With the recent close of San Diego Comic Con 2014, and the upcoming New York Comic Con (hosted by ReedPOP), I have been receiving questions in the loltiers.com inbox regarding the League of Legends presence at NYCC. The two questions that I have perhaps been asked the most are as follows; Will Riot Games have a booth? Do people cosplay as League Characters? Respectively, my short answers are “Unlikely at this year’s Comic-Con” and “most certainly yes.”
In addressing the first question, there is no indication on New York Comic Con or Riot’s websites (as of now) regarding an appearance at Comic Con. Riot Games has not had a booth or panel at NYCC over the past few years, so if the trend follows, then we will unfortunately not see them this year. However, that does not mean that there will be a lack of a League of Legends presence at this year’s pop culture event, nor does it exclude the possibility of official representation in the upcoming years.
League of Legends is one of the fastest growing gaming communities currently out there. The game boasts a whopping 67 million players monthly, and 27 million players daily. In just one year, that is an increase of 35 million monthly players, and an increase of 15 million daily players. Adding to the explosive growth in the number of players is the growing popularity of League of Legends pro-gaming.
This growth has spilled into the Comic Con attending audience, apparent from the rising number of League of Legends cosplayers at both SDCC and NYCC. SDCC even had a panel this past year called “Evolving the League of Legends Experience,” in which members of Riot’s game-designing team met with fans and talked to us fans about what it took to create the game. On the official League forums website, there are threads created by fans to organize meet-ups with fellow fans and players at Comic Con. I’m actually still Facebook friends with an Ahri and Teemo that I met last year. In fact, I hadn’t even stepped onto the main floor of NYCC last year before running into a group of devoted League cosplayers posing together for a photo.
Comic Con is no longer an event solely for comic book readers. It is a pop-culture “Mecca” for everything in the Entertainment industry, from film, to video games, to television. Last year, the Electronic Sports League held a world-class StarCraft II competition. Sitting on the floor of the viewing room, craning my neck to see my fellow Koreans representing, was a very exciting experience. If the immensely popular StarCraft II has managed to make it to Comic Con, then we can expect to one day see League of Legends there as well, as the free-to-play League is slowly rising up meet the older StarCraft franchise (and perhaps even surpass it). Until such day, keep your fingers crossed, get a costume together, and I will see you all there.