In Korea Internet Cafes are a very popular social venue for gamers, unlike in the West where we prefer our basements. Some shocking numbers have been released from GettoGold, a company who owns 40% of all internet Cafes in Korea. According to them, the game that’s being most played in their Cafes has shifted from League of Legends to Overwatch by less than 1%. League of Legends has been the juggernaut of PC gaming, not only in Korea but around the globe for some years now.
It should be noted that these statistics are coming solely for internet cafes, however it’s still a very large sample size and could very well be indicative of Korea’s feelings towards Overwatch and League of Legends. Another internet cafe in Korea shared their numbers and we see similar results, with League of Legends just barely in front of Overwatch by 1%.
Overwatch admittedly is a very fun game, but often these trends will die down due to the fact that many times these games don’t withstand the test of time. Let’s not give Overwatch too much credit though, a lot of this is Riot’s doing as well. In recent updates the League of Legends community has been more and more upset with the changes being put into the game, and it doesn’t appear Riot necessarily cares about what the true fans of the game really want.
Riot’s most recent queue updates with Auto-fill and the announcement that they will no longer be re-adding solo queue into the game after promising it for months has left the community outraged. Overwatch however is taking the stance of pleasing the community very seriously, which is being proven time and time again. During Overwatch’s beta there was a competitive mode put into the game that the players absolutely despised, it seriously needed some retooling. Blizzard’s response? They’ve completely reworked the ranked ladders and queues, and it will be releasing by the end of June.
Riot has been on their throne for a very long time, and this threat of a new game might be exactly what they need to make their game great once again. Riot grew their game by listening to the community and making groundbreaking movements in mainstreaming the eSports community, attracting people who weren’t players of League of Legends into the scene. With Blizzard breathing down Riot’s neck, the time to act is now. Riot needs to accept that they’ve made poor decisions regarding their game in recent months, or they’ll have to accept second place because Blizzard is listening to their players and are looking to push down the same path Riot did within eSports. With Overwatch not even being a month old, only time will tell how this will all pan out.