Three reasons Heroes of the Storm surpasses League of Legends

When it comes to multiplayer online battle arenas (or MOBAs) three of the most widely known and popular in existence are Heroes of the Storm, DOTA 2, and League of Legends. All three titles have built massive communities over the years, host some of the largest esports competitions in the world, and are critically acclaimed by critics and regular fans alike.

But many continue to question which game is better: League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm? After playing both games for an extended period, I've developed three main reasons why I personally find Heroes of the Storm to be a better game than League of Legends.

1. More maps available to enjoy

Heroes of the Storm's larger pool of maps helps to ensure that matches don't feel repetitive.

One of the best ways that games across all genres avoid feeling stale is by having a diverse collection of maps to play on. Both League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm understand this and as a result, contain a variety of battlefields for players to combat each other in. However, Heroes of the Storm trumps League of Legends in this in two ways: it has more maps overall, and each map also feels very different to one another, as opposed to the bonus maps from League which all feel too similar.

This isn't a major flaw of League of Legends, but the added variety in gameplay experiences with Heroes of the Storm by having a very wide map pool is one of my favorite things about the game. The different pathways and overall design in each map encourage a different strategy or hero choice. This naturally opens up the metagame and makes more heroes viable and keeps things fresh.

2. Team focused gameplay

Quite possibly the biggest difference between League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm is the fact that the former encourages solo carrying, while the latter emphasizes team play. One of the most effective and strongest strategies in League of Legends is to "put all eggs into one basket" and build your entire team composition around propping up one player with non-stop support and buffs while they focus on killing the enemy. This essentially makes it so that one player out of the entire team is actively participating in battle, and thus is the only one who gains experience.

This is often a source of toxicity in the game, as many players will argue about who gets to be the carry player. The fact that experience for actions is rewarded individually also means that the carry player is the only one on the team who gets any meaningful experience points during a match; the teammates that ensure he or she is even able to do that are left in the dust.

In Heroes of the Storm, though, the experience is pooled between every team member. This means that the team is only as strong as their teamwork: everyone needs to actively contribute. This naturally unifying design brings everyone on the team together and encourages them to cooperate. In addition, everyone is recognized for their skills in the team-based system, unlike League of Legends, in which selfish glory-seeking play is rewarded.

3. Objective-oriented design

The objective focused structure of Heroes of the Storm makes gameplay more tactical and strategic.

League of Legends places a large emphasis on racking up kills. Without a doubt, one of the most important things in matches of League is your body count. This is fun, sure, but often times engagements feel very simplistic because of this. Most of the skillsets lie within your ability to animation cancel or time abilities well.

While these things do add depth to League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm takes it a step further and places an emphasis on map objectives that can greatly assist your team in achieving victory. Not only do your kills make an impact; making sure that your team is able to control the objective can (and does) too.

The reason why I think this is better than League of Legends' "deathmatch" style is that it adds another layer of skill to the game. Things like map positioning become more important in Heroes of the Storm because of objectives, and I think that the higher potential for more organized play makes Heroes of the Storm both more fun to play and to watch as a result.

Your thoughts

Which MOBA do you think is better? Are you a League of Legends fan, a Heroes of the Storm fan, or both? Let me know. Also, both games are free to play, so if you've never tried them out, make sure to do so!

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.