A view of the trophy for the League of Legends World Championship Finals in Paris, France November eight, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron
November eight, 2019
By Mathieu Rosemain and Noémie Olive
PARIS (Reuters) – Two groups of younger video avid gamers from Europe and China will do digital battle on Sunday – and there’s greater than $1 million at stake.
The groups will battle it out in blockbuster on-line sport “League of Legends”, in a contest drawing thousands and thousands of viewers and a rising crowd of sponsors.
The sport, developed 10 years in the past by Los Angeles-based Riot Video games, sees groups of gamers face off in a digital battle enviornment with one most important purpose: destroying their opponents’ “Nexus” base.
The finals of the 10th version of the sport’s world championship event, dubbed “LoL Worlds” and hosted on the AccorHotels Enviornment in Paris, will see Europe’s G2 Esports go up in opposition to China’s FunPlus Phoenix (FPX).
Riot Video games is browsing on the rising success of esports – online game competitions – and of its LoL Worlds championship, broadcast on video live-streaming service Twitch.
It says final yr’s championship attracted near 100 million viewers, placing it in the identical ball park because the Tremendous Bowl, the largest American TV occasion. Sponsors embody French luxurious model LVMH’s Louis Vuitton, U.S. cost large MasterCard and Chinese language electronics firm Oppo.
International esports revenues will hit $1.1 billion in 2019, up 27% from final yr, with ballooning revenue from promoting, sponsorship and media rights, in accordance with gaming business analytics agency Newzoo.
League of Legends, Dota 2, Fortnite and Counter-Strike: International Offensive are among the hottest esports.
The European and Chinese language groups in Sunday’s finals are composed of 5 and 6 and 5 gamers respectively, all male and aged between 19 and 24.
LoL Worlds supply a prize pool this yr of about $6.5 million, making it the third-biggest after Dota 2’s The Worldwide and the Fortnite World Cup.
The profitable workforce will obtain virtually $835,000, whereas the runners-up get greater than $300,000.
The European avid gamers are searching for to finish Asia’s supremacy; South Korea has received 5 of the six earlier championships, with a Chinese language workforce profitable final yr.
However the organizers say the highest Asian gamers are more and more being challenged.
“What’s wonderful about that’s that the Chinese language and the Korean leagues have usually dominated this type of competitions,” stated John Needham, International Head of LoL Esports at Riot Video games, instructed Reuters.
“We now have much more aggressive parity,” he added.
Danish participant Rasmus Winther, who’s within the European workforce and nicknamed Caps by followers, echoed that sentiment at a information convention the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday.
“Once we joined the LCS (League of Legends Championship Sequence), the West didn’t actually have shot at doing something internationally,” the 19-year-old stated. “Now … we need to be champions and create a legacy for ourselves.”
(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Noémie Olive; Enhancing by Pravin Char)