Monday, October 31, 2016

League of Legends World Championship 2016

My husband surprised me with a last-minute invitation to attend the League of Legends World Championship in Los Angeles. Best of all, he'd done his homework and found a hotel that accepted dogs. That meant Jax could travel with us.

Would I like to go?

You bet!

We've owned a League of Legends(LOL) professional video game team for nearly four years now. I'd seen the competitions as they were streamed on Twitch TV, but I'd never attended a live event. This one was to be held at the Staples Center in LA. The tickets had sold out in 20 minutes, but as team owners, tickets were held in reserve for us in a luxury box.

The flight out was delayed by an hour and a half, but Jax was wonderful. He sat on my lap and then David's for much of the trip. The flight attendants doted on him. Our hotel had a terrific view of the famous, iconic HOLLYWOOD sign.

It's hard to see, but trust me. Inside the circle is the word HOLLYWOOD.
While David went to a business meeting with our partners, the Philadelphia 76ers, Jax and I took a walk. You hear all the time about how dry California is, but until you're walking around and collecting dust, that's an abstract idea. Also, the park was filled with garbage, including covers for needles. Four homeless people slept under a set of stairs. This was a stark reminder that life can be very hard, especially for those who lack resources such as mental health counseling.

The World Championship was held the next day. I'd forgotten that today (as I write this) is Halloween, so all the people in costumes surprised me. Later I learned there was a Comic Con right next door. There were also plenty of LOL fans wearing garb representing their fave champions. All in all, the visuals were amazing and set my creative juices flowing.

But there was more to come. When the ceremonies started inside the Staples Center, Riot (the game publisher) went all out. The place was packed with screaming fans, and the production was amazing. Somehow our suite became known as the "party suite" and celebrities, players, owners, and super fans flooded in.

I got to meet "Rivington" (real name Rivington Bruce Bisland III), one of my favorite commentators. I thanked him for helping me to understand the game, and then I stood next to him as he explained a few of the finer points of the action.

I also met members of our team: Saint Vicious, Cop, XSpecial, Chris, Fabbbyyy, and Charlene. I saw Sneaky, Reggi, Dardoch, and Froggen.

None of these names probably mean anything to you, so I'll close with a statistic that will astound you--3% of all the internet traffic in the world is people playing League of Legends. That's right. It's a big deal, a huge world that exists in a parallel universe to ours.

And for one weekend, I was a part of it.

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