Opinion: Join the league of legendary spectators

Jacob Ruffo is a junior journalism major and columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

Jacob Ruffo

The League of Legends World Championship happens throughout the month of October and will continue until the championship series on Oct. 31. If you’re into competition at all, you should be glued to your computer.

The first part of the tournament is a group stage. The 16 teams invited to Worlds are grouped up into four groups of four. The teams all play all the other teams in their group twice over a period of two weeks. This is followed by a single elimination, best-of-five series knockout stage, similar to the FIFA World Cup.

The storylines evolving throughout the tournament alone should be enough to tune in.

Cloud 9 was in ninth out of 10 teams in the North American League Championship Series at one point in the season. After making it up to seventh, they made it through the tournament to qualify for Worlds after going down 0-2 in two straight series.

They eventually beat Team Liquid in the finals in Madison Square Garden. Riding this momentum, they were undefeated on the first day and poised to gain a number one seed in the knockout stage. Then the unthinkable happened.

As cliché as it sounds, the clock struck midnight on our Cinderella darlings as they lost all three games and a tiebreaker on the second day of group stages, finishing 3-4 and not qualifying for the knockout stage.

Another interesting storyline at Worlds is SKT T1’s second dominant run through the tournament. They won it last year, and they made it out of the group stage with an undefeated record this year. They had what was regarded as the easiest group, and now the experts are saying they are in the easier side of the knockout bracket. They also have Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, who is widely regarded as the best player in the world.

Also, the trash talking these guys issue to each other is absolutely insane compared to what people get excited about with other sports. Doublelift, one of the players, said in an interview after getting a Pentakill in the 2013 All-Star event: “I’m the greatest. Everyone else is trash.” Could you imagine what would ensue if someone like LeBron said this?

Often, teams will win then claim the other team was “not as good as they thought.”

I understand the skepticism. I cringed a bit when I thought about watching people play video games. Just give it a shot and you’ll be hooked. The commentators played a huge role in keeping me watching.

They play up the drama of the champion select, they explain a lot of things for people who may not know a lot about the game, and their excitement radiates through the screen. If you have an interest in competitive sports, you owe it to yourself to peek in on some games.  

Jacob Ruffo is an opinion writer for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].