VR Broadcast of ESL One New York – Is Virtual Reality the Future of eSports?

September 23, 2016 - Esports

The quickly developing world of IT is closely linked with the eSports world. It’s no wonder that technological advances add more bells and whistles, also known as production value, to eSports’ tournament broadcasts. In fact, things, which were a nice bonus once upon a time, like fancy graphics or replays, are now considered mandatory, a sign of professionalism. With that in mind, most tournament organizers are constantly looking for new ways to twink out their streams and attract new viewers.

This explosion of production value is mirrored by the advent of Virtual Reality (VR) into the mainstream. Once a curious little concept only really known among tech nerds (I love you, guys and girls) it’s exploded into the mainstream with the introduction of Oculus Rift and its superb competitors as something that’s possible. It was only a question of time of WHEN the technology is going to get picked up by eSports broadcasters.

Well, mimicking John Cena, VR technology said to traditional broadcasts, “Your time is up, my time is now.” It’s been announced that ESL One New York will be the first eSports event ever to feature a 360 degree VR broadcast, powered by Don’t worry, you will still be able to watch the traditional broadcast, however, it will be possible to also tune in into the new thing. We recommend at least checking it out for a few minutes, even if you don’t have a VR headset. You will be able to move what you see with arrows in a corner of the screen on your computer, phone, or tablet. This broadcast will also show the traditional cast of what’s happening in a display you will be able to turn to whenever you want.

Is it just us, or is VR a GREAT idea for eSports? I can barely imagine what will be possible in 20 years, when technology will reach a point where you will be able to fully immerse yourself into the action, feeling like the sixth team member. Hell, people might actually role-play, creeping around to stay silent and not give away their favorite player while following him around in the match.

While CS:GO is probably the game to introduce VR into eSports with, it’s probably not the one best suited to it due to Global Offensive’s somewhat limited graphical complexity. Do you know what would be perfect for it if the technology can support it and the hectic spectator experience is fixed? Overwatch. The rookie of eSports is perfect for it. It’s dynamic, colorful, full of action and looks great to boot. Even if I wasn’t a fan of Overwatch, I would happily watch the… stuffing out of it if it was broadcast in high quality VR.