Riot Games’ <League of Legends>(<LoL>) is getting spotlighted from Korean e-sports industry.
The Korean e-sports industry actually went through hard times this year. It failed to make <Starcraft 2> a new driver for further growth after the legal battle against Blizzard Entertainment. Moreover, as one of only two gaming broadcasters, MBC Game, abandoned its gaming channel it has formed unilateral regime with OnGameNet. Professional game teams of MBC Game and WeMade are also disbanded.
Amid such situation, <LoL> surfaced as new prospective growth engine for Korean e-sports industry. Riot Games has likewise expressed high interest in the e-sports market for a long time and has aggressively entered the Korean market in order to establish a solid foothold in home of the e-sports. OnGameNet would also likely to launch a <LoL> league next year in earnest since they are hesitating over <Starcraft 2> league today.
Riot Games is striving to refine the game to befit today’s e-sports environment by updating the observer mode and kicking off a small tournament among internet cafes in Korea.
Startale, a professional <Starcraft 2> team, already founded a <LoL> team consisted of named players of <Chaos>, another <DotA> like game in Korea, while other <Starcraft> teams show their high interests in founding one and <Starcraft 2> teams who often play abroad consider it as an opportunity to pioneer the global market.
Therefore the year 2012 seems to be an important for Riot Games who challenges the Korean e-sports market. Led by OnGameNet, many internet based broadcasters including NiceGameTV are taking an aggressive attitude. Thus successfully held first season would eventually trigger a rush on founding <LoL> pro-game teams in Korea.
Yet all is not as good as above. <LoL> has to overcome a characteristic entry barrier that all AOS genre games have and the difficulty in broadcasting compared to which of RTS games. Better broadcasting system and entertaining manpower with understandable expertise are essential so as to approach fresh gamers.
Despite number of obstacles not a few industry experts view that <LoL> would play a significant axis of the e-sports sooner or later. <Starcraft> is on the decline and <Starcraft 2: Heart of Swarm> needs more time till its release. In other words, it might be the best time for <LoL> to get into the Korean e-sports market.
Hope, as a gamer and a big fan of e-sports, the Korean e-sports prosper next year with <LoL> as well as others.