Students at the University of Waterloo are preparing for this year’s League of Legends world championship final, which takes place on Nov. 3.
Every year, 24 professional teams from around the globe face off at the League of Legends world championship with hopes of winning the Summoners Cup, as well as millions of dollars in prize money. The prestigious month-long event is the conclusion of the League of Legends season each year and provides the most viewership of any esport event.
The 2017 world championship had a peak viewership of 1.06 million (including Chinese viewership) across all platforms. No esport event even comes close to this number, with the Dota 2 International 2018 bringing in peak viewership of 14.96 million (including Chinese viewership) earlier this year.
The location of the event changes on a yearly basis, with this year’s event being held in South Korea from Oct. 1 to Nov. 3. The play in stages of the event is currently being held at the LoL Park in Seoul, while the group stage and quarterfinals will be held at the Busan Exhibition Centre in Busan. The semifinals will be played in Gwangju at the Gwangju Women’s University Universiade Gymnasium before the event moves to Incheon for the grand final. The grand final will be played at the massive Munhak Stadium, which holds a capacity of 50,256. This pales in comparison, however, to last year’s event, which was held in Beijing’s National Stadium, which has a capacity of 91,000.
The League of Legends world championship final brings people together for viewing parties around the world. No matter what time the matches are on locally, fans of the game are always willing to adjust their sleep schedules in order to watch the event.
Students at the University of Waterloo come together each year for the viewing party hosted by the school’s League of Legends club. Steve Quach, a third-year accounting and financial management student, has been attending the event for years and has been an executive member of the club for the past year.
“In terms of how the viewing parties have gone for the last few years, I believe it’s one of our greatest events … it’s one of those times where the community really gets together and really bonds and shares their passion for the game. It really makes me appreciate the club that much more. It has certainly proven to be one of our greatest events, because usually we get upwards of at least 100 or 200 people every year and it’s just amazing to experience every single time.”
In the past, tickets for the viewing party were five dollars. This granted access to the venue and included two slices of pizza as well as one pop or water, with the option of purchasing more. Prizes, which included Riot merchandise, were also given out at the event. Proceeds from ticket sales in the past were used to cover the cost of renting the AV equipment.
“UW doesn’t let you use the projectors in the room without a hired projectionist, which costs a lot of money. The tickets are mostly a way of breaking even on the room, AV rental or any equipment we need to rent,” said André Paradis, former president and founder of the University of Waterloo League of Legends club.
Luckily, students no longer have to pay for entry to the event. The club now receives $75 each term from the school’s Federation of Students. Starting last year, the event became completely free and this year’s final will be free as well. The UW League of Legends Worlds 2018 viewing party will take place this year on Nov. 3 at the student life centre at University of Waterloo. The event starts at 3:30 a.m. ET. Whether or not you are a student at the University of Waterloo, the viewing party is open to the public.
Each week the club also hosts drop-in sessions on Thursdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Room 2502 of the Quantum-Nano Centre. These drop-in sessions give students a chance to take a break from school work and to share their love for the game.
The club states that their ultimate goal is to unite the UW and surrounding League of Legends community by hosting LANs, viewing parties and competitive tournaments. For more info make sure to check out the club’s official Facebook page.