Atlanta hosts League of Legends World Championships semifinals

Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 6:24 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The best League of Legends players in the world will be at State Farm Arena in Atlanta this weekend. Esports isn’t your typical sporting event, but the fan experience isn’t that different from physical sports.

“I would say it’s probably going to be comparable to something like a college football game,” esports fan Matthew McDonnell said.

The city will host the semifinal round of the League of Legends World Championships this weekend and the venue is sold out.

“Fans are flying from across the globe. There are fans from China, Korea, super fans, also people here from America. And it screams and shouts just like any other arena,” Riot Games staffer Mel Capperino-Garcia said.

Last year’s competition had over 120 million fans tune in for over one billion total hours watched. That is nine times the Grammys and about double the NBA Finals, World Series and Wrestlemania combined.

“I’ve been playing League for a long time, but Worlds is almost never in North America and now it’s finally here and it kind of feels like I have to, you know,” fan Trey Hobchuk said.

The event is expected to pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy and will kick off in Centennial Olympic Park with a tailgate party featuring, food, fun and fellowship.

“There’s a lot of people coming. A lot of people are coming and they’re coming for the weekend and people are going to want to check out the city while we are here. The events are only in the afternoon so all morning there is nothing to do for the event so people are going to be coming out, eating, shopping, spending time in the city and looking at everything you guys have to offer. I’m impressed so far,” McDonnell said.