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pax 2014

League Of Legends And Esports At PAX Prime 2014

by Daniel Tack on Sep 02, 2014 at 08:00 AM

At PAX Prime 2014, we sat down to chat with Riot Games’ VP of eSports Dustin Beck about League of Legends and the direction of things to come for the competitive moba. With eSports commanding bigger prize pools and attracting more viewers than ever, where’s Riot taking things next?

“We’ve learned a lot over the past few months, over the past few years. We’re constantly involved with listening to our community on reddit, on twitter, all the other various forums. We’re constantly kind of tweaking what is the right approach for eSports,” says Beck. “The vision hasn’t changed too much, we want to create engaging and memorable experiences. We’re looking to expand the league to 10 teams next year and some other scheduling tweaks. Minor changes like that, lots of it driven by fans.”

While the focus may not be on bringing League of Legends to network TV, there’s an active plan to get it on the living room box via other means. Current gen consoles and other streaming services would serve as a conduit toward an engaged audience.

“TV is not really in our short term plans. Whether that evolves or not remains to be seen. We see our fans consuming content via the various streaming sites we partner with, and one thing we would like to expand is the outlets for that. If we can bring esports to people’s televisions through Xbox, Apple TV, or various other platforms like that, that’s something we want to strive for at some point in 2015.”

While League of Legends enthusiasts are likely already in the know about the competitive scene, the players, the teams, regional playstyles and current metagame, there’s going to be some content designed to get more casual players into the scene.

“I think a lot of our efforts over the last few years have been really dedicated to hardcore players that are using esports as an informational tool to go help their play in addition to being exciting and fun to watch, but a lot of the content we’re starting to tease internally is geared toward a more mainstream crowd. For example we’re looking at some of the backstories, the path to pro, these are really interesting stories. We’re taking a lot of cues from the Olympics.”