League of Legends Worlds 2020 Kicked Off with an Opening Ceremony Involving Earth-Bending

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League of Legends Worlds 2020 tournament began earlier today, and per usual, Riot Games had a visual spectacle in store for viewers to start things off.

Despite what 2020 has thrown at all of us, the annualized League of Legends Worlds tournament has been able to move forward with the Play-Ins stage kicking off this morning live from China. In typical Riot Games fashion, the tournament itself couldn’t begin without some stunning visual feats that the company behind LoL has come to be known for.

Before the first match of the Play-Ins stage of Worlds 2020 began, a video played to segue into the games themselves. The video followed a hooded figure who was eventually revealed as a woman that was walking into an arena. The camera followed this woman into an area which seemed to find her surrounded by video walls, which was when things really got interesting.

This character then began using what looked like freaking earth-bending pulled straight out of Avatar: The Last Airbender to “build” the stage where the games would be played. After assembling the walls and floor of the stage itself, the camera panned back to show that teams taking place in the first match of Worlds 2020 were already seated and ready to jump into the action.

Even if you have no interest in League of Legends esports, I highly encourage you to check this out. You can find it right here:

It turns out, this opening was made possible through another well-known gaming application: the Unreal Engine. As explained by Riot’s David Higdon, this mixed-reality opening utilized Unreal, multiple cameras, and “visual effects powerhouse” Lux Machina to render the visuals in real-time. Higdon said that the tech itself is similar to what has been used on Disney’s The Mandalorian TV show. Worlds 2020 also marks the first live production that has ever put this tech into practice, too.

All in all, if Riot is going this above and beyond for the opening of the Play-Ins stage (which is the tournament’s opening tier of competition) then I can’t wait to see what it pulls off by the time we get to Finals in October. It should be fun to follow over the next few weeks even if you have no interest in the actual games.

Worlds 2020 is set to continue over the next month and will return tomorrow morning at 4:00am EDT when Lyon takes on V3 Esports to continue the Play-Ins round.

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