The League of Legends World Championships may be one of the more unifying factors in top-level LoL Gaming, but there are a dozen different leagues spread around the world. Each league has its own rules and teams and structures. The net result of this parochialism has been that at international levels, League of Legends esports has been somewhat fragmented for some time.
Many people have felt that a more unifying approach was needed to secure the future of LoL Esports and that is precisely what the developer of the game, Riot Games, has done. The company has announced, via a video on their Twitter feed, that they are aiming for a solution; a complete rebrand of League of Legends esports, that will bring together all the different leagues from all over the world in one unifying brand.
Speaking about the change, Riot’s David Higdon commented “We’re at a pivot point with our sport” and this new rebrand is designed to tip the balance in favour of a secure long term future for LoL esports globally.
At first glance, all that has been achieved by the new rebrand has been the design of a new logo. This is a miniature version of the most iconic map in League of Legends, Summoner’s Rift, as well as new branding, “LoLEsports”, to go along with it. However, the thinking behind the rebrand stretches to much more than a new logo and title.
While the brand and logo give the new outlook a firm identity, it is the changes in structure that will perhaps be most keenly felt for the dozen leagues. Outside of the major tournaments of the year, each league tends to work in isolation from the others. Interaction between teams and leagues, outside of the Lol World’s or the Mid Season Invitational, is rare and almost non-existent.
What Riot hopes to achieve with the rebrand is to bring a more unified and consistent approach across each of the dozen leagues, to allow for a more seamless integration for top-level events and also to bring more consistency of approach across each league.
Viewership increase of 129%
Part of the reason for this rebrand is the swell in popularity that League of Legends has undergone in 2020. Riot’s figures show that viewership for the four flagship leagues in the competition, China (LPL), Europe (LEC), North America (LCS), and South Korea (LCK) have increased by 129% since January.
Riot believes this is down to the “increasingly global viewing habits” of fans who will tune in to watch how events are turning out outside of their own particular location, with North American-based fans tuning in to watch Korean, European, and Chinese teams and vice versa.
To accommodate this, Riot has given the green light to develop a number of new shows designed to bring together the action from all the regional leagues, which will be shown every Tuesday, with another highlights show set for Wednesday.
Speaking about the rebrand, David Higdon of Riot said the change would be a big one but one that is important for the esport to grow.
“We consider ourselves very much in the leather helmet days,” said Higdon referencing the early years of American Football. “People forget that because in the esports space, nine years is a long time. But we’re still very much in our infancy.”
John Needham, Global Head of Esports at Riot Games added:
“We aspire to bring joy to billions of LoL Esports fans around the world. It starts with building a thriving global esports ecosystem supported by electrifying competition, sustainable growth, cutting-edge technology, bold entertainment, and a focus on integrity for our teams and the sport. From thrilling rehional league competitions that captivate millions of fans across the globe, to the iconic trophy lift at Worlds, it all now lives with LoL Esports.”
Featured Image Credits: LoL Esports