LoL Worlds 2015 comes to Europe – But where?
This is now outdated: The season 6 World Championship will be held in North America and you can read all about it right here.
With Riot’s recent announcement that the LoL World Championship will be coming to Europe in October 2015, we take a look at the possible host venues and countries. With Riot announcing that Worlds 2015 will be a “Multi-Country, Multi-City, Multi-Venue” event (much like the 2014 LoL World Championship in South-East Asia/Korea), there’s a lot of speculation as to where exactly the games will be played.
So far, all we know is that LoL Worlds will take place in October – but we can take some educated guesses as to where matches will be played.
Previous LoL Worlds Locations
Season 1: LoL Worlds were held in Sweden in Season 1, with a total tournament prize pool of $99,500. The matches took place at a LAN event in Jönköping, a small city in the south of Sweden with a population of just 61,000 – a far cry from last years LoL Worlds in Seoul, Korea, a city with a population of almost 10,000,000. Season 1 was the last time that LoL Worlds was held in Europe – but this time Riot will undoubtedly be aiming for bigger venues.
Season 2: Season 2 LoL Worlds were held in North America at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. With a huge step up in production value from Season 1, the price pool also increased to $1,000,000. Season 2 was the first time that LoL Worlds were considered a major eSports event, and had the production value to back that up.
Season 3: In Season 3, LoL Worlds were again held in North America, with the final this time at the Staples Center, again in Los Angeles. With a capacity of over 18,000, Season 3 Worlds really cemented League of Legends in the competitive eSports scene.
Season 4: Season 4 LoL Worlds were held in South-East Asia, with the final in Seoul, Korea. The venue on this occasion was the Seoul World Cup Stadium, which held over 30,000 fans – not far off double the Staples Center in Season 3. The prize pool also increased to over $2,000,000. So we can see that LoL Worlds has got bigger and better each season – which narrows down the possible locations for Season 5 to those venues that can handle such large crowds. Now that we know that, let’s take a look at where the Season 5 LoL Worlds could be held. We anticipate that for logistical reasons, LoL Worlds will have one city per tournament stage, for a total of 4 cities represented in the entire tournament.
Season 5 LoL Worlds Locations
With Riot moving their EU LCS studios to Berlin, it makes perfect sense to hold the group stages there. The venue can accommodate a few thousand spectators – more than any previous venues in the LoL Worlds group stages.
Cologne, Germany: Riot may have moved away from Cologne for the LCS, but the eSports scene there is thriving. With all the infrastructure already in place, Cologne seems a sensible choice to host the Season 5 LoL Worlds.
Jönköping, Sweden: The location of the Season 1 final – will Riot have a nostalgic throwback and play some group stage matches here? Probably not, as the venues available are really quite small, but it’s still a possibility that would be fun to see.
Stade de France would make an ideal location for the quarter final matches. With a capacity of around 55,000 for such an event, Riot could truly show the world how popular LoL Worlds are.
Copenhagen, Denmark: Easily accessible from Berlin and Cologne, Copenhagen could be an ideal place to host the LoL Worlds quarter finals. There shouldn’t be too much trouble on Riot’s part in sourcing a suitable venue, although nothing with the capacity of the Stade de France mentioned previously is available.
Stockholm, Sweden: Also easily accessible from Germany, Stockholm has a huge eSports scene. The Tele2 Arena could be a great location for Worlds, holding up to 45,000 spectators. Plus, Sweden has a large number of players represented in the EU LCS – so Riot know that the fan base is strong and commercially viable.
The European location for IEM (Intel Exteme Masters), Katowice has an excellent eSports infrastructure and. Spodek Arena only holds 11,500 spectators though, so it might be a bit small for Riot’s ambitious plans. However, they surely can’t ignore the fact that LoL is immensely popular in Poland and fans will be crying out to see at least some matches.
Berlin, Germany: Although Riot may take some criticism if holding both the Group Stages and Semi Finals of Worlds in the same city, it does make sense to do so. Although Riot’s Berlin studios would probably be too small, the Olympiastadion is always available. Seating 77,000+, filling out this stadium would be a huge achievement for Riot, especially for a semi-final.
London, United Kingdom
Wembley Stadium. An iconic building to almost everyone across Europe and capable of seating over 90,000 spectators. Used by the English national football team, as well as various performers/events throughout the year, securing this for the Season 5 LoL Worlds final would be a masterstroke on Riot’s part. They wouldn’t struggle to fill it either – London is easily accessible from anywhere in Europe and the competitive LoL scene is growing rapidly in the UK. The only downside here may be the cost – renting a national stadium of this size certainly won’t come cheap!
Did you know you can rent Lichtenstein (yes, the entire country!) for $70,000 a night? It might not be cheap, but holding the final in what is essentially your own country for the day would be incredibly awesome. Plus, the publicity Riot would gain from this would be crazy. It’s not likely that Riot could justify holding the entire month long Season 5 Worlds there, but just the final…. We could see it happening.
What do we think?
If we had to take a solid guess out of our picks, we think Riot will go with the following for Season 5 Worlds:
We look forward to seeing what Riot finally decide on in October when we tune in to the Season 5 LoL World Championship.