A few weeks ago, Super League Gaming (SLG) held an amateur esports event at Samsung 837 where gamers were able to showcase their skills in 1v1 League of Legends play. The event kicked off SLG’s Legends City Champs third season where players compete to make it into their city’s 84-player City Club. We had the chance to chat with Ron Rheingold, Senior Director of Partnerships at Super League Gaming about SLG, esports and it’s future.
Royal Flush: For gamers that aren’t familiar with SLG, can you briefly give an overview of Super League Gaming and its recent four-city expansion?
Ron Rheingold: Super League is all about creating a new way for competitive gamers to experience the games they love by joining our league system. We galvanize amateur players in each of our 16 cities to participate in several week seasons engaging in city v. city battles in pursuit of finding the best players and city teams across the country.
RF: What’s the typical age range of fans that compete in your events?
RR: We have a youth product built around the game Minecraft that is more akin to Little League, but our core esports league is built around League of Legends and caters to 16-34 year-olds.
RF: In late 2017, we’ve started to see esports garnering national attention and in 2018 that momentum has only strengthened.
What’s it like seeing the evolution of esports as well as its growth in popularity with the NBA and NFL beginning to start their leagues?
RR: It is very exciting to be a part of the explosion of a whole new category, and we believe the estimates for the size of the esports industry in 2020 and beyond are grossly underestimated because there is still so much to be learned and defined about this massive, global market built around a highly engaged audience. The influx of interest and capital from traditional sports teams and owners is a validation of that.
RF: How important are the themes of teamwork, socialization, and friendship to the SLG community?
RR: At the heart of it, this is why we exist. We know from running nearly 2000 events that players skills progress faster when they play together in real life. And it is only by joining a team, that you can really develop those additional qualities of teamwork, leadership, and collaboration that distinguish good athletes from the great ones. But what is most enjoyable is the positive friendships and connections that come from being a part of Super League–we see time and time again that players come for the competition and leave remembering most the fun.
RF: What do nights like the Samsung night mean to the overall mission of Super League Gaming?
RR: We are all about creating more experiences for competitive gamers to connect on a hyper-local level and develop their skills in a way that can only happen when you are together in real life. Samsung’s beautiful space is a perfect way to enable more of those local touchpoints.
RF: Where do you see esports going in the future?
RR: Imagine Major League Baseball without Little League or the high school and college levels of play? The same will hold true for esports. We are just scratching the surface with the establishment of franchising at the pro-level and Super League providing a path to the pros underneath. I truly believe it is probable that one day soon a Super League player will make it to the pros.
RF: What’s the best way for gamers who are interested in competing learn about upcoming SLG events?
RR: Register at superleague.com!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Ron! If you’re interested in learning more or would like to register, please visit superleague.com!