One of TV's longest-running shows crossed into the world of esports earlier this month, with The Simpsons airing an episode featuring League of Legends. While this does seem like something that should be happening all the time, it actually does not - esports and sitcom cartoons hardly mix.
Some of you would remember World of Warcraft making it into an episode of South Park 13 years ago. But back then, esports was not a thing; plus just about everything makes it to South Park at some point anyway.
Last Sunday, though, League of Legends crept into an episode of The Simpsons. According to The Verge, the show's production crew touched base with Riot Games over the venture but incorporated the game comedically without letting them have the final say.
Riot's co-head of esports Whalen Rozelle has since revealed that the game developers, who also organize esports tournaments, had no issues with the result.
“As the show is a satirical comedy, we knew they would present their own take," he told the publication. "While we were heavily involved as consultants, we were comfortable giving The Simpsons team full control over how they wanted to present e-sports in the show, given their tradition of excellence.”
As for the story, the episode, called E My Sports, shows Homer Simpson trying to spend more time with his son Bart by coaching him in the field of esports. Bart, in turn, proves quite obsessed, gaming late into the night and, at one point, even in the shower.
Simpson's co-executive producer Rob LaZebnik revealed coming up with the idea after constantly driving past an esports stadium on his way to work and then reading articles on the growing craze.
“I remember reading that something like eighty million people viewed the 2017 Season League of Legends World Championship, which is more than the NBA finals. I also watched the Free to Play documentary, and it all felt ripe for Simpsonification,” he explained.
LaZebnik got Rozelle and fellow head of esports, Jarred Kennedy, to consult on a script with the aim of making the language feel authentic. But The Simpsons took some liberties, poking a bit of fun at the stereotypes people have about gamers.
The Simpsons made quite a name for itself as a predictor of events in the past, but not even they could imagine that esports would ever become a real thing and blow up this big.