TVTG eSports Special 2017

Page 1 September 2017

eSports special AI clipbots

Tips for broadcasters

IP delivery



September 2017

ESPORTS IS HERE TO STAY If you think eSports is just a passing phase, then…well, I pity you. eSports is probably the most rapidly growing sector of the entertainment industry, and gameplay broadcasts are ripe with opportunities to increase profits. There is no proscribed size of stadium or playing field in eSports. In fact – as legions of online gamers will attest – the “stadium” doesn’t have to be any bigger than the footprint of your computer. Esports audiences can pack brick and mortar stadiums – from Blizzard’s new 250 fan arena in Taipei to the 173,000 strong crowd at this year’s Intel Extreme Masters event in Poland – or be in the millions online. That’s a diverse audience Whether eSports is really a “sport” is still a matter of semantics. But from the broadcast perspective, it needs to be treated like one – and one with a whole new level of special requirements and opportunities. Broadcasting eSports brings with it a universe of digital content, on top on the physical production of traditional sports coverage. Gameplay can generate a staggering amount of footage – not only of eSports events themselves, but of the gameplay of each individual player. Curating, storing, and making these available to audiences will require an entirely different scale of thinking if traditional broadcasters want to cover eSports. I wouldn’t be surprised

Editor Neal Romanek +44 (0)207 354 6002

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if, in the next year, we see a wave of systems integrators with specialties in eSports and live digital content. The gaming community is a very powerful online force with a high proportion of influencers, so eSports has the potential to be advertising gold, especially given the plastic and customisable nature of the gameplay itself. There are a host of revenue generating opportunities available for those who can think creatively about the new medium. In this, our first eSports Tech special, we offer case studies and thought leadership from a few select vendors. We look at how broadcasters can expand their thinking to take advantage of eSports content, and how Deluxe helped gaming company ESL develop an IP distribution model for their IEM tournament earlier this year. We take a look at how to do eSports post production and talk with a company automating eSports highlight packages. We also invite you to check out NewBay new b2b brand, eSports Pro (, which provides in depth coverage of the eSports world for fans and gaming professionals.

Neal Romanek Editor

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eSports needs a completely fresh approach Tobias Kronenwett, head of business development at SonoVTS, says broadcasters must set aside the past if they’re going to be successful in eSports


here is remarkable interest in eSports. Coverage (online rather than broadcast) is growing in sophistication. But I think to really get to the heart of the business, you have to forget much of what you have learned from broadcasting and take a completely fresh approach to the subject. The first point is that the event itself requires a lot of coverage. An upcoming world final in Seoul is expected to have 100,000 people in the stadium. Remember that this mammoth crowd is there to watch experts play games. You will need multi-viewer controllers to allow you to show the players as well as see the game output on large displays. The games themselves are no respecters of established broadcast standards. If your displays can support 4K resolution then the gaming engines can probably deliver it, with a fast screen refresh rate - and not necessarily at the 50 frames that broadcasters would expect. TARGET MARKET The same applies to high dynamic range and extended colour gamut. Gamers love anything that makes the environment more engaging and immersive. The chances are this is what the players are seeing, so it should be what

the audiences see. SonoVTS has developed a colour-matching algorithm, which ensures that the displays in front of the players are perfect, but can also be caught on camera and reproduced accurately. IP connectivity is the norm around an eSports site. Why would you make life hard for yourself by going to SDI or HDMI to connect the displays? The top goal is to minimise latency, so the big displays are as close as possible to what the players see. Events in the world of eSports tend to be closely managed by production companies and the leagues themselves. Their business model is to create, manage and deliver the content themselves. That tends to be streaming rather than broadcast: the target market is online, so why would you drag them away to watch a conventional television? FREED FROM THE PAST While there are the usual challenges around delivering streamed content to today’s huge number of devices, creatively it opens up new windows. There are no legacy formats to restrict producers. Every event can be covered in a way which is appropriate. Even more exciting, streams can be tailored to

the individual consumer. Some may be forced to watch on a low bitrate link on a small screen, but others on big pipes (and with big wallets) could rightfully demand multi-screen, high resolution, high dynamic range content. Games use VR to be immersive, and eSport coverage could use VR to communicate the excitement. Because the delivery is online, and therefore anything can be streamed just by changing a couple of parameters in the header, producers can decide what they want for each event, based on commercial and creative decisions alone. That is the situation today. Producers of eSports events are making decisions on how their competitions will be streamed without the restrictions of established broadcast patterns. And ,to be honest, they do it without any real interest in the technology behind it - they just want coverage of their event. If you want to provide an outlet for eSports, then you have to adopt the role of partner with the production company. Guide them on the path between the challenging and the fanciful. Listen to what they want to do, and find solutions to deliver it. Forget your broadcast history and embrace the new!



