Friday, January 26, 2018

How I Fell In Love With Esports

NA LCS Spring Split 2014
It was Season 3 Worlds for League Of Legends. That was wayyyyy back 2013, just after my debut novel came out. I was aware of the MOBA genre of games, but I didn't actually play them because...

Guys, I'm the queen of sore losers.

I could see myself being a giant ball of rage, and that just wasn't good for my health or the safety of my family. But my husband played and it looked cool. When Worlds came around that Fall, the hubs turned it on for kicks. I was like, "What is THIS?"

Then I proceeded to watch it every second I could. I watched more than my husband, and he just laughed because he didn't expect me to be so on board so quickly. Which is silly, because I've always liked gaming...but this did have a "sport" element and I never liked those. Being able to watch an entertaining, informative, professional stream without suffering the losses myself? It. Was. Perfect. That was the year of SKT's first Worlds win, and watching their domination and skill cemented my love for this new thing in my life.

And then I watched the next Spring split. Even found my way to the L.A. Studio to watch it live. And then the Summer. And Season 4 Worlds. I've been watching ever since—following the leagues all over the world, getting into off-season player moves, watching how the production has evolved, studying the narratives they build around players and teams.

What I fell in love with first? That the games had commentators who helped me, a relative noob, follow along. It was a bonus that I didn't have to listen to the endless swear words you have to endure if you watch a single player's stream on Twitch. It brought a sense of credibility. Of accessibility. And those casters drew me in until I could understand the game on my own.

Then I fell in love with teams and players. A story builds as these teams battle on the rift, and the author in me grew to love learning about how each player got to where they were. I love the ones struggling to make their names as much as those who are on the top. I've grown to appreciate the rivalry narrative in a way I never have before.

I also fell for the production. I was a techie in high school, and all the work that goes into producing a quality show...I notice those things. And LoL put a lot of attention into that side, which made the tournaments look even more legit and credible, because they were presented with good design.

Naturally, this new passion found its way into my writing, and THE VENGEANCE CODE is a result of that. In fact, I watched a lot of pro-gaming while writing the novel. If you're familiar with LoL, you'll probably see a lot of similarities between the MOBA in TVC (which I call Heroes Of Gaia, of HoG [yes, bad abbreviation was totally intentional]), though I chose to simplify a lot of concepts in hopes of making it clearer for people new to Esports.

Spring Splits have just started up in League Of Legends, so if you're every curious to know more about what inspired THE VENGEANCE CODE, check out You better believe I'm watching while I draft this sequel! (Watching the new Overwatch League as well, if you're into that.)


  1. I've heard of esports, but that's pretty much as far as it's ever gone.

  2. Cool! I never got into LoL, but I've watching some Clash Royale and Rocket League, and it's pretty fun. I like how you put words to why it's fun.