League was a bit of a different game until competitive play came along. Prior to S1, people kinda just played whatever lane and all sorts of crazy strats (5 Promote middle rush, All Tank-All Sunfire Capes when they stacked, etc).
Once League became a popular competitive game, it started to lose its charm for me. A lot of people took on the “shamed millionaire” mentality as far as ELO; “if it weren’t for lag/matchmaking/dumb teammates/OP champs/etc., I’d be in Diamond/Master/Challenger!”
The chance to be seen on a big-time stream or play competitively, if you could just string enough wins together. Hell, that sounds awesome! I could troll Dyrus’ games! Become famous myself!
I did work for Riot in 2012. It was interesting to see the development perspective for the brief time I was there. While they had some creative ideas, the pay for power system was kinda crappy. Yes, you could save up IP for the new (usually OP) champion, but 6300 was a lot of games to grind.
That’s ultimately what got to me. I refused to spend money and I just couldn’t keep up with the grind. Their balances changes were all over the place as well and I never really cared for it.
Definitely a fun game with the right people, though (on your team AND the opposing team).