The LEC 2020 Spring Season was hit on the road to its finish by the COVID-19 pandemic. Riot’s seasonal tournament that runs for over 2 months and has 10 teams is a fan favourite. It was scheduled to run from 24 January to 28 March but the sudden burst of cases in late February to early March saw countries going in lockdown to protect its people. A lot of live gaming events have cancelled amidst the scare of coronavirus and the whole gaming industry is working to figure out a different method of execution. Though LEC is played half online, half offline, it had a fixed venue in Berlin. Now the LEC studio is abandoned.
But LoL players got a surprise from Riot. Within ten days of postponing Week 8’s matches, the crew at Riot’s starting broadcasting the games again. Fans rejoiced to have the LEC back but the working remotely on such a large scale League is not a light task. The games were plagued with errors and pauses. There was no casting audio in one game and audio glitches in the other two. Looking at the quality of production from Riot in the past, the games almost seemed unwatchable but the audience’s love for the game and an understanding of the difficult times the industry going through didn’t let the numbers falter.
Riot Crower, the Head of Live Production in EU posted the update on subreddit about the issues. He said :
“So, we got the LEC Back! But clearly it was not in the best shape it has been.. We had multiple issues with the show yesterday as I am sure you all noticed, especially with regards to connectivity and audio, that ultimately forced us to deal with a lot of pauses and even broadcast one of our games without any casting audio
The team worked tirelessly to bring the show back this week, and overnight to tackle the issues that we saw yesterday. We have a lot of changes and improvements behind the scenes that will help us deal with as many curve balls as destiny wants to throw at us, and should ultimately give us a better online show today and going forward. Hopefully, you will all notice that when tuning in today.
I thought it might be helpful if I explain a bit further exactly what problems we experienced, give you some context about our technical setup and the complexities of operating our show remotely, as well as share the adjustments we’ve been working on implementing the past 24 hours to address the issues that you saw yesterday. All hands are currently focused on implementing these changes before the show begins tonight, so lookout for a longer post on this in the coming days when we have the time to explain this in the detail it deserves. Today is all about the show”
We are happy to see Riot tackling the issues that are raised with the current health scenario. A lot of other productions are also creating processes to efficiently run a tournament remotely. Valve’s We Play! Tourney for charity was played 2 days back in solidarity to the coronavirus victims and to raise money for help. The gaming industry needs to evolve to tackle the bump of the pandemic. We look forward to seeing more changes because this is the time for groundbreaking developments.