How I helped Riot deliver the world’s most popular e-sports events to millions of online viewers.
RIOT was seeking to reinvent eSports by breaking the paradigms which have historically limited the attractiveness of professional gaming competitions in order to elevate League of Legends into the stratosphere of other major sports. Riot’s eSport website will be the primary source for broadcast streams and videos on demand (VOD), editorial news, player and team information, fan engagement, etc. Ideally, this website would become a destination site for all League of Legends fans, as ESPN is for traditional sports fan.
Our task was to provide UX and visual design services creating a website to serve as the face of LoL eSports and the publishing platform of daily video and written editorial content. We were designing for something that didn’t existed yet. We didn’t know what the content of the site would be. RIOT was still trying to figure out the structure of their League on parallel with this project.
At the time we design this there wasn’t any website remotely similar anywhere. Our approach was to tread it as any other sport, however we wanted to humanize the players of the different teams, we wanted to tell their story. It was important for us not to make it feel as an extension of the LOL universe, it was important for us that the users would feel a different experience, much more feel like a real sport than a section of the game.
We had the chance to have multiple savvy gamers (and RIOT employees) at our disposition. We researched as much as we could, trying to find out what was really important for the prospective user of the site. After several interviews & focus group sessions we felt comfortable with the information we were able to get from them.
Clever implementations included a fully deployed section for the teams & players that could tell their story. A really engaging section of pure stats where users could dig into, per game, per team & per player. Ability for the users to compare between, between players, and even the league average. We also included the ability to make the website spoiler-free, so when the fans that didn’t have the chance to watch the live match could return at any time without worrying about viewing the result and ruin the game.
Finally, the User Experience team worked closely with Visual Designers to make sure the interaction solutions is carried across the visual language.
We created a first of it’s own website ( lolesports.com). Probably the most ambitious eSports project ever made. A website that would set the standard for upcoming eSports sites and that would make the eSport look like a real sport. It was probably the most ambitious eSport project for a single game. We wanted to make this website a place where fans could come and get the most engaging and most current information about the League of Legends eSports League.