Legends of Gaming features your favorite pro and YouTube gamers going head-to-head

Over the summer, Endemol Beyond USA, a TV production company behind hit shows like Fear Factor, Big Brother, and Hell on Wheels, announced that they were continuing their reach into the digital space with a new YouTube network called Smasher. Earlier in the year, the company launched the Icon network on YouTube which targets the makeup and fashion crowd. Smasher will attract gamers.

Smasher’s flagship series will be the show Legends of Gaming, where top YouTube personalities and professional gamers convene to do battle against each other in today’s hottest games. The show is based on Endemol’s U.K. version of Legends of Gaming, which launched last year, where pro gamers and personalities went head-to-head. The U.S. version, however, will feature teams battling it out in a tournament-style matchup. But it’s not as serious as it sounds. At all.

During a recent on-set visit to the show, we were able to watch a team featuring Jovenshire of Smosh Games and YouTube personality Terroriser be coached by fighting game wunderkind, Perfect Legend, in a game he has hardly ever played against a team featuring YouTube personalities runJDrun and TmarTn coached by first person shooter virtuoso Fatal1ty, an expert at the game they were playing. Neither coach is allowed to touch the game, however, only coach their players. But for some of the players, it’s the first time they ever played this game or even played a game using a keyboard and mouse. It was a hilarious disaster.

The chaos of the show is overseen and hosted by YouTube personality Toby Turner aka Tobuscus.

“I spent a lot of time being bad at video games, so this is my chance, I guess, to be the one who gets to make fun of other people who are not good,” Turner says. “It would be implied that I’m good, but I’m not.”

Yes, Legends of Gaming, for the most part, features some of e-sports’ most prolific gamers and some YouTube’s biggest stars battling it out over games they suck at. But they don't suck all the time.

“On the show we’re playing a wide array of all types of games, so some people have an advantage in one game versus another,” says Jovenshire. “So one person might not be as good as another in Counter Strike but might excel in a fighting game.”

“That’s like the whole point to it,” Terroriser adds. “We don’t know what games we’re going to play until we walk in here. There’s no practice, no nothing. It’s not so much about playing well, even though I wish I could, it’s more about…  there’s competitive gamers that do competitive tournaments, but we’re kind of jelling more with the entertaining aspect of the gaming community. It’s more about a concoction of entertaining people to show a lighter side of competitive gaming.”

There are two other teams who are also competing in the tournament featuring personalities OMGitsFirefoxx, Syndicate of The Syndicate Project, iiJERiiCHOii, and Lui Calibre with master MoBA player, HotshotGG, and Hearthstone highflier, Hafu, as their coaches.

Back row, from left to right: Terroriser, The Jovenshire, Perfect Legend, host Toby Turner
Front row, from left to right: JD Witherspoon aka runJDrun, Fatal1ty of Fatality Gaming Gear and TmarTn

A team wins a match if they perform better than their opponent and afterward they’re awarded points. However, at the end of the tournament, the team with the most points isn’t crowned as champion. The players of the winning team must face each other in a battle royale to determine the ultimate champion. But again, it’s not that serious.

“It’s not 100 percent competitive,” says TmarTn.

“When you watch a tournament it’s intense!” Jovenshire says. “And don’t get me wrong, because e-sports is amazing and those matches are amazing but we’re cracking jokes and yelling at each other during the match and you don’t get that anywhere else.”

That doesn’t mean the competitive spirit isn’t there. There is still a desire to win, if for anything, bragging rights.

“I’ve played a lot of these games in a competitive capacity on some level and watching them play FIFA the other day, I was like ‘kick the ball!’ but TmarTn had the alternate controls so he kept hitting the wrong button,” says Fatal1ty. “It was a nightmare.”

“It is excruciating watching them play and I can’t do anything to help them,” adds Perfect Legend.

Endemol Beyond USA plans to produce 37 episodes of Legends of Gaming this season (check out episode one and two), and close to 100 videos total around the series that includes the tournament episodes, funny outtakes and bloopers, one-on-one interviews with the cast, and full gameplay videos. Pizza Hut has signed on as a principle integration partner with sponsorships from Razer and iBuyPower, who both provided equipment for the players to use. The season began on October 7 and will run until February 2016, so there will be plenty of hijinks captured with these larger than life personalities.

“It’s awesome to see these guys play different genres of games and compete in different genres,” Fatal1ty says. “For me, watching all these guys have expertise in one game and applying that to another genre and a different type of game, the mindset of winning is still there, so maybe it’s just instilling that into everyone’s minds to play the best they possibly can. Like for JD, he’s already picking up Counterstrike GO, and coming from a controller to mouse and keyboard, that’s a huge accomplishment in such a short time.”

“I just want to win, man.” runJDrun adds. “After a certain point you just start mashing your fingers into the keyboard… I just want to win!”

“In the end… they win a trophy of me!” Turner chimes in.

Sounds like something worth gaming for, eh?