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Riot Games

League of Legends  •  Playmakers

League of Legends is the biggest game in the world of E-Sports with total prize winnings topping $35 million. The professional players that compete in these championship tournaments—known in the gaming circle as Summoners—have leveraged their skill and dedication to a level of mastery that goes beyond the deceivingly simple mechanics of the game. Riot Games wanted to create a highly refined, CG composite that shows what goes on in the heads of these professional players. Breaking down strategies and split-second decisions which can change the tide of a match, we created holographic projections of the player's thinking which illustrates the player's thinking in real time.

Client

Riot Games

Created by

Midnight Sherpa

Executive Creative Directors

Miguel Lee & John Kim

Executive Producer

Christopher Ahn

Producer

Dominick Guglielmo

Design Lead

Mier Saebyul Lee

Artists

Rachel Choi
Handley Eugene
Eugene Goryachev
Cris Kong
Dan Meehan
Mary Mondrus
Greg Reynard
David Rowley
Erick Schiele
Ryan Summers

Recreating Summoner's Rift

We wanted to convey the brilliance of these Summoners by showcasing their thought process in random pick up games on the map Summoner’s Rift. Singlehandedly shifting the momentum by turning weaknesses into strengths, they were the Playmakers that facilitated victories for their teams. The game’s visual design provided a jumping off point for us to create holographic interpretations that would sit between the game world and our actual one. Dissecting the hundreds of calculations the players make through a series of HUDS and visual synapses, we were able to achieve a look that was both alluring and communicative.

Against All Odds

Imagine putting Tom Brady on a team comprised of his fans and ask him to win the game. You give him a ragtag group of amateurs who are out of shape and over confident in their abilities. Against all odds, Tom Brady will still figure out a way to carve up the defense. This is the scenario we threw Meiko (China) and Helior (Chile) into. The basis of these two films are to document the intricate thought processes of these great players when placed in a situation where the only constant is themselves. The outcome is an exhibition of innovative thinking and quick execution, which is often met with surprising and often humorous results.

Helior

One key component to League of Legends is the fog of war. As the name suggests, this pertains to the parts of the map that you and your teammates don’t occupy—thus hindering vision there. Wards are an item in the game which act as a security camera of sorts, giving vision into the fog of war. Playing in a random game, it’s hard to communicate and get your teammates aligned to a specific goal. Helior knows this so he leverages wards to give his team vision into an area of the map. Then when he pings, it’s far more successful in getting the message across as his teammates also see the opportunity he sees.

Meiko

Just as Helior used wards in his strategy, Meiko also uses wards to give him the heads up on any enemies that may try to ambush him and his team. The more you see, the more control you have. Having the heads up on enemy movements allows them to pivot their attention to creeping foes to systematically take them down while still hitting their objective. The combination of picking off enemies and taking down the boss changes the tide of the match in Meiko’s favor.

Reinterpretting Game Animations

In addition to the holographic maps and characters, we designed and animated each spell and ability of individual champions. To fully communicate the variables in a Summoner’s strategy, we also created a visual system to illustrate the many calculations and game intel they had to keep track of. These HUDs and UI elements visually integrate into the aesthetic we created for the game world.