In May 2021, the VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 2 Masters took place in Reykjavík, Iceland. It was an esports tournament focused around the epic first-person shooter game, VALORANT, but one with a COVID-mandated difference: there was no live audience in the venue and both the competitors and the production crew members had to quarantine upon arrival in Iceland prior to the Riot Games.
Despite not having a live audience, the Riot Games wanted to create a spectacle for the VALORANT Champions Tour and its millions of online viewers, which is why they approached TAIT to custom-build a stage and set that gave the tournament a unique look and feel that immersed the virtual audience directly into the games, as if they were there in real-life.
At the heart of the creative design for this set was a 75ft x 75ft main stage, with inset video panels forming the shape of the Valorant logo, and a custom printed flooring. All of which was boxed into sea containers and shipped to Iceland with about three weeks of lead time from initial briefing.
TAIT’s Project Manager, Kevin Donnelly, quickly realized that the project timeline was going to be tight but the solution to keeping this project on track was to have TAIT’s patented Mag Deck™ staging come from multiple locations.
Proving the value of the pan-Atlantic collaborative relationship between TAIT locations, numerous parts were designed and fabricated out of TAIT’s HQ, in Lititz, before being sent direct to our integration team in Wakefield, who prepped the gear for on-site installation in Iceland.
Donnelly relished the experience of bringing this collaboration to life, “We’re excited to see the result of TAIT’s global team working to fulfil our client’s vision for this year’s Riot Games. Our project management and assets teams on both sides of the pond demonstrated TAIT’s flexibility and dedication to deliver, even when we’re up against a global pandemic.”
Ultimately, TAIT’s shipments were sent to Iceland on time: three containers loaded with staging, ten purpose-built, modular gaming desks which accommodate single or dual use, and four custom 20ft x20ft LED signs in the shape of the Valorant logo with several hundred feet of pixel chase LED – complete with custom LED drivers and transformers to allow the signs to be used with any voltage around the world.
In the world of esports, proper cable management is vital to ensure there’s no unintended downtime during the games. Project Manager, Jordan Whittemore, explains, “One snagged cable can mean the difference between winning and losing, so it’s essential that we ensure that accidents can’t happen.”
“We’ve worked with Masters Reykjavik’s Executive Producer, JB Blot, in the past and that, combined with the experience we have working in the esports market, went a long way to making us the right choice for this project,” explained Brian Levine, President of Projects at TAIT.
The event took place over the week of May 24-30th, 2021. Masters Reykjavik left a lasting impression for the future of VALORANT esports to the millions of fans tuning in from around the world.