Riot Games ensures that League of Legends will be a huge eSport
by Alan LaFleur June 28, 2012 @ 03:06pm
Riot has incorporated their own seasons for players to compete and work their way up the competitive ladder. The seasons are structured to where top level teams earn points from Challenger Circuit events like Dreamhack, Intel Extreme Masters, Major League Gaming, and IGN Pro League. These points then qualify them for the end of the season tournaments that go one to prove who the best team in the world is and reward them handsomely.
The first season for League of Legends introduced a lot of new features to a game that was struggling to get a competitive scene up and going. The season introduced ranked games, ladders, and draft mode: three things that have been beneficial to building a competitive game.
The season culminated in a World Championship at Dreamhack Summer with a $100,000 prize pool with first taking home $50,000. The teams competed in a number of different events in Season One in order to become certified to play in the Season One World Championship. However, the circuit events were not as prestigious as the season two circuit with IEM, MLG, and IPL. Most of the events in season one were regional events and online tournaments. There were enough competitions so that it allowed 8 teams to accumulate points in order to be ranked for a qualifier that would decide which 6 teams would be playing at Dreamhack: 3 North American teams and 3 European teams.
The teams that qualified for The Season One World Championship were:
Against All Authority
Counter Logic Gaming
The European team, Fnatic, ended up taking the honors the first season by defeating Against All Authority in the finals. Unfortunately for the people across the pond, the North American teams did not perform as well as people expected. Counter Logic Gaming was supposed to rule the competition but they ended up fifth out of a total of six teams. TSM ended up getting third place and Epik trailed right behind them in fourth place.
Season Two of League of Legends ushered in new features for the competitive scene just like Season One did. The features this time were more aesthetic and a necessity for a growing eSport. Spectator mode has dramatically changed the viewing experience for every spectator.
The success of Season One brought in more tournaments for the Challenger Circuit for North American and Europe. The more events brought legitimacy to the game as an eSports and now the game features some of the highest prize pools and viewership numbers in all of eSports. League of Legends major tournaments get more unique viewers than Major League Baseball games on ESPN.
Road to the Season 2 World Championship
The Season 2 World Championship will take place in Los Angeles, California on October 13, 2012. The combined prize pool will be $3 million dollars which will likely change the lives of some hard working, professional gamers. In order for a team to get to the World Championship they will need to place high in a regional finals. The breakdown for the Regional Finals is as follows:
Shanghai, China at China Joy
Cologne, Germany at Gamescom
Seattle, United States at PAX Prime
Seoul, South Korea at OGN eSports Stadium
Taipei, Taiwan at G1
Singapore at Garena Carnival
North American and European teams will qualify for the Regional Finals through the Challenger Circuit points. Only the best teams will be able to participate in the Regional Finals which assures that the best teams will be playing for the huge prize purse in Los Angeles.
Currently there is limited information on the qualification process for the Regional Finals in the Asian countries. The western scene will probably learn more about the qualification process as we get closer to Chinajoy at the end of July.
Season 2 and beyond will guarantee that League of Legends is a mainstay in the world of eSports.