If you are currently following the League of Legends scene you know that Riot is holding their 2013 World Championship, a week-long event that pits the best of the best teams from around the world to see who is the best.
I have also written before, that in my opinion, Action Real Time Strategy games like League of Legends are the games to pave the way for competitive videogame to be viewed as a legitimate sport in the eyes of the general population. (Be MOP #261)
Shortly after that post went live Riot announced that they teamed up with the credit card company, American Express, to offer a new reward program that gives in-game currency as cash back.
Then a few weeks ago I saw Riot posted this video that kicked off their promotional project called Teamwork OP that proposes and reinforces the idea that working together and cooperating with your teammate is more important than just heckling fellow teammates and playing alone. The whole promotional project is Riot’s answer to fix League of Legend’s notoriously bad in-game community.
Between that and the new segment, Analysis Desk, where member of Riot and other professional players predicts the outcome of the next major game by discussing in length the team’s strategy, history and individual player’s personal preference and stats.
Between reaching out to new sponsors, trying to rally their base and creating more content it looks like Riot is setting themselves for something big. I have seen this behavior pattern in politicians who want to seriously run in the next US Senate or Presidential election.
Interested politicians start by improving their own image by attending the right political events or proving that what they are selling have some depth to them (see Riot’s Analysis Desk). Then they start rallying or improving their established base supports (Teamwork OP) and finally the politicians starts to make waves outside their normal demographic to appeal to a wider audience (American Express’s cross promotion).
I could have used another example like an actor or singer trying to get back into the spotlight, but where I currently live (in the wonderful state of New Hampshire) I end up seeing more politicians act this way a lot more than any other type of public performer
Now the bigger question is, “What is Riot planning?” They already have a biggest name in competitive gaming and they host their tournaments in packed stadiums with cheering fans. What more could they want?
I half-joked in a previous post that Riot is going to team up with ESPN to create a eESPN sport channel for exclusively for competitive videogames but the more I think about it, a television slot might be exactly what Riot is currently eyeing.
But what do you think, Is Riot planning on doing something to advance their current comfort zone or am I just reading too much into this three, possibly isolated, events.
Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays