It was always going to be a technical challenge to pull off Worlds this year in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, but it still comes as a shock that the LPL English casting team won’t be involved at all in the proceedings this year, despite the event being held in the league’s backyard of Shanghai.
Appreciate the support over the year but unfortunately the @lplenglish will not be casting at #Worlds2020.— Hysterics (@HystericsCasts) September 15, 2020
The support has been amazing this year and I will keep striving to one day make it onto the World Stage.
The casting team will be awesome as always, support them!!! pic.twitter.com/B1PZcwPo7q
While no names have been announced, the broadcast is set to involve members from the LEC, LCS, and LCK casting teams who will be casting from their home cities and broadcast situations.
(Picture: Riot Games)
According to Trevor “Quickshot” Henry this will be the first time an international event for LOL will be done without mixing the various on-air teams.
Very excited to have multiple broadcast teams taking part in the Worlds show. This is the first time we will do this without mixing our on air talent team. Updates with names soonTM pic.twitter.com/I0mB3Dvd5C— Trevor Henry (@Quickshot) September 15, 2020
Despite the technical ingenuity required to pull off remote broadcasting on this level, it’s still a shame that none of the local casters will be involved in the event - especially considering the LPL’s recent dominance. The Chinese league has produced the last two World Champions and are looking ready to provide a third, with both Top Esports and JD Gaming both touted as frontrunners in the tournament. Going into the event with no true-blue LPL expert is definitely a loss for viewers and the casting team.
Regarding the #LPL— Froskurinn (@Froskurinn) September 15, 2020
In my experience, there are limited casting slots and few advocates for second language broadcast casters - in tandem with timezones, distance, and lack of familiarity in working relations. Throw in the balance between freelance budgets and salaried resources.
Of course, there are always going to be limits on the number of casters that make Worlds, and English language primary broadcasts will always have priority (LCS, LEC), while the LCK casters have a huge international audience despite being a second language broadcast. That makes it a difficult hill to climb for the LPL casters, especially when you factor in timezones, freelance budgets, and a lack familiarity in working with the team as LEC caster Indiana “Froskurinn” Black noted on Twitter.
Normally, even if they don’t get much of a presence from group stage onwards, a number of the smaller regions and second language broadcasts are present during play-ins - but with the difficult broadcast situation, that clearly isn’t going to happen this year. It’s an unfortunate loss for the LPL English team, but they will hope their representatives will do them proud at Worlds even if they can’t cheer them on from the caster booth.