Seeing the MSI finals live was a real experience, and witnessing such a historical game first hand is something I will remember for a long time. However, there was so much more that could have been done by Riot to make the event itself a big success.
When we were approaching the venue 1.5 hours before the event started we were not certain we were even in the right place, because there was nothing happening there. You could see some small MSI and sponsor flags barely moving on their flag poles outside of the entrance, but that was it. No major branding, no events set up, just no feeling that anything in particular was going on inside.
This carried on once you entered the gates. In the lobby there was a MSI-themed wall and 3-4 cosplayers walking around, and that was it. There was not much Riot could do with the relatively small lobby, but at this point it felt like there was zero effort put into it. All you could do was take photos.
When we continued to the long side of the arena to find our seats there was not much happening there either. Some food was being sold, but over half of all items on the meny were sold out before the event even started, and the rest were rather overpriced, which meant that the convenience store on the outside of the building was crammed with people.
After that there was only one more thing, a sponsor booth where you could win some swag. You had to take a photo, upload it to social media and tag them, and then you got to spin a wheel where some of the prizes were already gone when we arrived, and an hour before the ceremony started there were no goodies left. The exact same thing was going on on the other long side of the arena.
And that was it. There was no merch being sold, no events set up where visitors could interact with anything that had to do with League of Legends, no meet and greets (except for Toyz showing up outside once it was done and taking a ton of photos with people, kudos for him for taking the time to do that), no intermission entertainment targeted at the live audience except for throwing out some foam figurines to the floor section and an "emote cam" where people were made to imitate League emotes.
At least things were good once you entered the seating area. The opening ceremony was really nice, the audience was great (although us EU fans had to fight to be heard), the event went along smoothly, but it could have been so much more rewarding.
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