During their podcast, Russian commentators/analysts Vladimir "Maelstorm" Kuzminov and Yaroslav Vladimirovich "NS" Kuznetsov who are currently a part of the Russian RuHub studio spoke about the future of Dota 2 and League of Legends (LoL) in the CIS region. NS in a bold statement claimed, “I can almost guarantee that in five years' time LoL will be more popular than Dota in the CIS region.”
Is It Time to Switch From Dota 2 to LoL?, Ask CIS Casters
Maelstrom and NS spoke about this topic in their podcast hosted on wasd.tv. They were discussing the success of CIS LoL team, ‘Unicorns of Love’ at the League of Legends: Worlds 2020. Maelstorm highlighted the increase in viewership on the Russian broadcast after Unicorns of Love started putting up some decent results.
"The broadcasts were good, they were supported in every way, but the numbers [views] were average. It was slowly growing, but there was no boom. But once the CIS team was able to show the results, the numbers went up. I have no doubt for a second that if they reach the final, they will have 200 thousand views on the Russian broadcast. Maybe, there will be more."
Unicorns of Love took second place in Group B at the Play-In stage of the World Cup. For the slot in the main stage of the tournament, the team will play with the winner of the match between MAD Lions and Supermassive.
NS was quick to reply to Maelstorm’s statement, asserting an upcoming transition from Dota 2 to LoL in the CIS region.
"We need to slowly join LoL. I am not kidding. People may think I'm joking, but I can almost guarantee that in five years' time LoL will be more popular than Dota in the CIS."
These statements from two veteran commentators come in as dispiriting additions to the already messed up DPC 2020-21. There has been a lot of hue and cry by the Dota 2 fraternity regarding the depleting state of Valve organised tournaments. While Riot Games is holding the League of Legends 2020 World Championship in China, Valve has postponed the International 10 to August 2021. Valve has also not resumed the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC).
In the meanwhile, Valve has stated that it will support third-party tournament organizers monetarily, to run the professional esports circuit, especially in underrepresented regions like SEA and The Americas.
Dota 2 is the dominant MOBA game in the CIS region at the moment. It is perceived to command a larger player base and more viewership than LoL at the moment. So it is certainly interesting to hear NS and Maelstorm make such claims. It will be interesting to see whether LoL manages to overwhelm Dota 2, in the CIS region in the upcoming years.