“Imagine not wanting MonteCristo in your esport.”On MonteCristo
A colleague of mine tweeted that out roughy a year ago when the division between Riot Games and OGN caster Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles began to be form. It’s been painful for me, and many others, to watch Riot Games slowly turn against one of League of Legends’ all-time greatest casters.
The entire reason I began to watch Korean League of Legends is because of Monte. His performance at the analyst desk for the Season 3 world championship was exceptional for its accuracy, comedy, and personality. He knew Korea was the best, and he made sure you did too. That played on my desire to see the absolute best at work, and once I finished college, I tuned in for all of League Champions Korea in 2015. That led to me enjoying the story firsthand of a region rebuilding itself, a band of loud misfits fighting to advance from their second place curse, and the dynasty of LoL’s Unkillable Demon King.
Riot Games has truly become the living face of a monopoly. If one does not appeal to its backwards and outlandish opinions, it will find a way to remove you. It allegedly pays it casting talent far less than industry standards. It only has patience for yes men. Despite that despicable behavior, one is forced to collaborate with it in order to work within its esport. MonteCristo was brave enough to speak out against it, and Riot Games moved to make him a martyr.
All you’ve done though, Riot Games, is shoot yourself in the foot. Esports is a field of evolution: patches, new titles, changing formats, experimental leagues; these are elements of esports that reflect how one must change within it in order to continue surviving. One too stubborn to adapt to new metas, study new titles to cast, or fail to improve lackluster formats will decline.
It’s fitting that the news of MonteCristo’s next endeavor, OGN’s Overwatch league, was announced the day before. It highlights this fact: you cannot kill a career in esports, Riot Games. We will only adapt and expand our horizons to the next game.
Riot Games, you are running one esport in a field of many. You are not esports itself. If you want to understand what it means to be esports, look to MonteCristo.
Cover photo: Chris Yunker (flickr)