Red Post Collection: Riot Games Merch Store Incoming, Rek'Sai Q&A on Dec. 2nd, Worlds 2014 By The Numbers, & More

Posted on at 7:24 PM by Moobeat
[Note: Rek'Sai's Q&A is live!]

Tonight's Red Post Collection features an announcement and Q&A on the upcoming launch of Riot's merchandise store, a reminder that "The Heist" is ending soon, a look at the numbers behind the 2014 World Championship, Riot KateyKhaos commenting on both Blood Moon Elise & player feedback,  and more!
Continue reading for more information

Table of Contents

Riot Games Merch Store Incoming

Just in time for the holiday's, RedBeard has popped up on the boards with an update and Q&A on Riot's new merchandise store which will be launching very soon!
"Hey everyone! 
We’re glad you could stop by to chat with us. We know that many of you have been excited about merch for a while now, which is why we’re excited to finally share our plans to soon launch a beta version of the Riot Games Merch Store. 
We spent the past year building a team specifically dedicated to creating merch and developing an experience that we hope resonates with all of you as League of Legends players and fans. 
Today I’m joined by Bradmore (our director of merch) and Riot Tocelot (aka JLeezy, our senior manager leading our store efforts), and we’re going to share some info around our plans for the future of merch and also talk about some of the decisions we made when we kicked off this whole journey. This’ll include why we created a new merch store, why we’re launching in beta and what to expect if your region is not part of the initial beta roll-out. We also want to talk about a few of the items we plan to launch with and how some of that merch came to life. So let’s get rolling… ask us anything!"

As usual, I've sorted the Q&A based on similar theme


When asked what the term "Beta" means for a physical merchandise store, Bradmore commented:
"We want to launch with an initial set of products that allow us to both test demand, our global supply chain (getting the products shipped) and our ecommerce platform. Getting the store in front of players now will allow us to iterate and make the overall merch experience in 2015 even stronger."
Tocelot also added in:
"We are launching in a phased beta with the goal of being fully open to the public within a few days. We're aware that there might be heavy traffic out of the gate so please be patient if you experience any hiccups on launch day as we are fully committed to improving the experience."

When asked when the store will go live and if we can expect deliveries for the upcoming holiday's, Redbeard commented:
"We are looking to launch soon, in the coming days / week. Tying out some final details but want to get the beta store up and running asap. Think the bigger problem will be having sufficient inventories. 
Unclear on Christmas deliveries, depends on the volumes of orders but we unfortunately are not guaranteeing delivery for Christmas."
He continued mentioning the estimated shipping times of items sold during beta:
"The store will come out before Christmas, but with unknown volumes and untested logistics/distribution/shipping channels, we unfortunately guarantee this. 
Eventually this will all be very refined and estimated shipping dates will be more accurate."

When asked about potential product shortages, Bradmore commented:
"Our goal is to deliver products to players wherever they are and we'll be working towards that goal thoughout the beta process. Our initial launch countries are still being determined. 
Regarding product shortages, we're working on that. Building a global supply chain to efficiently meet player demand for merch has been challenging and we are learning and improving our operations as grow. We expect that there may be some sell-outs initially but are working hard to get to the point where everyone who wants a poro can get one."
RedBeard added in:
"We are planning for a big launch, but we wouldn't be surprised if the popular items sell out pretty quickly. A big reason for sprinting to launch is to test demand and help us get a gauge for what the 'right' quantities are for various products. 
Within a few months we will have better inventory counts so address sell-outs."

Regional Availability

As for the regional availability of the physical merch store, Riot Tocelot commented:
" We will be launching a global store that will offer delivery outside of NA and will be expanding the list of countries we ship-to over the time - we want our Merch to be accessible to as many players as possible."
When asked if the merch options will be the same in all regions, RedBeard noted:
"Same store for NA as for EU. Trying to make the store as global as possible, but still working on refining channels for specific markets that are tough to get in to."
He continued:
"We have 3 distribution centers at launch to fulfill the America's, Europe, and Asia, but may need to open some sub DCs as well depending on volumes and a variety of other factors."

