It’s difficult being a new player in League of Legends. The prospect of leveling from one to 30 was once exhilarating—but now it feels like an endless nightmare.
There’s one easy, elegant solution to this, however, one that’s recently gained a lot of support online: Let players pay to boost their levels.
Leveling used to be different. You could play whatever champ you wanted in any way you desired. But you had to learn the hard way and figure out what worked and what didn’t. There was no one breathing down your neck telling you no, and that’s what made it so fun. It was something new, and the possibilities were endless.
You didn’t worry about your composition, your build, or your rune page. There was no pro play—no LEC, LCS, or LCK. You had to figure it out yourself. You simply picked a lane, ran down it, and hoped for the best.
You picked a champion based on its appearance. The anchor guy that looks like a Big Daddy from Bioshock? Why not? The spider lady? Go for it. Who said you couldn’t? The game was stripped down to its bare bones and it was great.
Now, it’s an entirely different story. The leveling experience feels like a slogfest. If you slip up, you’re immediately put down by your teammates. “Stop feeding, you idiot.” It’s exhausting. It doesn’t feel like a level playing field, and it’s not. You find yourself dying over and over again and you ask yourself “am I really this bad?”
You’re not. It’s the abundance of smurfs. It’s hard to blame them for wanting to level a second account, but it doesn’t stop them from ruining your first impressions of League of Legends. It’s not fun to die repeatedly, game after game. You don’t feel like you’re improving—and no one would blame you if you quit. But it shouldn’t be that way. There should be an alternative.
Instead of creating a smurf account and ruining the experience for new players, why can’t Riot Games add a boost system? This idea was recently shared on the League of Legends subreddit. And it’s something Riot absolutely should implement.
In World of Warcraft, if you don’t want to spend weeks leveling another character and forcing yourself to go through content you’ve already completed several times, you can pay your way to a brand-new level 110. It doesn’t harm anyone. It’s a win/win situation for both the player (who doesn’t have to waste their precious time) and Blizzard (who gets a nice slice of the cake).
It would make sense if Riot followed suit. It would help solve the smurfing problem, and it would encourage players to stop paying for illegitimate botters. If a player didn’t want to spend their hard-earned cash on a boost, they wouldn’t have to.
Riot would have to strike a fine balance, though. If it was too expensive, no one would buy it, but if it was too cheap, it would be abused. The lower ranked players would feel the full effect, and that would sting too. There would be an influx of trolling without any real consequence. They might get banned, but they’d just buy another boost.
If it was a little more expensive, let’s say around 3,500 Riot Points, or about $25—it would be a different story. It would still be widely bought by a large player base, but it wouldn’t be so many that they’d ruin the integrity of the League of Legends.
There are two options for smurfs at the moment. You can either inadvertently ruin the experience for new players, or get someone else to do it for you. Botting services have become increasingly popular as a cheap alternative to leveling. It saves time, but it’s unfair, it’s illegal, and it’s unhealthy for the game.
There’s no way around it, except for Riot to step up and add its own level boost. There’s just nothing to lose.