The “No Worlds Club” that could be

Mush 2021-10-20 04:46:01
  I’d like to preface this article by saying that I am well aware of how much of an impossibility a “B-Stream” would be for a Riot game, no less their flagship title. Despite this, I’d still like to go over the reasons why one would work so well with the amount of talent and tools available in League of Legends nowadays. So, with all that said, let’s go over this impossible reality that perhaps is being cherished by LoL fans in an alternate universe.  League of Legends streams are extremely popular. Some regions might see viewership drop, but even when that’s the case, another region will balance the numbers back up by seeing an increase in viewership simultaneously. LCS dropped, LEC rose, LCK has been on a steady rise year on year and LPL too, although to a smaller extent, for various reasons. When the two biggest international competitions of the year come, the numbers top the charts, even in games that don’t really matter. Regardless of all this, every year I tune into Worlds, I can’t help but wonder how much more we could have with the sheer amount of people we have surrounding the game.  Every region has their casters, analysts, hosts, interviewers who do their job extremely well. A lot of them are heavily focused on their own regions, and even those who follow others will never achieve the same level of expertise they have regarding their “home” teams. Since it is impossible to fit all of them into the main stream, we often have cases of games, for example, between two LPL teams, with no LPL expert on the broadcast. Adding to this, a lot of talented people do not have a chance to show their prowess or expertise on the Worlds Stage because the bigger names will always be prefered over them, even if they have a much better understanding of their own region’s teams. This seems like an unsolvable issue, but what if we had an alternative to the Riot stream? We’re already seeing the immense popularity of co-streams, but that is still mostly a broadcast consisting of one or two people talking to a mic. They’re entertaining, sure, but usually people only tune into the stream because they follow the specific content creator. It is an alternative to the main broadcast, but it isn’t remotely close to what the Riot stream is doing. Yet, the co-streams are a good example of what could be done if we had something similar to Richard Lewis’ “No Majors Club” in CS:GO.  The “No Majors Club”, for those who are unfamiliar, is a much less formal broadcast organised by Richard Lewis, Sam and others. It effectively co-streams the Major’s games (the equivalent to a Worlds or MSI in LoL) with multiple guests, analysts, pro players, ex-pros and even casters. Although it obviously doesn’t have the production value of the main broadcasts, it sits between it and a normal co-stream. Now, to reiterate the article’s first paragraph, I am well aware that Riot would never allow for this to happen, let alone involving the people that I am going to mention, but bear with me on this “what if”.  Let’s use Worlds 2021 as an example. Right now we have an incredible amount of content surrounding the tournament. Summoning Insight, Dexerto’s The Jungle, The Crackdown, Facecheck, The Dive, Euphoria, LS and Dom are costreaming it, CaptainFlowers is restreaming it, Thorin is creating his live desks. If we go beyond audiovisual content, a lot of people tweet their opinions during the games, familiar names like Kelsey Moser, Peter Dun, Shakarez, etc. What if we could create this “No Majors Club” LoL stream combining these resources?  A lot of these people interact with each other and even host podcasts together. We know they have an already built synergy between them which would translate easily into a sort of B stream. Imagine a stream whose desk is Thorin, Monte, Dom and LS. Sure, it wouldn’t be for everyone, but that’s why it is just an alternative to the already available stream. Their sizable audiences prove that a lot of people would still watch this B stream, and the possibilities for it are endless. Perhaps when the last day for Group B happened, we could’ve had Captainflowers and Zirene casting the C9 miracle run live. When DFM made it out of play-ins in first place, we could’ve had a stream with Nymaera as a special guest. What about a PCS expert to let us know more about PSG?  League of Legends is a game with a long history now, and a lot of names that were part of the broadcast talent have now moved on to work directly with teams. Who wouldn’t want a stream that includes Deficio and Papasmithy together again? And, if we do get an all LCK quarter final, we could feast our eyes and ears on a throwback cast from Monte, Doa and Wolf, who also worked together during the Overwatch League. A stream including Peter Dun and Kelsey Moser sharing their thoughts would likely be too complicated for the Riot stream, but would work perfectly in this alternative broadcast, and those fans who enjoy the more analytical side of the game would appreciate it. We’re lucky enough that so many talented people enjoy creating supportive content for League of Legends esports— and that the fanbase is diverse enough to enjoy different voices and opinions— but, at least for the foreseeable future, we’ll not see these creators having the possibility to create something bigger and more ambitious. It has at least been good to see the Riot Broadcast diversify a bit more and include people like Lyric and Chronicler to represent their respective regions.  Since we haven’t figured out a way to travel between alternate realities, I guess we just have to listen to the podcasts, watch the main broadcast or the costreams and keep wondering: What if?
If you enjoyed this piece, follow the author on Twitter at @Kaaaosh. Check out our LoL section for more coverage. Images courtesy of Riot Games.

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