What is League of Legends? Read all about it in this interview with the team.
EUR gamers at League of Legends World Championship in Taiwan
The Erasmus eSports students compete against 41 country teams for the world title of the…
Prior to the championships, the team had hoped to make the top-16, but they just missed out on doing so. Despite that setback, the students enjoyed the spectacular experience. “The competition was a lot bigger than any we’ve ever seen in the Netherlands. A Chinese pop star performed during the opening ceremony, and the national broadcaster was in attendance. The gaming stadium had a capacity of ten thousand. The stadium wasn’t always fully sold out, but it was obvious that eSports are a lot bigger in Asia than they are at home,” said Van Deuzen.
The day of the team’s arrival was tough. After a fourteen-hour flight, the team had to take the bullet train from the capital Taipei to Kaohsiung, where the event was held. When the team arrived at its hotel at around 11pm, they were told they needed to have their photos taken. “We had just completed a 25-hour journey, so as you can imagine, we were pretty exhausted.”
The team suffered a setback when it was found that one of its players, Michael Chen, was not allowed to play. “He has a Surinamese passport. No one gave him any hassle about that at previous competitions, but this time round they were a little stricter.” Thankfully, Alwin Knop, who had originally travelled with the team to look after its social media, was allowed to take Michael’s place on the team.
There was another problem, as well. The team had not been able to practise beforehand. “One of our team members has been in Hong Kong for a while now,” said Van Deusen. “Since we live so far away from each other, the connections between the servers are too slow for us to practise together. And in Taiwan we were unable to practise because we didn’t have an account that works on Asian servers. As a result, we hadn’t played together for quite some time.”
The fact that the team managed to come 20th (out of 41 countries) despite two defeats and zero victories was due to the great number of teams being disqualified. “Professional gamers are not allowed to compete at these Worlds. Only semi-pros and amateurs are allowed to take part. Countries such as Finland and Serbia had players who were ranked too highly and so weren’t allowed to compete,” said Van Deuzen.
Rowdy Dutch people
Due to its two defeats, the Dutch team did not need to play after Day 1, which allowed them to spend the next few days sight-seeing, attending meetings on eSports and watching other teams’ matches. But while the Dutch team no longer had a role to play in the competition, they managed to set themselves apart from their fellow competitors in a different way. “We were the rowdiest team by far. For instance, we sang the national anthem in the stadium. I’ll tell you, the other teams definitely heard us sing.”
Erasmus eSports expects to have a better showing next year. “This year’s League of Legends team has already improved. Furthermore, we will schedule more friendly matches in the run-up to next year’s competition, because if you can’t play together for weeks, you’ll have a hard time of it at the world championships.”
South Korea ended up winning the competition, beating Macau 3-0 in the final.