League of Legends' trip to Paris is coming with its fair share of haute couture. Riot Games has announced a partnership with Louis Vuitton that will kick off with the game's 2019 World Championship.
The legendary French fashion house has created a bespoke Trophy Travel Case to hold the Summoner's Cup, one of the most coveted trophies in esports. Riot says that the trunk will "feature both traditional Louis Vuitton savoir-faire along with cutting-edge, high-tech elements inspired by the League of Legends universe."
That mix of traditional craftsmanship and League-specific style could be equally applied to the Summoner's Cup itself, which was designed by famed trophy makers Thomas Lyte, which is responsible for such trophies as the FA Cup, the FIFA eWorld Cup Trophy, and of course, the Louis Vuitton America's Cup trophy.
"I think it's such a testament to the sport and how far we've come, and the fans who have tuned in every single week," Naz Aletaha, Riot Games' head of global esports partnership and business development, said in an interview with Cheddar Esports. "It's all of that that's built up to moments like this where we're seeing partners like Louis Vuitton come in and support us the way they do some of the biggest traditional sports in the world."
Aletaha also shared that the trophy case would be revealed at the Eiffel Tower in Louis Vuitton's birthplace of Paris, where the World Championship will have its finals in November.
In addition to the trophy case, Louis Vuitton and Riot will release an as-yet unrevealed line of in-game skins and a capsule collection designed by Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton's Artistic Director of Women's collections and former creative director of fashion house Balenciaga.
While esports may be a new venture for Louis Vuitton, they're no strangers to trophy cases, as they've previously designed similar ones for events like the French Open and last year's FIFA World Cup.
Fashion and sports companies have been making forays into the world of esports for several years, even in League of Legends. For instance, Nike has signed on to become the official apparel and footwear partner of the Chinese League of Legends Pro League and signed an endorsement deal with pro player Jian "Uzi" Zihao last year.
However, the Riot-Louis Vuitton partnership marks the first time a brand from the world of high fashion has dipped its toes into the world of esports apparel, a rapidly growing sector of the industry to which some team owners, such as G2 Esports' Carlos 'ocelote' Rodriguez, attribute much of their recent success.
"You're going to see us continue to partner with the best of the best in their fields," Aletaha said. "It was awesome to have Nike come in and come in, in such a big way… and we have Louis Vuitton and Mastercard and State Farm, and the list kind of goes on. We couldn't be more excited. I think the future is super bright."
The League of Legends 2019 Worlds Championships begin October 2 in Berlin, Germany, and will conclude in Paris on November 10.