Riot Tocelot also added:
"For sure - we are launching a global store that will offer delivery outside of NA and will be expanding the list of countries we ship-to over the time - we want our Merch to be accessible to as many players as possible!"
When asked specifically about shipping costs to Canada, RedBeard noted:
"It's pretty reasonable shipping costs to Canada. Can't forget about America's favorite neighbor."
As for Europe, RedBeard noted:
"Can't forget about EU! 
We do have a distribution center in Europe and we feel shipping costs out there are very reasonable."
Bradmore added:
"We will have a European website and distribution center at beta launch."
As for OCE, Zephyreal noted:
"OCE should be covered by our shipping center in Asia"


Most importantly, Bradmore shared a list of the types of items we can expect from the shop:
"We'll have a limited collection of items during beta including T-shirts, hoodies, collectibles, posters, plush and accessories. We'll have the Worlds Track Jacket at beta launch as well. Over time we will be exploring additional items and expect new products/categories to come into the store in 2015."
He continued:
"Here's one of the new T-shirts designs that we'll have at beta launch"

When asked if they will be selling figures, Bradmore shared:

Regarding these sort of figures, RedBeard added:
"At beta launch we'll offer some of the small figures but we're actively exploring other options. We love action figures."
Bradmore added in:
"We view the figures we'll have at beta launch as the first phase of a broader collection. We're actively working on cool ways to represent champs IRL including larger and more detailed collectible statues."

When asked if any of the shirts will have women's cute, Redbeard noted:
"We have a few women cut shirts at launch, and look forward to increasing that volume over time. Agree they will fit much better being a woman's cut."

When asked if Riot will ever work with community artists to sell already existing fan art items that are already available on Etsy or similar site, RedBeard commented:
"At launch and throughout beta it will be Riot internal, but we of course are familiar with Etsy and others that do a great job getting the community involved. Our community is talented, creative, and intimately involved with League, so it's definitely something we are looking forward to figuring out down the road."

When asked about LCS team merch and if it will be made available in the new shop, RedBeard commented:
"Not at launch or any time soon, but eventually we'd love to help teams with their merchandising opportunities. Many teams already have their existing operations up, so we'll look to create an opt-in program for teams that want to work with us to get jerseys / other gear in the store. Otherwise, their gear is available at their respective stores."

As for Yasuo related merch, Bradmore noted:
"Our Yasou t-shirt from Worlds will be available at launch and we're exploring other ideas for him too!"
As for Jinx merch, Bradmore shared the box for the previously mentioned Jinx figure:
"We'll have a Jinx figure at launch and have plans for more Jinx products down the road as well."

Redbeard also added in that most the merch available at 2014 Worlds will be available online:
"Yup, believe almost all of our Worlds inventory will now be available online."
Regarding the Tibbers doll sold at Worlds, Redbeard commented:
"Yes! Hope volumes last, may sell out quickly, who knows."
Speaking of Worlds 2014 merch, Bradmore also added in:
"At least initially Ahri Nendoroid will not be available in the merch store."

As for if the items in the store will extended out to retailers, RedBeard noted:
"For now we are selling exclusively online through our store. TBD on what the retail approach may become."

RedBeard also answered a question on which champions will have merch themed after them, saying:
"We are just trying to make cool stuff - not necessarily the most 'sellable' champions. Exploring a variety of champions, i.e. Gangplank isn't a top played champion, but will make an appearance at launch."

When asked if there are plans for any higher quality or large figures, Bradmore commented:
"First of all--that Metroid figure is amazing! We're huge fans of this type of stuff and are exploring options for producing various types of collectibles in the future."
As for replicas of in-game items, RedBeard replied:
"Not at launch, but it's a good thought!"

Prices and Payment

As for prices, Bradmore commented:
"We'll have a range of price points in the store and have been focused on creating high quality products at reasonable price points. T-shirts and poros for example will both be $25."
RedBeard also commented on the possibility of sales during beta:
"Not atm, but will evolve over time."

