League Championship Series brings thousands to Raleigh

Cindy Bae Image
Sunday, April 9, 2023
League Championship Series brings thousands to Raleigh
League Championship Series brings thousands to Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Thousands of League of Legend fans roared for the start of the Spring Finals at PNC Arena on Saturday.

"We drove through the rain," Jawknee Fleming said. "I've been playing League of Legends for 13 years, so watching it live is very exciting for me. I've just been a fan for so long."

The sold-out arena comes on the heels of Dreamville Music Festival that attracted 100,000 visitors to Dix Park on April 1 and 2.

"Raleigh's been a phenomenal partner," League Championship Series event lead Robert Dugan said. "The direct impact that we bring to a local city is massive. You got your lodging, you got transportation. All these businesses, a lot of fans travel in for here. Raleigh's great, because there's a lot of surrounding regions that are traveling in for our event so we support the economy that we go in."

For several hours, fans were glued to the big screen as Flyquest took on Golden Guardians in a best-of-five match to earn a spot in Sunday's best-of-five final against Cloud9.

Peter Morton, who traveled from New York for the competition, said he's been following the attention esports has been getting.

"Esports is the next big thing right?" Morton said. "I'm a traditional sports guy, but now I understand that esports is, if not at that level, surpassing traditional sports, and the fans are more engaged than a traditional sports game."

Golden Guardians clinched a final spot at the upcoming Mid-Season Invitational in London. The team will face Cloud9 on Sunday.