League’s advantage over traditional sports
League of Legends and Esports in general are contrasted by traditional sports in that the demographic involved in Esports is much more specific than that of traditional sports. Traditional sports are not dominated by a specific demographic. Some races may prefer basketball, others may prefer football and still others may prefer soccer. Nonetheless, every demographic, including age, gender and race is heavily represented in traditional sports. One potential advantage and disadvantage of League is how heavily concentrated within one demographic League is. It used to be that of males in their late teens to early twenties, but even that is expanding.
Initially, Esports was associated with only nerds playing games and watching other people play games. In the interest of the community that perception is slowly but surely changing as a legitimate form of competition. As Esports has expanded, the demographic of people that play League has expanded as well, with more and more females, older people and younger kids being introduced to the game. The game has transitioned from the nerdy stereotype to a game played by all races within the male demographic of early twenties and late teens. That is to say, the game has evolved into attracting all kinds of males, not only gamers.
Unfortunately, the game is still heavily dominated by the demographic of High school and college males, and this allows for considerable differences with traditional sports. We can observe traits or characteristic of people of this demographic throughout all aspects of the game. A few characteristics of this demographic are immaturity, trollness, interest in comedy and unprofessionalism. All these traits are not necessarily bad, they are just characteristics of the interest of a certain demographic. Everyone goes through different phases in life and there is nothing wrong with identifying them, and analyzing as to how they affect the game is marketed. There is nothing intrinsically wrong for someone to have a “trolly” personality, it is the job of the person to evaluate whether that it is something that provides personal satisfaction and whether he or she should continue to endorse such character. The same thing applies with the other traits, there is nothing wrong about being immature. Everyone is immature at some point in their lives, it is the job of the individual to determine if that is something he or she wants to adopt as a life-style. In modern times, immaturity has a negative connotation, but the way it is used here is just as generalization of a specific demographic and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that.
In particular, the NA and EU LCS broadcasts attempt to provide the most entertainment in light of their understanding of their audiences. The NA and EU broadcasts can be described as very trolly, and sometimes a little immature. They are trolly and immature relative to similar broadcasts in traditional sports. Which by the way, I find hilarious. The shows Primetime League and All-Chat are an exacerbation and satirical representations of the unprofessionalism we are discussing. All together, the leagues broadcasts, and the shows produced by Riot, even the popular videos by other sources like Sky and Thoorin, are specific examples that the community enjoys comedy as much as it does strategical analysis of the game and that is a wonderful thing.
The fact that the game is heavily dominated by a single demographic gives the ability to Riot to provide for more entertainment for their audience. Since most of all belong to that demographic, most of all will want something out of League related content that it is more specific than what the average Super Bowl viewer wants. The avergae Super Bowl viewer is not average at all. Almost half of the U.S population watches the Super Bowl and there is very little that unites them that can be specific enough to take advantage of, the thing that the average super bowl viewer likes is music and that’s what they get. However, in League we take advantage of the fact that we are immature, sarcastic, satirical and unprofessional people, and we can take advantage of that. Even though we all want League to expand because it will provide with some benefits, the specificity of the audience is something that will be lost as the game continues to expand.
The unprofessionalism of League and the small niche it targets can be seen as serious disadvantages, but they are in my opinion, big advantages over traditional sports in terms of the entertainment they are able to provide.