Jess Colwill, December 14, 2016

Riot Using Tech from Traditional Sports Broadcasts to Help Pro League Players Communicate

League of Legends draws a massive crowdand with a massive crowd comes a massive amount of noise. In an interview with Yahoo! Esports, Riot has revealed the technology behind keeping the volume to levels that don’t cause audio issues for the players.

After the Spring finals of the NA LCS back in August, it was clear something had to change. Andy “Reginald” Dinh described the noise levels as a “huge problem.”

“Sound proof booths are important to players. During the NALCS finals in Vegas, we weren't able to hear our teammates at all.”

Riot turned to a “third-party entity” that are utilized in broadcast environments for traditional sports like football or basketball. The technology listens to the environment in order to learn what is considered “good” and “bad” audio. It then cuts the “bad” audio, allowing players to hear each other more clearly.

“It’s a vendor that we found from the broadcasting world, and we are utilizing their equipment,” Riot’s live producer Nick Troop told Yahoo!. “We introduced this in the semi-finals in studio… and right away we heard TSM chants from the show.

“I was eavesdropping from the back to understand what the equipment was doing and it basically went T, and then the S was quieter, and then the M didn’t exist because the chant was basically invisible on the headset from there.”

On top of that, Troop described what he called the “competitive integrity shields,” which were also in place for Worlds. The players sat behind curved structures made of three-inches of professional-grade sound insulation which was then covered in multi-textured foam.

Hopefully this technology addresses some of the player concerns, like Reginald’s, around audience volume.

Jess Colwill

Jess is a writer and dog-lover from the eastern coast of Australia, who loves playing games (particularly anything by BioWare), listening to metal, baking, and fostering rescue dogs while they wait for new homes. You can find her on Twitter at @notsocryptic.