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Sun Sep 30 2018
A Look Inside Riot Games' LoL Park: The Future of LCK League of Legends Esports in South Korea
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Have you ever been on the Star Wars-Adventure Tour at Disneyland Resort? Or maybe you traveled to Universal Studios for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter ride? Are you waiting for the day for Riot to open a League of Legends theme park of its own? Well, wait no more, because Riot Korea is giving you a near similar experience as to going on a ride to a League of Legend theme park.

Starting next year, as we all know, Riot Games is taking over OGN's broadcasting. By doing so, they are also bringing the LCK esports viewing experience up to a whole new level. At the new Esports Arena Park, named LoL Park - located in central Seoul, audiences will have a chance to experience one of the best-constructed Riot facility of all times. And I'm telling you right now, for those want to travel to South Korea for the live esports viewing experiences, you won't be disappointed by what you will get.

Inside the arena: Enjoy Your LCK Viewing Experience With Three Large Telescreens 

Upgrading from the OGN's and SpoTV's rectangular stadium with a stage that separates audiences apart from the action happening in the center, the new LoL Park has a set-up that spirals down to the central circular stage. Not only does this allow the audience to have a better view of the live action games that happens in the center, but it also creates a feeling of involvement, as the stage and the audience seating area together feels like going on a ride in a big spaceship.

Spectator's perspective

The in-game red and blue side teams are marked by the red and blue color of the special effect lighting, and it extends up to the very back of the seating area. What makes the show experience more comfortable and enjoyable is, in every audience seat, there has a cup holder for anyone that wishes to enjoy some beverages and snacks while watching. Each seat is comfortably spaced, allowing people to move in between naturally without feeling the need to interfere with another person's personal space. This stadium has a capacity of 500 seats available, which is a big enough size for the regular everyday LCK fans.

The three big visual screens will leave no audience in a corner of not knowing what is going on in the game.

The main stage

Exterior Design: A Theatrical Projection View and The Artistic Fan Meeting Space

Located on the third floor of the Grand Seoul building, it is the center of Seoul's Jong-lo financial district. As audiences go up the escalator to the third floor, they will walk through a fancy hallway that leads them to the stadium. A Theatrical Projection of a surreal mountain waterfall alley is used to decorate the exterior of the stadium. Audiences will feel like they are actually walking into Summoners Rift when they enter the stadium.

Lobby

Walkway

Entrance to the arena

Exhibitions, The Riot Store, PC Cafe, and More:

If you did not purchase the ticket one a match day, or are there just to hang out with a friend, there is something for you to do too. A high-class PC Pang (Internet Cafe) is right outside for game lovers to use at their leisure. Just like all the other PC bangs that are located in South Korea, this one is scheduled to open 24 hours - all nights and days - whether it is or isn't a match day. You'll know where to go when you cannot catch the last train to go home after watching a match, or after attending a meet-and-greet for too long.

LoL Park comes with many amenities

24 hour PC Cafe

In the fancy walkway, there are two small exhibition areas. One showcases the uniforms for the 10 LCK teams, alongside with miniature figures of the players below each of the team uniforms.  On the other side there sits a big sculpture that depicts the in-game action of the Spring Season Finals of 2018 between Afreeca Freecs and KingZone DragonX. Just like at a movie theater or amusement park, LoL Park has a display area where you can pick and choose your favorite Riot merchandise to purchase.

Merchandise display

Intricate sculpture of Baron Nashor vs LoL champions

League of Legends merchandise store

The Fan Meeting and Cafe: 

On the side is a dining area for fans to hang out and talk about the game. The Fan Meeting area is also right by the cafe in the same corner. This section of LoL Park is nothing but artistic. Similar to Riot's L.A campus, Riot chose to visualize the "Bilgewater World" from the Riot universe for the fans, using it as the theme decoration of the cafe. With the stained glass windows by the seating area and the wooden furniture, alongside the pipes decoration on the rooftop around the cafe, it definitely gives you a feeling of the Bilgewater's way of life. It not only brings your imagination to life, but it's also is a great place to rest your feet, as a stop when you travel across Runeterra.

Bilgewater World cafe area

On the other hand, a hand-drawn League of Legends champions comic art wall decoration is shown right behind the fan meeting area. It is decorated and located just for pro gamers and fans to meet after the game. We were able to catch up with some live action drawing activities before the artwork is completed.

Players were enjoying some food together on the media open day at LoL Park:

SKT T1 Bang looking at the LoL Park Guide Map.

SKT T1 Faker looking at the LoL Park Guide Map.

Gen.G Ruler at the LoL Park opening.

Delicious catered foods available.

Backstage:

The backstage facilities at the new LoL Park are also top notch. The waiting and resting rooms are for the players and coaches. They look like a modern living room, but accompanied alongside by five high-tech gaming computers. There are also a specialized make-up room separated, with Hollywood vanity mirrors that really make the players feel like they are going on a TV broadcasting. The backstage opened resting area gives backstage staff, team managers, and players alike, a place to hang out upon their leisure. Most importantly, as a reporter myself, the newly designed media room is at least two times the size of OGN's media room, alongside with two small separated rooms designed just for one-on-one interviews.

Akshon Esports was honored to be invited to the opening media day for the LoL Park. Here are some extra snippets from the media day of players and events:

The 500-seat broadcast studio will host League of Legends World Championship Play-In Stages on October 1st, 2018 at the LoL Park in Seoul, South Korea.  The World Championship Play-In Stage starts on Oct. 1, with Cloud9 taking on KaBuM e-Sports at 1:00 a.m. PT /10:00 CET / 5:00pm KST.

Photo Credits: Riot Korea and Patty Yu for Akshon Esports

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