Bringing eSports to the World

Posted Aug 6, 2019 7:36:49 PM

3G is gearing up for esports in 2019

Here we are, in the midst of gearing up for another trip abroad to rock the 2019 worldwide esports tournament, League of Legends, organized and operated by Riot Games headquartered in Los Angeles, California. This year, the World Championship will be held in Paris, France.  3G Productions has been heavily involved with League of Legends, the multiplayer online battle arena game since 2014.  Working with Riot Games for League of Legends was our first venture with esports, and we immediately became hooked by the excitement swirling around its rapid gain in popularity and momentum. For the past 5 years 3G Productions has served as the audio and global communications technology backbone for all North American, South American, European and Asian broadcasts across the globe.

League of Legends reaches 200 million viewers

If you’re not familiar with League of Legends, it has become the most popular PC game in the world since its inception in 2009 and a key driver of the explosive growth for esports.  The website describes League of Legends as a “highly competitive, team-based strategy game for those who crave a hard-fought victory”. There are 14 regional leagues around the world, with more than 100 total teams.

Riot Games' World Championship is the annual professional tournament at the conclusion of each season.  In 2018 the eighth world championship tournament was held with 24 qualifying teams, and 12 of those teams had to battle to reach the group stage. The esports tournament was held in cities across South Korea from October 1 to November 3, 2018.  The 2018 League of Legends World Championship esports tournament reached a peak of over 90 million viewers tuning in for the opening ceremony.  More than 200 million viewers during the finals, making it the most watched esports event in history, even surpassing viewership of worldwide sporting events including the Super Bowl.  

3G behind the scenes to bring esports to the world

The scope of the Riot Games project is a vast and exciting challenge for our expert 3G broadcast communications team.  It all starts with the task of getting millions of dollars in gear prepped and ready for the tour in Asia.  3G Production Manager Grant Archer, along with his Co-Lead on the project Jon Daly, and System Designer, Clark Stewart, carefully selected a combination of gear from manufacturers Riedel, Nexus, Sennheiser, Luminex, Shure, and others to take on tour.  Approximately 20 team members of 3G work to assemble leap frog kits that remain on the tour for 1-2 months at a time. 

When asked how specific gear and brands are chosen, Grant Archer gives one example, “Riedel Bolero is a state of the intercom system that we use when dealing with the most demanding of shows.  It has proven it’s worth in all continents we’ve worked and continues to please our clients. RF bands are continuing to be an issue throughout the world and Bolero helps us to avoid those common pitfalls”.

The 2019 Mid Season Invitational for League of Legends was held this Spring at locations throughout Vietnam and Taipei. Normally the ATA Carnet system covers the transfer of 3G gear across borders.  Often referred to as the "Passport for goods"the ATA Carnet is an international customs document that permits temporary export and import of nonperishable goods for up to one year. Since the country of Vietnam does not recognize the Carnet system which allows our gear to fly across borders without a problem, it was critical to submit the final equipment list months in advance to obtain approval for entrance into the country. Once the gear and 3G team has arrived to the tournament destinations, all of the broadcast and production audio is directed through a complex system designed to send signals to the appropriate locations both on and off site.  Working with local operators typically poses hurdles due to language barriers, but this is something our crew is accustomed to and can navigate with ease. 

Throughout the 2019 Mid Season Invitational, 3G handled all host talent, all gamer communication, all production communication for the behind-the-scenes team, as well as speakers flown in the sky.  And many more elements.  Like ensuring the announcer box comes online loud and clear to speak to millions of viewers.  Or securing every last network cable that’s plugged into each players PC.  Considering the scale of this show, it was imperative to implement proper production meetings and preparation time to handle all the logistics involved.

Working with industry-leading equipment to provide high-end services to a client expecting the best, our 3G broadcast comm team successfully delivered a seamless performance for the spectators in the arena, and millions of viewers watching from home. 3G Productions is responsible to make all that complicated technology work together, and we’re proud to be the crew behind the scenes that brings League of Legends to fans all over the world. 

Now it’s time for us to get back to packing our frog kits. Final destination, Paris!  Be sure to tune in and we’ll see you there.

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