NEW YORK, NY - JULY 28: Rick Fox attends Overwatch League Grand Finals - Day 2 at Barclays Center on July 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for Blizzard Entertainment )

Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for Blizzard Entertainment

There is no doubt that it’s been a great year for Riot Games and League of Legends even as they continue to deal with the fallout and rebuilding of a toxic culture. From their partnership with Luis Vuitton to nabbing several awards across various categories and shows League of Legends is on top of the esports world.

The grand finals this year in Paris between FunPlus Phoenix and G2 Esports even broke the Twitch record for peak concurrent viewers according to GitHyp. Previously the record belong to Fortnite and their black hole event “The End” that had the entire internet transfixed on the destruction and lead up to Fortnite Chapter 2. This is an impressive feat on its face when you consider that the broadcast time was in EU and therefore made it a bit of a challenge for a lot of western audiences to watch.

In light of all the eyes on League of Legends former NBA star and founder of the late Echo Fox made comments to Dexterto about the inherent nature of a global esports league versus a traditional sport like Football. “As much as we love football in North America, it’s not international to the level of gaming,” Fox explained. Fox went on to comment about how the numbers are just shy of beating out the viewers for the Super Bowl.

Robbie’s Thoughts: As esports continues to rise and younger demographics grow up with keyboards and controllers instead of baseballs and footballs, the gap between esports and traditional sports will continue to grow. The difference is, esports is going to go up and the traditional sports will go down. It’s nice to see a former player for a traditional sport recognize the value and power of esports. Of course, Rick Fox has seen that value early on with the founding of Echo Fox and his passionate involvement with all things esports. As more people start to realize the value in esports I hope we see more crossover in the way that the NBA and NFL are starting to embrace their virtual counterparts.

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