Stuff We Love: League of Legends' "Our Game"

December 13, 2017 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai

“I don’t know if that’s sports.”

“If you don’t break a sweat, I don’t consider a sport.”

“I don’t know if athlete is the right word.”

“[Watching people play video games] is one more step removed from human activity.”

These are just some of the sentiments expressed by critics of esports, who’d rather view the entire category as something illegitimate.

The reality however is quite the opposite. In fact, esports statistic database SuperData reported that the category has become a $1.5 billion industry and is expected to grow by an additional 26% by 2020.

Impressive numbers aside, the Stuff We Love in this video so much is all about League of Legends' conviction to embrace the haters, demonstrate its value and ultimately spell out that its community is what makes it so legitimate.

Especially with something like video games, which gets unfairly tied to things like laziness or complacency for not fitting the typical ‘sports’ image, League of Legends has its work cut out for itself.

While advertisers are eager to jump in on the game, the category itself is still so misunderstood.

Marketers can’t slap their logo on a tournament, nor can esports live to simply be a niche category forever.

It needs awareness beyond just the wall of its 385+ million of fans (not that that number is unimpressive – it certainly is).

So, relying on its community, as it does in this video, really gives LoL some added clout when it comes to brand equity.

Hear us out.

People misunderstand video games and set it aside as just a video game.

They don’t know that there are multimillion dollar prize pools, scholarships, sponsorships and millions of hours streamed by viewers.

But something that is a common thread for any kind of industry is knowing, identifying and reaching out to the community that supports whatever brand is in question.

The video taps into our emotions (and that of its already loyal community) in the usual way, generating our excitement by showing us roaring crowds and drumming up the anticipation as the camera focuses in on players in the zone.

Yet overall, the main idea comes at the end with a single line: “not just a sport, our sport.”

This really seals the deal. Because no matter what the critics say or misunderstand, fans and players of League of Legends don’t feel obligated to fulfill everyone else’s expectations.

Rather, they join together (or should we say league up) over their shared interest in adventure. Battle. Sportsmanship. Spectacle.

And forget whatever anyone else has to say.

That is some serious brand pride, something that can be difficult for brands to unabashedly express. Yet, LoL manages within 2.5 minutes to both dispel the misconceptions of nay-sayers and strengthen the bond of its fan base.

Forget the bells and whistles. To clearly outline what your brand is about, it needs to acknowledge the haters and stick to its story. Sometimes all people need is a little clarity, and this video gives it.

Well played.

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