To begin with, the truth that the sentence in that headline is even attainable to kind is pretty outstanding. An expert League of Legends league has a couple of music video — insane. But it surely’s true, the LEC’s latest video, “Reckless With My Coronary heart,” which presents an emo rock tackle the departure of longtime star Fnatic participant Martin “Rekkles” Larsson to rival group G2 Esports, has been on repeat on my telephone because it launched earlier this week.
On the time of writing, the music video has greater than 470Okay views on YouTube and 29.5K performs on Spotify. On high of being a humorous idea with some humorous LoL-associated strains, it’s truly track that’s enjoyable to hearken to. However, the explanation I’ve been fixated on this video isn’t simply the truth that the track is caught in my head, it’s the truth that it exists in any respect.
Esports leagues have an inherent drawback they need to clear up. Sponsors wish to connect to content material as a result of it supplies a a lot better degree of engagement than a easy brand slap. For an esports league, the perfect asset you’ve (in idea) for content material is the gamers and their groups. We noticed this method within the early days of the LCS which produced movies that noticed gamers go minigolfing, or a hype trailer that looking back is likely one of the funniest issues nonetheless out there on YouTube — gamers operating by means of a parking storage.
There’s two huge issues with this technique in esports. First, professional gamers don’t have plenty of time to take part in your goofy movies. They’re practising for hours on finish and would higher serve their private model by streaming of their downtime. Plus, most esports execs are simply tremendous awkward on digital camera. Many video concepts and interview subjects that will appear nice on paper simply don’t work out in apply as a result of so many execs nonetheless lack media and leisure coaching or the expertise to have a powerful on-camera presence.
A couple of years in the past, the LEC uncovered the answer to this drawback: flip your commentary crew into your content material belongings. They have already got expertise on-camera entertaining an viewers, and their voices and faces are extremely recognizable to your viewers. And so, the LEC started pumping out distinctive content material not seen in another esports league. Rap battles, music movies, evaluation segments wherein your analyst is dressed up like a tree, the LEC’s content material all stays centered on its league and the gamers, however the comedy and leisure comes from the individuals skilled to take action.
To me, the best instance of this isn’t the music movies, however the 2020 Summer time Cut up hype video, titled “Our League is f****** nice!” In comparison with the operating video from 2013, we will see a large evolution towards embracing comedy and focusing the supply of that comedy on the entertainers.
Esports leagues must be constructed across the competitors. This video talks concerning the groups, the matchups, all of the on-paper causes you’d watch an esports competitors. Nonetheless, the explanation the video is entertaining is due to the commentators.
We now have already seen the LEC leverage its content material output for sponsor activations by means of a number of music movies sponsored by KIA, however the league doesn’t simply make an entertaining video when a sponsor shells out for it. “Reckless With My Coronary heart” is a whole track and music video that’s simply selling this weekend’s contest between Fnatic and G2, it isn’t straight serving any model companions. By persistently churning out participating content material, the LEC builds worth for its model as a complete, which brings extra consideration to the league itself, and inevitably to its companions.
This week I’ve seen YouTube channels that don’t have anything to do with League of Legends reacting to and hyping up this newest video as a result of it’s only a good track with high quality manufacturing worth. Some channels will then return and react to the LEC’s earlier movies, together with these sponsored by KIA, bringing the model an exponential return on the activation.
Esports could also be constructed round competitors, however within the present period of the web, content material is king. The LEC has proved out the facility of investing in participating content material and is now reaping the rewards by means of sponsorships, rising viewership, and a degree of outdoor cultural consciousness that reveals simply how a lot additional esports can develop as increasingly firms spend money on correct content material creation.