On Saturday, Oct. 12, well before the crack of dawn, hundreds lined up outside Capital One Arena in anticipation of Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s Riot-Sanctioned Official East Coast Worlds Viewing Party Hosted by Team Liquid. For those in attendance - who claimed their free tickets in a matter of three minutes a couple weeks prior – it was a tailgate with a twist.
With a menu consisting of Razorbeaks and Waffles, Nunu-tella Stuffed French Toast, Fourth Frittatas, Biscuits of the Iron Solari and of course Spicy Vlads (also known as Bloody Marys), League of Legends fans settled into the Budweiser Brew House at 6 a.m. to enjoy not only great food but terrific camaraderie. The sense of community was palpable. Attendees shared tips with one another while playing 1v1, sported matching Team Liquid-provided t-shirts and even rooted for a new friend who was shaking with excitement after winning a desperately-needed Alienware Desktop as part of the raffling of some great prizes. The gift cards from our partners at Giant were another hot commodity, although I can guarantee no one left the party hungry.
Game time surely didn’t disappoint either. Team Liquid took care of business with a commanding victory over MAD in Group C play, much to the delight of the TL faithful. Chants and cheers echoed throughout the Brew House and into the concourse, where another large group was gathered at overflow seating to accommodate the maximum capacity crowd. And they weren’t just watching at Capital One Arena. Worlds 2018 established a new record for the most viewers in the history of esports and unlike college football, they are doing so at a global level. Whether it’s in the U.S., Sweden, Denmark, Russia, China or South Korea, fans are not only engaged but are now actively seeking fellow enthusiasts for companionship and community.
At Monumental, we are so proud to play a role in creating memories that last a lifetime and bringing people together through their love of sports, and now esports. With a burgeoning millennial population and vast amount of tech talent, I think Washington, D.C. is well on its way to becoming an esports capital, as well.