Dale R Murray
LEGO enters the world of esports!
I'm a big fan of LEGO! There's no way to put it, you either are or you're not. It has been a part of my life from an early age. My mom's love of LEGO was passed down to me even showing that this 'toy' transcends time and borders.
As an 8 year old, LEGO gave my parents the peace of mind to engage me in some of my favorite sports in a safe environment and without all the bumps and bruises; Ice hockey, football and skateboarding. It was a vicarious outlet that let me build my own worlds and eventually, with the help of my brothers, take over my mom's dining room.
I brought my love of LEGO into my adulthood and by some miracle found a partner who had just as much of an enthusiasm for it as I did. Flash forward, LEGO has released their competitive gaming truck set. The cross over of the industry I am so passionate about and a hobby that has stood the test of time is opening doors for the new generation of competitive gaming fans.
LEGO has known for a while now kids are more and more interested in gaming, so naturally they created the game controller and gamer minifigure years ago, as well as the obvious plethora of games they've developed and licensed.
Seeing their next step: creating a Lego version of an esports truck, which ironically resembled the same one as was used for my first esports event as Head of Content. This tells a much deeper story.
*Hyper X Esports truck at the Scottish Esports League Season 2 finals in 2019, Resonate Gaming festival Glasgow
I often talk with people in the industry that are a bit frustrated about how slow big traditional businesses like sports clubs and governments are to get on board with esports, and the topic that comes up often is... we just have to wait. Wait for what you might ask? Wait for the enthusiasts of today to retire and for those who've grown up with it to start being in charge.
This is a classic mindset in Lego design. Rebuild the world and imagine bigger than what already exists. Bjarke Ingels (the designer of the LEGO house) does this in his architecture too. His designs have become notorious with turning the impossible into the possible. For example, he took a power plant, something that is associated with filth and pollution, and turned it into a ski slope, in a country with no hills. He has created paths for a new way of seeing the world, looking outside the box so to speak.
With these types of designs, kids will grow up thinking it's a completely normal thing, but it only takes one brilliant mind to make a change; and that's exactly what we're going to do in esports! Just as my love of sports started in a bumps and bruises free zone, so too can esports engage young fans into a world that is a lot more immersive than just staring at a screen. It's what LEGO is tapping into and from it we're having the next generation grow up taking for granted that a truck can transforms into a esports arena, that competing in games grassroots to professional, watching it and believing that cheering for a team or player is the absolute norm. This is an industry that I couldn't be prouder to be part of.
So, with all that said, we must commend LEGO and their ability to create a collaboration that will encourage a new wave of fans. Now, time to go order some LEGO!
*This technically isn't lego's first time having a crossover with esports. Overwatch was the 2nd ever lego theme connected to a videogame, the first being minecraft. However with Blizzard's mismanagement of the game... that's a story for another time
Dale R Murray | Esports Creative Director