Halo is a hallowed franchise with a long history in esports. When 343 Industries brought its latest version back to competitive gaming for the 2016 Halo World Championship, they wanted to reignite the fires that had once made the game the leading title in competitive gaming.
With a focus on the competition’s global scope, Xbox joined forces with their creative partner, Ayzenberg to help the their story with a comprehensive content and creative strategy for the series.
As Executive Producer, I had the opportunity to travel the world and capture the stories of the professional gamers who make eSports one of the fastest growing spectator experiences online. Together, we created content that reminded fans worldwide of Halo’s premier place in competitive gaming while celebrating top eSports athletes with the respect and insight they deserve.
Along with creating several high-impact promos, I was tapped to produce and direct what would end up being the marquis asset of the World Championship Finals broadcast, a documentary-style ‘Story of the Season,’ recapping the competition up to the final moments and setting the stage of one team to take home a $1 Million top prize.
In October 2012, Riot Games held the second annual League of Legends World Championship Finals live from USC’s Galen Center in Los Angeles. To accommodate the game’s massive following Riot, in collaboration with Horn Interactive and director Marc Scarpa, broadcast the Championship Final to millions of eSports fans via the internet and television.
This dynamic live competition was staged in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,000 fans and was made available in 13 different languages. The broadcast shattered all previous eSports streaming records with more than 8 million unique viewers, 1.1 million peak concurrent viewers and 2.5 million television viewers in Korea and China.
To help close out the show, Matt West produced a highlight reel combining moments from the previous week’s Playoff competition with fresh footage recorded that very night. As one team put the finishing touches on a package of highlights from the previous week’s footage, West directed a roll-out inside the broadcast truck. Each individual element was rolled from two independent sources and resulted in a seamless highlight super-cut that thrilled the audience.
In May of 2012, Riot Games sought to enter the field of Live eSports Event Production. Already an active partner with such organizations as the ESL, Major League Gaming and IGN, Riot was driven to establish a new quality bar for live eSports production.
For their first self-produced live event, Matt West led a production team that included game show producer / director Jon Lawrence and award-winning director Victor Borachuk. The team took over the Rain nightclub at The Palms Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and built a high-energy event combining stage production, high-powered video projection and special effects, The show was developed, produced and delivered in front an live audience of 1,000 in just under 8 weeks.
Running just over 90 minutes in length, featuring a Best-of-Three competition format, the subsequent broadcast of the show via UStream delivered 120,000 concurrent viewers with an additional 350,000 views coming from YouTube.
Test drive all the high-tech advancements we’ve managed to cram into Pulsefire Ezreal here at the Pulsefire Armory.
2.6 Million Views
20,000 YouTube Comments
Over 120 Pages of Responses on the League of Legends Forums
In 2012, Riot Games wanted to make a big splash to officially reveal a new skin and product line to its Champion line-up for the hit game League of Legends. “Pulsefire Ezreal” was a top tier game content update featuring an all-new evolving character model and unique visual effects. Due to rampant online speculation by the game’s community, Riot sought to exceed the expectations of their usual content release tactics by delivering a large-scale digital campaign and accompanying trailer.
To usher in this “Legendary” product line, Riot’s video team, led by Matt West, partnered with European animation studio Puppetworks and developed an original CG trailer. The concept featured a new female character who was originally intended to only appear in the trailer as an AI narrator. Internal reaction to this new character was so favorable, the Pulsefire team decided to spend additional development time integrating her into the actual game experience.
The trailer was released via the Riot Games YouTube portal as well as through social media channels and featured an outbound link to a fully immersive promo web page that featured additional media assets created especially to give players an in-depth look at all of the skin’s features as well as a special added surprise.
The trailer earned over 2.6 million views and generated 20,000 comments as well as over 100 pages of responses in the League of Legends forums and quickly became one of the best-selling content updates to the game of all time.
The Pulsefire promo page served players an in-depth look at even more content and videos