On the morning of every Rioter's first day – typically a Friday – the first order of business is to sit the newbs down to a playtest for hands-on time with League of Legends. Starting out this way this helps emphasize the importance of making time for daily play and sets the tone for the first day of denewbification – Riot's onboarding program for new hires.
After a day spent in denewbification, the final official activity of a Rioter's first day is Show and Tell, a raucous affair in which we cram all the Rioters (tyros and vets alike) into the cavernous Urf Memorial Lounge, our largest room and the only space large enough to host hundreds of Riot's finest.
Show and Tell's been a fixture on the calendar since Riot's earliest days in smaller, cozier offices. We've moved a few times to accommodate the growing team, but the basic agenda's been largely unchanged. It goes like this:
- Step 1: Pack everyone into the largest space at Riot and hope that the fire alarm doesn't go off as the heat rises. Watch for elbows.
- Step 2: Offer tubs of ice-cold beer and soda to keep temps bearable. If the beverages don't help, remind yourself that Show and Tell's never been an entirely comfortable affair. Riot's growth trajectory means there's always been more bodies than beanbags. So maybe find a spot on the floor. Or stand.
- Step 3: Send the evening's Show and Tell emcee out to beg the mob to quiet down and kick off the show with often-hilarious video introductions of our new hires (we laugh with them, not at them). Marvel at the beat-boxing and stupid human tricks. There always seems to be at least one very talented newb in every new class.
- Step 4: Call the next presenter to the stage. Maybe this presenter will share a sneak a peek into the redesigned Twisted Treeline and invite the company to playtest the shit out of it. Maybe she'll ramble on past four minutes, in which case the emcee will play disco music at ever-increasing volumes to encourage the presenter to wrap it up. Gotta keep things moving -- people are standing, the beer's running out, and it's getting hot in here.
- Step 5: It's time for the culture award. Have burly dudes bring out the Rammus-topped Champions Cup. Every month, we call another Rioter or team of Rioters to the stage and tell a tale of that person or team's meritorious acts of Riotousness. Maybe this week's the one where Keenon from our IT team was feted for inventing the humble new tradition of collecting player autographs at live events because that man knows that players are the real stars in our firmament.
- Step 6: Bring Jaws to the stage for narrate the play of the week. He'll of course shoutcast the poo out of some sick play. Since it's the end of the year, maybe he'll replay that one totally epic Lee Sin chase as play of the year.
- Step 7: Let's get someone up on stage now to talk about something that kinda sucked and that we maybe could do better next time to balance the rah rah with some wah wah. Like, maybe talk about how a certain important playoff event could have gone better.
- Step 8: Have the emcee announce that the show's over and have him put a bow on it by playing us out with some keyboard cat. Maybe punk the whole office with a spoof video set to that Macklemore song that everybody's got on repeat? That's a great idea. Let's do that.
- Step 9: Reflect. This ain't your sixth grade Show and Tell. There's no quiet, polite listening, no 'hands-up-if-want-to-speak' Q&A's and definitely no corporate slideshows. Hot and crowded, loud and exuberant. Just the way we like it.