Exports are conquering the world
As for esports as a permanent global television business, there are League of Legends and others. Last weekend, Tencent’s Riot Games ended the competition that now dominates this year’s sport: the LoL World Championship in Shanghai. South Korea’s DAMWON Gaming won and the coverage of the event was huge.
For more than a month, Riot has hosted 22 teams with about 230 employees in Shanghai. More than 3.2 million people in China have registered for the lottery to take part in the championships. 6312 were allowed to attend in person. Riot’s lottery system removes brokers and asks contestants to prove they are real League of Legends players.
And no cases of the coronavirus have been reported.
The finals attracted the second largest audience in esports history, excluding China, according to preliminary data (after just one LoL match last year). Chinese media reported that more than 50 million people in the country watched the final on Saturday.
Sponsors at various levels including Mercedes-Benz, Louis Vuitton, Mastercard, Spotify, Cisco, Bose, OPPO and Red Bull.
Riot plans to return the LoL championship to China next year and hold events in several cities before the US tournament takes place in 2022.
Meanwhile, TV ratings for traditional sports dropped sharply almost everywhere this year.
“League of Legends is a cultural phenomenon in China,” said Tom Martel, director of Riot’s global export business, Monday. “This is our biggest territory in terms of fans and players. Their passion for the league goes far beyond what we have seen elsewhere.”
Martel said the production of about 45 different services and networks is distributed around the world in about 20 languages and the company will not have complete data on global audience numbers by the end of this month.
“There is no sport without a fantastic match. It starts and ends with the quality of play and the response from our fans around the world,” said Martel. “As an export company, our presence in all of these regions is a big part of it. We operate 12 professional leagues around the world that maintain a full-time professional ecosystem there.”
“It’s an ambitious way for players to say, ‘Hey, I want to be a professional player.’ How can I do that? “And they can look at League of Legends and its continued success and say, ‘This is something I believe, that it will be here.’ It won’t disappear or flicker. “”