Jan 25 2015 - 10:49 pm

The story behind those fancy new team flags in the LCS studios

One of the most visible changes to the new League Championship Series studio is the team banners hanging above the stage
Dot Esports

One of the most visible changes to the new League Championship Series studio is the team banners hanging above the stage.

The cloth banners prominently display the logos of each of the 10 teams in the league, with the two squads currently playing lit by a spotlight. It’s a cool effect that adds to the atmosphere of the event, kind of like the flags you’ll see rounding the top of a baseball stadium.

But there’s one sticky issue—the flag spots are prime real estate for team brands on stream.

The five flags on the left appear prominently on the broadcast during shots of the caster desk, which is located in the top left of the studio while facing the stage. That’s left some teams unfortunate enough to lead their brand name with the latter half of the alphabet off the screen, which makes a huge difference when 400,000 people tune in to watch. Some teams have already nudged Riot Games about the possibility of switching up the flags.

Riot’s league operations manager, Nick Allen, says the company is already talking about that possibility. It’s just a matter of logistics—whether actually physically moving the banners around prove feasible.

One option is shuffling the banner order at random each week, so every squad gets their chance in the spotlight. Another is ordering them by the standings, which would also serve a pragmatic purpose—showing fans in studio and watching the broadcast where teams rank with a glance. But that approach also has issues; the teams at the top of the standings often aren’t the ones who need extra recognition.

Whatever Riot decides, its safe to say the banners are a small and fun addition to the Riot studio production, one of those small details that adds flavor to the broadcast. But don’t be surprised if we see some more re-branding should the situation continue. The Aardvark is looking like quite an appealing mascot right now.

Screengrab via Riot Games/Twitch