Riot Games will bring League of Legends World Championship to SF
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Riot Games has said the League of Legends World Championship will be held in person in 2022 in San Francisco at the Chase Center where the Golden State Warriors play.
The four cities of the League of Legends Global Tour will include New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Mexico City. The international event will cover North America from the group stage to the final. It is also the first time that the event will take place in Mexico.
The event aims to bring more life to the esports industry, which saw a large number of events online only during the pandemic, but lacked a lot of excitement around the physical events. The Newzoo market research has had to downgrade its esports revenue expectations in 2020 on several occasions as the scale of the pandemic increases and revenues from physical events level off. But most online esports events have attracted a much larger audience than in the past.
The 11th League of Legends World Championship is Riot’s biggest event series of the year, and this year it took place in Reykjavik, Iceland from October 5 to November 5. A total of 22 teams participated and Edward Gaming from China won the top prize. of nearly $ 500,000 as the LPL World Championship.
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The average number of audience minutes was 30.6 million and the peak audience was 73.8 million people. That’s 60% more than last year, which was the previous record, said John Needham, president of esports at Riot Games, at a press conference at the Chase Center.
Riot Games said the tournament will revert to a continental tour format and return to the United States for the first time since 2016, when it was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Needham attended a press event with Naz Aletaha, Global Head of League of Legends Esports; Chris Greeley, esports manager for North America and Oceania Pacific; Martin Balquier, esports manager for Latin America at Riot.
Also in attendance were famous players such as Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, a League of Legends esports player, currently the Golden Guardians’ top laner.
Aletaha said: “We are returning to North America for the first time since 2016”. She said the event will start in Mexico City and then continue at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The semi-finals will be held in Toronto at the Scotia Bank Arena, and the 2022 world finals will be held at the Chase Center.
“We can’t wait to finish our 12th world tour here,” said Aletaha.
And Balquier said Riot is excited to bring the event to Latin America for the first time, as fans have been asking for it for a decade.
Greeley said: “We are incredibly excited to bring this excitement to our fans.”
Aletaha said the company is reviewing the tournament format, which will be optimized for a variety of variables.
Needham said the company has wanted to host events in North America in recent years, but has been unable to do so due to COVID-19. He noted that the company has learned to organize events safely in light of the pandemic.
Aletaha said she did not yet have any information to share on where the business would pivot if forced to pivot due to COVID restrictions.
“We want to make it an amazing experience for the tens of millions of fans who want to connect from home,” she said. “Right now we are laser focused on North America for the tour. “
Greeley said North American teams are becoming increasingly competitive and have improved their amateur and academic teams so the region continues to improve for esports events. With the launch of Arcane, Riot is also hoping that there will be renewed interest in the region as well.
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