Yesterday, Riot Games made a big splash in the gaming community with their promotional videos released to hype the new ranked season of their flagship game, League of Legends. The first video, titled Awaken, was immediately a hit for the popular characters that it featured as well as the almost-lifelike character animation. Featuring fan-favorite characters such as Jhin, the Virtuoso, and Draven, the Glorious Executioner, Awaken tells separate stories in-universe of battles between champions in League of Legends and emphasizes their persistence and unwillingness to give up in the face of adversity. Awaken was praised by fans for its beautiful design, impressive animation, and faithfulness of its characters to their canon characterizations, but I don’t think it holds a candle to the other video released yesterday.
Season 2019: A New Journey wasn’t actually meant to be released today. Meant to commemorate the start of the new season tomorrow, the video was posted on Reddit yesterday and is still not listed on the League of Legends Youtube channel as of this article. Season 2019: A New Journey tells a single narrative rather than Awaken, and it’s not an in-universe story. Rather, A New Journey tells the story of a Yasuo main. She finds herself in a slump that she can’t seem to get out of, until she finds a team to play with, a League of Legends club at what seems to be her university. Her new team lifts her back up and together they succeed. Now, it may not be as flashy or as ubiquitous at Awaken was for the playerbase, but A New Journey brings me some hope. Featuring a college team shows something that Riot has really never paid any attention to before: the collegiate scene. Their initial efforts, ULoL, fell by the wayside fairly quickly, and all of Riot’s attempts at starting a competitive college scene transferred over to CSL, which has been frustrating, to say the least. The ULoL program is still around, but Riot brushed it under the rug for most of its lifetime, until now, that is.
Hey there! I work on the NA Collegiate program at Riot.
Tournaments and live local events are great for finding people to team up with, however if you’re in college, a ton of campuses have League of Legends/esports clubs where you can find IRL people to play with like in this clip.
Here’s a link to the NA club finder page: https://ulol.na.leagueoflegends.com/find-a-club
— /u/yumaranken, Jan 21, 2019, 1:37 PM CST
Even hearing that Riot has a collegiate program gives me enough hope to write this article. Before now, it seemed like Riot couldn’t care less about their college players, at least from a competitive perspective. Traditional college sports are still important and widespread, as anyone who lives in Oklahoma should know, and Riot ignoring their college competitors for so long seemed insane considering their market. But seeing this advertisement featuring a college team of League players makes me optimistic for Riot’s future involvement in the collegiate League of Legends scene, even if it’s only at the community level.
If you’re a League of Legends player looking for a team like in A New Journey or you’ve never played a day in your life and need help getting into the game, OU Esports club is the perfect place for you to make your home. OU Esports club is also hosting a League of Legends tournament on February 2nd at the Carson Engineering Center on the University of Oklahoma campus
EDIT: 1/23/19: Riot Games has released their own article about A New Journey, explaining that this video was inspired by the true story of a League of Legends player who joined her college club and found new friends. Check it out here!
Join OU Esports club here
Learn more about Feb 2’s League of Legends tournament here