Riot Tocelot also commented on the physical merch stores payment options:
"For beta, we are launching with support for credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, AmEx) and PayPal, and will be working to expand this over time."

When asked if the store will share our account logins or be something separate, Redbeard noted:
"There will be single account sign-on for the store, but can also check out as a guest."
As for if summoner's will be able to use RP to purchase items in the physical merch store, Riot Tocelot commented:
"At this time we’re not supporting the use of RP in the Merch store but may consider doing this down the road."
He continued:
"True - we definitely plan to explore this down the road, our store is launching in beta so expect to see both the website and available payment methods evolve after launch as we continuously improve things"

To recap, Riot Draggles also posted a brief FAQ on the EU forums regarding the future shop, which specific EU continues will be delivered to, and much more!
"We know that many of you have been excited about merch for a while now, which is why we’re thrilled to share our plans to soon launch a beta version of the Riot Games Merch Store.

If you want to ask any questions of your own, the Boards AMA is live here.

We spent the past year building up a team specifically dedicated to creating merch and developing a site that we hope resonates with all of you as League of Legends players and fans. Today we’ll share some info around our plans for the future of merch and some of the decisions we’ve made along the way. This includes why we created a new merch store and why we’re launching it in beta. We’ll also cover a few of the items we plan to launch with.

Why is Riot building a merch store?
We love League and realize that creating a store full of high-quality items that resonate with League of Legends helps all of us deepen our connection with the game and its universe. The store will hopefully provide players with another outlet to engage with League but with physical products.

Why is the store launching as a beta?
Launching in beta gives us the opportunity to interact with players faster as they experience an initial version of the store and the merch within. This will allow us to learn, adapt, and evolve in order to deliver a more comprehensive merch experience that players deserve. Initial feedback is critically important as we work to build the right catalogue and make the store an unforgettable experience.

What can you expect out of the beta?
Like any beta, the store will be a work in progress. The site is still under development, and while you can dive in and shop around right now, there are tons of things we plan to do in order to make the merch experience better. Expect to see real-time changes along the way as we evolve the site and product catalogue.

Will there be Czech and Hungarian localization and support for the Merch Store?
Czech and Hungarian players will be able to order from the store but will need to use an alternative language initially, but be reassured that this will have no impact on merch delivery. As we continue to iterate during the beta we will keep players updated as we expand the number of languages that the store experience services.

Now that we covered a few items surrounding the beta, let’s talk about some of the merch that’ll be available and what the initial experience will be like when the Store Beta launches. 
What product categories will be available during beta?
We’ll have a variety of merch including clothing, collectibles, art, and accessories. Over time we’ll be explore new products within these categories and potentially even some spiffy new categories.

Will all players have access to the same products?
Making sure that at launch players can pick up the same merch is important to us, so we’re rolling out every region’s store with the same initial items

What happens if an item sells out, will it be refreshed?
One of the major benefits of beta is that it helps us learn which items you really love. This ultimately helps us create merch that raises the bar on awesome. We can’t promise that every item will be available in unlimited amounts, but we’ll continue to bring in new merch as often as possible over the coming months.

If my region’s store sells out of an item can I buy the same item from another region?
At this time, each website only delivers to a players dedicated geographical region.

What countries will you deliver to in Europe?
You can find below a list of all countries we are planning on deliver to for the beta launch of our merch store. As we continue to develop the store, we will keep players regularly updated as we expand this list and deliver to new locations: 
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sweden , Switzerland , Turkey, United Kingdom 
Right now we don’t have a concrete timeline for how long beta will last, but we’re going to remain in beta as it takes to build a merch store experience that hopefully gives League players around the world the experience they’ve been waiting for. We’ll continually make changes as the site grows, both in-store and behind the curtain, so keep an eye out as the experience evolves.

We can’t wait to see what you think of the Riot Games Merch Store as we all take this first step in a journey towards levelling up League and Riot merch worldwide."

The Heist ending soon!

