The biggest E-Sports tournament – the League of Legends ‘Worlds 2021’ Championship – is happening now in Iceland!
Riot, the developer and publisher of League of Legends and VALORANT, was set to take two of its biggest e-game tournaments to China earlier this year. However, due to Coronavirus restrictions, the date and location were changed and pushed back up until now.
‘Worlds 2021’, also known as the League of Legends World Championship 2021, started October 5th and will carry on for about 4 weeks, during which E-sport stars from all over the world will go head-to-head with each other battling for prime positions.
The live broadcast from 2019 amassed a viewership of 100 million, more than Eurovision or in fact the Super Bowl, and it is believed that this year’s tournament will spark even more interest!
E-sports and its rise to popularity
E-sports, also known as electronic sports or eSports, takes the form of a video game competition. Starting their development in Asia (China and South Korea), through the improvement and expansion of social networks, they have spread around the world with the first organized competition at Stanford University in the early 1980s. A meteoric change in this was brought about by the intervention of live-streaming, after which they became an exclusive attraction. This has led to the competitions becoming a significant industry event and a factor in attracting serious funds for tournaments.
Today, some of these tournaments are extremely popular, such as the League of Legends World Championship, Dota 2’s International, the fighting game-specific Evolution Championship Series (EVO), and Intel Extreme Masters.
They feature appealing genres in disciplines such as Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), First-Person Shooter (FPS), fighting, card, battle royale, and Real-Time Strategy (RTS).
The inclusion of e-sports in international sporting events at the level of, for example, the Olympic Games is still questionable and under discussion, but their supporters are growing steadily. In 2010 the number of spectators reached 454 million with a revenue of over US$1 billion. Statistics show that the majority of viewers are male, about 85%, against only 15% for the female audience, and age-wise the viewers are among the younger generation, between 18-34 years.
It seems that the gaming industry is in its heyday, gaining more and more fans around the world who follow with interest the performance of their favorite players, and some even try to become as successful as them. According to analysts, prize pools are expected to get even higher in the next few years.
‘Worlds 2021’ Championship in Iceland
The finalists have successfully participated in their local leagues over the past year and have been competing at the highest level of e-sports since October 5th; the finals are scheduled for November 6th, the venue is the newly refurbished Hall A at the Laugardalshöll indoor sporting arena.
This year’s Worlds 2021 are unusual because of the decision taken to have no live audience, and they are being very closely monitored and controlled by the health authorities. Riot successfully hosted the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) this past May in Hall B (as opposed to the Worlds 2021 tournament now being in the new Hall A) at Laugardalshöll without a live audience, which resulted in zero COVID-19 cases among players, staff, and partners.
The MSI 2021 was the most successful MSI to date, with the final match between DAMWON KIA and Royal Never Give Up hitting a record-breaking MSI peak viewership of 23.7 million, and an average minute audience (AMA) of 10.0 million. Across the entire tournament, the MSI 2021 had an AMA of 3.6 million. ‘Worlds 2021’ currently features 22 teams from around the world in three levels of play: Play-Ins, Groups, and Knockouts. At the former levels, games open at 11 a.m. GMT, and at the latter, starting with the quarter-finals, at 12 p.m. GMT. The world awaits to see who will take home the so-called Summoner’s Cup…
More information about the teams competing in this year’s Worlds 2021 as well as game updates, can be found here.