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Riot Games to Independently Broadcast ‘LoL’ Champions Korea This Year

League of Legends” developer Riot Games is taking over broadcasting duties for its biannual LoL Champions Korea (LCK) esports competition starting this year, according to the Korea Herald.

South Korean cable channel OGN and “free-to-air” service Spotv both previously held the rights to broadcast LCK. While Riot Korea’s president, Lee Seung-Hyun, reportedly said in November 2017 it will continue to work with both companies, it will now produce the event independently. Riot told the Korea Herald it’s certain its ownership of the “League of Legends” IP will outshine its broadcasting inexperience.

“Our biggest strength is that we are the original developer and the IP owner of the game,” said Yi Min-ho, head of esports broadcasting at Riot Games in Korea. “We will build on the founding history of OGN and Spotv’s esports broadcasting, which the viewers are familiar with and what they expect. We have recruited the best cast for the realtime delivery of the games.”

LCK will have a more traditional sports format this year. It will air live via the SBS AfreecaTV channel in Korea and on online platforms Naver, AfreecaTV, and Facebook Gaming. Riot is also making an effort to cater to its global fans. It will offer English service on Facebook, the Korea Herald reports, and all pre-produced video content will have English subtitles as well.

Today’s news coincides with the September opening of Riot Korea’s new esports stadium LoL Park. The arena reportedly features 30 cameras, state-of-the-art LED screens, a surround-sound audio system, and more.

LCK Spring 2019 kicks off Jan. 16 with a match between SK Telecom T1 and Jin Air Green Wings. It will feature five consecutive days of first round games and four consecutive days of second round games, according to the Korea Herald. Tickets to the event reportedly sold out within two minutes.

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