The 2020 League of Legends European Championship Summer Split Press Conference happened today, virtually, but mostly in Berlin, Germany. The production team, joined by the team representatives presented on what the future of LoL Esports broadcast will hold, and which challenges they had to overcome to ensure the show would go on despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The broadcast was produced entirely from home starting on week seven. Alberto Guerrero, Director of Esports at Riot Games EU explains that the situation was a learning process. “Our team worked incredibly hard. The amount of work it took to coordinate 35-40 apartments as sources of video for the broadcast was very challenging.”
Riot Games had to figure out an entirely new way to produce the show in order to make it work as smoothly as possible. “It was a learning process. None of us were ready for this. Even when COVID had just hit, we were already preparing for the worst. The uncertainty of these times was incredible”, said Guerrero.
G2 Esports CEO Carlos "ocelote" Rodríguez Santiago made an appearance, recalling he was impressed with how quickly Riot Games took care of things: “From our point of view, and we have a lot of visibility in other titles, we believe Riot did a very good job. It’s a very complex broadcast, and in the few days we had a lot of unforeseen issues, including broadband, but we adapted quite well. The way the games were cast and the product evolved very quickly, and the team took action very rapidly.”
“Times like these remind you it’s not just important to have the right players, but a content machine behind them to distribute the risks when something like this happens. Thanks to COVID-19 I came to learn that we should grow the content teams to grow your organization so fans can feel the teams without being around them.”
In week 3, the Fnatic and G2 Esports LEC match broke the peak concurrent viewership record of 476,599, is the highest ever for a game in the regular season. During week 7, the same teams faced each other to reach once again high viewership, this time of 456,523.
For some players, playing at home imposed a challenge. Rogue’s Managing Director Anna Baumann shares that the team’s performance took a hit when they changed from playing on the stage to playing from the office, which took them by surprise. “We learned that our players perform better on stage, unlike the MAD Lions as an example, and we look forward to being able to play at the studio again”, said Baumann.
Starting this weekend, the 2020 LEC Summer Split will feature a partially in the studio, partially “at home” broadcast. “We look forward to welcoming the casters and talent in the first week, with teams playing remotely, and as things improve in Berlin due to the pandemic, we will be able to welcome a larger number of people in the studio including the players and press”, said Guerrero.
Make sure you don’t miss the highlight match between G2 Esports and Origen, and tune into LoL Esports for the first weekend of the Split.
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