By Jason Roberts, @jleeroberts
To catch the League of Legends Season 4 World Championship, Team Curse attended the LA viewing party held at The American Legion in Hollywood, CA. USC eSports in collaboration with SoCal eSports put the event on with the help of many fantastic volunteers. Samsung Galaxy White and Star Horn Royal Club had some fantastic matches, but the viewing party wasn’t just about watching League of Legends. Fans from all over the LA area gathered together to bond as a community over League, Melee, and a few drinks.
Photo courtesy of Azubu
Yes, League wasn’t the only game to be talked about at the viewing party, there was a dedicated Smash room that featured Melee, ProjectM, Smash64, and other Brawl mods. With over 500 people RSVP’ing on Facebook, and even more in attendance, the viewing party was a great success; it became a potluck of vibrant personalities sharing their excitement over similar interests.
Whether it was in the bar, the Smash room, a common area, or even in the main hall where the matches were being shown, there wasn’t a person that didn’t seem approachable. Meeting summoners is even easier in person at events like these than it is from behind a computer screen. Perhaps it’s because gatherings like this one are a chance for the niche fans of eSports to grow their personal connections in person. There’s no need to explain anything about the games going on or the concept of eSports itself, it’s just a place for fans to relax and bond over the video game they love.
Photo from lolesports.com
This year, it was a Korean team that came out on top again in the world championship. The powerhouse from OGN, Samsung Galaxy White, gave their opponents, Star Horn Royal Club, an aggression that they couldn’t handle. Royal Club put up a fight and took the third game off of Samsung White, before the series was closed out in the fourth game. Despite their being a clear difference in power between the two teams, The American Legion crowd did not get tired of shouting together when a flashy play was made.
We took the time to talk to a few fans why they thought Korea was dominating so hard at Worlds.
“Right now it’s a matter of playstyle in my opinion. I don’t think I know enough [about the competitive scene], but given the way Samsung White is playing tonight, it seems like there is no answer to their aggression.”
“Despite Korean dominance this season, the gap is quickly closing between EU, KR, and China. NA? That’s a different story.”
Photo courtesy of Joyce Bautista from HeartGamingg
Joining the attendees in the crowd alongside Team Curse were special guests, Scarra, Nientonsoh, Daydreamin, Calitrolz, Melonie Mac, Zirene, Xmithie, Nickwu, Nips, and RAP1D. When any of them were in eye sight they were crowded around like the few cosplayers that attended the event. You could find them all hanging out in the common areas in-between games chatting and taking pictures with person after person. It was great to see big names in the community being on such a personable level with other members in the community; it’s definitely a highlight of the eSports scene that is a shared experience with communities of other games.
We had the pleasure of speaking with two of the hosts of the event, Sam Brown, and Brittany Brown. The two hardworking sisters shared their thoughts about the event and what we can expect from them in the future.
Photo courtesy of Joyce Bautista from HeartGamingg
What went into the process of setting this event up and finding a place to hold it at?
SB: “It took a lot of looking around LA to find a suitable and affordable location. We had to find a venue that would understand what our needs and what eSports is. The American Legion worked out because of their flexibility, and the layout of the venue was perfect for the sort of experience we wanted, with people being able to socialize and participate in other activities outside of watching the games."
What was your favorite part of the night?
SB: “Watching all of the fans intermingling. When I went down to the bar, everyone was crowded into a room together laughing and having a good time. The fans were really excited about meeting new faces and getting to interact with the pros. That’s what I love about events like these; there are so many great people that make up our community and despite the nature of online video games, there are so many opportunities to meet those great people."
Was this the first time you helped run an eSports event? What motivated you to do so?
SB: “This wasn't our first eSports event, but it was certainly the first event we organized of this caliber. I was president of the USC eSports club before I graduated and still I participate in a lot of collegiate eSports organizing, but as a whole this was an entirely new bag of worms and we learned a lot from the experience. Since Worlds was in Korea this year, we wanted to have a place for our USC community to go and watch it, and then we decided we'd open it up to the rest of LA since there wasn't anything going on like this. I just really love this community and am happy to be part of its growth.”
Do you plan on continuing to work in and put events on for the eSports scene? What can we expect next from you?
SB: “The USC eSports club definitely plans on continuing putting on events for the eSports scene in and out of the collegiate community in collaboration with the other Southern California schools who we worked alongside for this event. I'm pretty set on continuing to help them as an alumna and as someone who is passionate about eSports.”
So now that the event is over and done with, what do you make of the first Worlds viewing party you’ve hosted at? Would you have done anything differently?
BB: “We had such a great response to the event, and more people attended than what we expected. I’d say if I were to have done anything differently, I would have found a bigger venue for the event so things would’ve run more smoothly. Also I would have gotten more SWAG to hand out to everyone.”
Would you consider hosting another viewing party if Riot looks away from CA again for the spot where Worlds will be held?
BB: “Definitely, we are already putting plans in motion for next year’s viewing party.”
Were there any moments or interactions that stood out to you more than others?
BB: “Interacting with all of the fans was the best part of this event. It’s great to see a community get together and work together. I can’t thank all of the volunteers enough for their help tonight, there were more volunteers than we had planned for, and there were still more people asking if they could lend a hand.”
Do you have any advice for people who are looking to host their own viewing party for their local area?
BB: “The most important things to do are to stay organized, and be considerate to the community. You have to keep everyone’s interests in mind while planning, and keep everyone in the loop with updated information. It’s not easy, but it’s certainly worth the effort.”
We at Team Curse would like to thank the USC eSports club, SoCal eSports, all of the sponsors, and partners of the event for putting on the LA “Why Am I Awake Right Now?!” Worlds Viewing Party. Here’s to hoping that next year will have an even larger turnout.