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Madison Square Garden, the largest arena in the country, 2 top League of Legend
teams play against each other like they do online, only this time with a screen
displayed big enough for the entire arena to watch. In 2016, approximately
15,000 fans came to the arena to watch the semi-finals of League of Legend.
League of Legends is an online video game where players control their character
in the game and fight other characters in an arena. The more they play, the
more “special weapons or powers” their character receives. (Blakely, par. 19) League
of Legends has approximately 100 million players. The founders, Brandon Beck
and Marc Merrill, have been die-hard video gamers since their teen years, and
built the business for fans just like them. They are successful because being
gamers themselves, they know what their fans want in their product. It seems as
if they created League of Legends to bring gamers together into a group: “They
will match their fans’ obsessiveness with their own. ‘It’s not just about
belonging’ says Merrill. ‘It’s our tribe, and it’s about love’. In fact, that’s
exactly why they started their company” (Blakely, 7). They make money by
allowing players to join the game for free, but charging them to upgrade their
character’s wardrobe, or get “cosmetic improvements” (Blakely, 19). Riot Games
has its own culture with not only the fans and players, but also with employees.
Riot Games wants employees who are fans of the games, so much so that managers
will look up an employment candidate’s account to verify how often they play
the game before hiring the candidate. They even encourage new hires to quit if after
six months they don’t fit the culture, by offering 10% of their salary (Blakely,
48). I don’t believe Riot Games is forever sustainable, because as much of a
success the game is currently, it isn’t the only one of it’s kind. The company
has competition in other popular video games such as World of Warcraft and
Halo. Finally, Merrill and Beck say that the idea for the game was founded on “improving
an online game they love” (Blakely, 6). With 100 million gamers out there, it’s
very likely that someone will at some point in the future create a video game
that rises above Riot games.


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Blakely, Lindsay, and Burt Helm. “Why Riot Games is
Inc.’s 2016 Company of the Year”., Dec 2016/Jan 2017,

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