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LoL vs HotS – The Definitive Comparison

LoL vs HotS

Despite Blizzard heavily cutting funding toward their MOBA, Heroes of the Storm (HotS) and League of Legends (LoL) are still comparable. In fact, I’m sure some people will actually prefer HotS altogether, not as just a casual experience.

So, what are their differences and what do they have in common?

This comparison will focus on each game’s storyline, gameplay and visuals. I will also tell you my occlusive thoughts in the Final Thoughts section. Without further ado:


Now that they’ve been out for some time, both games had the chance to flesh out their lore. At start, both games’ lores where really scrambled out.

League has its very own universe that’s completely parallel to the game. What this means is that every champion you choose has his own fleshed out story and purpose within his/her universe, but the matches he’s competing as your champion are all non-canon.

HotS has managed to combine its storyline with its gameplay. In the game, there is a big, multi-dimensional storm called the Nexus. The Nexus can stabilize some Realms. Those stabilized inner universes are called Realms, and each Realm has its own lord. Some Realm Lords fight with each other for dominance. And that’s where you come from. The heroes you choose are on the side of one of the Lords, and are fighting the Lords’ wars.

Generally, both games have a big universe, but League’s is definitely way bigger. That said, every character in HotS has his own story in his respective game, and you need to dig really deep in other games’ lore in order to have the full picture.

I have to note here that Riot’s Champions are completely new and every new champion brings something new to the lore. Blizzard on the other hand uses Heroes from its most known games with very few characters being directly tied to the HotS universe.


On to the main stuff.

Both games have what you’d expect from any typical MOBA. You choose your picks, fight along with a team of random people and/or friends, against opponents and both teams’ purpose is to destroy the enemy’s final building (Nexus for LoL and Core for HotS).

Every pick you choose can level up in the game gaining more power and abilities. At a specific level, each pick unlocks its strongest skill, or more commonly known as Ultimate.

There are general categorizations for each pick which shows their role in the game.

The maps have these roads called lanes where small weak NPCs called minions. Between the lanes, there is the jungle which serves a different purpose in each game. They both have jungle camps however; a group of NPCs stronger than the usual which give an advantage (mostly experience in LoL).

As you advance and destroy enemy structures you gain better minions.

Each map has 1 or more Epic Monsters, huge NPCs that usually require multiple team members to take down. They give a huge advantage to their team.

Both games also have bushes, which hide any unit in them.

That’s where the common ground stops. The games have some differences that make them completely different from each other.

For example, LoL’s gameplay is reliant on you killing enemies (minions and players) in order to gain gold, which is used to buy items, which in turn give an increase in various stats, as well as some bonus effects.

HotS doesn’t have any items, nor any currency. You just gain experience by killing enemies (or being near them when they die). Also, unlike LoL, experience is shared with the rest of the team instead of each player having his own. Finally, HotS has a talent system. Every hero, when he levels up, he can choose 1 new talent that strengthens one aspect of his kit or stat.

LoL as a matter of fact, doesn’t have any Talents. Instead, every level gives you an ability point which you use to either unlock an ability you haven’t, or to strengthen an already learned one.

LoL’s tempo is pretty stable. In the early game, players go to their designated lane (based on a years-long meta) and stay there until later in the game when they have their ultimate, and even later for some champions.

In the mid game, more teamfights happen, and the teams battle for control of the map and objectives.

Late game is where the game’s judged (if it ever reaches there that is). The winning team presses the advantage, and the losing play defensively, waiting out a mistake and/or trying to catch-up.

HotS also has these phases, but the game’s tempo is dictated by each map’s objective.

Objectives are kinda like minigames, where both teams have an objective to fulfill. The first team that does gains a huge temporary advantage. The game gives out objectives up until it’s finished.

Another difference is the jungle camp system.

In LoL, jungle is a designated role. 1 of the 5 players spends the majority of his game in the jungle to farm the camps and gain his gold and experience this way. He’s also something like the Epic Monster master, since it’s very hard to do one without him since he has the tools to secure it.

In HotS, you usually go to the jungle between switching lanes or objectives, as every camp joins you for battle.

The competitive scene is also dramatically different.

LoL’s is world renowned, and one of the most profitable e-sports business in the world. There are many pro teams competing in regional and world tournaments for prize money.

HotS… well, HotS has a ranked mode. There are some tournaments hosted, but they are by no means official, and Blizzard doesn’t support this aspect of the game anymore. So it’s nowhere near as worth it to play competitive HotS.

Their competitive systems are different as well.

LoL only has 1 map, contrary to the many rotating maps of HotS.


The visuals are pretty similar. HotS need slightly better specs though, and LoL will be able to be played on older and worse PCs.

Final Thoughts

Both games give reasons to play them.

LoL is way more competitive, with a bigger team working on it, and many more players actually playing it.

HotS gives you nostalgia through its Heroes (if you played any of Blizzard’s legendary titles) and a much more casual, team-work oriented playstyle.

Ultimately, is up to you to decide which you prefer. Fortunately, I gave you a comparison to make the job easier.

That’s it for my comparison. Have you played both games? If so, which do you prefer. You can tell me your opinions below.

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