The LoL PARK eSports Stadium will open in South Korea in January 2019. Riot Games is developing the stadium which they have named after their successful game ‘League of Legends (LoL)’.
The complex will include a 500-seat stadium, a stage, big screens, interview rooms, team rooms, a 24-hour internet cafe (known as a ‘PC bang’ in Korea), a fan meeting zone, and a commemorative hall featuring jerseys and figures of LoL pros.
A representative from Riot Game, Lee Seung Hyun, said: “I only hope that LoL PARK can provide a unique experience to everyday life. Jongno is a place that has a lot of companies and a lot more employees. I’d like this facility to be a place where you look twice and visit when you see it.”
The stadium is likely to draw international crowds for global tournaments. The new online South Korea visa is quick to obtain. The application form for the South Korea tourist visa only takes a few minutes to complete.
Changing the face of eSports competitions
Huge eSports competitions will be held at the stadium. Players will compete on the center-stage while the crowd watches the games live. There will be a giant screen at the top of the stage which will offer full picture quality from all angles.
There will also be a box at the edge of the stage which is specifically for the coaching staff. It will be visible to the audience and will add an extra dynamic to the overall experience.
After each game, players will be interviewed and the contest will be analyzed. Players will also be able to interact in new ways with their fans. In the past, fan meetings were always held outdoors, now there will be proper indoor facilities.
The rise of the eSports industry
When the first game consoles were released in the 1970s it was impossible to predict how big the industry would become. The scale and frequency of eSports competitions are growing rapidly and there are already more than 380 million participants.
According to the Global eSports Market Report, the revenue generated by eSports reached $696 million in 2017, a 41% rise compared to the previous year. This figure is expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2020.
Top professional gamers are also able to win vast amounts of money. The ‘International 2017’ (a ‘Dota 2’ gaming event) drew an audience of over 5 million and the winning team took home $10.8 million.
In 2011, LoL was not the highly-popular game it is today. It was originally released in 2009 as a free-to-play PC game. However, Riot Games recognized the potential of eSports and began holding World Championship tournaments. This years final will take place at the Incheon Munhak Stadium, Seoul, which has a seated capacity of over 49,000.