Red Bull Team Brawl
It’s a world filled with Druids and Hunters and Mages and Paladins created by Blizzard and taken to the next level by Red Bull as part of its eSports league. A premier game developer with massive international titles like Starcraft and World of Warcraft, Red Bull worked with Blizzard to redevelop a 3 vs 3 version of the game (which is a card-based game) from the original 1 vs 1 platform. As if this weren’t exciting enough, Red Bull sponsored a live, 10-hour competition that would be broadcast online as well as through Twitch gaming.
Working with Red Bull and Blizzard, we were tasked with creating a full brand identity and video graphics for the eSports online broadcast of the new Hearthstone competition. This would be our third project with Red Bull and provided a unique challenge to blend three distinct brand worlds into one seamless whole: the Red Bull Universe, Blizzard Entertainment, and Hearthstone. Delving deep into the world of Hearthstone, we realized the greatest challenge of the project would be to recreate the Blizzard and Red Bull brands that already existed but were too futuristic and far from the aesthetic of Warcraft and Hearthstone. Shifting into the Hearthstone universe the brands would need to look medieval, ancient, crafted, wooden — more steampunk than spaceship.
We narrowed in on the crest and shields we kept seeing pop up in the Hearthstone universe. In order to link the Hearthstone world with Team Brawl (the universe we created for Red Bull eSports), we created a centerpiece in the “Swirl” that can be found on the back of Hearthstone cards. Focusing on the swirl allowed us to avoid focusing on specific characters which, as we found in our brand analysis, carried deep personal meanings for the Hearthstone players. The Swirl allowed us to avoid the problems contained in character bias. Once we had the base brand graphics in place, we then moved forward to create the graphic animations for the broadcast. Keeping viewers engaged was our primary concern and we designed a number of animations to move the broadcast along: Wipe effects, LW3s, Score Cards, Prizing cards, lists of the cards in each players’ hand, thank you screens, and waiting screens. The goal here was to deliver the vibe of the game through the animated interpretation of its look and feel. The competition broadcast lasted for 10 hours and we loved seeing all of our creations fly and wipe and dissolve non-stop across the screen.
Revamping this logo was a stunning, immersive experience. Since we wanted our designs to look like they had been made by the same guys who did Hearthstone, I downloaded the game immediately after receiving the briefing and played for hours. Thanks to diving deeply into the World of Warcraft universe and the online communities, I was able to completely understand what was the subject of the project was and the audience we were speaking to. From here, it was a few weeks of work/joy mode, until we finally came up with the badge, supporting graphics, and the characters' illustrations. To be honest, I found the game to be so cool that I never stopped playing.