Esports in Season 2019 – League of Legends
Hi, I’m Jarred Kennedy, this is Whalen Rozelle. Together we lead Esports for Riot Games and we’re here with an update on what you can expect from Esports this year. For 2019, we’re preparing League of Legends for its next stage of growth. By doubling down on our commitment to long- term planning and elevating the digital experience of our sport. In 2018, we made a commitment to share the details of our major international events earlier.
Last November, we announced that our next three World Championships will take place in Europe, China, and North America. Today, we’re ready to announce the location of another international event. The 2019 Mid-Season Invitational will be hosted in Vietnam and Taipei. Last year was a huge year for Esports in the region. 2018 saw the launch of the Vietnam Championship Series and a tremendous run by Team EVOS at the Mid-Season Invitational. Bringing MSI to the region will allow for one of our fastest growing audiences to experience the energy of a major League of Legends event.
We think this is a great way to recognize and support the region’s progress in developing League of Legends Esports. Worlds 2018 was an incredible event that helped us set multiple viewership records. With the League audience continuing to grow, we feel it’s more important than ever to elevate our sport’s digital experience.
The World Championship featured the debut of Watch Rewards and Play Like the Pros Missions. Both of these programs allowed players to earn in-game items by watching matches and playing champions featured in the tournament. Millions of you earned rewards through these two features. And as a result, we’re expanding both these programs to multiple leagues around the world in 2019. This means that with Watch Missions you’ll be able to earn rewards for watching your favorite teams battle it out on the Rift each week. Right now League of Legends is fortunate to have superstars like Uzi, Faker, and Sneaky at the top of our sport.
However, we think it’s critical to make sure there is another generation of superstars coming up behind them. For League to become a truly multigenerational sport, we need to insure that today’s amateurs have the resources and the opportunity to succeed tomorrow. For the 2019 Season, we’re focusing on making sure that young gamers look to our sport as the place to dedicate their talents and that they have a clear path to walk in order to get there. This year we’re continuing to grow our amateur, semi-professional and scholastic programs around the world. You’ll see more collegiate conferences partner with League of Legends, new bootcamp programs designed to develop talent and a more robust European Regional League Ecosystem, creating future stars in the new LEC.
2019 is on track to be an amazing year for League of Legends esports. We’re continuing to invest in the future of our sport and can’t wait to share many more exciting announcements in the months to come. Thank you for watching and good luck to all of you in Season 2019!