DesignStudio

Riot Games Korea

Making legends

Challenge

LCK. Riot’s Korean league, and the origin of esports. It’s got a colossal history; from the prevalence of PC bangs, to being known for LoL's best players, most wins, and highest levels of gameplay. LCK has inspired hundreds of teams globally, and continues to set the bar for esports.

But all this wasn’t being told through their brand, which lacked confidence and unity. Known for their precise and highly technical play style, they were missing some soul and were held back by talking about the glory of their past. LCK needed our help to forge a new era for the league, solidifying their status as a truly influential league, both in Korea and internationally.

Process

We got fully immersed in the world of LCK, talking to shoutcasters, diehard fans, and the pro players (including Faker himself). We also spoke to global Riot teams to get a fully-rounded perspective on the league. This went alongside a dive into South Korea's rich gaming culture that shaped the LCK.

We were blown away by the quality, high production value, and intense creativity surrounding the Korean league. And while LCK were brilliant at promoting their successes, we knew we needed to help them tell a richer story. A story that went deeper than performance, and would stand the test of time, through both victories and defeats.

Solution

With a history as monumental as the LCK’s, it was only right we defined ‘We Make Legends’ — a strategy that honoured their past and looked to the future, putting storytelling at the heart of the league. Not just legendary players, but legendary tales – of victory, defeat, and every moment in between.

This strategy was supported by an underlying attitude of ‘Godlike’: a nod to the game for those who know, but also a spirit that positions LCK on a tier above. They're humble perfectionists; always one step ahead, setting the standard for gameplay, and achieving incredible feats on the world stage.

The new logo is a confident evolution. It builds on LCK’s heritage with a powerful, symmetrical, precise, new symbol – inspired by their meticulous gameplay style, and representing the imposing, outstretched wings of a bird in flight.

Bringing 'We Make Legends' to life went far beyond the logo. We developed a whole new visual world, designed to create atmosphere and anticipation.

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The visual language is made for celebrating milestones and telling legendary stories. We use monolithic typographic columns to create rich tapestries of LCK's legends, both past and future. We elevated players' nicknames to brand level, dramatising the inherent stories embedded in the LCK fan community.

Elements are simple and minimal, manifesting the confidence of a legendary icon that doesn’t need to shout.

This is a brand designed to cut through the noise of esports, existing in its own tier above the rest.

Characters, players, and typographic elements emerge out of ethereal environments, as if coming from another realm. We confidently weave Hangul and English headlines together, using techniques of scale, contrast and space to create a sense of awe.

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To celebrate the most epic, unbelievable moments of all, we’ve rendered a beautiful crystal (inspired by the Nexus itself) that explodes across the screen.

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Results

LCK is back. With new energy, a new spirit, and a new attitude. The new brand will be coming to life across totally new broadcast environments, physical arenas, and comms – set to engage global audiences on a massive scale. We’ve helped position the league for new partnerships, new teams, and new training opportunities as they continue to grow and set the standard for LoL worldwide.

Winning the Worlds championship in 2020 was the comeback fans were waiting for. But with or without this epic victory, LCK is ready for a new era.

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"LCK is the best esports league in the world and aims to become the 'Premier League' of esports going forward. To achieve this goal, we knew LCK needed to be equipped with the brand power that well-matches the league's status and also grow to draw attention not only from Korea, but also internationally. DesignStudio has been a great advisor and partner in getting us a step closer to this ambition. Due to COVID-19, we were unable to meet in real life, but we could feel their passion and dedication at every moment through the screen. It was an honour for us to make legends with DesignStudio." Sean Oh, Head of KR Esports, Riot Games

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