May 21, 2020
Esports and immersive tech: The perfect match?
As we take our first steps into the esports arena, we explore the potential revolutionary impact of merging the world of esports and immersive technologies on the way fans consume sports media – and how Future Visual’s contributions to the Weavr platform will be driving new innovations.
Esports: moving from sports sub-culture to mainstream
Put simply, esports is the world of competitive video gaming. With the explosive growth in popularity of games such as Fortnite and League of Legends, coupled with streaming services such as Twitch, viewers across the world are able to watch their favourite gamers in real time.
The audience for esports across the globe is huge and is starting to show signs of outstripping traditional sports in terms of viewing figures. For example, the League of Legends world Championship Finals in 2019 had almost 100 million unique views, compared with the 2018 Super Bowl’s estimated 98 million viewership. Market analysts, Newzoo predict that by 2021, the esports total audience figure will be 557 million.
And it’s not just viewing numbers that are growing; esports revenue is booming right now. Over the past few years esports has grown at an exponential rate and is expected to surpass $1.5bn by 2023.
How will Weavr revolutionise esports entertainment?
The huge growth in esports presents an incredible opportunity for the immersive tech sector. Immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality have the potential to revolutionise how fans access and experience their favourite esports – adding a level of interactivity that moves them from passively watching to putting them at the heart of the action. And Weavr is leading the charge.
The Weavr platform allows fans to experience sports content by incorporating immersive experiences for remote audiences across multiple displays, mobile devices, VR video telepresence and augmented reality overlays.
This gives viewers the chance to create hyper-individual experiences, moving seamlessly between the live arena, virtual game worlds and augmented living rooms.
What is Future Visual bringing to Weavr?
Future Visual will be joining sector leaders; ESL, University of York, dock10, REWIND, Focal Point VR and Cybula to deliver immersive personalised experiences for esports fans that can be accessed across any device, including virtual and augmented reality.
Future Visual’s vision for remote collaboration, coupled with our expertise in delivering cross-reality immersive content using our VR Collaboration Platform, VISIONxR™ led to the invitation for us to join Weavr. VISIONxR™ allows a rapid integration of new immersive experiences for esports fans on any device, anywhere in the world. In practice, this means that Weavr is perfectly placed to demonstrate the latest technology available to audiences of the future in esports and beyond.
Is the audience of the future an immersive audience?
The development of the Weavr platform has implications for how audiences access and consume creative and entertainment content beyond the world of esports. Weavr was selected as one of four demonstrator projects as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s £33 million Audience of the Future programme, delivered through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to demonstrate how innovative immersive technologies have the potential to transform audience behaviour.
The team behind Weavr highlights that by bringing together creative businesses, researchers and technology experts, we can create striking new experiences that will captivate the public’s imagination. Moreover, with the chance to tap into the massive global esports audience, Weavr has the potential to capture the world’s attention and position the UK’s leading as a market leader in technology-driven creative content.
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