Features / Youth

E-sports electrifies London!

E-sports has been on the rise since the early 2000’s with competitions usually made up of amateurs.

However we  now have the rise in professional video gaming with League of Legends (LoL) leading the charge.

LoL was first released in 2009 by Riot Games. It is a free to play game and is played both recreationally and professionally. The premise of the game is to work as a team of five to destroy the enemy teams towers and eventually their base.

Whoever kills the opposing teams nexus first is declared the winner. There are other factors to winning the game such as killing enemy champions, gaining gold leads and securing objectives for your team.

LoLs popularity just keeps growing. Last year Riot announced that there were 27 million people who played the game daily. The picture below shows how much momentum the game has picked up throughout the seasons.

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The Season 4 final was held in Seoul, South Korea, in the same stadium that was used for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. That stadium holds over 66,000 and people came from all over the world to fill up the seats.

Now we are into season 5 of the game and they’ve brought the quarter finals to London! It’s the first time that Riot have held a world championship event in the UK and boy were people thirsty for it.

The games span over 4 days so fans could buy tickets to whichever days they wanted. I personally tried to acquire some but all of the days were completely sold out within an hour of being released.

London was packed out with fans coming from everywhere. Many like to cosplay or dress up as characters from the game when events like this are on.

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League of Legends fan, Craig Brennan, travelled to London for what would be his first e-sports experience.

“I’ve followed the professional gaming scene for the past few years but had never gotten the chance to attend any of the events,” He said.

“When I heard the quarter-finals were being held in London, I knew I definitely had to go.”

The first set of matches saw European newcomers, Origen, take on Chinese team, Flash Wolves.

It was best of five and Origen let everyone know that they were there to win with a 3-1 finish. Now they will head over to Brussels and await the semi-finals.

Craig said it was great to be a part of that day.

“The atmosphere in the stadium was just so energized like everyone was excited, once one person started chanting like “Origen! Origen!” the whole crowd would join in,” he said.

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Many think that games like LoL are not sports and will never be on the same level as the mainstream games like football or rugby.

But Craig disagrees.

“I think e-sports will become that popular, it definitely has the potential to anyway,” he said.

“Those games had more energy than any sporting event I’ve ever been to.

With all the  support and good infrastructure it’s getting I could easily see myself watching e-sports on TV in the next five  years.”

BBC Three is covering the four days of matches and will be live streaming it on its online channel.

It has  also hired its own shoutcasters (commentators) and will be making the commentary newcomer friendly so it’s easier for people to learn how the game works.

If you would like to check out the action then follow this link –

http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e6f2mb/live/c9bj3d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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