League of Legends organizer Riot Games is embracing the notion of its game as a competitive gaming staple, announcing today a second season of the game to kick off this fall with a $5 million prize pool it calls "the biggest in eSports history."
The recently wrapped first season saw the championship matches draw 1.7 million viewers, and the game has become an official selection of Major League Gaming, the Electronic Sports League, and the World Cyber Games. For season two, Riot Games is planning a variety of competitions big and small, from large-scale tournaments for top-tier players to weekly open registration competitions.
That League of Legends prize pool is likely to be split more ways than ever before, as Riot Games has plans to launch the title in free-to-play hotbeds like China and Korea later this year. Last month, the developer announced that more than 15 million players have already downloaded the game in North America and Europe, with 1.4 million playing the game on a daily basis.
Established in 2006, Riot Games--which is composed of talent from Blizzard Entertainment and the mod community that made DOTA--shipped League of Legends in 2009. The game was recently a victim of a LulzSec hack attack that targeted a number of companies. For more on the title, check out GameSpot's review of League of Legends.