[LPL Journey] A Tour of RNG's Home Venue: LPL Marks an Important Milestone In the Development of Esports

With their recent success in international competitions and implementation of its regional franchise system, all attention surrounding League of Legends esports turned to China. Being the very first region to adopt a 'home-away' system, LPL marked an important milestone in the development of League of Legends and esports as a whole. Going forward, the LPL will be an important example for different leagues and gaming organizations worldwide.

Similar to traditional sports including basketball and baseball, the LPL teams began building their own private home venues spread across China. Out of the six LPL home venues that have been established so far, RNG's is perhaps the largest as of yet. Accounting for its massive size, it was hard to believe that a venue of this scale was built solely dedicated to RNG's League of Legends esports team.

Located in Beijing, China, the RNG venue is surrounded by restaurants and buildings hosting many different kinds of recreational activities. The venue is also highly accessible for the fans who use public transportation, as it's placed at a sports plaza, less than a kilometer away from the Wukesong train station. On the 7th, for our first episode of the series, "LPL Journey," our team paid a visit to the RNG venue.

▲ With just a bit of walking from the Wukesong station, our team arrived at the venue.
▲ The back of the building
▲ The front entrance
▲ Two hours before the match even began, the waiting line nearly circled the entire building.
▲ RNG venue's official announcer interacting with the media near the front entrance.
▲ The gates opened, and the fans started piling in.
▲ After a brief security check at the lobby, we were greeted by life size standees of each RNG player. Fans used them to take memorable photos with their favorite pros.
▲ The lobby of the venue
▲ All visiting fans were given a couple of free souvenirs upon request.

At the far left end of the lobby, was the RNG souvenir shop. Featuring various quality items for sale, ranging from mugs to keyboards, the shop was a popular corner at the venue. 

▲ The arena, approximately an hour and a half before the match began.
▲ The player walkway that's placed right in-between the two playing teams.
▲ The players' point of view from the stage.
▲ The VIP seats are placed one floor above the regular seats.
▲ RNG's trophies were showcased at the back of the arena.
▲ The RNG players eating their meal at the waiting room before their game.
▲ A couple minutes before the game officially began, RNG's hypeman and announcer climbed up on stage to interact with the fans.

With a sounding horn, the banners of the playing teams lit up to signal the beginning of the match. All the fans hurried to their seats.

Although the match is being played during the middle of a regular season, it felt as if it was a Finals event. The energy that the fans brought into the stadium was overwhelming, with every single seat at the arena purchased and occupied. Without any delay, the coaches of each team hopped onto the stage to begin the drafting phase of game 1. 

▲ Despite the large size of the arena, all the seats were sold out.
▲ Royal Never Give Up
▲ Suning Gaming
▲ The LPL commentators.
▲"Suning Gaming: victory!"

After the match, the fans packed their things to leave the arena. Although the result of the match could've easily been a heartbreaking one for the many RNG fans who attended the event, most of them left the building, smiling. 

At the end of the day, our team was thoroughly impressed with the design and the overall structure of the venue, inside and out -- all the elements that make an esports viewing experience great were present at the location. Hoping to make a second visit in the future, we made our way to the exit of the building.

▲ The venue had a whole different atmosphere to it during the night.

The "LPL Journey" Series (Will Be Updated):

2. [LPL Journey] LPL Commentator Raz on Life in China, the Development of the Region, and the LCK vs. LPL Matchup

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