LEC fans disappointed by Grand Final venue, express concern for Worlds

LEC fans disappointed by Grand Final venue, express concern for Worlds
Image via Riot Games

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch


15th Apr 2024 14:45

European League of Legends fans have voiced their disappointment at the most recent LEC Grand Finals and specifically its location, attributing a lack of hype to the chosen venue. A similar experience is looming for the World Championship later in 2024. 

Similar narratives, different reception

For the 14th time, G2 Esports has lifted an LEC trophy and further stacked its case while extending its era of dominance to over a full year since another team was allowed to hoist a domestic trophy at the top level of the EMEA region.

In the Grand Final against perennial opponent Fnatic, the Ninjas overcame a game one loss and finished out strong, denying the series to go the full distance and locking their victory with three consecutive game wins.

While the rivalry between the two organisations has been an engine of regional excitement, the historic match-up didn't seem quite to grab viewers like the results from their sister leagues did over the last weekend.

While T1 met their archnemesis in Gen.G once more in the South Korean LCK finals, marking another rendition of a similarly epic feud with a rich history, the match seemed to be much better received. Not just because it went the full distance but also because of the venue the game was held.

In a filled KSPO Dome in Seoul, South Korea, a venue built for the gymnastics competitions for the 1988 Summer Olympics, thousands of fans cheered for another final between the two giants.

For LEC, the final was held in its usual regular season venue at the Riot Games Arena in Berlin, Germany, seating 210 fans at a time. Viewers on social media voiced their disappointment at the lack of production value for the finals, contrasting the effort against the one given to the LCK as well as LEC’s prior product in previous years.

"Honestly, I forgot it was the split finals because they were in the studio. No hype same with LCS," one of the most upvoted comments on the dedicated Reddit thread shared. Other users agreed, stating that even a smaller venue outside the studio could’ve sufficed.

A concern for Worlds?

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Concerned community members also connected the dots to the World Championship in the EMEA region, with all of the Swiss and Play-In Stage matches planned to be played in the Arena in Berlin.

Only for the Quarter and Semi-Finals, the action will move to the Adidas Arena in Paris while the Grand Final is set to take place in the O2 Arena in London. The first two stages are the lion’s share of the games played during the World Championship each year and fans fear a similar lack of excitement could result from the setting.

Riot Games laid off hundreds of workers in January 2024, including LEC production staff that insiders forecasted to impact the quality of the LEC broadcast. In March, Riot Games President of Esports, John Needham announced a restructuring of the revenue model for LoL's global towards a more digital sales-driven approach.

In response, industry insider Travis Gafford shared concerns about the potential implications of the decision, stating that he "would be surprised if this new strategy doesn’t decrease the amount Riot is paying."

With most domestic leagues around the globe concluded, the Mid-Season Invitational is set to begin on May 1st, 2024, in the Chengdu Financial City Performing Arts Center, inviting twelve teams from various regions to find the MSI champion. 

Sascha Heinisch
About the author
Sascha Heinisch
Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.
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