LoL World Championships Kicks Off, Has Ridiculous Trailer

E-sports continues, wonderfully, to become its own parody. The League of Legends World Championships kicked off today with the sixteen best teams, having qualified throughout the year, competing over the next month to decide who’s best. Chances are you can watch it right now, either live or on rebroadcast as they seem to be aiming for a 24/7 schedule. In celebration, Riot have put together an animated trailer showcasing the most common attributes of League players – hoodies and superpowers. It’s likely sillier than you’re imagining.

Right down to that backing track being a specially commissioned Imagine Dragons piece (yes, really), this couldn’t be more e-sports. I actually love it, an honest expression of the excitement and gravitas placed on the game by its players, knowingly ludicrous in its straight-faced execution. I do commend Riot’s extreme optimism that the grand final will feature anyone from a country west of Beijing. Predictably, these competitions are usually dominated by Taiwanese, Korean and Chinese teams.

It’s hot on the heels of the equally hype-building Road to Worlds documentary, the third and final part of which released on Monday. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it quite informative, introducing the players and their teams and doing a good job of paying homage to the roots of e-sports in Korea. That’s where the grand final is to take place, in the World Cup stadium no less.

Speaking of which, you’ll probably want to tune in to the finale even if you’re not a LoL fan. Riot put on an impressive spectacle whether you’ve knowledge of the game or not and, like me, chances are you’ll have no idea what your mates are talking about otherwise. It’s scheduled for Sunday, October 19th at a surprisingly sleep-friendly 8am British time (check your own here).

29 Comments

  1. cyrenic says:

    Behold, the Dota2 and LoL lovefest:

    link to reddit.com

    link to reddit.com

  2. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    As someone totally ignorant of League of Legends and esports in general – is it true that all the competitors are men?

    • rcguitarist says:

      It seems that women have better things to do with their life.

    • Hroppa says:

      Yeah, unfortunately there are very few professional female LoL players, and none in the world championships.

    • MobileAssaultDuck says:

      Esports are currently fairly heavily dominated by males, though there are a few females in the SC2 scene that are good.

      What’s nice is that people are pushing to try and keep esports as a non-segregated sport where members of both sexes will play each other, we just need to get more women into the scene.

    • ssh83 says:

      Some teams in pro scenes have had women players. TPA had a girl on the bench when they were world champ. Outside of major league, there are many women players who are very good, but just not THAT good… yet. Hafu is notably the only woman in western pro gaming that competed with men and did alright… at least for a while.

    • Philomelle says:

      There are some very good competitive players in League, but very few of them enter the professional scene. While the opportunities are endless and Riot Games themselves encourage it, most of those teams are sponsored and most of their sponsors are the same old farts who believe video games are a teenage boys-only thing.

      A particularly low moment came last year, when a team of five women showed up on the competitive scene and built their entire presence around being attractive women who just happen to play games, not gamers who happen to be women (they even had streams where the game was a small window behind the webcam showing the female player). Between their gender being reduced to a marketing ploy, new recruits being gauged by being female and pretty rather than good (a Diamond player with higher stats than their entire team was rejected for being a transwoman) and their captain being one of the most toxic players on the NA servers, the whole thing imploded pretty badly.

    • Koozer says:

      It’s a bit ridiculous that they can’t even manage an illusion of equality in a cartoon trailer.

      • xavdeman says:

        Yeah, stop making such accurate representations of reality – which show that there’s a problem! Let’s instead embrace equality by obscurity!

  3. Faxmachinen says:

    Confirmed: eSports is no place for women.

    Edit: Damn it, Aerothorn.

  4. gtb says:

    Needs more fat guys in their underwear.

  5. xfstef says:

    Wow… another pointless and horribly directed piece of riot “art”.

    Also, this one almost gave me a freakin’ seizure, which is an achievement to be honest since I haven’t felt that bad in 5,6 years.

    This doesn’t mean that I won’t watch the damned thing (the championship) but this trailer is just a waste of money imho.

    • sPOONz says:

      God forbid anyone else to enjoy it.

      • xfstef says:

        I’m an atheist, free thinking and strongly opinionated individual. So yea, that trailer sucks. If I were running things over at Riot …. I’d just sail on my overpriced yacht all around the world while in the company of a dozen, racially diverse, bikini models and really not give a crap about your bronze league matchmaking rage…. oh wait, I think that’s what the current Riot managers are doing. Very well, carry on !

    • Asurmen says:

      Not sure how it’s horribly directed or so flashy it gives you seizures.

  6. rcguitarist says:

    Wow, what an impressive video. Almost makes me forget about reality….a person with no life spending 10 hours a day in their mom’s basement playing an insanely repetitive game. Well done.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      Only 10? What casual-ass games are they playing, son?

      • rcguitarist says:

        I dunno, 10 a day seems like alot to me. I might be a casual gamer…oh god! They warned me this might happen.

    • Moraven says:

      While outside, sports are pretty repetitive games also. And likely these top players are earning more than the average US salary.

    • honuk says:

      Wow, what an impressive comment. Almost makes me forget about reality….a person with no life spending 10 hours a day in their mom’s basement trolling video game comment threads. Well done

  7. Turkey says:

    I’d say this is about as gross and self-important as a real-life sports promotion video.

  8. Philomelle says:

    The one thing that fascinates me about this is that, somehow, this single eSports trailer has a better and more cohesive story, more fluid progression, stronger character arcs and climatic scene than the loudly advertised 2-week in-game event about their brand new rebooted lore.

    When your lore team is given a 2-week long event and the result is a less fulfilling narrative than a 3-minute music video, you have to wonder what the lore team is doing.

  9. Koozer says:

    There is nothing more exciting than watching someone sitting down and pressing buttons while they stare straight ahead.

  10. gnodab says:

    Uhm, what did I just watch?

    Well, while I didn’t really get anything out of this trailer, I find it still a bit sad to see the overwhelming negativity in the comments. I mean, if I overheard such statements in the gym, I get it but here?
    It is almost funny to see this lack of self awareness. Playing videogames, pfff! Loosers!

  11. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Well, balls, I really liked that trailer. I can’t say anything useful about LoLs or e-sports or imagined dragons, so I was only expecting to enjoy it mildly given the nifty headline pic, but man…

    …I suppose it’s mostly that it reminded me strongly of Tron Uprising’s visual style, as if that show had continued and broken into its universe’s real world. Also, the shots were conspicuously continuous for a Videogame Trailer of Epic Epicness, and the play between the visuals and the music seemed uncommonly good for the same. Wee! Thanks for the article.

  12. AyeBraine says:

    You are just old.

    I remember that when I was 17, I felt like a badass when I connected to the Internet via dial-up. I don’t know what I’d feel if someone let me control epic fairytale heroes / chicks with miniguns, and then filmed a good, anthem-backed japanimation about ME doing it.

    While looking like a MIRV on re-entry.

  13. SeismicRend says:

    Neat promotional song. I didn’t know Riot Games commissioned Imagine Dragons but it’s surprisingly enjoyable. The anime hook doesn’t resonate with me but Imagine Dragons stays true to form with this piece.

    I’m excited for the upcoming World Championship matches. The NA LCS series between TSM and Cloud 9 was a fantastic finale at PAX. The nail-biting split that came down to the last engagement was thrilling. Now I’m ready to take a step back, expand my world view, and watch the Koreans show us how to play the game. Keep the coverage coming!