Collegiate League of Legends is Awesome

When I first entered the League of Legends eSports scene over two years ago, I did a decent enough job of promoting collegiate LoL clubs and groups. I had IvyLoL and CSL admins on State of the League, and Doublelift and I even cast a few games.

As time went on, I got busier and distracted. I stopped paying as much attention to the growth occurring at universities in the west. It also felt difficult to promote collegiate level eSports, as it only interests league players attending places of higher education and any content built around it was difficult to get general engagement on. I still feel that the same problem exists, but I am going to actively attempt to promote and provide resources (possibly behind the scenes) to that group of players, because over the past month or so I have been reminded why collegiate League of Legends is awesome.

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Following in the footsteps of Snoopeh, Doublelift and I hoped to meet local fans in Seattle and Vancouver during our planned vacation for after worlds and suspected colleges might be the best bet. In the process of getting connected to representatives at University of British Columbia and the University of Washington, Doublelift randomly asked me to setup a fan meet for the one day break between Worlds group stages. Being Doublelift, he requested this as we fell asleep at his hotel (beside one another) the night before.

As soon as I woke up, I considered nearby locations and felt that a college still might be the best bet. I picked USC due to its proximity to Worlds venues and a rumor I heard about it having a solid eSports association. I didn’t have any contacts there, so I decided to go with Twitter.

Within minutes, Sam Brown– the president of the USC eSports Associaton reached out to me and helped organize a meetup. Due to their ability to mobilize the club so quickly, when Doublelift and I showed up, over 100 people were waiting for us despite it being announced only 3 hours prior. A week later, the club threw an even bigger fan meet with way more pro players and personalities. All the fans were courteous, nice, and respectful and everyone had a great time.

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Image Credits: USC eSports Asssociation

Immediately after the World Finals, Doublelift and I took our vacation to Seattle and Vancouver where we had two more fan meets.

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Image Credit: UPC

At the University of Washington, the Union of Purple Caster Minions hosted our event, all coordinated by Rahul Devanarayanan. Because we were able to announce it much earlier, Double and I broke the record we set at USC and filled a 250+ lecture hall with fans who listened to our hour long Q&A and then waited in a 2.5 hour long line to get signatures and pictures. At the end of our talk, we shared a sneak peek of our upcoming show. We were blown away and very much appreciated how nice everyone was.

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Image Credit: UBC eSports Association

A few days later, we were completely unprepared for how many people showed up at the UBC eSports Association fan meet in Vancouver, literally. Almost 750 people showed up across the several hours of our Q&A and signings. We had to come back a second day just to make sure everyone had a chance at a picture and a signature. I am thrilled that GameSpot had a chance to film the fan meet for one of the first episodes of TDvW and thanks so much to Adrian Fakstorp and Carman Lam for setting it all up for us.

After returning to Southern California: Doublelift, Xpecial, and I spent this past Sunday at a USC vs UCLA grudge match tournament and LAN party. Due to a friendly wager between the rival schools, the previously mentioned Sam Brown must now dye her hair blue (an event I hope to film/interview her about because I find it hilarious).

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Image Credit: USC eSports Association

All three university associations told us that we had helped provide more exposure to their clubs. As someone who graduated from college not too long ago, I love the idea that these groups are helping connect people who share a common interest. If there was a League of Legends or eSports association back at my alma mater, I was unaware of it but it is something I wish I had.

If you’re at a university, find your association. If you don’t have one, make one.

 

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by Travis Gafford, on October 22, 2013