Just like Warcraft, which is loved by many stars, well-known characters in disguise often visit Runeterra.
Sport stars are fully invested in the world of LoL, including NBA player Gordon Hayward, who wrote a blog entry in 2014 stating that he has undoubtedly the best athlete in the world at playing League of Legends. He has also tweeted about the game and stood up against sports media personality Colin Cowherd, who made fun of eSports in 2015. Hayward posted a hilarious picture of Cowherd that went viral for a while.
Another big name in the LoL scene is former football player of the Minessotta Vikings Chris Kluwe, who is well known for his activism in gaming. As he has stated more than once, for him eSports are like real life sports, where young adults compete in a team-oriented context that promotes healthy fun. He has also spoken about how this scene is becoming increasingly popular for the public audience, who is actually starting to watch (not only play) eSports as if they were watching a football game.
There have been world championships in stadiums that have attracted thousands of fans, not to mention the number of them that follow these games online and on TV (4.2 million in 2015).
Another big name in the LoL scene is American comedian, host, actress, writer, director and producer Aisha Tyler. She’s no stranger to the video game scene, as she appeared in Halo:Reach and Watch Dogs (Ubisoft), which features her voice. She has had to stand up for herself following some negative comments on the web about her performance in LoL and her presence in the eSports scene, having to remind haters that she’s been a gamer for a long time and that she plays because she loves it and not to prove a point.
There are also famous players that come from mental sports, like card star Daniel Negreanu, who is passionate about Hearthstone and has shown his love for the game on more than one occasion (on Twitter and interviews), as he actually includes the game in his routine. It makes sense that many card game players are into eSports, and this probably explains why these two scenes are actually very close to each other.
But going back to the celebs that are part of the LoL universe, we should not forget to mention Star Trek and Mission Impossible actor Simon Pegg, The Walking Dead actor Chandler Riggs, South Korean actress (and cast member of SNL Korea) Seo Yuri, Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst and other musicians including Daniel Williams from The Devil Wears Prada, or Imagine Dragons who actually created the unofficial anthem of League of Legends, “Warriors”.
These are a few of the stars we know of that play LoL, but with such an increasing popularity, it makes sense that many more famous celebrities will become more and more involved in eSports, both as sponsors and gamers.
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BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge
BIOGRAPHY: Kepa Arrizabalaga