Attending the League of Legends Championships

When I was young I dreamed of traveling to Korea and attending a video game match by some of the professional teams in a stadium match. Last weekend my wish came true when I attended the League of Legends Championship in Seoul.

According to Forbes magazine League of Legends (LOL) is the most played video game in North America and Europe by hours played. The game is free to play and supported by people buying extra skins to give their characters a unique look or unlocking game aspects early. This makes the gameplay fair and free but allows for the ability for the game developers to have a consistent cash flow from players who get attached to their characters and don’t mind spending money to customize them.

The gameplay itself consists of two teams of five players each controlling one hero character. The object of the game is to destroy the enemy’s nexus and protect your own.

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The teams each have a base where their nexus is located and four layers of defensive towers along three lanes out protecting their base along three lanes of attack. The bases spawn minions that march down the three lanes towards the enemy towers to fight the opposing team’s minions. The player characters spend the early part of the game killing the opposing team’s minions to receive money and experience which they use to make their heroes more powerful and give them an edge against the other team. There are also computer controlled monsters around the map that the teams can kill for money or experience or powerful buffs to give them an advantage in the game. These monsters are located in the Jungles and the river areas.

This year was the fourth LOL World Championship and the teams were competing for a $1,000,000USD prize. The competition itself took place at the World Cup Stadium where many of the games for the 2002 Fifa World Cup took place.

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The crowd was already huge when we arrived at the grounds. The games were sponsored by Coca-cola and Korean Air and both companies had large booths for promotional purposes.

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There was a large stage set up where a professional Cos-play team was showing off their costumes with small skits. Cos-play is common at gaming conventions and competitions and consists of creating elaborate costumes to emulate the characters in the games. There were some very impressive costumes in attendance.

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There was also a booth where the artists who created the different characters were signing prints for fans. The line up here was quite long as fans wanted to make sure they got a print of their favorite hero signed by the creators.

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Getting into the stadium we were given two bags of goodies. A bag of swag and a bag of food. I laid mine all out to take a photo of it. The wrapped package at the top is a hooded cape which many attendees wore. Next to that is two long balloons with led lights in them that light up when they are smashed together.

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 10 minutes until the games start. I have put on my cape just in case.

 7The games start with a song by Imagine Dragons which had been created for the Championships and was performed with an entire symphony orchestra and drum team. The official music video for the song can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmI_Ndrxy14

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Here is a selfie of us amid the 40,000 other fans getting ready for the games to start! We are all wearing our headphones to listen to the English version of the commentary. The game commentary was available in Korean, English, and Chinese.

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The games started and the Korean team Samsung White handily won the first two games in 25 minutes which is a very fast time. The game is projected on the three screens with extra info and web cam streams of each player posted to the right and left of the main screen. The players themselves are in the red or blue individual stations to the right and left of the podium.

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Between the games fans took an opportunity to get a selfie with their favorite cos-players. This cos-player has a bodyguard making sure nobody touches her or her costume.

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In game three Samsung white played using heroes that they do not usually use and they lost. However, they pulled it together again for game 4 which they won handily again receiving the 70 pound (31.751 kg) Summers Cup and the grand prize of $1,000,000 USD.

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The after party ended with fireworks and three more songs performed by Imagine Dragons. After that everyone slowly streamed out making their way back to their lives.

 

Article by Read from Canada

 

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