Hello. This post is made for League of Legends player who believe that LoL is not pay-to-win. The whole point of this point is to show you the facts. If you cannot accept the facts that are presented then that is another issue.
First let's begin with establishing the definition of P2W. What is pay-to-win? I will do this be setting up a scenario and then establishing a definition for the purpose of this post.
**The Pay-to-Win Scenario**
Let's imagine any game other than LoL or Dota 2. Let's imagine we are playing a game like DayZ, H1Z1, Rust, or any other of the survival games that have perma-death. In these games a death is a very bad thing as it can cause you to lose all your gear and all that you've been working for for the past 20 hours or however long your character was alive.
Say there are two players Player A and Player B. Player A will not spend a single dime other than the price tag on the game. Player B is willing to pay more than that. Say both of these players start at the same time and when the first encounter each other they have the same amount of time played. They don't have the same gear because Player B, through the introduction of his wallet, has better gear and better weapons than Player A. The two players get into a firefight and Player B comes out on top.
I think that we can all agree that this situation here is P2W. Player B was able to kill Player A because he had an advantage because he paid money for it. From this scenario here we can make a broad definition for P2W.
Pay-to-Win: An advantage gained in video games through the introduction of money.
**League of Legends: Pay-to-Win Example 1**
I will present you with what I believe is an example of direct P2W.
Again we have Player A and Player B. When they both meet on the Field of Justice™ as opponents they both have the same champions, same runes, same everything, and none have payed a single cent for anything. Player A has Champ A and Player B has Champ B. They fight and Player A comes out on top with Champ A because Champ A counters Champ B for some reason. There is nothing P2W about this situation so nothing to explain. Player B does his research and learns that he has been dying a lot to players who use Champ A because it is a counter to the champ he uses very often, Champ B. He learns that another champion, Champ C, is the counter to his favorite champion's counter, Champ A. He does not wish to grind IP for Champ C because he doesn't want to wait a long time to play Champ C and because he has $10 to spare for Champ C. He pays the $10 and queues up for a match. He faces a player with Champ A while he has Champ C and proceeds to kill Champ A repeatedly. He now has an advantage over other players because he paid money. This scenario fits the P2W definition. This is a example of direct P2W because they directly purchased an advantage, in this case Champ C.
**League of Legends: Pay-to-Win Example 2**
This example is indirect P2W.
Here we meet again with Player A and Player B. They both have 200 hours played and they both have achieved level 30. They have both come to the point where they know what Runes are and they are ready to spend some hard earned IP on it. Player A spends all his 10,000 IP on runes leaving him with nothing after his shopping spree. He has most mandatory runes but needs some more for specific champions or situations like movement or lifesteal quints. Hehas to play games to unlock more IP so that he can unlock the runes he is missing, which can take a long time.
Player B does the same, spends all his IP and also wants more runes. But he doesn't want to grind so hard for them. Instead, he pays money for an IP Booster and gains the missing IP a lot fastter than player A. Facing him in a match having perfect fitting runes against general runes might give him an advantage.
**League of Legends: Pay-to-Win Example 3**
This example is indirect P2W.
It takes literarly over 2 years to just be able to try out all the Champions during their free week. When I started LoL, I got so hard destroyed by a certain champion. I didn't cry for nerfs, I watched the replay, I have seen how he played that hero and what I could have done better. I have liked to try that champion at least in a bot game, just to see his strength and weaknesses on my own. Riot actively prevents that by locking their Champions behind the grindwall and when I encountered some Champions I didnt have I had no clue what the %%%% they did, I couldn't watch recreate the same Situation against bots, with rp I could have simply bought that champion and try it against bots. Thats for me a huge advantage in terms of knowledge locked behind the paywall.