RoboSpots light League of Legends Finals
Wednesday, 31 March 2021
robe-lol-2020-worlds-final-94950566108323oThe 2020 Finals were staged at the new Pudong Football Stadium in Shanghai
China - League of Legends’ World Championship 2020 Finals were staged at the new Pudong Football Stadium in Shanghai, a high-profile, hi-energy event notable for many things, which – in addition to being an eSports calendar highlight – included a spectacular production lighting design by Mat Stovall of LampedUp and his team.
Thirty-seven Robe RoboSpot systems were part of a large lighting rig for the event, specified by Mat and associate LD Trevor Stirlin Burk of Visual Noise Creative, and supplied by Christie Lites out of their UK and US bases to the event’s main technical contractor, Creative Technology (CT) Shanghai.
Robert Roth coordinated for Christie Lites, working closely with the CT Shanghai team headed by Aaron Ross Durdin, Sam Tibble and Daniel Sun.
Mat wanted RoboSpots on the event for several reasons. He needed “a quality white light source” to key talent for the opening and closing shows and during the gaming action, with capacity to cover specific choreographed aspects, plus coach and team ‘moments’ throughout the tournament.
With a massive performance area to cover in the centre of the stadium, Mat was not sure that it would be possible to physically get operators into all the required locations, so RoboSpot was his go-to solution.
The 37 x Robe BMFL moving light units were positioned everywhere - on the downstage trusses, above and below the two giant LED screens onstage that flanked a huge central scenic Paifang arch, and on top of this elegant 33m-high centrepiece of Joe Kale’s scenic design which was based on the overall show creatively developed by Riot Games’ producers with Possible (Michael Figge).
The breakdown of the RoboSpot systems was 16 x Robe BMFL FollowSpot and 21 x BMFL FollowSpot LT (long throw) luminaires, all with integral cameras, together with 37 active base stations, each linked to the individual lights.
They were operated by 14 people, sometimes jumping between different systems depending on which section of the show was playing out at the time. Most operators had not used a RoboSpot before, but they all picked it up quickly and efficiently.
The most experienced operators stayed on all the ‘hero’ action downstage, while others were covering the back lights and some of the more creative angles.
The massive task of coordinating this with a mostly non-English speaking crew was relished by Zach Matusow from the international team, who is highly experienced in the field. He also called all the spot cues working closely with CT Shanghai’s crew who helped with the translating and ran some of the RoboSpot units.
By far the most challenging element of installing a RoboSpot system of this magnitude was engineering the control, a task tackled by network architect Tom Buddingh, also part of Mat’s core international crew who were coordinated by production LX Jason Mack.
He utilised a design he had previously successfully used on smaller RoboSpot systems which involved managed gigabit switches, fibre-optic cables, and Luminex DMX nodes.
The RoboSpot control network consisted of 17 x Gigabit fibre optic switches and 15 Luminex DMX8 Mk2 nodes, which were essential to act as bridges and transport the RDM communication needed to link the RoboSpot controller and the moving head with the attached camera.
Trevor worked from his home office in LA, with lighting director / programmers Tiffany Keys and Mike Appel working remotely from LA and Florida, respectively. Early Bird Visuals helped Mat and his lighting design team with renders and pre-vis and hosted a Discord session to composite Tiffany and Mike’s show files on top of each other so they could see a single image in pre-vis from anywhere in the world.
The gaffers on site were Geoff Knight and Scotty Beck, and Shaheem Lichtmore was in Shanghai programming lighting for the backstage activations, gamer key lighting, and key light for the local host desk. He also programmed the playoffs show.
Joining Jason Mack on Mat’s core crew were Adam Eldridge, Ron Konsur and Brian Davies.
Randy Quick was the coordinating technical director for ConCom and Marc Hilko the head of global eSports production for Riot Games.
The show directors were Sam Wrench for the opening / closing ceremonies and Riah Chiu for the tournament.

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