Travel can certainly add strain to any athletes preparation. While it isn’t the best idea for professional athletes to travel all over the US or Europe three times per week, why are Riot so adverse to putting the LCS on wheels occasionally? There really doesn’t appear to be any logistical reason Riot couldn’t theoretically hold a fixture in Madrid one week and 2 weeks later visiting Paris. It’s time for the LCS roadshow to come to town.
Every debate surrounding the LCS format seems keen to relate League of Legends to traditional sports, but lets lower the tone for a moment. League of Legends would benefit from taking a leaf out of the book of WWE.
If you are a fan of wrestling, you may well dislike the direction the franchise has taken of late, but when John Cena comes to your town, you don’t have a moments hesitation to dig your hand into your pocket and pay the fair amount of 50, even up to 200 USD to see them performing live. Riot would do well to learn from the WWE style of events: rotating each show to a different location with 20,000 people ready to cheer and shout profanities at their favourite and most despised stars. At least the chairs would be bolted to the ground for the LCS…
Both EU and NA LCS viewership has been gradually declining over recent months. Once fans establish who the strongest rosters are at the beginning of the split, the incentive is to only tune in for heavyweight match ups. This ideology, coupled with a general lack of superstars such as Bjergsen and Doublelift, the best of 2 format, and a stale and slow meta has been generating a boring show that even hardcore LCS fans can’t watch for the entire five hour broadcast.
Granted, it’s a struggle to watch five consecutive hours of wrestling, but fans will always be interested in seeing pros in their home town. A casual fan with a love of Fnatic would quite happily sit through the entire set in order to cheer on their team alongside 10,000 other league fans, all part of an immersive experience.
In addition to the monetary benefit such an event can bring, a travelling LCS show would provide far more interaction with the players and the crowd, potentially leading to more people being interested in watching LCS from home. Considering that the LCS is essentially a marketing tool for Riot’s product, opening the eSport to a wider audience whilst pleasing their fanbase seems like a win-win situation.
It’s long since been a tradition for family generations to watch sports together, with eSports now emerging alongside traditional sports. It’s hard to make your dad play league when he is in his mid 50’s, but how hard is it taking your 15y old son to watch the LCS together? An LCS roadshow may well engage an entirely new audience.