Pamela Horton is a bit heartbroken. Playboy’s Gamer Next Door reporter and hardcore League of Legends fan had been rooting for American team Cloud 9 to somehow find a way to make it to Friday’s LCS World Final. Nonetheless, Horton is excited to head to the Staples Center this weekend to watch the finals for the second year in a row. Red Bull eSports talked eSports with Horton and found out about her ties with a certain new character.
What was your experience like going to League of Legends Worlds last year?
Horton: It was actually really funny because I have a friend from my high school, who works at Riot back when they were a tiny company. He had messaged me after my issue came out and told me that it was blowing up on Reddit that I play League of Legends. There was even a Kotaku article going around about it and it was huge. Kotaku didn’t actually interview me and it wasn’t fair to me – but it was awesome for Riot because it showed how big the game had gotten because it was like hey, a Playmate plays the game kind of thing.
Based on level of notoriety that the Reddit article was getting, someone at Riot contacted me and said "Hey, are you interested in coming out to Worlds?" Of course, I was all about it. At the time I was living in Kansas and just kind of getting my feet into the Playmate shoes. I also got media badge, so I got to go backstage and meet some of the pro players, and it was seriously a dream come true. I was fangirl squeeing backstage because it was such a wonderful experience.
Had you followed League of Legends eSports before that?
I have never been all that active in the observational sports aspect of my life, so League of Legends was my first delve into “Holy crap, I like to watch this, and I love watching it just as much as I love playing it.” I still don’t know every single name and player but I know which teams and players are my favorite.
Who are your favorites?
Personally, I'm really sad that C9 got bumped out of the finals. They were the last hope for North America and they played really hard and really well, but got outclassed by Fnatic. I became a huge fan of Cloud 9 at PAX Prime and I got to meet some of them. I was actually staying at the same hotel as they were and they're totally awesome guys - all are really good friends - things that I hold really near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to join a team or play ranked games with people that I don't know so they exemplify everything that I enjoy about ranked League play.
Do you have a team you think you might root for this year?
Since I put all my eggs in the C9 basket, I kinda plan on watching all the games from a neutral standpoint. kind of looking at SKT, but I'm not sure.
How is it different to watch eSports live as compared to streaming it on a computer?
Words can't even begin to describe. Watching it on a computer is pretty casual and at your own conveniance and you can be distracted. But when you're there in person, it's so much more captivating because the crowd is going wild and they are cheering for ward kills. Being there and just seeing the players reactions and the sportsmanship afterwards at the end of the game - I seriously wish every League of Legends player could experience Worlds.
Last year, I cried twice because of how amazing it was.
I know that kind of makes me sound like a girly girl but when they brought out that choir that sang the League of Legends theme, it was a very moving moment. And then just making new friends based on this one thing you have in common - people from all walks of life.
Are you excited to see the Finals at the Staples Center?
It just reiterates the fact that the game is more than big time. You think Staples Center, you think Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake and now League of Legends is at the Staples and it's sold out and tickets are being scalped for like $1,000 on the internet.
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