LPL partners with DesignStudio, unveils visual rebrand

The Chinese League of Legends Pro League (LPL) has unveiled a visual rebrand before the 2021 LPL Summer Finals.

The league partnered with London-based branding agency DesignStudio for the redesign. The firm is responsible for the lion’s share of Riot Games’s recent LoL Esports league rebrands, including 2018’s LEC, as well as 2020’s LLA and LCK updates.

LPL rebrand
Image credit: TJ Sports

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The LPL debuted its brand new visuals, typeface, and slogan: ‘Crazy is Our Game’ through a bilingual English/Chinese launch video on Twitter.

The LPL rebranded in June 2020 for the first time, showcasing a new league logo and slogan: ‘All We Fight For’. From the recent announcement video, the LPL logo has not undergone significant changes, rather the visual assets have undergone a refresh.

On the strategic decisions behind the rebranding, Kate Han, Head of Branding & Events at TJ Sports, commented: “LPL is aiming to be the best esports league in the world, the new brand will refresh our image and convey the impact of brand power, to create a new bold identity that will appeal to our international fans.”

The LPL is owned and operated by TJ Sports, an esports operation joint venture by Riot Games and Tencent Holdings, founded in January 2019. TJ Sports also operates China’s second-tier competition, the League of Legends Development League (LDL).

LPL Rebrand
Image credit: TJ Sports

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Five key brand elements were expressed in the rebrand’s release: Flow, Frenzy, Focus, Explode, Regenerate which are ‘at the core of the LPL brand — the expressive, dynamic representation of the energy that lives within the LPL spirit’.

The new visual system will be integrated into marketing assets, broadcasts, offline activities, and across merchandise/licensed products. 

Chrys Naselos, Design Director, DesignStudio London, added: “LPL is the top-tier professional league for League of Legends in China. Known for their tenacity and pushing boundaries, they harness the immense power of their game and raise the sport to impossible levels.

“While developing the LPL brand, we knew we needed to create something reflective of that spirit and those standards. ‘Crazy Is Our Game’ captures both this mindset and the LPL’s unwavering commitment to their style of play. This became the starting point from which we built the striking and bold visual language appealing both to their players and international fans.”

The LPL hosts a range of global partnerships with the likes of Nike, HyperIce, Mercedes-Benz, Mobil, KFC, Intel and Razer among others.

China was set to host the 2021 LoL World Championship in a cross-country tour, however, last week Riot Games revealed that it would be moving the event to Europe. There’s been speculation that the event will be held in Iceland. At the time of publishing, no official response has been made.

Esports Insider says: As predicted in our collaborative piece with Turquoise Branding on Branding strategies for esports leagues, Riot Games seems to be in the process of updating and unifying the branding of all of its major leagues — kicked off by the 2018 rebrand of the LEC, followed by the LLA, LCK, and LCS. With the LPL’s rebrand, more than one-third of the tier-one competition’s have gotten a facelift — leaving Vietnam’s VCS, Turkey’s TCL, Japan’s LJL, Commonwealth of Independent State’s LCL, Oceana’s LCO, Brazil’s CBLOL, and Southeast Asia’s PCS.

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