Those who saw the Elder Dragon were wowed by its appearance and understandably wondered how the heck that was even possible. Figuring that viewers would have questions Riot Games put out a whole dev post months ago titled “Summoning the Worlds Dragon” that explained how the Elder Dragon ended up and Beijing’s Bird’s Nest and the augmented reality tech that made the event possible.
“Initial ideas for AR use during this year’s opening ceremony included Ryze shooting magic around the stadium and Ashe firing arrows out of the projection screen,” the post explained. “But we also had this long-running joke for years: ‘Let’s just have a dragon perch on the stage.’ We didn’t have a portal to Runeterra to import a real dragon (yet), and when that joke was born, the technology needed to make a dragon feel like it was actually flying into a real stadium at a high enough quality hadn’t quite been developed (or made affordable). But by 2017, AR tech had advanced to a level that we thought might just be up to the task. We formed a team of some of our craziest technology innovators to try and answer the question of, ‘Can we make a dragon?’”
The 2018 Worlds Championship will be held in South Korea this year, so expect another huge production when it comes time for that competition.