PARIS (Information) – Two groups of younger video players from Europe and China will do digital battle on Sunday – and there’s greater than $1 million at stake.
The groups will battle it out in blockbuster on-line sport “League of Legends”, in a contest drawing tens of millions of viewers and a rising crowd of sponsors.
The sport, developed 10 years in the past by Los Angeles-based Riot Video games, sees groups of gamers face off in a digital battle area with one predominant aim: destroying their opponents’ “Nexus” base.
The finals of the 10th version of the sport’s world championship event, dubbed “LoL Worlds” and hosted on the AccorHotels Area in Paris, will see Europe’s G2 Esports go up towards China’s FunPlus Phoenix (FPX).
Riot Video games is browsing on the rising success of esports – online game competitions – and of its LoL Worlds championship, broadcast on video live-streaming service Twitch.
It says final 12 months’s championship attracted near 100 million viewers, placing it in the identical ball park because the Tremendous Bowl, the largest American TV occasion. Sponsors embody French luxurious model LVMH’s Louis Vuitton, U.S. fee big MasterCard and Chinese language electronics firm Oppo.
International esports revenues will hit $1.1 billion in 2019, up 27% from final 12 months, with ballooning revenue from promoting, sponsorship and media rights, in line with gaming trade analytics agency Newzoo.
League of Legends, Dota 2, Fortnite and Counter-Strike: International Offensive are among the hottest esports.
The European and Chinese language groups in Sunday’s finals are composed of 5 gamers every, all male and aged between 19 and 24.
LoL Worlds provide a prize pool this 12 months of about $6.5 million, making it the third-biggest after Dota 2’s The Worldwide and the Fortnite World Cup.
The successful crew will obtain nearly $835,000, whereas the runners-up get greater than $300,000.
The European players are in search of to finish Asia’s supremacy; South Korea has gained 5 of the six earlier championships, with a Chinese language crew successful final 12 months.
However the organizers say the highest Asian gamers are more and more being challenged.
“What’s superb about that’s that the Chinese language and the Korean leagues have sometimes dominated this sort of competitions,” mentioned John Needham, International Head of LoL Esports at Riot Video games, advised Information.
“Now we have much more aggressive parity,” he added.
Danish participant Rasmus Winther, who’s within the European crew and nicknamed Caps by followers, echoed that sentiment at a information convention the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday.
“Once we joined the LCS (League of Legends Championship Collection), the West didn’t actually have a great shot at doing something internationally,” the 19-year-old mentioned. “Now … we wish to be champions and create a legacy for ourselves.”
(This story deletes extraneous phrases in ninth paragraph)
Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Noémie Olive; Enhancing by Pravin Char