State of College League of Legends – Will colleges pick up LoL esports? (2019)

State of College League of Legends – Will colleges pick up LoL esports? (2019)

October 23, 2019 2 By Stanley Isaacs


– League of Legends was going
to demand the most time. Probably going to demand
the most resources. (upbeat music) (electronic music) – Collegiate League of Legends
really started with ULoL which was a initiative with, Riot actually who’s the developer of League of Legends, that helped institute that, and a bunch of different
leagues started forming because of that, because Riot is very lax with their API, with their
intellectual property. (distorting sound) – Hi! Tyler here with a quick update. Soon after we filmed this video,
Riot made the announcement that they are going to create
their own governing body for collegiate League of
Legends following the decision of the NCAA, to choose not to enter into the collegiate space for esports. We know what this decision
now that it’s going to affect the following leagues, that of AVGL, Collegiate
Star League and ULoL amongst some other
leagues, that may pop up. The creation of this governing
body means there’s gonna be consistency for
collegiate esports moving into the future. We’re excited to see where
this takes us in the future. (distorting sound) – So we saw leagues like
AVGL, Collegiate Star League, other organizations like that, that would have formative leagues. Right now C Star League,
Collegiate Star League, is the most popular and most used format, especially for JV Play. And at the very high levels of play CLoL and ULoL are still kind
of the, omnipotent league for those kinds of programs. Collegiate Star League which the club uses for JV teams and such and the other one for
higher level varsity teams is usually ULoL. At the professional level league is one of the most popular
sports in season two. Season one, the World
Championship started as an event at a gaming convention. Fnatic won that which
is a huge organization throughout CS:GO, Rainbow
Six, League of Legends, DOtA everything, they have it all. And then after that is when it became a real professional
sport essentially. It kind of followed in the
wake of Star Craft a little bit and it was following in
the wake of CS:GO as well, but it really rose in popularity
as the player base grew, as it was fresh and everyone was like, “Wow, what’s this game? It’s great.” Especially a lot of DOTA
fans that moved to the game because it was different,
maybe a little bit simpler to understand but it’s
evolved into something that is insanely complex. So when season two started is when you have the professional formats and the bigger tournaments
and the Chinese teams and the Korean teams
kind of getting involved in the scene, which they
reined supreme for a long time even to this day. I think only two non-Korean
teams have ever won worlds. I could be wrong on that though,
I think it might be three. Modern League of Legends is the
largest esport in the world. It’s the most popular esport. The viewership numbers are just insane. At the last worlds it was,
had three times the ratings of the most popular Super Bowl ever. It’s just enormous. (upbeat music) – I think League of
Legends is the top esport but I think Overwatch
in the collegiate level is rivaling it because Overwatch has been popular since these kids
have started college and they might’ve invested heavily in it when they were freshmen. So they kind of seeing it
through, their senior years and there’s just, it’s very accessible. It’s very easy to look at. You can kind of tell what’s going on, it’s first person shooter. A lot of people are are very used to that. But the MOBA games like,
DOTA and League of Legends, they have a lot more to dive into, so the kids that like that kind of stuff where they can just immerse
themselves in it, not saying that Overwatch that
doesn’t stuff to dive into, but League of Legends
is a very layered game. – Layers! – There’s a 150 some plus
champions in the game. So there’s a lot to know
game knowledge wise. I think it might be the most popular, it hits that crux of
popular and complex I think. Right in the centerpiece where it makes it extremely popular and
we’re gonna be going into it in the fall. – Yeah. So I know from years of
coordinator that, I knew that when I launched their, I’d
help launching the program that, League of Legends was
a game that had to come, it’s a pillar of the esport industry, and I knew that when we
announced that we were launching with Overwatch and Rocket League, some students may be confused
as to why WSU Varsity Esports isn’t diving straight into CLoL, and for me, I knew that
the game was so complex, and I knew that in terms of building the proper infrastructure,
I needed to get here, engage what kind of
talent we had on campus, and really kind of build the
infrastructure of the program before we moved into a pillar
of the esports industry. So, in terms of popularity
of the collegiate level, I believe that League of
Legends is the most popular, I think, because of CLoL
and because of other major news outlets like ESPN, they even follow the Collegiate
League of Legends league, and they write articles about it. They have rankings that come out weekly, and some of the largest esports schools are mostly involved in CLoL and Overwatch, so for me as a coordinator,
I knew that, eventually, very quickly, we had to
move into League of Legends. It just didn’t happen this first semester, but it will be happening in the fall. (bright music) I know that League of
Legends was going to demand the most time, probably going
to demand the most resources, so in terms of providing
students a proper place in which they can sit down,
have proper VOD reviews, go over gameplay along with the coaches and things like that. I know for us that we
didn’t necessarily have that infrastructure our first
year, or our first semester, and knowing that, moving
into the space we would be, moving into a space that
