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Volume 27 No. 5
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'20 LoL World Championship Aims To Be One Of Sports' Biggest Events

Next year's League of Legends World Championship in China "won't be only the biggest esports event of all time but aims to be one of the biggest sporting events in history," according to Tyler Erzberger of ESPN.com. This year's tournament spanned over a month and was hosted by three cities: Berlin for the group stages, Madrid for the quarterfinals and semifinals and Paris for the final. But for the event's 10th installment in '20, LoL developer Riot Games will "double that number to six cities in China and will include the same number of teams and a consistent timeframe for the overall event." This will "break the record for the number of cities hosting games at a world championship." In '17, Riot Games "broke the record for a paid audience at an esports event with 45,000 fans at the National Stadium in Beijing." For their return to the largest LoL market in '20, they "want to outdo themselves by holding the final at Shanghai Stadium, which seats more than 56,000." Riot Games will "change the stage structure to pack as many fans as possible into the stadium to watch what it hopes will be the biggest sporting event in Shanghai" in '20 (ESPN.com, 11/11).

NAILING DOWN SPONSORS: Riot Games Head of China Leo Lin said that fans can "expect more collaborations like this year's Louis Vuitton trunk case, which housed the Summoner’s Cup trophy, and fewer plastic backdrops littered with sponsor logos" for the '20 event. In DC, Matt Vella notes Riot Games already has "signed long-term deals" in China with Nike, Mercedes-Benz and Mountain Dew. Riot Games Global Head of LoL Esports John Needham said that China "'as a region is a good three to five years ahead of all of our other regions' in terms of understanding how to market esports" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/13).

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.