The Season One Championships are well underway at Dreamhack over in Sweden. I’ve been watching for most of the morning, though I did miss the super early games. It’s been interesting to see not only the different comps and bans, but also what Riot has done to livecast the event. At the peak, I saw some 180,000 people watching the games, which is really impressive for the first season of a video game.
Riot was also pushing its Twitter presence. I think the company is hoping to get “#esports” trending, though I’m not sure what sort of community presence there is on Twitter. Most of the time the #leagueoflegends hashtag is pretty sparse, but I would love to see a more active dialog happening there, even just for link sharing.
I think the best part of the tournament to this point has been the preview of Spectator Mode. It looks really nice, giving the viewer a ton of data about what’s happening on the battlefield. As we’ve seen from a few of the games, though, data isn’t everything. It’s true that at the end of the game the winning team typically has the gold advantage, but I thought Epik’s Doublelift was totally screwed when he got killed twice in the first couple minutes of the game against Fnatic. Miss Fortune also remained nearly 100 creeps ahead of Doublelift through the end of the game. Still, Epik somehow managed to pull a win (which, come to think of it, was Westrice’s Akali game).
At any rate, I’m really impressed with Riot’s commitment to making the championship an event for everyone, not just the players in the tournament. Have you guys been watching?