Why Aren't the League of Legends NA LCS Tournaments on Tour Yet?
As soon as I get off of work, and I get home, I grab a beer, sit down and turn on various League of Legends streams. For you see, to me, watching LoL (League of Legends) games is the equivalent to watching any mainstream sporting event. To me it is exciting and entertaining and a great way to unwind after work. Since I have been watching for quite a while now, I find myself rooting for various teams and players for all of the reasons mainstream sports fans do; be it the players’ skills at the game, their attitudes, or their personalities. At a point I find myself so attached to particular teams that I get the strong urge to see them play in person, to feel the atmosphere of the game, to revel in awe with fellow tournament goers as the players make seemingly impossible plays. I want all these things, but alas the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is only broadcast from their studios in California.
Which is very understandable as the LCS is a very professionally done and put together production so I completely understand them having to anchor down their operations and not take them on the road… Wait a second… What’s that? Across “The Pond”?! A League of Legends Championship Series that tours Europe, with no drop in production quality? What the flip! Why does Europe get a traveling production and the United States doesn’t? After all, the entire continent of Europe is barely bigger than the US! And even though Riot doesn’t release specific numbers, I would have to imagine a good chunk of the purported 32 million (plus) players reside in the US. Why shouldn’t we have the same opportunities to watch the game we love live and in person?
It’s not as if there isn’t demand. Regional groups, such as League of Legends Chicago, and statewide tournaments, like LoLFlorida’s 5v5 series, are popping up like crazy. People all over the country are devoted to the game and would love the chance to see it played in person, much like they do with their favorite professional sports teams. I mean heck, League of Legends is considered a professional sport by the US government now, and it should be acting like it. Star City Games manages to take their Magic the Gathering tournament series on the road and their average viewership is only 3 to 4 thousand per day, compared to the 100 to 150 thousand that LoL gets per tournament day. So if Star City can do it, why can’t you Riot?
So please Riot, give the fans what they deserve and don’t make your fans in New York drive over forty hours just to see a tournament. Take a cue from your European colleagues and bring the sport to the fans and not the other way around.