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2017: Worlds and Beyond

Reflecting on 2017 with the Riot esports leadership team.

Hi everyone,

As we approach the end of 2017, we wanted to take a moment to look back on what’s been a rollercoaster year in LoL esports and to thank each and every one of you who joined us along the way.

Of all the years we’ve been on this esports journey, this feels like our most significant yet - and nothing displays that more than the incredible way the community came together to celebrate Worlds.

Together this year we hit some amazing new heights, including a new peak of 80 million unique viewers for that nailbiting SKT - RNG semifinal. Whether it was Misfits shocking the world by pushing SKT to the brink, RNG and WE carrying the hopes of China fans in the semifinals or Samsung finally taking the Summoner’s Cup away from Faker in the Bird’s Nest, pros put on an incredible show and raised the competitive bar.

Obviously, there’s some unique circumstances that lead up to these kind of viewership numbers. When we chose to take Worlds to China in 2017 we had a feeling this would be a special year. We were taking our game directly to a big fanbase in some epic venues - including the Bird’s Nest. What we couldn’t predict were the extra factors that made this year so huge - like amazing performances from the home teams and the wide audience that embraced the tournament and shared it with others, even if they hadn’t watched esports up until now. It all added up to create a Worlds that set new records which may be tough to beat for years to come.

Of course, there’s still a lot of work to be done over the LoL esports universe as we head into 2018; just to name a few, identifying and executing the best structure for Europe, supporting the rapid growth in regions like Vietnam and Brazil, working with our new partnered teams in China and North America to take these leagues to the next level and building a foundation to last decades in Korea with a dedicated studio for LCK. It’s our responsibility to support and nurture environments where pros can flourish and where LoL esports are competitive, fun to watch and around for the long term.

As we close out the year, from all of us here at Riot, thank you. Thanks to the pros for dedicating everything to perfecting your game, striving to win while and leaving us in awe. Thanks to everyone who worked to advance esports, from coaches to owners to journalists. And most importantly, thanks to fans worldwide who tuned in this year to cheer on your favorite team and pros.

You have all made it truly an amazing year.

View the 2017 events in review infographic here.