Riot’s MSI Shoutcasting Line-Up Accused Of Discrimination Against Eastern Regions

Riot Games have announced their line-up of commentators for the Mid-Season Invitational in Brazil. The array of broadcasting talent, whilst familiar and popular amongst western audiences, has received criticism for its weighting towards the North American and European Regions. A number of former Riot Games shoutcasters have been quick to highlight Riot’s lack of South Korean and Taiwanese representatives, suggesting discrimination towards the Eastern regions of League of Legends.

As the final strands of confetti are swept up in the Vancouver and Hamburg arenas, both the LCS champions for NA and EU are finalising arrangements for their ambitious trips to the Mid-Season Invitational. Both G2 eSports and Team SoloMid’s progress through the competition will be closely scrutinised by Riot’s team of well-versed analysts. Of the 19 casters and analysts that will be attending MSI, 16 herald from either the EU or NA LCS, in addition to hosts Eefje ‘Sjokz’ Depoortere and James “Dash” Patterson.

Source: lolesports

The Riot Games announcement was met with immediate criticism from frequently outspoken, former LCK and World Championship commentator caster Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles, sparking a debate amongst other familiar faces from the shoutcasting industry including Joe Miller, Erik “DoA” Lonnquist and attending Riot caster, Isaac “Azael” Cummings Bentley.

MonteCristo and Joe Miller were keen to draw attention to Riot Games’ potential discrimination against what are inarguably the most dominant regions in competitive League of Legends, based on the two most recent international events. The ratio of LCS to LCK talent is certainly heavily weighted.

The familiar faces seen on the European and North American broadcasts are directly employed by Riot’s Berlin and Los Angeles offices respectively, whereas LCK commentators are contracted by separately owned Korean media companies. Logistically, it makes more sense for Riot to fill out the event with their own talent, rather than hire external talent on a freelance basis.

The number of feasible additions, from the Korean region at least, is somewhat limited. The crew working under the SpoTV banner for instance, are far from acclaimed for their work in eastern regions. Seth “Achillios” King omission from the casting line-up could potentially serve to support MonteCristo’s argument, though as a play-by-play caster, any element of ‘regional expertise’ is somewhat irrelevant, as pointed out by Azeal:

The Mid-Season Invitational will be streamed in approximately 20 different languages, whilst only a handful of these will be Riot-endorsed broadcasts, is it really necessary to have representatives from every region? Riot’s announcement explicitly states that the listed names will work as part of the ‘English broadcast team’ – it makes sense that there will be more casters from the primarily English speaking regions for the English broadcast.

Source: lolesports

Whilst every League of Legends fan and his dog is well aware of SK Telecom T1’s dominance in both Korea’s LCK and on the world stage, few members of the western community are actively engaged with Taiwan’s competitive scene however.

The majority of the narrative will revolve around G2 eSports, Team SoloMid and of course, SKT, yet it is Flash Wolves who likely pose the most significant threat to usurp the Koreans and take the crown – not a single LMS representative will be in attendance for the Mid-Season Invitational.

Flash Wolves, for all their dominance domestically, are often considered to be a ‘surprise package’ or ‘dark horse’ at international events, perhaps this wouldn’t be the case if the Taiwan region had more exposure. After recently besting European champions G2 to claim victory at IEM Katowice, it is regrettable that LMS caster/analyst Clement Chu was not invited to attend the event, despite previous appearing on Riot’s English broadcasts. Sadly, the argument for Taiwan’s lack of representation has been drowned out once again in favour of yet another Korean crusade.


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