Jaunt has launched its first 360-degree eSports documentary, CLG: Win Everythin’, as part of a multi-year deal with ESL and Intel, which sponsors the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) global tournament. The first documentary focuses on the League of Legends team, Counter Logic Gaming, and was shot at the IEM World Championship in Katowice, Poland earlier this year.
Jaunt has a team in Shanghai, China this week to shoot a second 360-degree documentary at IEM Shanghai. David Anderman, chief business officer at Jaunt, said the plan is to film content at each IEM global stop this season.
“We are focused on shooting the compelling stories surrounding the teams competing at IEM as they hopefully succeed, and sometimes fail, as well as the competition and games themselves,” Anderman said. “The Jaunt team has a great relationship with ESL and Intel via the events we shot in San Jose and Poland, and we can now tightly integrate VR content into the stories that will be told around the season.”
Anderman said the goal of these docs is to give fans a feel of the athletes’ lives behind the scenes, including how they train, what it’s like in their hotel rooms as they mentally prepare, witnessing interactions and attitudes on the bus ride to the venue and overall getting a feel for what it’s like to live life as one of these championship gaming teams.
“We believe that through VR, we can bring fans an experience they simply could not have before, in addition to the experience of what it’s really like to be on stage and in the arena while they are competing,” Anderman said.
Kevin Kelly, manager of content and communication at ESL, said IEM fans have always enjoyed being on the cutting edge of PC gaming, which is also where many early adopters of the VR scene have come from.
“Expanding the VR experience to cover eSports feels like a natural place for the medium to go,” Kelly said. “If you have never attended a full-scale, stadium-sized match in person, the VR experience from Jaunt will put you front and center into the action. And even if you have attended an event, living the experience in VR with the Jaunt app provides a front-row VIP ticket for everyone who watches.”
Jaunt supports all major VR headsets, including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Playstation VR and mobile viewers such as the Gear VR, Homido and Figment.
Kelly said it’s likely sponsorships will become a large part of how ESL delivers new virtual reality experiences in the future.
“With the Jaunt content shot at IEM Katowice, you will see the IEM logo on the ground under the camera,” Kelly said. “This could be great visibility for brands while maintaining our commitment to retaining the core experience we seek to provide to fans. We will be watching closely to see what other opportunities in this space might arise, and innovate to always bring the most legendary eSports moments for IEM fans.”
While the documentaries focus on 360-degree footage that was captured months ago, 360-degree livestreaming offers the next evolution of “being there” for an audience that watches most eSports content digitally.
“VR livestreaming allows brands to reach consumers in a very personal way,” Anderman said. “VR is the first entertainment medium that’s native to smartphones and the dedicated headsets that are based on smartphone technology. With the wide adoption of the smartphone, it becomes an opportunity for brands to reach their consumers with an unbelievable experience that’s truly an IMAX theater right in your pocket.”
Anderman said the short-term goal is to tell the stories of these teams and IEM tournaments, while introducing ESL to a new audience via the VR experience.
“In the future, we’d like to incorporate game content footage directly into the VR experience, so fans can accompany the teams directly in the games as they are playing it,” Anderman said. “The general idea is to cut between what the teams are doing real world in the tournaments and what the gameplay actually looks like in VR. As games get ported to VR, it’s going to be a simplified process, and the result is going to be an awesome, incredible experience—you’re going to be watching the competition as if you’re inside the game.”
Wargaming experimented with this type of virtual reality gameplay experience at the World of Tanks Grand Finals in Poland earlier this year.