North American games developer and eSports tournament organizer Riot Games has finally announced where the League of Legends World Championships 2019 will be held. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, the company has also sorted out the 2020 and 2021 games as well so we’re all very impressed.

Where Will The LoL World Championships Be Held?

The 2019 games will be taking place in Europe, with the final being held in the AccorHotels Arena in Paris. The venue was recently renovated and can now hold over 20,000 people, so Riot is clearly hoping for a large, live audience at next year’s tournament.

Even more exciting is the news that the Championships will be returning to China in 2020. When the games were held there last year, more than 80 million viewers are said to have watched the semi-finals. This was an incredible feat in the world of eSports and, hopefully, in 2020 – which marks the 10thanniversary of the World Championships – even more people will come to watch the games.

Finally, in 2021, the games will be taking place in North America, though we’re not entirely sure where as of yet. The fact that we know where the games will be held in three years is more than enough on its own, as it shows Riot Games is confident enough in the World Championships and popularity of LoL to plan far into the future.

Just How Popular is League of Legends?

October is a big month for League of Legends. The game was announced in October 2008 and was released almost exactly one year later. In October 2010, LoL appeared at the World Cyber Games (WCG), with a prize pool of $10,000 going to talented eSports star CLG. Just a few months later, Riot hosted the first ever World Championships in June 2011.

By October 2012, it was revealed that LoL had 11 million monthly users and the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) was announced. The first LCS took place in North America in February 2013, though European games were held shortly afterwards. The success of LCS 2013, as well as the World Championships, aided the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ decision to recognize LoL gamers as professional athletes.
Is Riot Leading The Charge For eSports To Become A Professional Sport?

This was an incredible landmark in the world of eSports and has led to gaming tournaments of all kinds being viewed as professional sporting events. Just like more traditional sports such as football or basketball, eSports games are now held in massive arenas around the world. There’s merch you can buy to support your favorite team and, more recently, online sportsbooks such as Thunderpick have even introduced LoL bets so you can wager on teams. Put bluntly, playing League of Legends and other video games is swiftly becoming one of the most popular sports on Earth.

Fortunately, Riot is well aware of this and seem more than able to help eSports continue to grow. In a press release, the company stated: “We want to ensure that our event experiences are among the best in sports” and we’re sure that they’ll achieve this.

Featured image: “Jinx – League of Legends” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by greyloch