ESL One New York Will Feature Virtual Reality Streaming For The First Time Ever

Lower Manhattan at night
The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament during the upcoming ESL One New York will be streamed in virtual reality.

With this amazing feature, the event will be the first-ever esports tournament where the audience will be able to follow the show using virtual reality.

VR taking over the esports viewership experience

ESL One New York will be the inaugural esports event streamed in VR, but this will not be the first time the paths of esports and VR have crossed.

A couple of months ago, Valve introduced a VR feature called Dota VR Hub. On the platform, players can use VR headsets to watch Dota 2 matches using virtual reality — a new milestone for the viewership experience.

Now, by bringing SLIVER.tv (a VR startup) and WonderWorld VR (a company producing VR content for 360 VR headsets) on board, ESL will take the streaming and viewership experience reach a whole new level.

Announced earlier this week, ESL will work with the two companies to enable a VR viewing feature for fans around the world. Using a platform-agnostic method, the action will be viewable through a website, on a mobile device, or a VR headset.

Said ESL Product Manager Stuart Ewen:

“We’re very excited to be able to launch our very first VR live stream from ESL One New York with the help of SLIVER.tv. This new method of broadcasting is going to give viewers a taste of what it’s like to be in the arena at an esports mega event, and give people a brand new perspective on top level CS:GO through an in-game VR camera.

Esports helped to pioneer online video streaming, and we couldn’t be more proud to take the next step into the future of broadcast media with this initiative.”

SLIVER.tv successfully acquired $6.2 million in funding about a month ago, a round that included companies like DCM Ventures, Sierra Ventures, The Venture Reality Fund, and Hollywood Media Investors, among others.

SLIVER.tv Co-founder and CEO Mitch Liu remarked:

“We’re looking forward to showcasing our brand new LiveVRCast technology in partnership with ESL. Previously, viewers could only watch recorded clips VOD [Video on demand], rather than live content.

This will be the first event to use our turnkey live-streaming platform for tournament, league and team operators to broadcast popular esports games like CS:GO in immersive 360 VR.”

“We are extremely happy to partner with ESL and SLIVER.tv to enable fans to teleport themselves in to the world of esports and experience some truly unforgettable moments in live VR,” said Wonderworld VR CEO and Founder Simon Romanus. “At Wonderworld VR we are always pushing the limits and this unique first-of-its-kind live broadcast with ESL really shows that we are in the forefront of VR.”

VR market, like esports, is growing

According to various sources, the global VR market is poised to reach $30-40 billion by 2020.

Stunlock Studios, another VR esports company, recently released Battlerite, a game that will supposedly “trump Dota 2’s VR mode” with its own VR feature.

An impressive trailer of the gameplay was released by the company to support the claim.

“This is a cutting edge filming technique when it comes to recording gameplay footage and we are now working on integrating a VR option into our observer mode,” said Stunlock’s Head of VR Tobias Johansson.

“We have this thing we call “Pinch-To-Zoom-3D” that works just like on your smartphone – but in VR. With this function you can zoom in and out without breaking the immersion and flow. We are aiming on throwing you into a virtual coliseum at the final release of the game.”

Dejan Zalik

About

Dejan has been involved in gaming for over 10 years. Moving from classics like Diablo 2, Lineage 2, and Warcraft 3, he found his passion in Dota 2, which he’s been playing ever since. He also likes to keep up to date by reading and writing about whatever is happening in the industry.