Though virtual reality (VR) has certainly piqued the interest of gamers, content creation remains a major obstacle. When Facebook acquired Oculus back in 2014, gaming was but a small part of the company’s vision.
What they look at instead were workable examples of social and video-based interactions. Instances where people could actively communicate with one another through virtual reality or where a traditional activity could turn into an immersive, VR-based experience. The problem, however, is that retaining the original values of an experience while adding more to it is a much more challenging task than it might appear on paper.
Sports, and thus eSports in extension, seem like the perfect avenue for VR exploration. Fans who watch games are already immersed in the experience. They eagerly watch for exciting moments, carefully listen to the commentary, and can often be found screaming at their screens in joy or frustration. More than that, they also share that experience with friends or other fans from all around the world, which is particularly true in the case of eSports.
One of the very few companies who wishes to tap into this potentially lucrative field of VR content for eSports is Sliver.tv. The company uses a unique system dubbed ‘Virtual Camera’ to create 360-degree videos of 2D video games such as League of Legends. Furthermore, the company has partnerships with both CS:GO and Dota 2 though it is only focusing on the former for now.
Last year, the company showcased its technology and its capabilities at several events, including ESL One New York and IEM Oakland. The stream, which was available through the company’s website, its mobile apps, and its dedicated VR apps, was viewed by more than 130,000 people according to Mitch Liu, founder and CEO of Sliver.tv.
Stuart Ewen, ESL’s Product Manager, also seemed excited about the organization’s partnership with Sliver.tv in a recent talk with PVPLive:
“Our partnership with SLIVER.tv at ESL One New York and IEM Oakland last year exceeded our expectations, and our fans, teams and players were blown away by the first-ever live broadcast of CS:GO and League of Legends in VR. We are delighted to partner with SLIVER.tv this year across 7 events starting with Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice, Poland where in 2016 we saw over 100,000 attendees and nearly two million peak concurrent online viewers.”
Now, Sliver.tv has officially partnered with ESL, IEM, and DreamHack to offer 360-degree VR experiences to fans in 14 events worldwide.
“Our vision is to forever transform the esports spectating experience by providing new perspectives and insights into live esports streams. In partnering with ESL and DreamHack across these 14 global events, we have the opportunity to showcase our 360 virtual reality, live replays and stats technology to millions of esports fans worldwide”, said Liu.
The full list of upcoming events follows:
SLIVER.tv – DreamHack 2017 Events
- DreamHack Masters Las Vegas – Feb 15-19
- DreamHack Masters – Q3 Date and Location TBA
- DreamHack ASTRO Open Austin – Apr 28-30
- DreamHack ASTRO Open Atlanta – Jul 21-23
- DreamHack ASTRO Open Montreal – Sep 8-10
- DreamHack ASTRO Open Denver – Oct 20-22
- DreamHack ASTRO Open Winter – Nov 30-Dec 2
- DreamLeague Season Seven Playoffs – Dates and Location TBA
- DreamLeague Season Eight Playoffs – Dates and Location TBA
SLIVER.tv – Intel Extreme Masters 2017 Events
- Intel Extreme Masters Katowice, Poland – Feb 25-Mar 5
- 3 Addtl IEM Global events – Dates and Location TBA
SLIVER.tv – ESL One 2017 Events
- ESL One Cologne – Jul 3-8
- ESL One New York – Sep 1-15
- ESL One Addtl event – Date and Location TBA