Backed by a £4 million grant from UK Research and Innovation, the six companies that are part of the Weavr consortium have released their mobile and virtual reality experience app to fans. The release came following its successful trial at the ESL One Hamburg in late October.
The event in Hamburg was the first time that the public had been granted access to the application, with it being made available both to those attending the arena to watch the ESL One event in real time, as well as those tuning in to the action at home on their chosen mobile device.
In another first, the consortium also broadcast live using Virtual Reality to a number of the ESL Play community based in the United Kingdom.
After being awarded a two-year demonstration grant, the project organisers began work on developing a prototype app that was ready for initial testing at the ESL One Birmingham tournament in May 2019.
The aim of the group was, as Nigel Adams the Minister for Spoirt, Media and Creative Industries at the time, stated:
“Weavr were awarded £4 million through the Audiences of the Future Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to help it create a new platform to transform the way fans remotely engage with live sports.
“…I’ve no doubt creative companies such as Weavr will, with its innovative product having far-reaching commercial value for the UK, be at the heart of the nation’s economy for many years to come.”
After a positive reaction to the technology in Birmingham, the CEO of ESL UK and Weavr, James Dean added:
“We’re so pleased with the fans reactions to Weavr so early in development. We set out to revolutionise the sport and esports viewing experience and we’re well on the way to that.”
Huge Step in Hamburg
After further tweaking between the events in Birmingham and Hamburg, the application was ready for its first public showing in Germany and by all accounts, it was a huge success, as Mr Dean confirmed when speaking about the experience in a press release.
“We said at the start of this project we wanted to move away from linear ‘one-for’all’ coverage towards hyper-personalised experiences. Here at Hamburg we have just taken a huge step towards reaching that goal.”
“Experiences are tailored to each viewer’s interests, they are fully interactive, and provide individualised insights into matches in real-time.”
“And it’s not just fans here in Hamburg who have been impressed; people have also been downloading the app from home. The feedback we have received both here in Hamburg and further afield has been fantastic, and we are already planning for the next stage at ESL One Birmingham which takes place next year.”
The current Weavr app is downloadable at the moment from the Google Play Store and although it is only fully compatible at selected live events, it is expected to be available to be used more widely across a number of esports tournaments over the coming months.
The app allows players to track and compare players performance in real-time, providing statistics on competitors and offering the user a chance to analyse the elements that affect a team or individuals chances of winning.
It is possible that such data would allow the Weavr app to be used in an esports betting context although the company has not confirmed that this will be available within the app as yet.