Riot Games goes for Nevion Virtuoso with JPEG XS in remote production of LoL World Championship final

Riot Games, the organisation behind League of Legends eSports, used Nevion’s software-defined media node Virtuoso as part of a remote production of the recent League of Legends World Championship Final. In doing so, Riot Games became one of the very first organisations in the world to use JPEG XS encoding technology.

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 on 10 November 2019, involved two remote 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).

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, ie 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 a wide area network.

Scott Adametz, Riot Games eSports technology group head, explained: “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. 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.”

Michael Caal, Riot Games technical broadcast manager, added: “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. Very crisp.”

Hans Hasselbach, chief commercial officer, Nevion, concluded: “Riot Games are taking live content production to new levels in every respect. 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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