Esports is all about competition, so it’s no surprise that feuds exist between fans of different games even if they are of the same genre.
One of the most notable rivalries is between fans of League Of Legends and Dota 2, two of the most popular multiplayer online battle arena games (MOBAs).
As the two titles share the same roots – Defense Of The Ancients (Dota), a mod based on Blizzard’s World Of Warcraft III – the debate continues as to which is the better game.
Though developer Riot Games offers multiple maps and modes, the most popular is Summoner’s Rift in which two teams of five champions attack each other’s bases.
Housed in each base is the Nexus, a giant crystal that periodically spawns computer-controlled minions that will help players attack enemy champions and their valuable structures.
Defeating the minions earns gamers experience points for levelling up their champions and gold for buying equipment.
Players can also take on monsters – neutral units that don’t take sides – for even more rewards.
However, the ultimate target is the other team’s Nexus, as destroying it is the only way to win the game.
There are over 150 champions to choose from – one of the latest is Gwen, a live doll who wields giant scissors and needles as weapons.
However, unlike Dota 2, players are only given access to a limited number of champions and have to pay to unlock the rest.
Fame over fortune
Riot organises its own eSports tournaments – 12 professional leagues hosted all over the globe lead to the League Of Legends World Championship, one of the most watched eSports events.
Held annually since 2011, the World Championship finals in 2019 drew 44 million concurrent viewers at its peak.
Though its viewership is far higher than for Dota 2 – which attracted only 1.9 million viewers for its finals for the same year – League offers a smaller prize pool.
For instance, the 2019 World Championship had a prize purse of US$2.2mil (RM9.1mil), while Dota 2’s The International 2019 paid out a total of US$34.3mil (RM141.3mil).
The World Championship winner also brings home the Summoner’s Cup, an oversized chalice that actually lights up.
Though Riot ordered it to be 70 pounds (32kg), trophy maker Thomas Lyte shaved it down to 16kg so it would be easier to carry. In comparison, the FIFA World Cup trophy weighs only 6.1kg.
The top Malaysian earners, according to tracking site eSports Earnings include Sia “QaspieL” Sze Pin with US$22,545 (RM92,900), Poon “OzoraVeki” Kok Sing with US$17,997 (RM74,150) and Jonathan “Xare” Chan Mun Shum with US$12,726 (RM52,450).
Sia, Poon and Chan were also part of Team Malaysia, along with Adrian “Shiro” Lee Meng Xuan, Chan “Arrhedge” Roong Han and Tee “Xeno” Chen Yen.
They represented the country at the 2018 Asian Games though it was a demonstration event for eSports that did not award medals.
League is one of the eSports titles chosen to be part of the upcoming South-East Asian (SEA) Games in November in Vietnam.
This is the second time the regional sporting meet is featuring eSports as a medal event, though the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines included Dota 2 but not League.
This year, it will feature in two categories: Under PC games which is team based and mobile games for its League Of Legends: Wild Rift title with men and women competing in separate divisions.
Just like with offline sports, many fans enjoy watching the game even if they don’t play it themselves.
Riot helps viewers keep track of match dates and results on its site LOL eSports, while also streaming matches on Twitch and YouTube.