ESL Pro League / CS:GO Process

case study

We’re excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at our ESL Pro League packaging and branding, developed for Counter-Strike:Global Offensive using some really fun techniques. We hope you enjoy this case study. : )

We knew from the beginning that the open would incorporate the iconic characters and animations from the game. To get everything in its purest form, we built some custom green screen maps and jumped into the game engine for our shoot. CS:GO has a record and playback feature, so once we acted out our scenes we could view the characters from any angle and export image sequences. The following video shows some highlights from our virtual shoot and how the elements were brought together to create the open.

ESL is synonymous with high-end professional Counter-Strike competition, so we wanted to create a world for the open that conceptually strengthened that dynamic. We constructed a map scenario using the shapes of the ESL logo and hundreds of in-game models for authenticity.

Here’s a look at the open with just the interface elements turned on:

We worked with ESL to create a new logo for the Pro League brand as well, incorporating elements from the Counter-Strike world, and eventually settling on a shield with bomb details. For those who aren’t familiar with the game, pro matches are based on the “Defuse” scenario in which the Counter-Terrorist team is trying to prevent the Terrorist team from detonating a bomb at either bombsite. Here’s a look at some of the earlier iterations of our logo process, as well as the final product:

One of the first things we focused on even before the completion of the final logo was the core graphics package. We developed the initial frames with a diagonal color sweep through the neutral background that was based on the ESL logo. We decided early on that the diagonal sweep could change angles based on the content of the design since the logo itself has multiple angles within it.

The clean style of the package allowed us to showcase game and player info quickly and clearly. Here are a few of our favorites.

We had so much fun designing and animating this entire package, not to mention the fact that we got to direct a shoot inside of a game we love. Thanks again to our friends at ESL for the amazing collaboration, and to the CS / Half Life community for having so many good resources for filmmaking and map creation. It was such a cool process — thanks for reading about it!