The popularity of esporting events is on the rise due to large franchise investments from celebrity owners of traditional team sports and national brands such as Coke, Dr. Pepper, Intel, and Toyota taking substantial sponsorship roles. These investors, although patient with this nascent industry, are looking for a return on their investment. The key to positive cash flow is fan engagement. It’s the circle of life – fans bring sponsors, sponsors bring fans, team/player relationships are developed, and the cash flows. So, how do leagues, teams, and sponsors attract and build a relationship with fans? The fans of esports have high expectations. They have been playing or watching games in high definition and optimal processing times. If you are planning an esporting event, there are many spaces, technical design factors that need to be successfully managed. The level of audio and visual proficiency required to pull it off seamlessly has developed a niche event industry.
Recent esport events, such as last year’s Overwatch League finals at the Barclay Center, have set a new standard for play. Current fan audiences are now seeing more than the game played on platforms such as Twitch or YouTube. Now an audience can stream and watch a broadcast of the spectacle that is going on around the competition as it’s being played in a digital stadium or a traditional stadium that has been tricked-out. What was once cutting-edge is now table-stakes.
The esport industry needs to create an environment that is consistent with the sights and sounds found within the game. They need to create an experience that will resonate with game enthusiasts as well as casual viewers so that they can bridge relationships with the team and with the sponsors. The use of LED Walls and LED Floors can deliver an intense, digital solution which can be sized for any space. They are used as backdrops, for a dramatic entrance, and as an enlarged window to the player’s monitor giving an enhanced in-game experience. High-end audio provides an additional sensory experience for those onsite, as well, as those viewing remotely. Lighting and special effects are essentially creating heightened pageantry. Hologram technology, projections mapping, and interactive social apps are further enhancing the visual experience and sense of being engaged in the actual activity. Not to be forgotten, high-end video and distribution equipment are the essential foundation for all of this to integrate seamlessly and to create the experience. Video quality is so critical to some teams and event planners that they bring their 4G camera equipment and transport it from venue-to-venue. Whether you know it or not, wireless networks have already begun a transition from 4G to 5G. Unlike today’s 4G networks that are built using large towers scattered every few miles, 5G deploys small cell technology to enable a system to handle the exponential growth of data transmission. This infrastructure will resolve typical disruptions caused by buildings, microwaves, and other Wi-Fi signals. Finally, not to be forgotten, event recording is essential for post-event engagement with recaps, trailers, and advertising content.
All of the hardware and software mentioned above needs to work in perfect synchrony to deliver a genuine esport experience. As mentioned earlier, advances made in audio and visual equipment as well as networking have developed rapidly. With full deployment of a 5G network, it is expected that hardware and cloud-based apps will continue to evolve at a rapid pace. So, it is no wonder that event network design and hardware provision has become a niche industry. It also begs the question, should an event planner look to a single-source for design, delivery, and execution of a solution that will optimize the experience? Further, are there economic advantages to working with a niche player that maintains and supports the equipment most in demand by the industry. Few players have real-world experience with the custom design and installation of this type of equipment. Arena, powered by Dyventive was launched to address the specific needs of esport event planners. The Arena team has over two decades of experience working in custom event technology design and provision. They can design and install an event competition of any size, in any space. This expertise provides a wealth of opportunity for an esport event planner to create anything from a pop-up fan engagement event to a full-blown tournament that can move from location-to-location with the ease and guarantee of a trusted partner. Learn more about how Arena delivers a seamless solution for esport events.