Riot Games fired a few shots at Blizzard and the Overwatch League during a skit “explaining” how the League of Legends European Championship playoff format will work.
During the skit, Andrew ‘Vedius’ Day took on the role of ‘Explanius’ to detail how the playoffs would function, albeit with some comedic flare.
“We start our playoffs with the first and fourth seed fighting in a cooking competition,” Vedius explained, while Christy ‘Ender’ Frierson added a picture of chefs to whiteboard behind them.
This opening segment set the tone of the whole skit, which was all performed in good fun - until the 2:41 mark, where Riot started blasting the Overwatch League for how it handled season one.
“Last yea,r there were many complaints about our final. Increasing the amount of players from five to six, having a wide array of game modes such as assault, control and escort, and inviting a washed-up DJ who shouts his own name for a live concert.”
This was clearly a shot at Overwatch, as the game is played with six players and features all of the game modes mentioned by ‘Explainius.’
Their comments about a washed-up DJ were aimed at DJ Khaled, whose performance at the Overwatch League Grand Finals in New York City was widely panned by critics and fans.
Even those who don’t normally follow the Overwatch League, such as h3h3’s Ethan Klein, mocked the performance on his podcast.
“There were too many changes,” Vedius continued. “And it resulted in a significant decline in engagement, interest, and overall viewership. This of course meant that we could no longer afford to fund the paid actors that came to our live events.”
In the Overwatch esports community, many memes and inside jokes were created about over-enthusiastic fans being “paid actors” who had been hired by Blizzard.
While Riot and Blizzard have been rivals of sorts for some time, things are going to get even more heated once Valorant is released and competes directly with Overwatch for hero shooter supremacy.
Perhaps this skit is just a warning shot of what’s to come in the future.