Appear, the global leader in media processing and delivery technology, announced today their technology will support Riot Games and its series of live global esports remote broadcasts. Riot’s award-winning esports broadcast productions across League of Legends Esports (LoL Esports) and the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) are consumed by millions each year both physically and virtually, bringing joy and next level engagement to esports fans around the world.
As a world-leading game developer, publisher, and esports organization dedicated to being the most player-focused company in the world, Riot’s commitment to leveling up its esports productions lead to the development of its first Remote Broadcast Center, Powered by AWS in 2022. Launched under the codename “Project Stryker,” this state-of-the-art facility located in Dublin, Ireland will utilize Appear’s X Platform to support the production, broadcast, and translation of both LoL Esports and VCT broadcasts at a global and regional scale.
Riot first deployed the X Platform to support the 2023 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), the first international competition of the annual LoL Esports calendar. Taking place at the Copper Box Arena in London in May 2023, fans were treated to a real spectacle as the Chinese team JD Gaming came out on top in the final match, beating fellow Chinese team Bilibili Gaming to take home the trophy. The event proved to be one of LoL Esports’s most popular and watched editions to date, with a peak viewership of just under 2.3 million.
Appear’s X Platform is a key component to live AVC/HEVC feed contribution and delivery to-and-from Riot’s next-generation remote broadcast center due to its high-quality, low-latency capabilities. Appear’s SMPTE 2110 native connectivity for AVC/HEVC encoders and decoders, with SMPTE 2022-7 and NMOS support, enabled Riot to seamlessly migrate from its previous SDI-only solution, bringing greater density, lower power consumption, and simplified management. The first Appear platforms were configured to perform high density HEVC encoding and decoding, resulting in robust and secure high-quality video streaming with reduced latency, providing more stable video streaming at scale. Riot Games will continue its global deployment of Appear’s X Platform to support high-capacity remote productions utilizing Transport Stream over IP with FEC (TSoIP), and SRT gateways where needed to support different network types.
“Appear was the ideal solution on the market that met our demanding requirements for high density encode and delivery of AVC/HEVC signals to and from our new, cutting edge broadcast facilities” said James Wyld, Principal Infrastructure Engineer at Riot Games. “More specifically, the native ability to exchange these feeds directly with our 2110 IP networks has allowed us to greatly simplify a workflow that previously required an additional layer of IP gateway devices.”
“In addition to this, being able to encode, package, and deliver over multiple network paths simultaneously adds a layer of resilience that our broadcasts require. We run a mix of different delivery strategies to support our productions across the globe, and having a flexible platform allows us to support multiple scenarios in the field. While our facilities are entirely IP based, we need to support a mix of technologies for acquisition of our feeds in-venue, so relying on the same tools for both SDI and IP workflows makes our complex workflows easier to manage for our operators.”
This is just the first deployment of a global implementation which will see Riot Games utilize Appear’s X Platform for high-capacity remote productions. Appear’s solutions will also be on hand as part of the second Remote Broadcast Center, Powered by AWS that is scheduled to come online later this year in the Greater Seattle, Washington, USA area. Strategically placed in time zones eight hours apart, these two RBCs will align to provide more seamless production support on Riot’s future esports productions happening at various locations and times around the world.
Appear’s General Manager North America, Ed McGivern, when discussing the scale and excitement of the project, said: “We had previously shadowed the production operations of major League of Legends tournaments over multiple types of networks and had received nothing but positive results and feedback. We’re excited to be the trusted partner to deliver this content at scale and support Riot Games’ global network of remote productions – helping set the quality and value benchmarks for esports.”
The scale and excitement around Riot Games’ esports competitions is a key indicator of the global momentum the esports industry is enjoying today. By leveraging Appear’s dense, robust, and efficient solutions, Riot’s Games is secure in the knowledge that its high-value content will reach its destination and can focus on what it does best – putting on world-renowned premium esports events watched by millions.
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