League of Legends™ Premier Tour elevates Vienna to major eSports city status

May 22, 2018

Reed Exhibitions exclusively hosts the official Austrian qualifier for the LoL European Masters.

Vienna (22nd May 2018). – This year, what began in 2017 as the premiere of the largest ever live League of Legends (LoL) event in Austria, has now moved up to the European level. For the first time, Reed Exhibitions, ReedPOP and Riot Games have brought the LoL Premier Tour to Austria. The Austrian round of the tour is to take place at the Vienna Challengers Arena (VCA) at Messe Wien on the 17th & 18th of November 2018. It’s a unique opportunity for LoL gamers to pick up the vital Premier Tour points required to qualify for the LoL European Masters – the equivalent of the Champions League final of this globally popular online multi-player game.

Benedikt Binder-Krieglstein, CEO of Reed Exhibitions in Austria, is not alone in being thrilled to have landed such a coup: “It’s a quantum leap and a sensational achievement to have attracted the official tour’s winter season qualifying event to be held exclusively here in Vienna. The chance to host the League of Legends Premier Tour live on site, and to bring together the country’s masters of eSports for one competition, has launched the Vienna Challengers Arena into higher spheres. To draw a comparison with tennis, last year we hosted a ‘Challengers’ tournament, this year we’re welcoming the ATP 1000 Tour. Close cooperation with Riot Games has enabled us to pursue our goal of tailoring and developing young and dynamic events for new target groups.” Lance Fensterman, Global President of ReedPOP, explains: “The Reed Exhibitions’ subsidiary ReedPOP enables us as organisers to devote ourselves completely to pop culture, in particular to gaming, entertainment and comics. eSports are extremely popular at present and that’s where we’re investing all our energy. The fact that the LoL Premier Tour is coming to the Vienna Challengers Arena is the icing on the cake. Having established the VIECC Vienna Comic Con four years ago we can now offer an even bigger highlight in Vienna; something we are delighted about.”

eSports burgeoning in Austria

The importance of staging this type of premium live event in Austria is also expressed by Dr. Niki Laber, the president of ÖVUS – the Austrian Association for entertainment software, and by Stefan Baloh, the president of ESVÖ – the Austrian eSports Association. The presidents of both associations agree: “Hosting the official League of Legends Premier Tour stop in Vienna, the only European Masters qualifying tournament in Austria, will bring the eSports community even closer together and help this relatively young sport to reach new heights over here.”

eSports are still new and were only given an official gaming industry format in the Asian countries at the beginning of the millennium. The trend is now growing in popularity in Europe and the eSports boom is very evident in Austria too. A gfk study conducted last year showed that every second Austrian played computer games on a regular basis, increasingly on smartphones and tablets. Roughly the same proportion of men and women play. The typical player isn’t always young. Indeed, according to the study, the average gamer is 35 years of age.

LoL Premier Tour in Vienna: Competitor eligibility and fees

The Premier Tour stop in Vienna is a complete tournament round culminating in a grand final. The competition is open to all teams with players rated platinum-class or higher in the LoL ranking. Players must be at least 16 years of age and be Austrian, German or Swiss citizens.

The top eight teams that survive the online qualification rounds, the Open Qualifiers, are pitted against the best eight teams from one of the previous tour stops in a best-of-three mode. The four most successful teams from this Closed Qualifier go through to the two-day final event held in front of crowds of spectators on the main stage of the Vienna Challengers Arena at Messe Wien.

The best-of-three semi-finals on Saturday are followed by a grand best-of-five final on the Sunday.

The best eight teams in Vienna collect Premier Tour points. The two teams that have earned the most Premier Tour points at the end of the winter season qualify directly for the European Masters. Moreover, the winning teams can look forward to the best financial rewards, upgrades and benefits ever offered in Austria.

The whole eSports scene is thrilled

The eSports community is abuzz with the fantastic news. Sebastian Langer, coaching and eSports manager of GamerLegion: “Last year our team, the Angry Gorillas, won the LoL tournament in Vienna. Perfect conditions, an electric atmosphere and extremely tough opponents helped to push us to our limits. Obviously, we want to be involved and to seize the opportunity to secure enough points to qualify for the European Masters when the LoL Premier Tour comes to the VCA for the first time.” Eni’s gaming name is ‘XoYnUzi’ and is both an LoL player and a scene influencer, and was elated by the sensational news. “Previously, the profile of such prestigious eSports events was only high in other countries, so it’s a major step to see the LoL Tour making a stop here and putting Austria firmly on the European eSports map. It guarantees this area of gaming a lasting image boost.”

Florian Schermann, Category Manager of the Vienna Challengers Arena responsible for this project, knows just what the Vienna LoL tour stop can mean to a player: “These events produce big surprises. Spectators go wild and are just as excited as the crowds at public screenings of football games. Competitors need consummate skill and nerves of steel. Amateurs that master this challenge have proven they are good enough to step up to the ranks of the professionals. (+++)

League of Legends™ Premier Tour elevates Vienna to major eSports city status

For more press information, please contact

Paul Hammerl (Mag.)
Director Brand PR Reed Exhibitions Austria
Tel. +43 (0) 676/82 32 24 00
E-mail: paul.hammerl@reedexpo.at

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