Reported by Michele Paulse
Howls of support and disappointment rang out at a viewing party in a Richmond badminton hall, as video game fans watched two teams compete in the League of Legends world championships in Los Angeles, on Saturday.
ESports clubs from Langara College, UBC, SFU, BCIT and Douglas College co-hosted the party so that their communities could watch teams SK Telecom and Samsung Galaxy in the final round of the championships together.
“A lot of people can’t go to the actual event,” said Mathew Nguyen, a Langara eSports executive. “We wanted to experience the environment of the actual event where there’s hundreds of people, thousands of people, all screaming [and] cheering for their teams. We wanted to recreate that.”
Bringing the gamer community together with viewing parties
The UBC eSports Association held viewing parties in past years, but this year invited other post-secondary to organize the event attended by approximately 250 fans.
“The viewing party itself is important on it’s own because it’s the world finals; the most important match of the largest game in the entire world. League of Legends is the most played and possibly most viewed game in the world,” said Victor Ho, UBC eSports president.
Kublai Barlas, a League of Legends coach, was at the event on Saturday and thinks that viewing parties offer a good social opportunity.
“[It’s] a way to bring the community together instead of having people sit at home,” Barlas said. “They can meet some pro who are around to come to the events and they can hang out with like minded people,” Barlas said.
There were more men than women there, but that didn’t stop Linh Dinh from cheering until she was hoarse.
“We’re screaming whenever our team score, and that makes me feel like I’m linking to people. I also see other girls. It’s not just me as a girl gamer,” Dinh said.
Fans waved glow sticks as they cheered on their teams and broke for snacks during intermission, mingling and talking amongst each other. SK Telecom won 3-2.
See related story on the Langara eSports Association here.