(Repeats story revealed late on Friday)
By Mathieu Rosemain and Noémie Olive
PARIS, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Two groups of younger video players from Europe and China will do digital battle on Sunday – and there’s greater than $1 million at stake.
The groups will struggle it out in blockbuster on-line sport “League of Legends”, in a contest drawing thousands and thousands of viewers and a rising crowd of sponsors.
The sport, developed 10 years in the past by Los Angeles-based Riot Video games, sees groups of gamers face off in a digital battle area with one important purpose: destroying their opponents’ “Nexus” base.
The finals of the 10th version of the sport’s world championship match, dubbed “LoL Worlds” and hosted on the AccorHotels Area in Paris, will see Europe’s G2 Esports go up towards China’s FunPlus Phoenix (FPX).
Riot Video games is browsing on the rising success of esports – online game competitions – and of its LoL Worlds championship, broadcast on video live-streaming service Twitch.
It says final yr’s championship attracted near 100 million viewers, placing it in the identical ball park because the Tremendous Bowl, the largest American TV occasion. Sponsors embody French luxurious model LVMH’s Louis Vuitton, U.S. cost big MasterCard and Chinese language electronics firm Oppo.
World esports revenues will hit $1.1 billion in 2019, up 27% from final yr, with ballooning revenue from promoting, sponsorship and media rights, based on gaming business analytics agency Newzoo. [nL1N20400H)
League of Legends, Dota 2, Fortnite and Counter-Strike: World Offensive are a few of the hottest esports.
The European and Chinese language groups in Sunday’s finals are composed of 5 gamers every, all male and aged between 19 and 24.
LoL Worlds provide a prize pool this yr of about $6.5 million, making it the third-biggest after Dota 2’s The Worldwide and the Fortnite World Cup.
The profitable group will obtain nearly $835,000, whereas the runners-up get greater than $300,000.
The European players are in search of to finish Asia’s supremacy; South Korea has gained 5 of the six earlier championships, with a Chinese language group profitable final yr.
However the organisers say the highest Asian gamers are more and more being challenged.
“What’s superb about that’s that the Chinese language and the Korean leagues have sometimes dominated this sort of competitions,” stated John Needham, World Head of LoL Esports at Riot Video games, advised Reuters.
“We’ve got much more aggressive parity,” he added.
Danish participant Rasmus Winther, who’s within the European group and nicknamed Caps by followers, echoed that sentiment at a information convention the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday.
“Once we joined the LCS (League of Legends Championship Collection), the West didn’t actually have shot at doing something internationally,” the 19-year-old stated. “Now … we wish to be champions and create a legacy for ourselves.” (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Noémie Olive; Modifying by Pravin Char)