September/October 2013 039
not outside the realm of reasonable presentation to open the night off constructing a narrative of the enormous undertaking both the teams and organizers had endured for the past year, even if that means simply opening the event with gusto. The analysts’ desk, a source of unending personality throughout the duration of Worlds, would also start out tight, even nervous as they rolled through early analysis and commentary. But Riot Games have, through talent acquisition and experience, built a foundation of knowledge that consistently puts them on steady ground. The pacing of the show would demonstrate that Riot possesses a firm grasp of the presentation aspects of such an event. Video clips rolled into discussion, which rolled into good transitions. The pre-game coverage would become quite enjoyable (though some overlay statistics or descriptions of questions being addressed by the analysts would’ve been a welcome addition). Even the one production gaffe in the early running, in which Quickshot was cut off by a video clip, was nothing extraordinary for a professional sporting event. And the forgiveness of such gaffes would be well rewarded as the night progressed.
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stage. And, as with most young teams faced with the challenge of conquering both their opponents and their fears in front of an audience well beyond their reckoning, the night would see miscues interspersed with defining successes. It’s important to keep in mind that many of the criticisms that follow would have been forgivable just a year or so ago. But with the rapid evolution of competitive gaming and the production capabilities of the parties involved, the standards are reaching a level expected of experienced broadcast and entertainment companies; tricky territory for organizations that are still arguably “mid-sized” companies. The bar of public criticism wavers for no one, and Riot would learn that quickly. The plucky upstarts would stumble initially. From the initial throw to the caster’s desk until the end of pre-game coverage, personalities would feel tight, timid, and even meek. Deman’s initial introduction, the first impression for potential new fans and devotees alike lacked bravado, starting things off on an uncomfortable foot. If the Super Bowl can spout rhetoric about being the biggest, most-important whatever, it’s