The world changes very slowly, or is it very quickly? I don’t exactly recall what the original saying states, but I trust your judgement, you can decide which option fits this story better:
In 2011, a Swedish city hosted 8 teams competing for prizes not exceeding the total of 100,000 USD (99,500 exactly), with a tournament length of 3 days.
Just eight teams were competing in 2011, three from the USA, three European teams, one from Singapore and a last one from the Philippines.
Each team had gone through a previous classificatory phase of one or two days, and there were no coaches, referees, or hardly any other support for the teams.
Most of the players had not even seen their teammates face to face before, as “gaming houses” did not exist back then, and they did not have a salary, having almost to pay the plane tickets to the tournament out of their own pocket in many cases.
No tables full of analysts and commentators trying to deduct and guess the following strategy that a team may use, which characters may each player pick according to their playstyle, nothing even close to comparable to the data and statistics handled today in these events.
Of course, no teams of make-up artists for players or commentators, and it did not matter how the commentators were dressed.
To put it in favorable words, sobriety was a characteristic identifier of this event.
Only seven years have passed, and everything has changed. As a matter of fact, let me rephrase that:
“After seven long years (yes, now it shows the efforts that have been poured into it) everything has changed.”
Let’s compare the League of Legends World Tournament in 2011 and in 2017. I know there is a fair amount of information, so take your time to digest it:
To get to participate in this year’s World Championship, which this year will take place in South Korea (the Mecca of e-Sports), the teams need to participate in an extremely competitive league of eight months, which of course, ends in a highly anticipated final.
The final of each region’s league is a huge sports event (yes, I said sports, you will have to get used to it because it is officially considered one), and the European League of Legends Championship Series (EU LCS) will take place this next 8th and 9th of September in Madrid.
This is the 2nd time Riot Games has chosen Madrid and the Vistalegre Palace to celebrate this event, first in 2015 with the Spring Finals, and now again for the EU Summer Finals.
With a capacity of 15,000 people in the Vistalegre Palace, the event is sure to be completely sold out and the capacity filled.
It is the largest eSports event celebrated in Spain to the date, and as stated by Jose Klingenberg (head of Production in Riot Games Europe): “Not even a single square meter will be left free”.
Jose also explained how the selection of Spain as the host of these finals has heavily been influenced by the favorable treatment of eSports in the country.
While a majority of the present audience is expected to be Spanish, it is estimated that more than 20% of the public will come from other countries to support their favorite European teams.
Of course, record audiences are also expected through the known online streaming platforms of Twitch and YouTube, while there is also plans to improve the experience of the public out of the competitive event itself, making the event not just about seeing the big teams competing for the title, but also putting local eSports stars in the spotlight, for the fans.
This is why Alberto Guerrero (CEO of Riot Iberia) remarked the outstanding work being done by the Professional Video game League (Liga de Videojuegos Profesional, LVP) of Spain, publicising and disseminating the event and eSports, and confirmed the plans of integrating local teams into the activities outside and inside the event’s location.
If you are in Madrid during the 8th and 9th of September and you definitely have to go to the EU LCS Summer Finals. Also because you could be lucky enough to meet us! (Of course, we will be there, stay tuned)