Artificial intelligence may not be commonplace in the esports industry at the moment, but it could soon be thanks to a new initiative set to be tested at next year’s BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen 2020 tournament.
Skybox Technologies, who are primarily in the field of analytics and visualisation, have turned their attention to esports, and in particular Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Their aim is to test a number of prediction models on the game in the real world, at the BLAST Pro Series in Copenhagen next year and to reward the best coders with a prize of $5,000.
There are essentially two competitions that are part of this initiative. The first is a simple prize of $5,000 for the team that has the best code, and there is another prize on offer for the top five teams that participate, who will each earn a chance to attend the BLAST Pro Series in Copenhagen next year, with the specific aim of putting their code to the test.
The five teams code will then be tested at the event, with the team that produces the best predictive results being deemed the winner, who will then be announced ahead of the Grand Final for that event.
What is the purpose of AI or Machine Learning in esports?
Many have wondered why there is interest in artificial intelligence use within the esports community and the simple answer to that is that its ability to predict what will happen in certain points in the game, can be useful to a number of different aspects of the wider esports community.
Firstly, it will allow casters to be able to better inform the viewers of what may, or may not happen in a certain situation, which will enrich the viewing experience and as such, it also has clear and unambiguous uses within coaching scenarios for esports players, where coaches can explain why certain strategies are more likely to work better in certain scenarios than others.
There is also the possibility that using Machine Learning can help inform those who provide esports betting and especially in terms of betting In Play on esports, where the action on screen could be more accurately reviewed and more accessible and fairer esports odds offered on specific markets.
“Critical Turning Points”
Speaking about the initiative, the CEO of Skybox Technologies, Ethan Cooper, stated:
“Through machine learning algorithms, the data teams will attempt to identify crucial turning points in matches; if they can achieve strong results it will have direct use in live commentary as well as retrospectively for coaching. The CSGO.ai competition lets the esports fanbase combine their data skills with their passion for competitive gaming.”
“Having the predictive algorithms of the top five teams compete on a global stage via the BLAST Pro event will not only showcase the talent within the community, but also identify the next data superstars; therefore, kickstarting or propelling promising careers. We are excited to see what the data teams can do and look forward to meeting the finalists in Copenhagen next year!”
The aim of the competition, as stated the rules are for teams to use ‘machine learning to recognise and predict specific in-game situations and state likely outcomes.”
Image courtesy of Skybox Technologies