Why Southeast Asia will soon rule the LoL scene
by Alan LaFleur July 3, 2012 @ 05:07pm
This weekend it was announced that Kikis, the 16 year old European top laner, left Absolute Legends(EU). Just so we are clear, here is a list of the teams he has been on:
- exGameburg Team
- Meet Your Makers
- exHCL Gaming
- Absolute Legends
This is ridiculous! These type of "professional" players are what is holding the North American and European scenes from structure that could actually grow the scene. Team-hopping destroyed TheGamingSeries Proleague because teams couldn't hold together long enough to complete the season.
The type of structure the scene should be shooting for is a league. The TGS Proleague was the type of competition this scene should strive for but it was squandered due to teams not sticking together. There are 3 reasons leagues are better than weekend tournaments:
- Creates a better competitive environment
- Fans can follow just their favorite teams instead of chained to their desk for a whole weekend
- Sponsors love the exposure over the course of weeks instead of over two days
Leagues create a sense of stability for the scene which creates a better competitive environment. The environment allows for more strategical preparations for the next match which should create a better viewing experience. Weekend tournaments do not add enough depth to the scene and are good for producing burnout with fans.
The major problem is that the western eSports scene (the players and fans) do not value online competition the same as offline. In a digital age it doesn't make much sense to value one over the other. Either that mentality has to change or we need to move everyone in North America and Europe to a central location (which will never happen). It is true that latency can hinder online gameplay but tournaments can be region specific.
Southeast Asia has figured this out. The Garena Premier League not only created a 20 week league structure. Each team plays two games per week. The top three finishers enter the grand finals to fight for the chance to be crowned season champion. Thereâ��s $40,000 at stake throughout the season. Oh, by the way, this tournament is online with casting done in a studio. The teams are maintained by the league and the players are accommodated to the point there is no reason they would want to leave the team.
In an interview with ggChronicle the Taipei Assassins explained their average day that consisted of watching game film in the headquarters with coaches and analysts. The film is of teams mostly in the Garena Premier League but also the team watches film of North American and European teams. The team is then prepared with specific strategies for when they face their next opponent and it usually makes for very interesting play.
So, if I was an investor or a sponsor, I would definitely put my money in Asia where the players take the sport more serious. The Asian players desire to get better as a team and have a goal of expanding the eSports scene in Asia to be bigger than it already is. In the western world, I get the opposite impression. All the major players are in it for the fame, no one really cares about expanding eSports or getting better as a team. It will inevitably show in October at the Season 2 World Championship.