With a prize pool of USD$300,000, the 2018 ZOTAC Masters Cup for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a serious eSport event.
Our task was not only getting gamers hyped about the competition - we needed to include product images of ZOTAC's hardware, characters from the game itself, details about the tournament, mapped locations and gaming footage within 45-60 seconds.
To convey such a wealth of information in a short amount of time, we turned to previous gaming experience for inspiration...
"ZOTAC referenced our NASCAR project for Forza Motorsport 6 as inspiration, which was essentially a 'mash cut' of several videos," Jumbla Executive Creative Director Callan Woolcock said. "We adopted a similar approach for this project, but injected more narrative."
Our concept was to build the game and tournament from the ground up, right in front of the viewer's eyes. Some objects appear slowly and fade from black, while others are constructed with streaks of light energy.
"This was a visual representation of ZOTAC 'levelling-up'. The 2018 Masters Cup is its biggest tournament to date and has a significantly-increased prize pool," Cal said.
While our designers were given free reign to create individualistic styles and looks, Cal oversaw each piece of the puzzle to ensure a balanced look and feel for the end result.
"A big thing for me was ensuring every shot didn't challenge the previous one for attention, as each scene had to flow nicely into the next,” he said.
For example, the first group of soldiers always point or fall from left to right, while the camera consistently moves in a similar direction. This was imperative for such a fast-cutting piece...
"It was the same for the maps and text," Cal said. "The maps move really fast but there's just enough time to realise where in the world each qualifier takes place, which engages people from those regions. The positioning of the text is also easy on the eye."
In spite of a tight two-week deadline, even the smallest of details were given a great deal of attention.
"We spent a solid week and a half just building the stadium, which appears once or twice for only a split second at a time," Cal said.
"Even though it's a small piece of the puzzle, it needed to look correct. We could have created just a still image, but then we wouldn't get the same impact of the lights that we do in 3D...and those lights really bring it to life."
To allow for the creation of multiple shots and 3D renders, the team used Octane in Cinema 4D. It was then down to Cal to grade and compose with particle effects, stock footage, lighting, and colour for an enhanced aesthetic.
"This process added much more depth to the shots, as the soldiers looked quite flat early on," Cal said. "The client also suggested adding more colour to divide up the maps, which I usually wouldn't have chosen. But in this case, I think it made the piece more vibrant and interesting."