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Running Riot: Behind the scenes at OPL's new e-sports studioHow are Riot and League of Legends turning Australia into an e-sporting nation?
Forget the international tournaments and prize pools. When we talk about e-sports, the real question is what puts it on the same level as Sunday [UNKNOWN] 40? Riot, Sydney based OPL studio has setup the most advanced gaming coverage in Australia as the answer to that question. But it wasn't always that way. OPL producer Matthew Bowen talks us through the massive change in 2017 and their approach to turning Australia into an e-sporting nation By the end of 2016, we'd kinda reached the pinnacle of what we were capable of producing in this studio. And then we got to the end of the year and knew that we were going into a season where all the players were gonna be playing live on-site. And we knew that what we had wasn't going to be sufficient to pay for that. We've really leveled up in a number of ways, not just the technical aspect of the studio but also the people that we're working with. And we're talking about a serious upgrade. The studio was rebuilt from the ground up to house shoutcasters, two teams who can play live on site, and a broadcast control room. The Oceanic Pro League picks eight pro teams against each other over 26 rounds of competition. Every week is streamed live, and Matthew brings along the wealth of experience in sports broadcast to the 2017 season. So we've brought in traditional sport broadcast people. We've also brought in people who work in live television and people who work in live event production. And all three of those things have different elements that we use in our production. A lot of the guys that we work with have done live event broadcasts for NRL for cricket, for soccer, and what they're used to is entertaining a live spectacle crowd at any given time in the match. And that's something that we have taken and run with. It's surprising just how good a spectator sport it is, and how easy it is for someone, unfamiliar with the game, to get invested in what's happening on the screen. The way I look at it is, that the Australian sports audience includes the Australian eSports audience. So, we're a sporting nation, that's Typically what we refer to as whether it's summer of cricket, whether it's a winter of football,we have passionate supporters as for all kinds of sports. If that's telling the story of the un defeated champion about the team that is under dog on the rise, the team that is going to the undefeated champion. Those kind of things are what helps, Fans connect with teams. There's an unmistakingly level of polish, experience and dedication and the Riot team is using that to lockdown it's broad audience. 2017 marks three years for the OPL and it's undergone dramatic growth in that time. It's clear that this year, this season Riot is not playing around.