Riot] wanted to play the game because it was really bad. But they forced us to.”
Jew and a small crew of interns and artists working on the game’s many characters often spent their time playing other games as they waited for the development team to catch up to the work they were doing.
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