League of Legends Champions are getting another boost of visibility after a deal with Coca Cola has them appearing on packaging for the popular carbonated drink. The marketing campaign is part of a large advertising push for the upcoming LoL World Championship being held in October.
These drinks are currently only available in South Korea, although developer Riot Games is being quiet about the possibility of the promotion extending to other countries. Considering how popular the game is across the world, it would be a crime if the Koreans were the only ones to enjoy being able to collect the cans.
The LoL World Championship will see 16 teams from around the world divided into four groups. Two of those groups will play out the group stages in Taiwan, while the other two will play the group stage in Singapore. The top two teams from these groups will then go on to compete in the finals in South Korea. It could be likely that these special edition LoL Coke drinks end up in these three countries, although that would mainly be speculation.
Polygon has also spoken to the Riot’s Head of EU eSports, Jason Yeh, about the future of eSport athletes when they grow too old to be competitive. Most of these athletes retire from professional gaming by their late-20s as they lose the twitchy reflexes and reaction times that are necessary to play at that level. An age that is far younger than most athletes from physical sports; although the starting age of these players is also much younger.
The Riot Games is now working on coaching these professional gamers to build their own personal brand, which should ensure some amount of career longevity. This includes summits on interview techniques and general media training. Essentially the same kind of guidance that professional athletes that are receiving.
“We’re influenced a lot by real world sports here,” says Yeh. “The NFL has a ‘Rookie Symposium,’ for example. It’s basically an orientation program which is similar to what we’re doing.”
Considering that many young gamers look up to this new breed of eSport athlete, it really wouldn’t hurt for them to present a more professional image to the public. Which could be what Riot is attempting to achieve by coming down hard on pro-gamers who have bad behaviour with bans. This looks like another step in the right direction for the world’s most played MOBA.