Liam Thompson, gaming and influencer executive with brand agency Cake, picks out the most interesting recent stories from the esports sector…
Riot founders target next League of Legends
Riot Games, the development studio behind League of Legends, one of the world’s most popular esports titles, has announced that its co-founders are to begin working on a new video game.
Brandon Beck and Marc Merril founded Riot Games in 2006 and made their reputations creating League of Legends. However, as the game has grown to be such a global phenomenon, they have since spent more time managing the business rather than developing new games.
Now the two want to get back to where they started and will focus their attention on creating games again. They have passed responsibility for managing the company over to a senior leadership team, giving them more time to work on new titles.
League of Legends has been the primary focus for Riot Games for the last 11 years, and there are few clues about what the new game will be. There is some speculation that the new game could tie in with the League of Legends franchise, or represent a completely new IP.
Given the success League of Legends has had in esports, there are multiple options now for Riot Games. It could draw on its expertise to make a new esports title, a multiplayer experience or a story-led video game fans will not have seen before.
On a separate note, Riot Games has announced a special music concert for the night before the finals of the League of Legends World Championship in Beijing, China.
The company is known for working with music artists to create the soaring scores for its games and the theme song to its Worlds events. Now it is calling on artists like Alan Walker, Pentakill and Nicki Taylor to perform at the special event in Beijing.
FNATIC partners with Deezer
Sticking with music, a new partnership has been formed between online music streaming provider Deezer and top esports team FNATIC.
Deezer has over 12 million active users worldwide, and FNATIC’s CEO Wouter Sleijffers is clearly excited about the partnership.
He said together the two companies will break “new ground in esports partnerships” although there is no word yet on exactly what sort of activations can be expected.
Gamers and esports fans often listen to music while playing, so there are obvious synergies. Deezer is most known for its Flow feature, an algorithm that creates an infinite stream of a user’s favourite and recommended tracks that is constantly updated as the user engages with it.
Arena of Valor’s first esports tournament
As predicted, it was only a matter of time before an esports property was created around Tencent Games’ mobile title, Arena of Valor.
Esports event organiser ESL is working with the company to create the first ever Arena of Valor tournament, designed for non-pro players.
The main competition is open to residents of the UK, France, Germany, Sweden Spain and Italy, and each team of five must all reside in the same region.
Teams will compete in online qualifiers in order to determine the ones that will represent their country in the latter stages of the tournament.
Once the six teams have been found, they will compete against each other until just four are left. The final four will then face off in Poland at the DreamHack Winter Finals to see who walks away with a share of the $100,000 (€85,000) prize pool.
During the quarter-final stage of the tournament, the teams will be expected to travel to Poland each week to play in ESL’s studio.
For Arena of Valor fans this is a great opportunity to start what could be a career in professional gaming.
A sizeable prize pool, paid travel to ESL’s Poland studio and the chance to compete at DreamHack Winter is a dream for many gamers. And, when you consider the fact that Arena of Valor is still fairly new to the market, players’ chances of success are arguably much greater than for already established games.