LoL Worlds 2023: "We Are All In On Esports" - Riot Reveals New Virtual Pass

The League of Legends World Championship is going to try something new in 2023, by adding more virtual fan experiences... for a price.

Worlds 2022 Semi Finals
LoL Worlds 2023: Riot is looking to test out some new things for virtual fan experience. | © Riot Games

LoL Worlds is going to be taking place in South Korea this year, which means that many North American and European fans can’t make it to the live event in the different cities. But, Riot wants to keep fans engaged with the event and are going to be testing a new virtual fan-package.

In an effort to continue the growth of esports at Riot Games, for both VALORANT and League of Legends, as well as any other esports medium, Riot is working on some new ways to engage esports viewers. In a recent blog post, John Needham, President of Esports, revealed some of the plans Riot had for the future of LoL esports.

LoL Worlds 2023: Future Of Esports Broadcasts

John Needham went on in his blog post explaining the future of esports and how they differ from traditional sports. One of the key differences are broadcast rights, with streaming websites not paying to be able to own the broadcast rights to big esports events.

Needham explained that thanks to the years of experience in the esports scene, Riot has already established a decent viewership on their own platform, and that Riot feels they can even further the viewership by introducing more virtual engagement with fans who can’t make it to the stadiums and games live.

Riot To Test Virtual Live Event Experiences

One of the key things Riot is looking to do, and something they will test out during the 2023 League of Legends World Championship in South Korea, are online live experiences. One of those is going to be a “Virtual Pass” which viewers can buy.

Fandom for esports is much more global (vs. city-based), the virtual nature of esports doesn’t require a big arena or stadium for competitions, and almost all of our viewers are watching online exclusively.

Because of this, many teams cannot interact with their fans at live-events which is where the idea of the Virtual pass has come in. According to Needham the Virtual Pass will give fans:

  • A rich online Worlds viewing experience;
  • A bundle of products and services at a tremendous value;
  • More ways to express their fandom and excitement.

This bundle will include things like an exclusive variant of the Worlds skin, an in-game event pass and other exclusive content. Fans can also receive exclusive Worlds merch, as well as good from sponsors of the event.

Riot will also want to expand this into some of their other esports titles like VALORANT.

Riot will also want to create team-specific passes with which teams will also receive a part of the revenue. What these team-specific passes look like are still a mystery and whether they’ll be ready for Worlds 2023 was also not mentioned.

According to Needham, Riot is going to continue to work on expanding their esports business and help grow their leagues, as well as bring in new games that will carry esports.

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