Following the success of the previous contest in Malmö – the first finals to take place in a real location in three years – the 2023 LEC Finals were hosted in Montpellier, south of France. This time around, even more than attracting the fans to the venue, the challenge was to brand an event that was much more than a gaming competition.
Gathering the Season Finals in a new format introduced earlier in the year, the EMEA Masters Summer Finals, and the 2023 LEC XPO, Riot’s ambition was to provide the public with entertainment inside and outside of the Rift, packing the weekend with esports fandom and, why not, sunny Mediterranean vibes.
With that in mind, we envisioned the event as a place of convergence, an extra-dimensional contest, but also a paradise, where the power of the LEC broke through time and space and blended elements from both Montpellier and the LoL universe.
The starting point for the creative was the rich artistic history of France, which co-exists with many modern architectural landmarks and, in this location specifically, with the seaside.
Building on that idea, we conceived the elements of the toolkit in isolation. Summer-inspired gradients, clashing typefaces, Art Deco/Nouveau furniture, multiplied photography and 3D models carved on ancient stones were crafted to be simple and slick. They were then layered into more complex layouts to give the brand a Maximalist edge.
We wanted to celebrate the Finals for what they truly are: a big summer festival around video game culture, music and of course, the beach. That motivated us to push the visual language to be more playful. We broke a few basic design rules: distorted the typefaces, set the gradients to the limit of readability, mixed English and French copy and most importantly, made a flying stone crab.
This project wouldn't exist without the collaboration of Audrey Coent, Kristine Steimer, Artur Butvilovsky, Jon Orr, Elise Santangelo-Rous, Emilia Gribbin, Hayden Shields and Charlie Keeper.