The League of Legends World Championship just wrapped up at the end of October, and the League of Legends off-season is in full swing. While most of us are getting ready for the assassin update and other pre-season changes, professional teams are now trying to improve their rosters before the start of the LCS Season next year.
Sometimes it doesn't all go to plan; sometimes it ends in massive failure. Nothing demonstrates this fact more than 1 Up Studios's new film Breaking Point, which documents the fall of LCS team Team Liquid in the 2016 Summer Season.
If that trailer doesn't do it for you, I don't know what will.
This feels like something you'd see on an ESPN 30-for-30 documentary about traditional sports, and is unlike anything we've seen cataloged in gaming before. Not only is this a documentary about games, but about a specific narrative that happened over the course of 2016.
It's really cool that there's a feature length documentary not on League of Legends itself, but just on the internal strife and struggles of a specific team at a specific time. It's something that's really unprecedented in esports.
As a close follower of the professional League of Legends scene, my reaction to hearing about this documentary was to think about the implications of releasing a tell-all airing of dirty laundry. The film shows players, coaching staff, and management at their core, flaws and all, and sometimes it's not pretty.
League of Legends narratives in the professional scene are a huge draw for why fans follow the LCS. While there've been esports documentaries in the past like #RiotGames Worlds Rising, #Valve's Free to Play, and Samox's The Smash Brothers that have all celebrated the game and their communities, Breaking Point wants to set the tone for why things went wrong, and what lessons Team Liquid has learned from their dark times.
The narrative focuses on three key individuals: their former star player Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett (no, not that one), former World Champion Guang-jin "Piglet" Chae, and veteran coach Yoon-sup "Locodoco" Choi as egos clash, and the team suffers as a result of their often obstinate and sometimes destructive behavior.
The effects of this conflict sent a team that looked on the verge of a World Championship berth to an early Playoff exit and disappointment—not just for the team, but for their army of loyal and passionate fans.
It's a behind-the-scenes look into an organization on a level that we've never really had before, and all nearly two hours of the film are riveting. I'm not certain of the exact motivation by Team Liquid's management in releasing the film, but I do think that their fan base will be endeared by their willingness to be candid and honest about their professional failures.
I'm hoping that more #esports documentaries like this will be released in the future, because it was fantastic to watch.
What do you think of Breaking Point?