Hunter C. July 12, 2019
Cities welcome sporting events like the Olympic Games and the Super Bowl because they generate a windfall of cash and esports events are starting to offer something similar.
According to a report from Riot Games, the city of Rotterdam enjoyed an influx of cash from the LEC Spring Split Finals. All in all, the tournament contributed $2.6 million total to the economy over two days.
The announcement is a big win for Riot’s “host city” program.
Developed in 2018, the program allows cities to apply two years in advance to host a Riot Games event. Rotterdam won its bid to host the Spring Split Finals, while the 2019 LEC Summer Split Finals are to be held in Athens at the Nikos Galis Olympic Indoor Hall, which seats 19,000. Host cities for the 2020 splits have not been announced.
The number of people that flew into the Netherlands for the event is unknown but according to the report, 87% of attendees were not from Rotterdam. The event was held on April 13 and 14 and that dollar tally will likely woo other cities to open their doors to League of Legends fans.
Juggernaut G2 Esports won the event, courtesy of stellar play from long-time star Luka “Perkz” Perkovic and wunderkind Rasmus “Caps” Winther. They defeated Origen in the grand finals via a 3-0 stomp and only dropped one map during the playoff run.
So far during the LEC Summer Split, G2 are in second place behind Fnatic, who are currently undefeated.
The rebranding of the EULCS to the LEC, completed in 2019, is part of Riot’s pursuit to further differentiate the LEC from the NALCS. New logos, new sponsors, and a completely new brand helped push the LEC to one of its biggest years yet.
The Summer Split has reached European League of Legends’ highest viewership totals since 2015, helped in part by the region’s powerhouse teams. G2 took home first place in the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational and Fnatic reached the grand finals of the 2018 League of Legends World Championship.