Riot Games has won a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Live Graphic Design, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced in today's ceremony. The award is specifically in recognition of the League of Legends 2017 World Championship broadcast.
The Worlds Finals broadcast was held last November at the famous Beijing National Stadium (also known as the Bird’s Nest). It most memorably featured a giant augmented reality Elder Dragon that swooped across the stadium. There was also a live concert and, of course, some League of Legends, but we're gonna guess the award was mostly about the dragon.
In case you're not familiar, the Sports Emmy Awards, run by the NATAS, focus on recognizing each year's outstanding sports programs, personalities, and creative/technical crafts. Nominations for 40 categories of sports goodness were announced back in March.
Also in the running for the Outstanding Live Graphic Design category were the 2017 NBA Finals, ESPN's College Basketball, TNT's NBA All-Star Weekend, and ELEAGUE's 2017 TBS broadcast. ELEAGUE received two other nominations for Outstanding Trans-media Sports Coverage and The George Wensel Technical Achievement Award.
This isn't the first appearance of esports at the awards, either, with ELEAGUE earning a nomination for Studio Design and Art Direction last year.
This year's nominations also included a statement from NATAS chairman Chuck Dages, speaking on the evolution of their entries:
"The world of sports television grows larger with each passing year and this year was no exception. The 39th Sports Emmy Awards encompassed a record-setting number of entries across multiple categories and the level of quality continues to show the growth and seemingly, unlimited potential of what is available for the sports viewing audience."