Late last week, Guinness World Records made a surprising announcement when it declared that the 2014 League of Legends World Championship had accidentally gathered the highest number of bachelors in a single place, shattering the previously held record.
The annual tournament, organized by American-based gaming company Riot Games, asks players from around the world to compete in a series of online PvP matches with prize money reaching close to $1 million. While breaking a world record had not been Riot Games’ intention, the tournament nonetheless drew absurdly high volumes of single men between the ages of 17 and 80.
“After four years of a being a world-class event, it’s great to see the tournament garnering the attention it deserves,” said Tom Flanny, a spokesperson for Riot Games. “Well, I mean, this isn’t the kind of attention we wanted, but no press is bad press, right?”
Operating on an anonymous tip, Guinness World Records employees arrived at the scene on September 19, the second day of the championships; they were immediately blown away at how previous record-holder BlizzCon 2013 paled in comparison. While exact numbers have yet to be finalized, early reports suggest that as many as three times the number of single men appeared at the League of Legends championship.
“Honestly, in the 20 years I’ve been with Guinness World Records I’d never seen anything quite like it,” Steven Sharkey, one of the first Guinness employees on the scene, told The Peak. “There were fedoras and 2L bottles of Mountain Dew as far as the eye could see.”
The world record for most single men in one location has existed since 1978, when it was first accidentally set via an organized rally of men’s rights activists. While the judging criteria has changed over the years — to include recently-widowed men or those with ‘totally hot’ internet girlfriends — the overall measurement has stayed the same. It is based off of how many single men are located within a singular, closed-off area. The League of Legends tournament reportedly had a ratio of one single male for every four square feet.
“While the tournament clearly destroyed any previous record holder, determining by how much has proved difficult,” Sharkey explained. “People kept trying to weasel their way out of telling us their relationship status.
“One guy told me he had a girlfriend named Savannah who was off at college in the States. He said something about a long distance relationship and communicating through letters, but I had to remind him that he was essentially describing the movie Dear John.”
The process was further convoluted by the high volume of men’s ponytails found at the tournament, making it difficult for Guinness employees to distinguish female attendees and subtract them from the final total.
While most tournament goers are still deciding if the broken record was something to brag about or not, Martin Handford, creator of the popular literary series Where’s Waldo?, expressed an interest via his Twitter in taking the real-life event and integrating it into a new book in which readers must try and spot a woman hiding in various illustrated pages of League of Legends tournaments. Handford’s publisher has yet to comment on the topic.