League of Legends EU Spring Finals in Madrid

In Events, Gaming, League of Legends
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Gaming Event Photography
I must say that I am proud to be a part of the gaming industry. I was a gamer since I was a little kid and I had lots of fun playing different games. Back in the days we never thought that gaming could be a way of life or that being a gamer can be a job. My life pushed me towards photography but gaming always was and stiil is fun for me.

Few Years ago my brother Tomasz found a game that was a bit different from other MMO that I liked to play. Each time You played a map You had to level up Your hero from level 1. That was a bit strange, but the team fights and all the plot were great. From that moment League of Legends is my number one game. I don’t have much time to play games because of my job, but sometimes when I have time I love going to top lane or jungle.

Last Year I submitted my CV to Riot Games as a freelance photographer and, to my big surprise, few months later I got an answer. I got hired to do an photography event in Paris at the All Stars Event by Riot Games. I will do separate post about that but now let’s just concentrate on the latest work.
This Year I was hired to be part of photography crew on the EU Spring Finals in Madrid. Since I watch all the LOL streams I know all about the competition and I was thrilled to be part of the finals. Why? Because I love to shoot big events and Riot events are all about “big” “emotional” and “professional”. Additionally I love to watch how pro players play the game.

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The event took place during the weekend and I was scheduled to fly to Madrid early so we could do some preparation before the venue. I had to be on the airport around 8 in the morning so I had to get up around 5 am. I couldn’t sleep so I was tired but excited to go. When I reached the airport it was about time to start the checkout. I was walking through the airport and some senesces where telling me that something is wrong but I was ignoring it. I was on my way for a job! Rest was irrelevant. I was there for my flight to Warsaw where I had to catch my connecting flight to Madrid – rest was irrelevant! Except the fact that my flight from Katowice to Warsaw was cancelled. Was that relevant? As a professional I know one thing, you have to be there, there is no excuse if you don’t reach the destination. I know it was not my fault but You just have to somehow be there. I went to bureau of “LOT” – polish national airways and a kind lady told me that my flight was canceled… also she told me that I could rush to Kraków Airport or I can wait till 3 pm and I will have a flight to Frankfurt and from there connecting flight to Madrid. I thought that second option would be more safe and I decided to sit at the airport and wait. Next I informed my coordinator that my flights where changed and I waited at the airpot. It was an unfortunate start but I was positive that even though I will reach my destination a bit later, it won’t affect my job. At 2 pm the announcement showed up that the flight to Frankfurt will be delayed. I don’t know why I did’t react to that fact. I guess I was tired from my previous stress. Later on board when pilot said that we are around 1h behind schedule I realized that I might miss my connecting flight to Madrid. At that particular moment flight attendant asked me if I need something to drink. I asked for whiskey — I  got a double anti stress package with coca.
When we landed in Frankfurt I heard “last call for…” I was running towards my gate and I almost killed some people on the way. I was hungry and tired but I reached the desk and I was last passenger to board plane to Madrid. Flight attendant smiled to me and said that I am a lucky person because she was already closing the entry gate but she saw me running like an angry bull. I slept through the wholr flight to Madrid. I was tired and stressed beyond my known limits. Rest of my travel was ok. We landed without any problems. I didn’t cared that flight was 1h delayed. I slowly went to collect my baggage and after that I took a taxi to the hotel. I reached the hotel around 11pm, exhausted… but happy.
Original idea behind me being in Madrid around 3pm was to see the venue and plan some shots the day before the event, so during the live event we know where to go… I was just happy to reach Madrid and listen to the description of the venue. Shortly after that I just took a shower and went to bed.


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The next day was hard. Shooting events like that are not easy, You have to work long hours and You have to deliver good photos. Social media these days can’t wait so You just have to fulfill the needs. I was working with another photographer, Mike,  and we decided that he will be more on stage and I will wonder among the crowd. I like to be away from the stage because I like to shoot wide angle and show the scale of the events. So my goal was to create nice wide angle shoots that will show how big and nice the event is and on the other hand show the attending people. Each time the game was ending I had to be on the stage and capture emotions of the players or emotions of the crowd from the stage. Whenever we felt that we have a nice photo we could go back to photo office and process that photos so they could be forwarded by the coordinator to appropriate receivers.
Great addition to our work was a walkie talkie connection. We could talk during event with other photographer and coordinator, so whenever something changed we could react to that. That was a nice addition because we didn’t have to run towards something if another photographer was closer. I personally think that was a good change towards a better photos. If it  was something going on next to Mik I told him that I think he might get some nice picture there and there. When I was wondering and he saw a cool reaction of the crowd close to me, he gave me  a heads up – and that was professional cooperation.

So by writing this text I also want to thanks my coordinator Bartosz and second photographer Mike for nice and professional work. Thanks guys! Also it was a great privilege to work for Riot Games again. Events they create are close to my heart because I am a professional event photographer and also a gamer. So just being there gives me a goose bumps.

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On the second day Rioters where looking for people to play a test game on “the stage”. Byan  accident I got to the red team and… that was something. Except the fact that is was tons of fun it was a nice experience. When I was playing a game on the stage I was so focused that I couldn’t see anything else except the screen. That was valuable information for us photographers, because that showed me how to approach shooting players during the game… and Mike was so kind to take a nice photo of me during my time on stage.

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And … hm… we lost that game. 🙂

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The grand finale was an extraordinary moment to photograph. Mike and I were preparing  an approach to that moment and we decided that I will be with my wide angle just under the stage and he will go with tele lens to the camera booth in front of the stage. That allowed us to have two nice angles of the every moment. It was stressful but I know myself that in moments like that I work like a robot. I don’t think I just react to what I see and hope that my experience will tell my subconsciousness what to do. This is how I work and I am happy with the results. So again this is the photo of the event!

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That was amazing moment!

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Just before the test game and after meeting of the stuff I was asked to do a group photo of the whole team of Riot Games. So if You where there drop a like below and thanks again for nice time!

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