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Imagine traveling to a stadium to participate in a sporting event. There is the excitement of the crowd around you, two teams locked in a struggle and the thrill of competition. But instead of a traditional sport, it’s happening on gigantic, interactive screens all around you.
That’s the increasingly popular world of esports, the industry that has grown up around competitive, organized video gaming. Players with teams face off in multiuser versions of the same games popular with at-home gamers: Fortnight, Call of Duty, Overwatch and Madden NFL, for example. These competitions are watched and followed by millions of fans all over the world, attending live events like the Dota Pro Circuit as well as tuning in online or on TV.
As an industry, esports is expected to exceed one billion dollars in revenue in 2019. This growth represents a huge opportunity for venues, and for audiovisual integrators. Integrators like Electrosonic with large venue and event space integration experience can be a perfect fit for the esports technology market. Gamers demand a truly immersive experience at such events, and AV technology provides it while also extending the brand experience for the organizer.
A good example from the world of traditional sports is Electrosonic’s work for State Farm Arena, home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. The Atlanta Hawks Preview Center, located at Atlanta’s CNN Center, is intended to show how the State Farm Arena transcends the role of host for basketball games, concerts, and other events. When VIPs arrive in the lounge-style reception room they are greeted by a docent, who takes VIPs on a personal tour through the Center. In the Anthem Theater, a large projection wall immerses guests in a video on the story of Atlanta’s NBA basketball program.
Guests overlook a recessed Projection Pit with a projection wall backdrop showing a mix of B roll, live TV, or branded videos. Detailed video projections overlay an architectural 3D gray-scale model in the pit below the guests to show the arena’s configuration for various events. Esports functions in the same way as more traditional sports, requiring a similarly superior experience to get people out of their homes and into arenas.
This past April in fact, the NBA jumped into esports with both feet. It held a draft for the launch of its new esports league, centered around the NBA 2K game franchise. Over one hundred professional eSports players were selected, with all of the pomp and coverage normally reserved for players on the court.
Just like traditional sports leagues, esports sponsors need to embrace the challenge of improving the guest experience. This can be accomplished by leveraging the latest AV technology to foster enhanced engagement - through the use of augmented reality, virtual reality and enhanced sound or video capabilities. Having an experienced AV partner is vital. The ability to design and manage communications technologies can play a pivotal role in delivery an optimal experience. This includes the stable and secure communications technologies that are part of the stadium’s base infrastructure as well as those designed for external broadcasting.
In the industry verticals where the user experience is paramount – sporting venues, museums and theme parks, retail, global brands – Electrosonic is a leader. We have a proven record of client success delivering innovation that creates powerful experiences. As the esports industry continues to grow, Electrosonic can help sponsors and venues maximize the potential of this market.
For more information on the kind of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) that can support esports events, click here.
Alex Westerh, Demand Generation Manager at Electrosonic, is an accomplished writer on technology in business. He has worked for market-leading companies and understands the factors that shape strategic technology investment decisions. Alex has been a lead writer on multiple projects explaining the critical role of technology in business transformation.