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League of Legends (LoL) event finds home in Christchurch
Posted on 10-Oct-2014 12:29. | Tags Filed under: News.

On Sunday 19 October at 7pm, Harringtons Riccarton will be packed with fans, but they won't be there to watch the All Blacks, the Silver Ferns or any conventional sports team. The latest sports craze isn't played on the sports field at all.

It's video gaming - eSports - and it's taking the world by storm. Leading the charge is the video game League of Legends, with over 70 million players worldwide, with 32 million playing monthly, and 12 million playing daily. New Zealand gamers are just the latest nation to catch the League of Legends (LoL) craze.

The LoL Christchurch event is being held to coincide with the finals of the LoL World Championships. Stuart says that's so members can watch top players compete. Viewing parties for these tournaments being played live are immensely popular worldwide.

"Our event lets people experience the excitement around attending a live event without actually having to travel there themselves", says Stuart. "It's a much better atmosphere to watch video games on a big screen with other people in a crowded bar, rather than hunched up over your laptop at home. It's no different from the thousands of rugby fans who go to bars to watch the All Blacks play."

Now that Southern eSports have a great venue, Stuart expects they'll be organising more events in the near future, and hopes to assist other groups who are getting started as well.

"Regular events build on interest in video games, which then feeds back into generating interest in playing the games", says Stuart. "We had over 100 people attend our last League of Legends event. Our gaming community has grown since then so we expect over 200 people to attend this month's event."

The profile of the average eSports player might also surprise people. Gone are the days of video games only being played by teenage boys. Most eSports players are aged 18-30, and Southern eSports spokesperson Stuart Kent says women make up between 30-40% of gamers worldwide (and it's estimated to be as high as 52% in the UK, according to research published in September 2014 by the Internet Advertising Bureau).

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