This March sees the League of Legends – NA LCS Spring Split begin with ten well known teams, such as Cloud9 and Echo Fox, competing to secure places in the playoffs. This offline event is soon to come to its climatic end after nine weeks of play, and will undoubtedly keep fans eager for more action ready for when the EU LCS Spring Split takes place in June.
To recap what the tournament is about, it follows teams as they navigate through this real time strategy mass multiplayer online game. Although it has a role playing atmosphere brought to players through the graphics and characters, it is primarily about defeating other teams. With a total of four story modes within the game, there is a lot for both players and spectators to savour while teams are in play. This is one of the main reasons why the current competition has been so engaging. Thus far the action has been filled with twists and turns, the news that renowned European player Henrik ‘Froggen’ Hansen and Korean competitive Jeong-hun ‘kfo’ Park would come back together to reignite the hopes of the original Echo Fox roster. That reunion has gone down in esports history as their explosive return removed them from the last position spot and heralded them with a 3-7 record.
Their latest match is due to take place on March 14th, and sees them up against Counter Logic Gaming, an esports group that was founded in 2011, and are the most seasoned of the League of Legends teams that are still active. Beginning at midnight, it is lined up to be one to watch, and is certainly a match that players may have heard of if they are regular followers of this Spring battle. The odds up for grabs are varied, and cover a whole host of outcomes for each stage of this contest: from who will destroy the first tower all the way to whether the amount of kills will be odd or even, it’s covered. What makes the stakes truly entertaining though is their coverage from brands like Betway, whom are both supplying betting odds and streaming the event live on their Twitch account.
The choice to deliver the action via such a heavily gaming orientated community is a great move by the company, and provides viewers with an accessible format to engage with. Since its beginnings in 2011, Twitch has become the go to place to watch fellow players try out new games, test their skills, and to generally interact with gamers of a similar standard. It is especially lucrative for MMORPGs like League of Legends for it gives players a chance to get to know one another, and potentially form a team of their own that they may want to try out in future events. Many an international professional has started from beginnings on the likes of Twitch and YouTube. It wasn’t too long ago that YouTube held the monopoly in the gaming business, but since the arrival of Twitch there has been a further boom to what was once a voyeuristic pastime.