Here's Riot Paradox with a reminder that The Heist is ending soon!
"Good news, everybody! 
After staking out the completely wrong address, accidentally wiretapping themselves and trying to tail a couple of suspicious individuals WHILE DRESSED IN FULL UNIFORM, Captain Volibear and Constable Trundle have finally caught the criminals! An innocuous pink ward – accidentally dropped by our bravest officers as they played hide and seek – detected the pair of thieves whose dastardly demands included a deal on legacy skins. With Safecracker Evelynn and Pickpocket Twitch now in custody, we’re pleased to announce that the legacy skins – joined by a few extras – will be entering the Skin Protection Program and secured back in our watertight legacy vault at 11:59pm PST on December 1. Act fa... Uhh... Guys? Guys?? Wheeeeere are Twitch and Evelynn...? 
Welp, this is awkward. Looks like we’ve got work to do. AGAIN. In the meantime, act fast if you’re looking to secure some of these skins before they’re locked away! And remember, summoners – crime doesn’t pay!"

Rek'Sai Q&A on December 2nd

The team responsible for our Rek'Sai will be burrowing on to the forums for a Q&A tomorrow!
"We’ve unearthed some of the developers behind Rek’Sai and prepped them for a Q&A session at 11am PST on 12/2. If you’re interested in knowing about Rek’Sai’s place within the Xer’Sai, or learning about her creation, swing by with your questions! 
Dig into more Rek’Sai news here: 

Blood Moon Elise : Pink vs Red

During her stay on the PBE, the upcoming Blood Moon Elise skin has been switched from predominantly pink to being more red to better fit the rest of the Blood Moon skins.

When asked why this color change was made, Riot KateyKhaos commented:

"The color change was based off of the feedback that we had received from players when she hit the PBE. Players felt that she looked more 'Popstar' or 'Heartseeker' than Blood Moon, and didn't fit as cohesive as other skins in the line. We listened to the feedback we'd received, and adjusted her color.

With that being said, we've been listening to both sides of the issue - both the players who like the pink, as well as the players who like the red. The team has been discussing what, if anything, we're going to do regarding the final color of the skin.

I've said this a few times around the boards, but it's super important that you guys, as players, comment and talk about what you do like, as well as what you don't like when it comes to new content. We can only make changes based off of the feedback we receive, so having well-rounded feedback is awesome to have!"

Processing Player Feedback

Riot KateyKhaos also weighed in on how the skins team processes player feedback:
"While I can't speak on how other teams grab player feedback, I can speak on behalf of skins!

As you've probably seen, we post PBE threads about new content. After a couple days of the content being out on PBE, we collect player feedback from several forums (these boards, S@20, Reddit, Skin Spotlights on YouTube, etc). We compile the feedback in the form of screenshots, quotes, etc, and email them to the team who is working on the skin.

With that being said, there's plenty of feedback that we see and use, but don't comment on. It'd be pretty hard to reply to every comment made about a skin, be it positive or negative feedback.

At the end of the day, we can't make everyone happy when it comes to new content, and from my personal experience, especially with skins. To be honest, it sucks. Making one skin to please everyone is pretty impossible, but we do our best to voice the opinion of players and to try and make as many happy as possible, based on the commentary we see on the boards."
When linked to a separate thread about PBE players not feeling their feedback was being heard, she replied:
"Again, only working on the skins team, I can only address major concerns regarding PBE, rather than why x was changed, or why x wasn't changed.

"The PBE appears to be treated as too far down the pipe to actually change anything before it goes out."
That's simply not true. We push content to PBE a couple weeks before it's scheduled to be completed and put in the next patch. With that being said, it's super important that we get player feedback ASAP. If you give us feedback a couple days before we're scheduled to be done (and it's not something that's gamebreaking and absolutely needs to be fixed), chances are, it won't be added / changed.

Keep in mind that when we make changes to content, it needs to be re-tested. For example, if we change, say, one of Snow Day Malzahar's skills, we need to test that skill again on all of his skins, not just Snow Day Malzahar, to make sure nothing got messed up."

Riot KateyKhaos continued, replying to a player claiming player feedback has only ever been ignored:
"I wouldn't say I'm lying.

