There are literally thousands of video games to be played across a multitude of genres. Why choose LoL? For me, the choice is made because of the magical concoction of casual competition. At the core of LoL there is a competitive drive to defeat the enemy, yet many people are able to accept when they have been outplayed and look to improve their game. This reminds me a lot of how I play chess. The thing about LoL that really grips me, however, is how easily it can be played for a group of friends/family. Many of my Skype conversations revolve around LoL, talking strategies when we aren't playing and having group calls when we are.

This past year I started going to college outside of the state where I live, where I made a lot of new friends and lost touch with a lot of old ones. With LoL, this summer break has consisted of playing with old and new friends alike, and sometimes together. That sort of sub-community within the greater LoL community is great to have and what pushes the game to its fullest potential.

My favorite champion is Udyr, and this has been from before he was considered OP. I was inspired in my early days of playing LoL by an enemy Udyr that seemed much larger in sprites than he does now, and he did most of the damage to my team. It was then that I knew I wanted to play him. His versatility and style of play require a lot of on-the-fly decision making, since his stances all have useful passives and early on it costs a lot of mana to switch from one to the other. Equally, leveling the skills takes foresight, whether Udyr needs more movement speed from Bear Stance to catch up to that pesky kiter or more shield and lifesteal from Turtle Stance to take a bit more punishment.

What I enjoy most about Udyr is how simple and yet how difficult he is to play. In a team fight, I often dash in with Bear hoping to stun whoever I can to claim them as targets for the enemy team, switching to Tiger to rip their faces off. I then use Turtle to absorb the incoming fire from the rest of the enemy team, making my way out. The visceral nature of having to run in and out of fights is much more exciting to me compared to waiting on the outskirts throwing around spells from behind a wall (I'm looking at YOU, Orianna).