The Weavr Consortium, a broadcast technology project let by ESL UK, has been awarded $5 million in UK Government funding. The award is part of the consortium’s $7.4 million, two-year initiative looking to innovate and expand esports broadcasting.
Creating innovative and immersive experiences for esports fans
The grant comes from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a body of the country’s government focused innovation and research. UKRI’s Industry Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), with its Audience of the Future project, seeks to offer resources to a new wave of immersive experiences.
The Weavr Consortium is a collaboration between ESL, York University, dock10, Cybula, and Focal Point VR & Rewind. Winning ISCF’s Sports & Entertainment category will give the group further resources to develop its platform focused on cross-reality viewing experiences. By utilizing gameplay data, Weavr seeks to innovate how audiences experience esports.
“The UK esports industry is growing rapidly, and ESL UK are right at the heart of its expansion,” said UK Digital and the Creative Industries Minister Margot James MP. “I’m excited to see how the Weavr project will create innovative and immersive experiences for esports fans across the globe, helping to get them even closer to the live action.”
With ESL, an esports giant, joined by experts in the field of VR/AR, AI, and data-driven content production and broadcast, the consortium has plenty of experience on which to draw. And with the continuous rise in audience numbers and events in the market, there’s plenty of data to analyze as well.
“At the forefront of an emerging and rapidly growing esports industry, we’re in a very fortunate and unique position to have insight in the live viewing habits and interactivity of young, tech-savvy and early adopting audiences,” said ESL UK Managing Director James Dean.
UK’s dive into the video gaming industry
Recently, the UK has been very active in gaming, a sector that’s grown rapidly over the last few years. Identifying that a large portion of the “audience of the future” are esports fans, the country has made a conscious effort to help support the rapid growth of the market. The Industry Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) is a great example of just that.
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“The UK is home to some of the world’s leading digital and creative talent,” James said. “Through our modern Industrial Strategy and multi-million-pound creative industries sector deal, we are bringing them together to give audiences a truly unique experience.”