Prime example - I collected feedback for Blood Moon Elise when a good portion of players were unhappy with the pink when she initially hit PBE, so we made another revision where she's more red. 
Ultimately, players actively voiced their opinions that they didn't like the red and wanted something that was toned back to a more pink tone. Again, I collected that feedback, and the team is discussing what we should do about it now. 
We may not actively comment on every post or say thing like "We're changing this because players said x, y, and x", but we're reading the comments and acting feedback where applicable."
She continued:
Okay now it gets all convoluted. So texture is a whole completely different expertise than skin making? Can't help but feel that there being two separate teams may lead to hilarious miscommunication where Jinx's smooth beautiful skin becomes a wrinkled old lady's.  
But can we all just shake hands and just agree on one crucial objective fact? Zac needs a new skin, something that changes him beyond "purple Zac with some whippy things"(roach swarm Zac? stitched zombie Zac?) 
On another note, do you think Wukong's new skin posed a little problem for making skins for certain champions? 
At the price the skin team or whoever priced him at, he was...really underwhelming. I guess it didn't help that he's not all that popular a champion to begin with, but his kit really doesn't lend itself all too well to legendary skins. 
I mean, compared to your average AP champion with all their snazzy spells and animations, what does a kit like Wukong's have to work with that makes it worth that price? A lot of his kit is just the ways a monkey man can swing his stick. 
Do you plan on making legendary skins for champions with little to nothing to work with in the future? The most you can do is just make a champion built around some stupid meme like dunking and playing that up. I challenge you to make, say...a skin for Xin Zhao interesting enough to be legendary.
"I...I hope Jinx's skin never ends up looking like an old lady's, haha. Having two teams is actually pretty helpful for us on skins. We wouldn't otherwise have enough time to update older skins, since we're usually pretty packed with new content. Champion Update is also responsible for reworks, so they've got a lot on their plate, too. 
I absolutely agree with you that Zac needs a new skin. While I can't say if there's a skin in the works or not, I can tell you that he's a champion we're aware of that needs a new skin. Jinx is also high on that list. 
In regards to Wukong, I think you mean Underworld Wukong. That skin wasn't legendary, it was 1350 RP. I'm sorry you felt he was underwhelming. About a year and a half ago, we discussed price tiers for content coming out from that point on. It detailed what kind of work went into each price tier. You can check it out here
One of the reasons he was priced more than a 975 (as listed in that link up there) was because all of his VO had voice processing. That's generally something that separates a 975 RP skin from a 1350 RP skin. He also had a new model and texture, a new recall animation, and new particles. 
Again, I can't say what we've got planned, but I do agree with you that making a legendary skin for someone who is melee, let's say Garen, is definitely harder than making a legendary for someone who is particle heavy, like Veigar. I think it can be done, but it would definitely take a lot of thought and planning. Xin Zhao is definitely on the more difficult end of the spectrum, like you're implying."

Faction Colors

In a thread discussing faction based champions having similar clothing or armor color, Riot Whren stepped in to comment:
Because that's really boring. I understand the reasoning behind tying factions together more, but I think of each champion as an individual first. They aren't rank and file soldiers who wear uniforms, so why should every champ have to have similar color schemes.
Especially for somewhere like Noxus. Noxus has always seemed darwinian to me insofar as nobody cares who you are or what you look like as long as you can hold your own in battle. So if all champions end up with the same red and black color scheme, I think it would just rob those champions of their individuality. I can understand some champs following the themes though. Sion and Darius for example are the leaders of the Noxus forces so it makes sense, but I think making LeBlanc for example have a red-focused color scheme would hugely take away from her personality. 
The one I probably dislike the most is the Shadow Isles. So every Shadow Isles champion from now on will be the same shade of ghostly green? Sooo boring. 
I can understand if there are a few key champions who share a factions color schemes, but to make that extend to every champ in the faction would be an overreach imo. 
Anyone else have opinions? Yea or nay?
Hey there! I help flesh out the visual background of the factions and I thought I could give some context on this. Disclaimer: it's a team effort and color palettes of champions are not dictated by any one person.

