DesignStudio has created the branding for the League of Legends European Championship, which aims to build a sense of community in light of lockdown measures.
While the global pandemic has caused major disruption to the vast majority of sporting events, the world of esports has fared comparatively well. In fact, traditional sports have entered the esports landscape more than ever before, with tournaments like the virtual Grand Prix pitting traditional athletes and gamers against one another for the first time.
Yet the impact on events has still filtered down to the gaming world, with significant tournaments such as the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) having to forgo live crowds and in-person experiences at the finals this summer, and instead rely solely on streaming to audiences online.
With the crowd element removed, DesignStudio is aiming to engage viewers of the LEC Summer Finals 2020 by creating a dynamic identity for the event. The identity and motion graphics tap into the language of social media and online communities with hashtags and arcade-inspired emojis, while the tickertape effect evokes the atmosphere of major arena events. As part of the project, DesignStudio also developed a quiz, as well as a futuristic teaser film that acknowledges no arena could be ‘found’ for the tournament, before culminating in a range of motivational messages about the event.
The team looked to 8-bit graphics and classic arcade games for inspiration, yet the overall look and feel is decidedly contemporary – so much so that certain design elements would look quite at home in club culture.
The LEC Summer Finals 2020 branding aims to further this sense of pride and uniqueness in the esports community, in a bid to continue “breaking those entertainment barriers”. That design cues seen in electronic music can exist comfortably in the esports space indicates how preconceptions about the gaming community are being eradicated. “It doesn’t have to be geeky and nerdy and weird. The same people that play those games also attend electronic music festivals,” Ng says. “Why does there need to be a differentiation?”