It’s only natural that esports takes cues from traditional sports, building off of established processes and norms while adapting elements to this modern, electronic world. However, esports need not be tethered to traditional methods when there are exciting and innovative new methods and options, which can better represent the dynamic nature of competitive gaming.
One such example is trophies. While many esports tournaments have riffed off of the classic glossy metal cups and saucers seen in traditional sports, we’re seeing a greater push to award more charismatic and original designs — ones that better represent the game in question, the publisher, the sponsor(s), or all of the above.
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Belgian company 3D Trophy Factory is one of the companies leading the charge on that front, embracing techniques such as 3D printing and laser cutting to bring fresh designs to life. Formed in 2012, 3D Trophy Factory has worked across a number of industries, creating bespoke trophies for competitions, companies, and employee recognition purposes–but its esports work has significantly ramped up of late.
The company’s work has been seen in a number of high-profile events. One key example is for the most recent ESL Pro League season for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. While previous ESL Pro League seasons featured a more traditional-looking cup design, ESL sought to present a trophy that better aligned with its recent rebranding effort. The result strikes a distinctive silhouette, a swirl of gold and black adorned with the league branding.
Another standout example is for the GLL Grand Slam: PUBG Classic for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which spotlights the potential to utilise in-game assets to produce a trophy unlike any other. The large, golden trophy is built in part from actual in-game assets from the battle royale shooter, with four of the familiar soldiers hoisting up a large supply crate. FaZe Clan, for their part, then hoisted the trophy onstage following their decisive win at last summer’s tournament.
“You have more freedom to actually capture the shapes that you see in the game,” asserted 3D Trophy Factory’s Business Development Manager, Zorko Huljic. “This can be captured simply in our trophies thanks to the independence of design with THREE DIMENSIONAL printing.”
Whether a client already has an eyesight for a trophy or wants some design guidance, THREE DIMENSIONAL Trophy Factory works carefully with tournament organisers to build up a bespoke award. Using an initial briefing, the company creates sketches and renders because the two parties collaborate on the shared vision. Following style approval, Huljic says it takes between three plus four weeks to deliver the final item, depending on the complexity and selected materials.
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“In terms of lead period, by using 3D printing, it’s faster than traditional steel forging or injection creating,” he explained. “Those are some of the benefits we provide in our product, but it’s really custom work. That’s really important.”
In addition to a faster turn-around than traditional methods for considerable trophies, there’s also prospect of cost savings in the process. Additionally, THREE DIMENSIONAL printing is an eco-friendlier, chemical process, as it builds up through nothing rather than carving aside material — plus rarely used material can be reused within another run. And components are made from castor oil, the biological source that can be restored as fast as it is used. THREE DIMENSIONAL Trophy Factory delivers an amount of polish far above what hobbyist 3D equipment can manage.
“It’s reasonably priced, but it’s reduced product,” said Huljic of the company’s work. “It’s printed with industrial-grade equipment with SLS laser sintering technology.”
The distinctive results have also been observed in Riot Games’ League associated with Legends Premier Tour within Germany, including a trophy with a golden scepter encircled by flames. 3D Trophy Factory also produced trophies for Ubisoft’s Rainbow 6 Siege French League, with regard to Red Bull’s Untapped competition for Magic: The Collecting, and Game Insights’ Weapons of Boom tournaments.
Read the full version of the article in Edition 5 from the Esports Journal.