we were ill-prepared for, and so our students wouldn’t
experience a whole lot of success. So having the ability, as a coordinator, to take a semester and
to explore the collegiate esports landscape,
really try and understand what the students need at the micro level, in terms of the day-to-day, what do they need for a VOD review, do they need a space,
do they need computers, do they need a whiteboard, do
they need a projector screen, there are a lot of factors to consider, and do we have that space. Is the college doing, or
is the school doing enough to build a space for them
to explore these maps and go over VOD reviews, and a lot of different
things needed to happen before I believed we
were ready to move into League of Legends. – There’s a lot of competition. Being such a popular sport, there’s so many people that
just actively play the game. Number two is the
threshold for competition, and qualifying for a team,
which is usually above gold, and teams at the highest levels of play, I mean, that’s the top
.1 percent of the game. Teams like Columbia, or UCF, Pepperdine, and stuff like that, they
have challenger players, and they have masters players. So it just, it takes so much
time and effort and dedication and constant work to maintain
a rank of that level, at that level you’re
playing as professionals. At that level you’re
playing against the guys in the professional academies, you’re playing against semi-pros, you’re playing against
the popular streamers. So it’s really just eight
hours a day sometimes of League if that’s what your goal is. – I knew that, along with
going to class, and studying, and just being an actual student
and having a social life, that there needed to be proper infrastructure built in for them, so when they’re scheduling their classes, they know that, okay on Monday Wednesday, from five to seven that’s
practice for League, and so, and possibly even
longer depending on the demand, so I know that just in terms of just the basic infrastructure for
a League of Legends player it’s gonna differ from that of possibly a Rocket League player, or a CS:GO player, or a Smash player, or something like that. – You want to do all
these things in college, and it’s like, well how
do we build a program that is competitive but also makes
them human beings as well. (electronic music) – For the collegiate arena, I would assume that it’s the most, I mean, Overwatch has a large purse in terms of scholarshipping
and through TESPA. – I know for CSLoL for the JV teams even, it’s like, the top team gets
$1500 in scholarship money, and then that’s divvied
up between the players, and then they get
peripherals for free as well. (upbeat music) – So, there are a lot of
schools that you’ll kind of hear over and over again, that have just, that are pillars of the
collegiate esports scene, and so, for us, typically,
that just coincides with how long they’ve been a program, also typically means
that they’re gonna have a strong infrastructure
of students that compete at a very high level, so, you might find a couple of
schools here every now and then that maybe only have one
title that’s very, very good, but for the most part it’s gonna
be those programs that are, that have been around for a while, but yeah, I would say those
are probably the schools that come to mind initially. (electronic music) – The most impressive
League player that I’ve seen at the collegiate level, it was the top liner for Columbia College. He was just a monster. That dude was just crazy. (electronic music) That guy was nuts. (electronic music) – I know the potential it has, and the notoriety that it
can bring to a university because of the popularity of the title, there needs to be proper
infrastructure for these students, so I know that we have a lot
of students that currently play in the club, and
without them even knowing, I know students are prepared, in terms of just playing the game, because there is a large
group of students in the club, outside of the club, that
we may not even know about, that are very passionate
about League of Legends, and I think that in terms of
putting esports on the map, putting Wichita State esports on the map, I think League of Legends
can do that for us. So, I think it’s crucial in terms of, we chose Overwatch this
semester because I knew what we had on campus, I knew we had a lot of
talent in that gaming title. So I knew having one of
those pillars was gonna be very crucial to kind of
putting us on the map, and I know League of Legends
is kind of that next step in terms of really providing
validity for the program. (electronic music) Talking about it, there were a couple students
in there that overheard, and they said they were very passionate about League of Legends, and
they played League of Legends, and I asked if they were a part of the Shocker Gaming Club, and they weren’t, so I know that, just because
the game reaches across so many different entities
across campus, and touches so many different people,
that, I mean, we don’t know – Yeah. – What’s currently on campus. We’re gonna find out. We’re gonna find out. – Yeah, that’s what’s exciting. – In the next couple days. – Super exciting. That’s what the most exciting part is, like when we announce something, and these kids just kind
of come out of the woodwork to come play. – Also, incoming freshmen. That’s also something to consider as well. I get emails all the time, and I do my best to ensure
that I respond to everybody in terms of, no we don’t offer
this gaming title just yet, but if you come to Wichita
State, I can guarantee you that we have a strong club
infrastructure that will take care of your needs initially, until we figure out what
that’s gonna look like for the varsity entity. But yeah, for incoming freshmen, if they are a full-time student, they will be allowed to try out as well. So, once again, people who
aren’t even currently on campus will play a role in determining
who’s gonna be on the team. (electronic music) – I don’t see it going away