Ideally, we would not want to restrict champions from a faction to that specific color scheme. You're right, it's boring. It's a fine balancing line between having a variety of colors and between palette chaos. The idea is that we strive to have a logic and philosophy behind each faction's look and feel, rather than a strict dictation of what it should be. For example, the color palettes that people would wear in a faction might be dictated by their available geographical resources, how fashionable the people of that faction might be, or if colors mean anything symbolic to them. Things like that. Our goal is that there are stories behind why a faction looks the way it does. So, rather than saying "Noxus is red and black or get out", the goal is to be more like "desaturated, muted, warm colors -- use cool colors sparingly for distinct reasons". Maybe they just don't care that much about using a lot of dye -- not too inconceivable in a place like Noxus that's busy with other things.

Personally speaking, I don't see Leblanc as an 'ordinary, every-day' Noxian. She wouldn't wear typical Noxian colors, because she's something else. She's not like everyone else. Neither would Draven, in my opinion, because he just has too much to say about himself. However, if all we have are 'exceptions', then we have no baseline and less sense of place. Hence the balance between embodying a faction and individuals who, through their quirks, establish the outer limits of that faction.

Anyways, keep discussing! It's great to hear what you guys think and feel about this."
Whren continued:
"Agreed. I feel like Shadow Isles and Void are unique in the sense that they don't really have this power scale, or at least a different one. I too would love to see more varied colors for them in future. :) Personally, and these are just my own thoughts, I would LOVE to see sickly yellow-greens and bright royal blues and pinks somewhere in the Void, like a bad case of the flu. Something... out of this world. <_<"

Worlds 2014 By The Numbers

With the 2014 World Championship concluding in late October, Riot has just released several figures for the event - including the total amount of unique concurrent viewers!
"We promised we’d share viewership numbers once we tallied them up, and the results are in.

Fans around the the world joined us for 15 days of competition, all adding up to over 100 hours of live content broadcast in 19 languages via 40 broadcast partners.

In total, across all stages from Taipei to Seoul, we saw 288 million cumulative daily unique impressions. This is a familiar metric that’s calculated by taking the unique viewers every day and adding those numbers (but as most fans watched more than one day of the competition, it counts every day they tune in). This adds up to over 179 million hours of esports watched live online across the world. To put this in perspective, fans watched an overall total of 70 million hours online of the Season 3 World Championship. This year, more fans around the world participated in every step of the journey.

During the final showdown between Samsung White and Royal Club, the peak concurrent viewers (the highest number of fans watching at once) was 11.2 million - a climb from 8.7 million in 2013. Overall total unique viewer count for the finals came in at 27 million, from 32 million in 2013. During the Finals, fans tuned in for an average online viewtime of 67 minutes, which beat 2013’s average of 42 minutes.

It’s awesome to see fans enjoying Worlds as a community, whether it’s with 40,000 friends cheering together in Sangam Stadium, or as a group staying up late at a local viewing party halfway across the world. We’re honored by your passion and participation. Thank you for tuning in.

Next up? We’ll unveil some of our plans for 2015 in the coming weeks, so watch this space. Meanwhile, stay tuned to the Expansion Tournament on to see who’ll emerge victorious as the newest competitors in the LCS for the 2015 season.

Thanks for all the support, and see you for another year of battle in 2015!"

Each non English Region also has it's own communication about the store in their native language.

Baron's Holiday Hat on PBE

As you may have noticed above or in the latest PBE update, Baron is sporting a comfy new hat for the holiday season!

Riot Tokkelossie commented on this new addition, saying:
"Not even Baron can resist the festive spirit :D Happy holidays from the Summoner's rift team! 
Don't worry, we've definitely heard you guys about the winter map. A baron hat is something a character artist can kick out quickly by themselves, but a map is a much bigger undertaking, requiring much more planning, effort and time. 
However, now that the SR visual update is live, the foundation is set to make the winter version a possibility in the future."

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