There were 13,000 at League of Legend’s world championships on Friday, making it one of the best sampling of eSports fans we’ve ever seen.
We could’ve asked questions, we could’ve asked for autographs, but, really, we just couldn’t help staring at a lot of them. As fellow eSport-lovers, these are our people.
The overcompensating “real” sports fan
How to spot them: Will be wearing a New York Yankees, New England Patriots, or other traditional sports team jersey. Will shout generic sports phrases like, “Take it to ’em!” and will reassure fellow fans that their team “left it all on the field” and “gave 110%.”
Reason for attending: Likely a big fan of eSports, but comes from a family that doesn’t understand it. He or she is likely undergoing an internal crisis as they try to fully understand and accept their newfound love of eSports.
The bored spouse/friend/parent
How to spot them: They’re constantly on their phone, but they aren’t bragging on Twitter or posting blurry photos of SaintVicious to Instagram. When everyone else jumps up to cheer, they grunt disapprovingly, shift their weight to the other side, and possibly cover their ears temporarily.
Reason for attending: Someone had to pretend to care as the fan recaps every game on the long drive home.
The over-dedicated team fan
How to spot them: Their team was knocked out of the tournament weeks ago, but they’re still trying to start chants for them. If unsuccessful, they’ll weasel their way into a seat behind the analysts’ desk so they can get their gigantic hand-made sign proposing to a member of the team on the livestream.
Reason for attending: They bought the tickets months ago, when their favorite team still had a chance at making it to the championships. They almost didn’t come, but then felt it was their duty to represent the team’s fanbase there.
The brilliant cosplayer
How to spot them: You may never actually see them directly, but you will see the mob of people constantly swirling around them taking photos, poking the costume, and shouting, “No, Jake, get over here right now! You won’t believe this!” into their cell phones while blocking the poor cosplayer’s progress toward their seat. If you’re fortunate enough to gain a glimpse of the obscured hero, you’ll find a meticulously and brilliantly crafted costume, often containing a fully functional vehicle or animal mount attachment.
Reason for attending: They may love League of Legends, but costuming is their true passion. These top representatives are lifetime cosplayers that love to build costumes for every convention or tournament they go to. League of Legends is their current craze, and they come so that their latest brilliant creation can be rightfully admired.
The lazy cosplayer
How to spot them: Unlike their brilliant counterparts, the lazy cosplayers come dressed as a champion’s alternate skin, usually themed after a real life profession. They found something in the back of their closet that vaguely reminded them of a champion skin and they ran with it. Ladies with a slutty nurse Halloween costume can claim to be Akali, and any dude with a fake sword is authorized to shout “DEMACIAAAAA!” all night long.
Reason for attending: They care about the eSports first and foremost. They traveled across the country to watch this series, and want to be able to watch it comfortably and unmolested.
The long-distance traveler
How to spot them: They’re napping before the series starts, nodding off during the post-match analysis, and drooling on their backpack by the time game five rolls around.
Reason for attending: They love League of Legends, they really do. In fact, they put more effort than almost anyone else to get here for the championship match. It’s just a shame they won’t remember half of it.