As part of Riot Games' whirlwind slate of announcements, next year you'll be able to manage a professional League of Legends team in LoL Esports Manager. First coming to the Chinese LPL region, Riot plans to expand to other regions down the road. LoL Esports Manager was developed to "expand the esports ecosystem," no small feat for already the most popular game in the world. Interestingly, Riot also says in a press release that LoL Esports Manager will share revenue generated from the game with teams featured in the manager. There's no set release date outside of 2020 at this time.
As far as a management simulator is concerned, LoL Esports Manager sounds functionally similar to other games in the genre, such as Football Manager or Out of the Park Baseball. Creating a roster of players, designing pre-match strategies, trading personalities and otherwise seeing games played out with your team, but all with a League of Legends flair. It promises to combine "a brand new AI system" with esports strategy in order to capture the essence of high-level competitive play. LoL Esports Manager is also promising an experience where you follow either a single protagonist throughout their professional journey, or manage an entire team as you compete against other players and friends in online play.
If anything, LoL Esport Manager aims to be a more complete experience in the realm of virtual gaming managers. Where games like ESport Manager and Esports Life Tycoon aimed to provide a game-neutral ecosystem to develop and manage a player house, LoL Esport Manager dives wholly into the game aspect of the manager. Incorporating real players and teams wouldn't happen in just another indie title, either. Still, as Riot looks to diversify their game portfolio, capitalizing on popular professional personalities is a good way to build brand recognition. LoL Esports Manager releases sometime in 2020.