Competitive eSports activities are on the rise, as we’ve covered in great detail in our previous report. And this past weekend’s latest tournament for League of Legends showed that its growth will continue onward for some time to come.
Riot Games hosted a World Championship match series that was held in Seoul, Korea, and the event was a hit, drawing 40,000 fans in a sold out World Cup Stadium. Fans cheered on a battle between Korea’s own Samsung White and China’s Starhorn Royal Club.
The venue is a huge change for the tournament, as it was held last year at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where approximately 11,000 fans filled the seats and watched the events unfold. That shows nearly a four-times increase in size with this year’s numbers, with a possibly bigger venue planned for next year, if all goes according to plan.
The tournament was an even bigger hit with viewers. Although specific numbers weren’t reported, many folks logged in to watch the ongoing tournament and watched live on ESPN 3. The numbers should easily eclipse what 2013’s tournament brought in, as Forbes is reporting that the 2013 tournament attracted 32 million in all, with 8.5 million watching concurrently. The only thing that could possibly affect the total is the fact that the tournament took place in Korea, meaning it went on well into late evening on a Sunday evening. Still, there’s no question that avid devotees had no trouble tuning in.
For this year’s event, Riot Games went all out with its presentation, including opening and closing ceremonies, as well as a live performance from the band Imagine Dragons, who teamed up with the company for an original song devoted to the game, “Warriors.” Some would say it even rivaled the presentation from other big-name events, even the Super Bowl.
Look for bigger events to come in the later years, as well as more progress from Riot Games, who are actually hiring more staff to support merchandise sales, as well as a possible outreach to media as well as support for its other games. And definitely look for more players as well.