LEC establishes Berlin as a European eSports Centre
Published by Giselle
June 10, 2019 4:33 am
The summer season of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) begins in Berlin on Friday. Five years ago, the European premier league in League of Legends (LoL) moved from Cologne to the German capital.
In the press release, Cologne was still described as the “capital of e-sports” at the time. Many important companies within the industry, such as ESL or Team SK Gaming, come from the West. But in the meantime, Berlin has overtaken the old “capital”. Also, because of the LEC.
The league is held in a TV studio in Berlin-Adlershof. LoL, developer Riot Games has turned it into an arena with around 200 seats for spectators. On Fridays and Saturdays, ten European teams compete against each other. A little bit is about prize money – but much more about qualifying for the international tournaments.
The LEC also brought some LoL teams to Berlin, such as Fnatic, H2k, Unicorns of Love and Origen. Teams that achieved world fame over the years, especially at the LoL World Championships held in Europe in 2015. At the same time, the game established itself as the most far-reaching e-sport title. Other e-sport greats that later established themselves, such as G2 Esports or Misfits Gaming, also moved to the German capital for this reason.
Both Misfits and G2 not only moved the location of their LoL team to Berlin, but they also built meeting places for interested fans and gamers. The already completed Misfits Arena is a mini-competition venue where fans can watch tournaments together, meet their e-sport helpers or play a round.
Also under construction is a Veritas Entertainment event area near Checkpoint Charlie. In partnership with G2 Esports, a “PC Bang” with over 30 computers is to be built here in addition to a tournament area. PC bangs are reminiscent of Internet cafés and are particularly widespread in Asia. The guests can use a PC for a small amount and play computer games.
Katowice and Stockholm other important European cities
However, not everything revolves around League of Legends in the Berlin e-sports scene. The at times hugely successful game Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) had its first international tournament in the Mercedes-Benz Arena last year, now the European league of this discipline will also be played in a Berlin exhibition hall. And the Mercedes-Benz Arena will also host a major international competition for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) in October.
Of course, there are also other important European cities in e-Sport, such as Katowice in Poland or Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. Madrid, too, is turning into an opponent of Berlin due to teams such as the Movistar Riders or MAD Lions.
However, it is doubtful that these cities will outstrip Berlin. The German capital has become too well established over the past few years. And it is unlikely that the existing and growing industry here will move again.