Still going strongLeague of Legends (also known as League or stylized as LoL) was first released in 2009 by Riot Games and remained popular ever since, not only as a form of entertainment, but also as a money-making device owing to its presence in eSports. Despite being over a decade old, League of Legends consistently ranks as one of the most popular video games in the United States. Because of its multiplayer format, League of Legends easily transitioned from at-home entertainment to international sport. Each year, hundreds of professional tournaments take place around the world and culminate in one major event called the World Championships.
League of Legends World ChampionshipsThe prize pool for the League of Legends World Championships peaked at 6.45 million U.S. dollars in 2018, before falling to 2.23 million U.S. dollars for the 2022 tournament. The 2022 edition of the tournament took place in Mexico and the United States, and the prize money awarded to the winners of the final, DRX (former known as DagonX) from South Korea, reached almost 490 thousand U.S. dollars. The game’s eSports success, particularly across Asia, has led to League of Legends being included as a medal event in the upcoming 2022 Asian Games (which, due to COVID-19, will now take place in September and October 2023).
With such large amounts of money and recognition at stake, it is no wonder that eSports viewers watch on in their thousands to see who will come out on top. The average number of viewers of LoL on streaming platform Twitch has been steadily on the rise, with streams watched by an average of over 129 thousand viewers worldwide in November 2022. Despite the game entering its second decade on the market, its popularity among gamers and eSports viewers alike shows no signs of slowing down. The critically acclaimed November 2021 release of the Netflix series Arcane is another foray into the League of Legends universe, drawing in seasoned players and casual viewers alike.