“League of Legends Is a Sport: I’m an Athlete Now”
For those of you who don’t know, League of Legends is one of the most popular online games, attracting over 32 million players monthly. I assume most of you do, considering how much mouse-clicking there is in college dorms and that there is a League of Legends decal on campus.
The milestone League has set in the gaming industry is incredible. On October 4, 2013, League of Legends held its Season 3 Championship Final at the famous Staples Center in Los Angeles. The winning team took home a large prize of $1 million, not to mention a whopping sum of cash from sponsorships. Not only was this spectacle a sold-out phenomenon, but it also attracted more than 1 million concurrent views online. Now, does this sound like a sport?
As opposed to many other games, League of Legends was designed to be a sport. There are two five-player teams that attempt to kill their opponents and take out their bases. The team members work together to protect their territory while strategizing against their opponents.
Recently, the US visa bureau recognized League of Legends as a professional sport, as high-level players can now attain visas similar to those of more traditional, professional athletes. The creators of League of Legends make a strong argument that their viewership is 80 or 90% stronger than that of other sports covered by ESPN.
It was rumored that League of Legends would take part in the next Olympic games. Although these rumors were later proven false, it is quite obvious that e-sport is a growing market that holds high potential. So, how do we define sports and athletes? Is it by the amount of calories they burn or by the competition and attention they bring?
In the meantime, keep in mind that the friend, floormate, or even roommate you see constantly playing League of Legends can technically be defined as working out!
- ‘League of Legends’ champs win in legendary venue – NBC News.com from NBCNews Technology by NBCNews.com <http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/league-legends-champs-win-legendary-venue-8C11339365>
- US visa bureau says ‘League of Legends’ is a professional sport | The Verge from The Verge by Vox Media, Inc.<http://www.theverge.com/2013/7/13/4520188/us-citizenship-immigrations-to-give-league-of-legends…>
Article by Jami Wang
Feature Image Source: League of Legends