anytime soon, for sure. – Once again, it’s one of the most popular
games in the industry, so, just in terms of pushing the needle for more student involvement, I think that’s gonna
play a huge role because we’re gonna have a section of students that are in the club that will
possibly, and most likely, become a part of the varsity entity, and then that’s gonna allow more room for more teams
to be a part of the club, so not only will we have a varsity team, but we’ll also have club
teams underneath that, so, if you’re a student that’s
looking to get plugged in and involved with League of
Legends at Wichita State, or if you’re an incoming freshman, you can see that
information on our website and you know that, okay we have a varsity
League of Legends team, but we also have club
information down below it, so I can, as an incoming freshman, know that my needs are
gonna be taken care of in terms of coming to school here, getting a good degree, going about the process the right way, and then also being able
to play League of Legends against other schools
at a very high level, so, I, once again, I can’t
express how crucial it is to enter into the space,
because it’s such a big game. I mean it’s the biggest
game, I don’t know. I mean, Overwatch is
big, but it’s the one. – I think the thing about
League that’s so good for Wichita State, and any campus really, is that it allows us to function
as a kind of tiered group, like we have the Varsity team, which is gonna be the high-level team, and then we have other teams
that function in the club at the lower level, maybe instructive, all the way up to, gold
average, platinum average teams, so it allows us to diversify, and allows us to offer
a lot of opportunities that aren’t there in other games. – Yeah, yeah. So I mean, if you were wondering, I mean, you could have League of Legends that could encompass
between club and varsity, close to 25 students, 25, 30 students. And right now, we only have
11 varsity players total. So, in terms of involvement,
you’re gonna see that number growing, growing, growing. So whenever other administrators
from other schools or people reach out to me, asking why is esports valuable
at the collegiate level, I believe because of student involvement, it’s extremely valuable, and then once we add
League of Legends to it, on top of that, that’s only
gonna add another layer- – Layers! of importance I guess. (electronic music) – I think if you are
looking to get into the collegiate esports scene, first, find out what the resources
are on your campus for that, and find out what their rank
thresholds are, and meet those. Because of the size of the
ladder in League of Legends, I think rank is a pretty
good descriptor of how much game knowledge or mechanical
skill that you have. – Yeah, for sure, I think
rank is very important, but also, I think, if
you’re thinking about coming to Wichita State, we are in a unique position in terms of, you could be one of the first
to be on the varsity team, and if you don’t make it, you can be a part of the
club entities as well, but I would argue that,
in terms of competition, and getting onto the
team, you have a unique, you as an incoming student
have a unique opportunity to not only make the team, but be a part of the team for a long, for close to three or
four years depending on where your status is as a student. So, you can very easily
check out other schools that have been around for
a long time, like Columbia, like Maryville, who have robust
League of Legends programs, or you can kind of look
at Wichita State and say, “that’s a great school, they
have a great degree path “that I’m interested in,
but also, I know their “League of Legends team is coming, “I can try out for that, and
there’s a good possibility “that I could make it, because
this is their first year.” So, just in terms of getting
onto the actual team, I think there’s a lot of really
good opportunity for that, as opposed to other schools
where you might experience a lot more competition
just in simply even getting an opportunity to try out, or fill a role, or something like that. – Some of the kids that have come in, that were playing sort
of casually, or whatever, they’re like, “oh I’m just, I’m
a gold Rocket League player, “platinum Rocket League player,” sometimes when you come
into the structure, you just instantly improve just because, whether it’s a mentality, or equipment, or just playing and
getting better in general, like these guys improve like crazy. That’s really fun to see. – Let’s say we might have a
League of Legends team that does vary in terms of
rank, just initially, and so I know for that
Rocket League player, he felt a sense of responsibility
to get to that level that his peers were at, and it wasn’t something
that I forced upon him, it wasn’t something I said, “you needed to get to
diamond three by April 17th,” it was more along the lines
of that player looking at his peers and feeling
a sense of responsibility and so I always keep
coming back to the lessons that you can learn through
playing, through esports, and so whenever parents, and
teachers, and administrators ask me, where does the value lie in
terms of playing esports, even at the collegiate level, well, traditional sports is an avenue in which I can improve myself as a person, and so I believe that esports is a also another avenue in which
I can take those same types of skills and learn, and develop, and League of Legends is, it’s
a lot of critical thinking. It’s a lot of reaction, it’s a lot of communication
with your teammates, and it’s one of the most
difficult games there is, and so in terms of, how do I process information very quickly, how do I communicate with my teammates in very tight situations, I think those are skills
that are invaluable, and it’s a type of
applied learning that you may not get in other schools, so. (electronic music) – Thank you so much for watching. Please subscribe and
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