My First Riot Hackathon

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     I attended my first Riot Hackathon two weeks ago. Although I was totally burnt out after the event, I had such a great time those three days. I got the chance to physically be at Riot headquarter. It was amazing because it allowed me to get a glimpse of what it would be like to work at Riot, and to take a tour of the Esports Center. It was really interesting to see what it’s like even behind the curtain. More importantly, I met so many great and talented people at the event!

 

     League of Legends has inspired me in a lot of ways, especially its visual style. It has been a dream that someday I can create something as great and memorable as visual contents in League of Legends (LoL). I found this opportunity in GDD’s Facebook Group (if you are not a member yet, join now). To be honest, I was so surprised that I got accepted for the event since I don’t consider myself as a competitive gamer at all. And I was even more surprised by the time I was at the event! Riot had hosted people from 16 countries aged from 18 to 45 in various disciplines which I originally thought would be just an event for students! It was amazing that developers with different expertises and experiences coming together and trying to build something around LoL within 36 hours!

 

     My team had developed a Twitch extension for LoL streamers, named omegaLOL! Our team really wanted to do something fun and different with real-time data, because there are plenty Twitch extensions analysing player stats. In addition, there are really detailed player stats within the client itself already! Our team spent the whole afternoon trying to figure out what real-time data we could get from Riot API. Unfortunately Riot API doesn’t give developers access to it. Everything we had access to were past games. We were really upset and went to dinner. Suddenly, a brilliant idea came to us: Twitch Chat! Twitch Chat itself is a source of real-time data! After watching a couple LoL streamers’ channels, it seems natural that whenever something interesting happens, there will be spammed chats in the channel! So we started brainstorming what kind of information we could gather from the chats and present them in a fun way! We also realized that a lot of streamers like to keep track of their win-lose ratio of the day and make clips of their either hilarious or epic moments in games. There it is! We decided that we were going to develop an extension which hooks into Twitch Chat to provide a real-time match highlights, and stream session stats at a glance! Our team quickly split into two sub-teams that one handled the backend and another handled the frontend of the extension. It was absolutely amazing that each individual of the team was able to take on different parts that quickly! It was a pleasure working with my team! I learned so much about server, extension pipeline and frontend development! If you are interested more about our project, here is a short video about it!

 

     Other than the hackathon itself, there were a lot of other activities as well! Such as Riot Campus Tour, Esports Center Tour, game time, food and snacks, science fair and final presentations! We had about two hours after dinner to play a couple game everyday which I got to say the game room at Riot was so cool! Although it was at hackathon, balance of work and relax was still important! The event was so fun that I would definitely apply again next year!