League of Legends World Championship


Wesley Schulz, Writer

This past weekend was the culmination of months of hard work for FunPlus Phoenix, a Chinese League of Legends team that has just won the world championship. Starting at 4 am Pacific Standard Time FPX began their 3 game series against G2 Esports to be crowned world champion. This is the second time in a row that a Chinese team has won the world championship, with Invictus Gaming taking home the summoner’s cup last year in another 3:0 series against a European team. But besides this being a monumental achievement for all those involved with FPX, this finals means a lot for the future of League of Legends and eSports in general. The most obvious thing to look at coming off the back of this finals is the amazing viewership this series garnered, breaking both Twitch’s (an online streaming platform) own internal viewership record and the overall record for eSports as a whole. The series amassed a peak viewership of 2.9 million unique viewers, not including Chinese viewership, which very well could have put it into the hundred million mark.

This series also is the second year in a row that Korea has not been in a world’s final, which has left many people wondering if this is the end of Korea’s dominant 6 year reign as the best region in the world. Although China’s place on top is no surprise,( they have the deepest pool from which to pick players from) Europe’s consistent A tier performance in the past 2 years has many analysts perplexed. What makes both of these comments interesting, is that according to FPX member Tian, Korean teams were still dominant in scrims, yet failed to show up on stage. And with the recent Griffin scandal, one has to wonder if pressure from coaches could be driving players to perform worse on stage then in scrims. Whatever the future may hold, eSports and the gaming community as a whole has felt the impact of this World Championship and will be patiently waiting for the spring split as the team prepares once again for the race to the top.