Riot To Bring LOL Worlds eSports Champs To SF In 2022


- Grant Whittington

Great news for eSports and gaming fans, and for new online bookies, is that Riot Games are about to bring the League of Legends (LoL) World Championship to San Francisco’s Chase Center in 2022. What’s more, the big event will be presented in-person instead of virtually.

The Chase Center is of course home to the legendary Golden State Warriors.

The eSports tour will span four cities in total: San Francisco, New York, Mexico, and Toronto (Canada). North America will be involved from the group state right through to the finals.

2022 also marks the first time the event will make a tour stop in Mexico.

Event To Bring A Revival

The big idea behind the tour is that it will breathe new life into the eSports industry. While pro-gaming has been witnessing an increase in numbers online, the global health crisis has all but wiped out the excitement and build-up around in-person events.

One example of the detrimental effects of the crisis on eSports is how market researcher Newzoo has had to more than once during 2020 downgrade its revenue projections.

Still – the fact that most online eSports events continued to draw big audiences, attract new online bookies and high revenue numbers remains a positive trajectory for the industry.

Viewership Has Remained High

The 11th League of Legends World Championship was Riot’s biggest series of 2021. This year, a total of 22 teams competed for the title and top prize of nearly half a million dollars between October 5 and November 5 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

China’s Edward Gaming eventually walked away with the massive prize money for 2021.

Viewers tuned in virtually to follow the action, and according to John Needham, president of eSports at Riot Games, at its peak, viewership participation reached an incredible 73.8 million people. This marks a gigantic 60% increase compared to last year, said Needham.

A Welcome Homecoming

According to a press conference recently held by Riot at Chase Center, come 2022, the eSports tournament will make its return to its traditional continental format when it makes its way back to the US for the first time since 2016.

The press event featured Needham, Naz Aletaha, who is the global head of League of Legends Esports, Head of Esports North America and Oceana Chris Greeley, and Martin Balquier, who is the Head of eSports for Riot and Latin America.

Aletaha spoke excitedly about the event returning the North America, and said the plan is that it will kick off in Medico City before moving to New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The semi-finals will be played at Toronto’s Scotia Bank Arena, followed by the World Finals at the Chase Center in SF. LoL betting enthusiasts and fans surely cannot wait to get in on the action.

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