Canada had better brace itself for a sport that isn’t hockey, because Riot games is finally allowing the North American League Championship Series to go even farther north, holding the tournament in Toronto in August.
The tournament, which will be taking place from August 27 to August 28, has historically been focused mainly in America but will be coming to Canada for the first time.
Riot Games itself is based in California, along with every single one of the North American League Championship Series teams and all of its games. Moving the tournament to Toronto for a year actually gives it a chance to really be North American instead of just “Californian.”
However, despite many of the teams coming from California there are a large number of Canadian players on the various North American League Championship Series teams. These include WildTurtle, Lod, Altec, and Darshin.
Canada has also had its own success in League of Legends tournaments: the University of British Columbia has won the University League of Legends tournament champions for the past two years. Other universities have also jumped on to League of Legends, with Irvine’s University of California campus offering a League scholarship.
The tournament will be held in the Air Canada Centre, which isn’t as snazzy as Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay stadium or New York’s Madison Square Gardens, but is still home to the Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs, two of the more well-known teams in Canadian sports.
The event could help bring a large amount of money to the Air Canada Centre, especially with the increase in eSports awareness that is becoming more and more relevant. Having it in such an established venue might also get more possible League players into the game.
The success of the North American League Championship Series could also help to possibly make Riot bring the championship back to Canada from time to time, instead of just constantly holding it in the United States.