You really don’t need any more proof that e-sports are a big deal.
The 2014 League of Legends World Championship final took place in a Seoul soccer stadium in front of 40,000 fans, according to the BBC. The winning team, Samsung White, won $1 million. The 2013 World Championship final took place in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, which only seats about 20,000 (depending on the event).
League of Legends is the most popular PC game around. About 27 million people play it every day. It’s a multiplayer online battle arena, which is a kind of game where teams control heroes that battle each other, defensive towers, and computer-controller monsters as they try to destroy the other team’s base. It’s a complicated and strategic game, which explains why so many people like to watch professionals play it.
League of Legend’s biggest competitor is Valve’s Dota 2. Both are free-to-play and feature similar mechanics, but LoL is still quite a bit more popular, even though Dota 2 uses crowdfunding to easily help it trump LoL when it comes to the prize pool for its world championship. Meanwhile, more MOBAs, all hoping for similar success, are constantly entering the market.
While e-sports might be mega-popular in South Korea, other countries are also watching, even if they do it from the comforts of their own home instead of in a crowded soccer stadium.