The European League just went through some big changes and with it, so did our broadcast. From EU LCS to LEC, let’s go through the broadcast redesign and the overall goals we want to achieve with these changes.
To understand the changes better, we talked to Phill 'Pretorax' Kelly, Broadcast Graphics Producer of the LEC.
Q: The European league went through a rebrand recently and is now officially the new and exciting LEC. Obviously, the broadcast experience plays a major role in this. Can you give us more insight to the process?
Phill: We are really excited to finally fully explore our own brand identity in Europe. Every change we’ve made has been with the intention of producing a better show for our audience. It’s clear that sometimes what our viewers like doesn’t always align with other regions and this year, with the rebrand, we felt that it was the perfect time to look at our graphics as well. Being bold is at the core of our new brand so we took the same approach when evaluating our layouts. “We are EU” isn’t just something we say, the whole broadcast team lives and breathes it.
So, with that being said, for the first time since the start of European League of Legends, we’ve been able to build a graphics identity from the ground up by ourselves. We’ve spent a long time evaluating any preconceptions about what graphics for pro League of Legends should look like. We’ve looked at every aspect of the show holistically and rebuilt every graphic to serve our audience. We’ve explored a different approach to every single graphic in our show.
Q: One of the most notable changes is the champion select screen. Can you explain how these changes came about?
Champion select is a huge part of the game and an important part of our broadcast. But until now, we have been constrained by the layout of the game client. A client that was built for players, not viewers. Everything about the old layout was designed with the goal of creating the best environment for players to draft a team before playing a game of League.
This year, we had the opportunity to design a layout with the goal of creating the best environment for viewers to watch a draft. We want to celebrate our stars and our heroes, our arena and stage, the culture and passion that the fans bring to the live events. There is so much more that we love about esports that we want to show during this phase of the matches and we couldn’t achieve that while being bound to the game client layout.
Q: Champion Select was traditionally displayed in a vertical layout with picks presented on each side of the screen. What are the advantages of this new layout? Why was there a need to change how it is presented?
It was really important for us to not sacrifice legibility of the most important information during the draft. The Picks and the Bans, and more specifically the order. We tried many iterations of this layout and this horizontal layout maintains the blue left/red right and the top to support order that are the most important aspects of the previous layout.
Many people will ask “If its not broken, why fix it?” My honest answer is that for the LEC we want to constantly ask ourselves “is this the best it can be”. Every ‘this is how I would improve champ select’ thread on reddit reminded me that it could be better. Every one of those threads has inspired me and the rest of the team.
Q: Finally, what does the future hold? Should we expect more changes to the broadcast anytime soon?
This is our time to forge our EU identity. We won't ever stop asking ourselves if this is the best show we can make. This is just the beginning.