More Than 3M Register to Attend LoL World Championship Final, LGD Gaming Received Death Threats for Knockout Stage Performance

Last week was significant for League of Legends esports, and Chinese live streaming platforms as DouYu and Huya revealed more details on their merger. 

The League of Legends World Championship (Worlds 2020) finally concluded its group stage and will start the knockout stage Thursday. Riot Games and TJ Sports also announced a live-audience plan for Worlds final, with 6,312 free tickets and a strict verification and safety process to fulfill COVID-19 restrictions and avoid ticket scalping. 

In addition, the League of Legends mobile game League of Legends: Wild Rift was also featured at Apple’s iPhone 12 demonstration during a press conference Tuesday. 

Another MOBA esports title, Dota 2, also embraced its 10-year anniversary, and a new highest prize pool tournament record for The International was set, surpassing $40M USD in prize money. However, both Chinese and Western Dota 2 communities expressed disappointment with Valve for not providing support to the current ecosystem.  Several Chinese esports leaders revealed that Valve declined offers of support from the Shanghai government to host The International there in April/May. 

Among the top stories in China’s esports industry: Over 3M people registered online for the chance to attend the Worlds Final; LGD Gaming faced death threats and harassment for failing to qualify during the knockout stage at Worlds; and TJ Sports partnered with China Post to produce Worlds exclusive merchandise. 

More Than 3M People Register to Attend League of Legends World Championship Finals

On Oct.12, TJ Sports opened the online registration for live audiences in the Worlds 2020 Final. It took only four hours to hit the first 1M registrants, and 12 hours to hit close to 2M. The final number of registrants on the Oct.14 deadline was approximately 3.2M. 

Only 6,312 of those 3.2M people will eventually attend the Worlds Final as members of a live audience. The selection possibility is only 0.19%, which means selecting one  “winner” from approximately 520 people. 

Last Saturday, TJ Sports announced it would allow 6,312 live audience members at Worlds Final for free, and the selection process would be supervised by Shanghai Jingan Notary Office. The final results will be announced on the League of Legends official website. 

The confirmed live audience members will be identified by their Chinese ID cards, passports (if they are from outside of China), and temperature and facial recognition checks on Oct.31 at the gate. 

TJ sports repeatedly emphasized that the ticket can not be transferred or resold to others, to avoid tickets being resold by scalpers. However, scalpers still posted their bulk ticket information on Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao, with a single ticket for a maximum price of ¥30K RMB ($4.5K), and ¥7.5K ($1.1K) for 100% winning the selection process, according to a report by Chinese business outlet The Paper

In fact, it’s almost impossible that scalpers can achieve their promise to overcome facial recognition, and bypass the supervision of Riot Games, TJ Sports, and Shanghai Jingan Notary Office. 

The Esports Observer has reached out to TJ Sports, who declined to comment at the time of writing. 

LGD Gaming Received Death Threats, Harassment for Knockout Stage Performance at Worlds 

Last week, three League of Legends Pro League teams, three League of Legends Champions Korea teams, and two League of Legends European Championship teams eventually qualified for the knockout stage of Worlds. However, the fourth seed of LPL, LGD Gaming didn’t qualify for the knockout stage and faced a strong and hostile response from extreme fans. 

According to LGD Gaming’s Weibo statement, some fans went so far as to send death threats to LGD Gaming’s headquarters and harass LGD staff via phone. 

LGD states that this behavior from the community has disrupted the organization’s regular operations, threatened players’ safety and mental health. LGD has contacted lawyers, and is working with law enforcement. 

“We understand a few fans were disappointed that we didn’t achieve a further step in Worlds, but the Internet should not be a place to spread hate, and individuals should take responsibility for what he/she says,” LGD Gaming stated on its Weibo.

TJ Sports Partners With China Post to Sell Worlds- Related Merchandise

On Oct. 10, China Post announced that the company partnered with TJ Sports for the Worlds 10-year anniversary. The two companies will provide exclusive 5K gift boxes, featuring Worlds-related including 12 stamps, six postcards, and a gift coin. 

The gift box presell has started on the League of Legends official T-Mall shop, Bilibili subscriber shop, as well as League of Legends Suning shop. The presell is available until Oct. 31.

Other Esports Business News:

  • Chinese esports organization Suning Esports signed a sponsorship deal with China’s second-largest food delivery service Eleme for its League of Legends team. The Eleme logo will be featured on the right shoulder of the team jersey during Worlds 2020.
  • Chinese live streaming platforms DouYu and Huya announced Monday that the two have officially agreed to a merger. The combination is expected to close during the first half of 2021. DouYu CEO Shaojie Chen and Huya CEO Rongjie Dong will act as co-CEOs. In addition, Tencent will also integrate its own streaming platform Penguin Esports into DouYu through a deal with Tencent for $500M.
  • According to LGD Gaming CEO Pan “RURU” Jie and Imba TV co-founder Zhou “Haitao” Lingxiang, Dota 2 developer Valve was offered and rejected an opportunity by Perfect World and the Shanghai government to host The International in the city again this year. 

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