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LOL Esport: The making of a global sporting phenomenon

What’s esport?

Esports, also known as electronic sports, is a multiplayer video game competition. While competition has always been a large part of gaming, it wasn’t until the late 2000s that Esports started becoming widely recognized. The term esports was coined in 2002, but because of the lack of widespread internet, it did not gain momentum until around the 2010s. Esports is now recognized as a sporting activity by many countries, including South Korea, the United States, and Canada, with an estimated global viewership of 134 million people.

LOL Esport: The making of a global sporting phenomenon:

Every Sunday night, 18,000 fans stream into Seoul’s World Cup stadium to watch the world championships for League of Legends, a multiplayer computer game. More than 27 million people watched last year’s final on streaming platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. That is more than the number tuned in to watch Germany beat Argentina in the 2014 World Cup. Millions more watch in public squares, in bars, and on office computers worldwide.

LOL Esport is orchestrating a revolution in spectator sport. But what exactly are spectators watching? Thanks to artificial-intelligence technology that can turn patterns invisible to humans into pictures visible to machines, researchers are beginning to answer this question by getting computers to “watch” games and make short movies of what they see. These visual summaries highlight the key moments, revealing where players are struggling, where the action is fiercest, and which tactics are working best. The results are helping teams get better at coaching humans and showing how computers could one day play the game themselves.

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LOL Esport being the Most Popular Esport Game:-

It is the most popular computer game globally and has more than 100 million registered players. It’s also one of the most significant sporting phenomena you’ve never heard of outside gaming circles. Massive crowds watch teams of video gamers playing live before cheering crowds in packed arenas. The global championships have sold-out Los Angeles’s Staples Centre and Seoul World Cup Stadium with capacities of over 20,000.

What started as a small project by an American developer just five years ago has turned into one of the world’s fastest-growing spectator sports offering big money prizes, attracting the best players, and creating new millionaires.

Talking about participation of young gamers in LOL Esport:- 

This year, for the first time, young gamers can turn professional on a full-time basis thanks to the launch of Riot Games’ title LOL Esport Championship Series (LCS). It provides teams with an annual salary and benefits for up to five members, including healthcare and 401(k) contribution plans.

The Championship Series is a thoroughly professional league where ten teams from North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific play in their dedicated areas. The three seasons culminate in a world final that has attracted more than 8m unique viewers online.

Other few details regarding LOL Esports:-

In 2009, a modder named Guinsoo released Defense of the Ancients, a custom map for Blizzard’s real-time strategy game Warcraft 3. In short order, the new mode blew up, gaining millions of fans and spawning an annual tournament that remains one of the most-watched esports events in existence today.

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One player who took particular interest was Steve “Chauster” Chau, a former competitive Warcraft 3 player turned solo queue star on the North American server. After briefly trying his luck at being a professional in Starcraft 2, Chau joined LOL esport in September 2010. Even though just after a year, he took on the role of player-coach on Counter Logic Gaming’s first roster.

Playing for CLG at the time, he would place second in his first major tournament against well-known teams like SK Gaming and Fnatic. Back then, the community didn’t have much information about these players outside of their solo queue rankings or forum posts — and with little content out there, fans looked for any information to latch onto.

“When I played, people read into anything they could,” Chau told theScore esports. “So if you didn’t play well, but had lots of kills in one game, people would think you were really good at the game. It was hard for teams to be consistent back then because there wasn’t enough information.”

Below are 2 examples of esports:

The most popular esport is LOL Esport. It features two teams of 5 players who fight against one another for dominance to destroy the enemy team’s nexus. League of Legends is played with a top-down perspective based on the Defense of the Ancients custom map for Warcraft III.

The other popular esport is DOTA 2. It is played in a five versus five format where two teams try to destroy each others’ bases, called the “Ancient.”

League of legends LOL Esport has recently had an annual championship event which in 2016 was watched by 43 million people with a total prize pool of over $5 million. Other popular esports are Dota 2, Hearthstone, Starcraft 2, and Counter-Strike.

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