Riot Games has revealed that the grand finals of the 2024 League of Legends World Championship, known as Worlds, will take place at the iconic O2 Arena in London. The news is a historic moment for esports enthusiasts in the United Kingdom.
As the O2 Arena, one of the world’s premier live entertainment venues, is set to host the pinnacle of League of Legends competition on November 2, 2024.
League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game launched in 2009, has a meteoric rise in popularity, with its World Championships into Superbowl-style arena events.
This year’s finals, currently underway in South Korea, have set the stage for what promises to be a championship clash in London next year.
Naz Aletaha, Global Head of LoL Esports, expressed her excitement about bringing the World Final to the UK for the first time.
She highlighted London’s rich history and modern metropolis as a perfect backdrop for the grandest stage in League of Legends.
The decision to host the event at the O2 Arena follows the success of the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational held at the Copper Box Arena in May, where Aletaha was “blown away” by the response from fans.
While the game’s top players traditionally hail from Asia, particularly South Korea and China, Naz Aletaha is confident that Western fans will embrace the flagship event.
Despite challenges faced by the esports industry in 2023, including team closures predictions, Aletaha believes that League of Legends is in a position of strength.
The esports industry, she notes, has shown signs of recovery, with sponsors returning to teams and millions of engaged fans worldwide.
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Aletaha acknowledges the importance of fostering diversity within esports and mentions Riot Games’ initiatives to access particularly addressing issues of toxicity, especially for females and people of color.
As a woman of color in a gaming role, Naz Aletaha reflects on her almost 12 years at Riot Games and the progress she has witnessed. The company recently compensated 1,548 female staff members over gender discrimination.
Aletaha addressed the importance of visibility, stating, “If you can see her, you can be her.” She encourages new generations of players, developers, and industry professionals not to be deterred from joining the gaming industry.
Her message is clear: diversity leads to better outputs and perspectives, making the industry more inclusive.
The O2 Arena, with a seating capacity of up to 20,000, stands as the UK’s second-highest capacity venue. Renowned for hosting artists like Adele, Beyoncé, and U2, as well as sporting events, the colossal dome structure is a part of London’s skyline.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, expressed his enthusiasm for hosting the League of Legends World Championship Finals, stating that London is a leading destination for esports. The event is expected to attract esports fans from across the globe.
As Riot Games prepares for the grand finals at the O2 Arena, there is a conversation about the challenges facing the esports industry.
Despite the setbacks in 2023, the resilience of esports is evident, with the anticipation of continued growth.
Aletaha’s optimism stems from the industry’s ability to weather storms, with fans remaining engaged and sponsors returning.
The question of toxicity in multiplayer gaming remains a challenge, but Riot Games is addressing the issue, recognizing the need for a more inclusive and welcoming environment.
Aletaha’s journey within Riot Games, along with the company’s efforts, reflects positive change and creating an industry that embraces diversity.
As the 2023 World Championship unfolds in South Korea, fans and players alike can look forward to the grand spectacle awaiting them at the O2 Arena in London next year.
Riot Games’ decision to host the finals in the UK signifies the global nature of esports, transcending geographical boundaries to unite fans in celebration of competitive gaming.
The date for the 2024 World Final is set for November 2, and while ticket sales details will be disclosed closer to the event, the anticipation is already building.
Riot Games promises more information about other dates, cities, and venues for Worlds 2024, hinting at the possibility of additional stages in different locations.
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