Riot Games Leverages Nevion’s Virtuoso With JPEG XS for League of Legends World Final

Riot Games has used Nevion’s software-defined media node Virtuoso as part of its remote production of the recent League of Legends World Championship Final. In doing so, Riot Games became one of the very first organizations in the world to leverage the ground-breaking JPEG XS encoding technology.

“JPEG XS is a big step forward for at-home production. It delivers pristine visually lossless output with ultra-low latency, making it comparable to uncompressed video but with a fraction of the bandwidth consumption,” says Scott Adametz, Riot Games Esports Technology Group Head. “This is very important for a massive, high-profile global production such as the League of Legends World Championship Final, where quality and immediacy are key to the viewers’ experience.”

The League of Legends World Championship has been described as one of the biggest events in esports history, with the 2018 World Championship Final garnering an unprecedented 99.6 million unique viewers. This year’s event, which took place in Paris (France) on November 10, 2019, involved two remote (or at-home) production sites: the English language show was produced at Riot’s European headquarters facility in Berlin (over 1,000 km or 620 miles from Paris), while the world feed was produced in Los Angeles (around 9,000 km or 5,600 miles away).

“The video signal looked quite amazing considering it was being sent from our studio in Santa Monica, to the venue in Europe and back through another return XS receive path into the studio,” says Michael Caal, Riot Games Technical Broadcast Manager. “Very crisp.”

For the event, Nevion Virtuosos provided the reliable, low latency video transport needed between Paris and the production locations, using the media node’s JPEG 2000 and JPEG XS encoding media functions running in the same units. While the former encoding technology is well established, the latter is a brand-new standard. JPEG XS achieves high-quality compression with ratios up to 10:1 at sub-millisecond latency, i.e. a fraction of a video frame – allowing gaming fans and players watching at home to see the action faster. For this production, the JPEG XS compressed video was transported using SMPTE ST 2110-22 over WAN (wide area network).

“Riot Games are taking live content production to new levels in every respect,” says Hans Hasselbach, Chief Commercial Officer, Nevion. “We are proud to have provided the JPEG XS platform that has enabled Riot Games to be the first to use the technology in an intercontinental remote production.”

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