by Izaak Garcia

After being separated, the world of esports offers a chance to reconnect. 

The video game industry is constantly growing and changing, with thousands of new viewers watching every day. Within the last decade or so, one catalyst for the popularity spike in the industry has come in the form of electronic sports (also known as esports). Since their inception, esports have grown exponentially within the last ten years, from a few hundred thousand viewers to almost 500 million. All over the world, tournaments are held for numerous games, showing off the aesthetics and creative details built into the game as well as the talent each player displays. These kinds of tournaments have only grown in size, and one of, if not the biggest of them all, is the League of Legends World Championship.

League of Legends is seen as one of the most popular video games in the world and has been at the top for quite some time. This 5-player team-based game involves extensive strategy along with communication and player coordination to eliminate the other team by destroying their home base, known as the Nexus. From an overview description such as this, it may seem as if the game is relatively simple, but when playing, it becomes a whole different story. The best teams from all around the world fight their way to the top of their region, and ultimately contend for a spot in this most prestigious tournament championship.

Each year, global teams qualify to compete with each other on the biggest stage in gaming, with the location of the World Championship switching every year. This year it is being held in Iceland, with 22 teams battling it out for a prize pool of over $2 million, and the title of World Champion. As with most things this year, COVID precautions will be in place. There will not be any live audiences and all those present, including staff, will be required to wear masks to minimize exposure. However, viewership is expected to increase with an uptick on online streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube, as eager audiences tune in from nearly everywhere around the world. Watching this championship can be as much, or to some, more fun than playing in it, and you can root for your favorite team just as you do with any other sport.

This year more than ever, people are looking to regain the connection they have lost with each other, and games like League of Legends and its tournaments are a great way for people to feel connected again. The continuation of the World Championship shows that even though the countries of the world have been isolated from each other for a long period of time, we will always come back together to enjoy the activities and events that we all missed. The League of Legends World Championships began at the beginning of October, with the finals being held on November 6, 2021. For information about this tournament or to watch the full games, feel free to visit lolesports.com.

About Izaak Garcia

Izaak Garcia is currently a freshman at the University of Southern California, majoring in Cinema and Media Studies with a minor in Applied Cybersecurity. He has played soccer with FC Peoria, Dunlap, and Richwoods for over a decade combined. Garcia has also played tennis for 4 years, securing a spot on both junior varsity and varsity teams. Along with this, he has competed with the Richwoods Worldwide Youth Science and Engineering team for Biology and English for 2 years and earned multiple awards for the school. Garcia is also heavily involved with the arts. As a multi-instrumentalist, he has played the saxophone for 8 years and piano for 2 years. During his junior year of high school, he was involved in theater at Richwoods as stage crew and manager. He helped with two productions and was being trained to be stage manager for senior year before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted school. Outside of school activities, Garcia is involved in Jack and Jill of America (an organization for young African American men and women to serve the community). He served as his chapter’s treasurer during his freshman year of high school. Along with Jack and Jill of America, he enjoys coding, learning new languages, and playing video games.

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