Turner Broadcasting Partners with TTG to Launch
ELeague Network and Esports Tourney at CES 2016
For Its First LIVE Esports Event, Turner Turned to The Trade Group for Expert Advice
“The Trade Group completely legitimized us in this space, the experience they have with esports, and to be able to provide a visual, physical experience bar none, made us successful today.”
– Peter Scott, VP of Emerging Media and Innovation, Turner Broadcasting
When it comes to live broadcasts, Turner Broadcasting is no slouch. After all, Turner airs live NBA, MLB and other high-profile sporting events and sports commentary programming on its TNT, TBS and Turner Sports networks every day.
So when the media giant decided to launch its new esports network ELeague and broadcast an esports tournament LIVE from the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, nobody was surprised.
There was only one small problem. The CES event would be Turner’s first foray into broadcasting live esports tournaments. Since planning, executing and managing live esports events is one of The Trade Group’s specialties, Turner reached out to us for help.
OVERVIEW: A Time Warner company, Turner creates and programs news, sports, entertainment, animation and young-adult multi-platform content for consumers around the world. Along with ELeague, other Turner brands include CNN, TBS, TNT, Turner Sports, Cartoon Network and more.
INDUSTRY: Global Media Company
HOME BASE: Atlanta, Georgia
FUN FACT: Turner built a dedicated studio for ELeague at its Atlanta HQ.
Turner enjoys a long-standing partnership with the NBA and regularly broadcasts NBA games and related content on Turner’s TNT network. To gain more visibility for the ELeague network, Turner hoped to leverage the popularity of the NBA and Turner’s Emmy Award winning Inside the NBA studio team of Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson.
The Inside the NBA team would be broadcasting live from CES in an expansive space adjacent to ELeague. The plan was to have the Inside the NBA team introduce the new ELeague channel to its audience, explain what the new network was all about, then kick off the new network with a live gaming event.
Turner asked The Trade Group to design, build and manage the ELeague space – stage and gaming environment – where the broadcast of the “League Road to Vegas” esports tournament finals would take place.
The space also needed to accommodate round table discussions, which would take place in the downtime, between Counter-Strike competitions. Turner invited high-profile sports and business experts including Mark Cuban and the Commissioners of the NBA and MLB to participate.
Every aspect of the design of the ELeague environment needed to complement the familiar, simple, clean brand associated with Turner and the TNT Inside the NBA space.
The Trade Group’s esports experts and award winning design team created a branded environment that would accommodate the needs of the professional gamers, high-profile round table guests and CES audience members.
Turner knows broadcasting, but gaming was a new niche for them. The Trade Group provided the guidance they needed and the security of knowing the project would be executed correctly. Key highlights included:
Design & Build of Combo Competition and Round Table Stage.
The Trade Group handled all details pertaining to the design and physical build of the main stage and wings on the opposite ends of the stage where gaming stations for two five-man teams were positioned.
The clean, elegant design of the center stage space was fitted with comfortable, soft leather seating for the round table experts. The gaming stations could be concealed during the round table sessions to give the stage a clean, high-end, cohesive vibe.
The space also included space for audience seating so CES attendees could sit back and enjoy the expert discussions or watch live game play in person.
Video Technology, Sound, Lighting and Special Effects.
We coordinated and installed high-quality sound equipment, lighting and video monitors that featured live competition feeds and player status updates. Special thematic energetic lighting was installed to liven up game play.
Along with fitting gaming stations with the proper equipment, technology and power, we also made sure all technical aspects for the broadcast and live streaming of competitions were seamlessly integrated into the space.