The League of Legends World Championship 2017 was one of the biggest events in esports history.
While online viewership, production, and of course the games themselves, are always at the heart of what makes a great esports event, Riot’s World Championship has also produced some of the most epic live environments for matches in the industry. This year, the bar may well have been raised once again.
The 2017 League of Legends World Championship took a tour of China, playing its group stages in Wuhan, moving to Guangzhou for quarter-finals, Shanghai for the semi-finals before finally culminating in Beijing for the final showdown between SK Telecom T1 and Samsung Galaxy.
League of Legends owes a significant part of its status as arguably the biggest esport in the world to China, where streams reportedly pull in millions of viewers for the biggest matches. While some dispute the veracity of some of the numbers, which often come from sources that cannot be independently verified, the live crowds at the various stages certainly didn’t disappoint. Nothing quite compared, however, to the masses present for the grand final.
If there were concerns that the lack of a Chinese team in the finals might have impacted interest, there needn’t have been. The Beijing National Stadium was packed out, producing one of the most epic arenas for a showdown yet seen in esports.
The World Championship ultimately concluded with Samsung Galaxy dethroning Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok’s SK Telecom T1, sweeping them 3-0 to deny SKT a third consecutive win at the event.