Riot Games will become its own broadcaster for the biannual esports championship “LoL Champions Korea” starting this year, the company said Friday.
Taking a step away from its former broadcaster partners OGN and Spotv, which have had the rights to broadcast LCK in the previous years, Riot Games is certain that its ownership of the game IP will outshine its novelty in the broadcasting area.
“Our biggest strength is that we are the original developer and the IP owner of the game,” said producer Yi Min-ho from Riot Games, the head of esports broadcast at Riot Games in Korea.
Riot Games’ Koo Ki-hyang, Oh Sang-hun, Yi Min-ho and Kepsa’s Kim Cheol-hag (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)
“We will build on the founding history of OGN and Spotv’s esports broadcasting, which the viewers are familiar with and what they expect,” Yi said, “We have recruited the best cast for the realtime delivery of the games.”
The live competition will be domestically aired through SBS AfreecaTV channel as well as on online platforms Naver, AfreecaTV, Facebook Gaming.
English service is available on Facebook, Chinese on Huya, Japanese on OPENREC.tv, German on Summoner’s Inn, French on O’Gaming. More platforms could be added in the future.
With Spotv, Riot will continue to produce short clips of videos referred to as snack-videos, which will feature fun aspects of the LoL game and its players. All contents will have English subtitles to cater to “LoL”’s global fans.
Riot Games will copy the formats of traditional sports broadcasting to produce esports videos more akin to that of sports like soccer. How the players enter the arena, and how the coaches react with joy or despair as the games proceed will be availalbe for viewers to watch in the new coach box.
“We want to show that esports has taken one step closer to traditional sports,” Yi said.
LCK Arena at LoL Park in Jongno, Seoul (Riot Games)
The LoL Park’s LCK Arena is the biggest esports stadium in Korea with 30 cameras including robotic cameras and unmanned cameras, state-of-the-art LED screens and surround-audio system, which will display graphics, lights and sound that will amplify the audience experience in the arena.
The upcoming “2019 LCK Spring” is slated to kick off on Jan. 16 with SK Telecom T1 and Jin Air Green Wings’ match. There will be five consecutive days of first round games and four consecutive days of second-round games, starting from Jan. 17. The second round has been shortened by a day to alleviate players’ fatigue, Riot Games said.
Tickets to the championship opened Wednesday and all 800 tickets sold out within two minutes -- 400 seats for each of the two rounds.
Woori Bank signed as the official sponsor of LCK from this spring until the summer of 2020, participating in a total of four championships.
Captains and coaches of the 10 teams competing in “2019 LCK Spring” (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)