There’s no doubt about it, League of Legends is one of the most popular video games ever to hit the markets. There’s no telling how many play it but now 100s of thousands of them have descended online to watch and participate in one of the biggest online tournaments ever.
Over 10,000 games are raging right now with players from all over the world. The World Championships is the reason for the gathering. The players start out as the main character and team up with other characters along the way. They work in tandem building up their skills, weapons, magical powers and then wreak havoc on the bad guys. Upper scale players with almost unlimited powers can then team up and do all sorts of damage to the opposition. The game is loud, colorful, comical, and entertaining all in one. It’s the kind of game that spectators can get just as much fun out of as the players.
The number of characters ranges into the hundreds and each has their own abilities such as their powers and personalities. A staggering 8 million people can be playing during peak hours. That’s a lot of online presence and a coup for advertisers.
Believe it or not, fans assemble at arenas and watch the tournaments on gigantic video screens just like any major league sporting event. Mind you, the winner gets a trophy so big and heavy that no one man can lift it. It’s trophy overload. When Oct. 19 rolls around the finals will take place with an estimated 40,000 fans to attend.
Tens of millions tune in for the big tournaments of this game rivaling the global watching audiences of many major events thus this game falls under the e-sports banner. Riot Games which owns League Of Legends has an army of people around to help facilitate these events and the logistics must be mind boggling. Not the big moneymaker one would expect, these tournaments are more of a public relations function that keeps old players and brings in new ones.
The extra incentive is that great players are put on the Riot Games payroll in order to master the game and keep the global community active. Since the game is free to play and is downloadable one wonders how the company makes a profit. Well that secret is easy. In order for players to win and advance in the game they have to buy the special tools and enhancements from Riot Games. So say for instance in order to beat the next dragon you need a lightning bolt spear, you have to buy that lighting bolt spear from the company sometimes at $10 per item.
When you have 10 or 20 million people battling for supremacy and they’re trying to win, that kind of money adds up quick into the 100s of millions.