League of Legends Fever Takes Over Seoul as World Championship Finals Approach

In this post:

  • Gwanghwamun Square becomes a LoL mecca as fans brave rain for Worlds Fan Fest ahead of epic finals.
  • A French exchange student fulfills his dream of witnessing the LoL World Championship in Korea, highlighting the global appeal of esports.
  • The Korean fanbase’s passion for LoL drives a special unreleased game showcase, showcasing the game’s cultural significance.

Despite the wet and cold weather in central Seoul, the enthusiasm of League of Legends (LoL) fans remains undeterred as they gather for the “Worlds Fan Fest” leading up to this weekend’s World Championship finals. The transformed Gwanghwamun Square has become a “mecca” for LoL enthusiasts, featuring giant inflatable game characters, gameplay stations, and a vibrant atmosphere. This four-day festival is a prelude to the highly-anticipated final showdown between Korea’s T1 and China’s Weibo Gaming, set to take place at the Gocheok Sky Dome in western Seoul.

A LoL transformation in Gwanghwamun Square

As fans braved the rain, Gwanghwamun Square underwent a dramatic transformation. The bronze statue of King Sejong, a central figure in Korean history, now stands amidst a sea of LoL branding, booths, and merchandise stands. A towering inflatable “Teemo,” a beloved gameplay character resembling a dog-ish chipmunk, adds to the festive atmosphere.

While office-goers hurriedly made their way through the plaza on their regular commute and tourists admired King Sejong’s marble perch, LoL enthusiasts gathered to play games at various stations and posed for photos with cardboard cutouts of the virtual LoL boyband.

Tom Cannon, a game producer at Riot Games and the executive producer of an unreleased game titled Project L, expressed his excitement about the event. He emphasized that the Fan Fest is a celebration leading up to the finals, aiming to involve not only those lucky enough to be in the arena but also the entire city. Cannon referred to the festival as the “calm before the storm,” with the main event being the thrilling final between T1 and Weibo Gaming.

Rainy enthusiasm

Despite the rain, crowds continued to gather at Gwanghwamun Square, with fest staff wearing ponchos and safety personnel providing umbrellas to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of the attendees. One booth even introduced visitors to a traditional Korean game called ddakji, adding a cultural touch to the event.

League of legends: A global phenomenon

League of Legends, launched in 2009, has evolved into a massive franchise with top-tier leagues in four global regions, boasting more than 150 million monthly players and a vast international fanbase. The global reach of LoL has made it a significant cultural phenomenon, drawing fans from all corners of the world.

A dream come true for fans

Achille Gales, an exchange student from France studying at Sejong University, shared his excitement about experiencing the World Championship in Korea. He revealed that his entire trip to Korea was planned around the tournament and that he purchased tickets as soon as he learned about it. Gales had recently witnessed Korea’s T1 triumph over China’s JD Gaming in a semifinal match, describing the atmosphere as incredible and emotional, with fans and even security guards celebrating together.

Gales, proudly carrying a bag of new LoL merchandise and wearing a black baseball cap featuring the Worlds 23 logo, mentioned that he started playing League of Legends in 2016 after a friend introduced him to the game. His passion for LoL led him to promise himself that he would attend a World Championship match someday, and he fulfilled that promise in Korea.

He also noted the difference in how esports, particularly League of Legends, is perceived in Korea compared to France. In Korea, he found people to be more accepting and supportive of his love for the game, while in France, esports has struggled to shed its negative image.

Project L in Korea

Tom Cannon, the Riot Games producer, highlighted the importance of bringing an unreleased game, Project L, to Korea due to the country’s vibrant LoL fanbase. Players on Korea’s T1 team have secured sponsorship deals with prominent brands, displaying logos such as BMW and Nike on their jerseys. They have also amassed substantial followings on social media, akin to celebrity athletes.

The grand finale

This year’s World Championship finals will be held in person at the Gocheok Sky Dome in western Seoul, commencing at 5 p.m. local time. The excitement extends beyond the arena, as the match will also be streamed online and on the big screen in the heart of Gwanghwamun Square. The winners of the final will claim a guaranteed grand prize of $445,000, which represents 20 percent of the $2,225,000 purse.

The “Worlds Fan Fest” in Gwanghwamun Square symbolizes the global phenomenon that League of Legends has become, uniting fans from around the world in their shared love for the game. Despite the rain, the enthusiasm of fans like Achille Gales, who traveled from France to Korea, demonstrates the immense impact of LoL and the sense of community it fosters among its followers. As the World Championship finals draw near, the excitement continues to build, and fans eagerly await the grand showdown between T1 and Weibo Gaming, which promises to be a spectacle both in the arena and on screens worldwide.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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