The eSports phenomenon is quickly growing to rival traditional sports. Although countless people in the world use streaming services like Twitch to watch League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive eSports tournaments, there’s nothing quite like being there in person …until recently.
Jaunt, which develops virtual reality hardware, software and 3D cinematics (including a number of The North Face VR films and a Paul McCartney performance) has partnered with digital entertainment accelerator MTGx (part of the Modern Times Group) and ESL, the world’s largest eSports organization, for an unforgettable experience. Jaunt’s technology and expertise captured this year’s Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) eSports tournament in San Jose, California in 360 degree VR for viewers to enjoy using devices like Google Cardboard or the Oculus Rift, making the comfort of your living room the best seat of the event.
[a]listdaily spoke to Scott Broock, Jaunt’s Vice President of Content Deal Development, to discuss what it takes to capture the eSports phenomenon in virtual reality.
What is the partnership between MTGx, ESL and Jaunt going to entail
Jaunt captured and will distribute 360 degree cinematic VR experiences from the Intel Extreme Masters eSports event last weekend. We were on hand with multiple Jaunt One cinematic VR cameras to capture the event from center stage. Fans will be able to download highlights of the IEM to their mobile phones as immersive VR experiences using Google Cardboard, or through tethered head-mounted displays, including the Oculus Rift.
What can viewers expect from the VR eSports experience
Jaunt’s technology presents the world to you as it was recorded — in full 360 degree, 3D cinematic VR. Paired with a sound field that reacts based on the direction you look, it produces a completely immersive experience. Fans will be able to experience slices of time as if they were ‘there.’
How was the Intel Extreme Masters eSports event selected for this showing
MTGx wanted to make a bold statement about the future of eSports, so what better place than Silicon Valley Cinematic VR and eSports can bring fans together, no matter where they’re located.
What makes eSports the ideal setting for VR storytelling and content
ESports has the same draw as any other modern league — big personalities, competition, success, defeat, fandom and sponsors. Capturing these moments for others to rewatch as if they were there is an incredible opportunity.
Why was an eSport event selected over a more traditional sporting event
ESports is a global phenomena that is just going to keep on getting bigger and bigger. Cinematic VR is on the same trajectory and the two perfectly complement each other. Technology is the thing that binds them, but at the end of the day it’s the incredible human stories of eSports that ultimately pulls fans in. VR makes people feel like they’re there in the center of it all, no matter where they live.
How well do you think audiences have taken to VR experiences
There is no question that VR is part of the public discussion. The New York Times recently mailed Google Cardboard headsets to over one million subscribers, and outlets such as Sky News and ABC News recently introduced their own powerful cinematic VR experiences. It’s difficult to ignore the buzz that VR is generating.
How do you think VR experiences like the Intel Extreme Masters coverage will evolve over the next few years
I think there’s a strong chance that you’ll have an option to view the IEM in cinematic VR as it unfolds in the real world with an ability to ‘flip’ into the game as a virtual spectator.
How will you be promoting the Intel Extreme Masters eSports VR experience
The eSports VR experience will be made available via the Jaunt VR App on Android and iPhone, and through Facebook 360 and YouTube 360.