Last weekend, Boston’s TD Garden hosted the North American League of Legends Championship Series, NALCS for short. Better yet, it was the first Summer Finals to pique my interest. How many people would actually go to watch people play video games? Specifically at the home of Boston’s Celtics and Bruins.
Anyone who listens to DRULcast knows that I’m no stranger to esports. I’ve (poorly) competed in an online event, and I love watching competitive Rocket League. I’ve also mentioned plenty of times that I (mostly) stick to ranked gameplay. I get a kick out of climbing the leaderboards, it’s a challenge to myself. In regards to League of Legends, the last time I played was about a year ago. But I still get Riot’s newsletter and I stay up to date with League news. One thing hasn’t changed since the last time I played, League of Legends is still the world’s most popular game, and I knew the Garden would be packed!
Peering down into the arena was surreal. Gigantic screens, lights everywhere, and a stage right in the center of the floor where I’m used to seeing hockey and basketball being played. Are people really about to pack this arena and watch something that is free to watch online? Each match is around 45 minutes, best of 5 means we could be there for almost 4 hours! This is longer than a traditional sport where on average they last for 3 hours. But the time commitment didn’t deter anyone from showing up or having fun.
Everyone in the crowd was cheering and celebrating, just like a traditional sporting event, and it was amazing! If it wasn’t for the crowd hyping up certain moments like an amazing death escape or stealing Baron, it would have been boring. Cheering for every awesome moment and just being in that environment was fun! I realized that attending a live eSport match is not the same as attending a convention. At an esports match, everyone has the same exact love for one specific game, and that makes the experience extremely personable.
If you have the opportunity to attend an esports event, I highly recommend it!