September 2017

Deluxe delivers Deluxe helped eSports company ESL deliver this year’s Intel Extreme Masters tournament to 55 million fans via IP


SL is the world’s largest eSports company and organises large-scale gaming competitions worldwide. The company’s popularity has grown at a phenomenal rate, and broadcasters worldwide are lining up to showcase ESL tournaments across multiple platforms. The Intel Extreme Masters is a series of international eSports tournaments owned and organised by ESL and sponsored by Intel. To ensure that the Season Ten tournament finals of the IEM reached television, web and cinema audiences in Europe and the Middle East, ESL needed a technology partner capable of delivering live feeds from the host stadiums directly to rights-holding broadcasters and platforms for live-to-air playout to millions of viewers. CHALLENGE In early February 2017, ESL looked to transition from traditional satellite delivery to an IP-based solution. With the first tournament in Poland looming, ESL needed to find a delivery partner quickly, and one whose technology was reliable and resilient enough to deliver live feeds to 13 broadcasters in multiple countries, with

additional OTT and digital cinema delivery in some regions. The first of the season’s ESL IEM tournaments were due to take place in late February and March from the Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland.

The event was th he most widely broadc cast eventt in eSports histo ory, with h 70 liinear and diigittal partners worrldwid de who produced d and disttributed content in 19 lang guages Acknowledging the need to cover the event at the 11,500-capacity Spodek Arena cost effectively, reliably and securely, ESL opted for alternative content delivery methods and partnered with Deluxe to enable the delivery of live feeds over the public internet. SOLUTION Working to a tight two-and-a-half-week turnaround time, from commissioning the project to the live broadcast of the first event, Deluxe employed its broadcast delivery network (BDN) and Portalive, its web-based master control room

(MCR) tool, onsite at the Spodek Arena and at each of the delivery handoff points. Striving to surpass the success and audience numbers of previous IME tournaments, ESL expanded its scope with 13 broadcasters including Sport1 and ESL (Germany), OSN (Dubai), TVN (Poland), Telefonica and ESL (Spain), TV3 Sport (Denmark) and Viasat in Sweden, Finland and Norway. Deluxe also delivered the Katowice tournaments to the UK broadcaster, BT Sport, who recorded the live feeds. Additionally, OTT feeds were generated and delivered to a number of takers. Because delivery speed was hugely important, using the BDN was a particularly value component of the Deluxe solution, as it traverses the public internet and is capable of delivering the necessary simultaneous live feeds to 13 broadcasters across Europe and the Middle East, plus four OTT platforms and a Nordic digital cinema chain. Deluxe created a portable version of its IP encapsulation devices and encoder/decoder setups packed in a flight case, enabling sites to connect to the BDN for ESL at the stadium. This approach eliminated costs of installing at each competition and brought each event

location onto the network quickly. The flyaway unit was built as a dedicated setup for the ESL and allows them to cover any event, from any stadium worldwide simply by connecting it to the production and public internet. For the seven sites not already part of the Deluxe BDN, Deluxe’s edge-based IP encapsulation devices and encoder/decoder platform was deployed in each new location; set up and supported by Deluxe remotely, eliminating costs and bringing each location onto the network quickly. Connection to the BDN was achieved once the equipment was installed at each secondary location and the workflow at the primary location (Spodek Arena) was up and running. The remaining broadcasters were already connected to, and benefiting from, content delivery via the Deluxe BDN. As no additional


support or on-site set-up was required, Deluxe simply switched the ESL feed using PortaLive from its Network Operations Centre (NOC) in Sweden, which enabled delivery to each of the broadcaster’s locations. During the live tournaments, Deluxe monitored and supported the transmissions from its NOC in Sweden. RESULTS In addition to a live audience of 173,000 fans attending Spodek Arena and the surrounding festival over two weekends, the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship 2017 in Poland reached more than 46 million unique online viewers, a 35% growth from last year’s event. The event was the most widely broadcast event in eSports history, with 70 linear and digital partners worldwide who produced and distributed content in 19 languages. Through


live streams, highlight clips, and custom features on Twitter and Facebook, the IEM World Championship reached 55 million fans on social media channels, shattering last year’s reach of approximately 30 million. Tobias Grieser, managing director of ESL said: “Deluxe was the ideal technology partner to deliver this incredible tournament. With a twoand-a-half-week turnaround time, they deployed a simple and cost-effective broadcast delivery solution that ensured millions of eSports fans in Europe and the Middle East didn’t miss out on any of the action. With many of our rightsholding broadcasters already connected to the Deluxe IP Network, set-up was incredibly easy and happened at the press of a button. We’re looking forward to delivering the next tournament utilising the Deluxe IP Network from Sydney, before heading back in to Europe.”



September 2017

Replaying gameplay Slomo.TV’s progressive scan 3G SDI server offers instant replay capabilities for eSports productions

Cybersport is winning eyeballs across the globe. Analysts estimate that eSports will gain parity in viewing audiences with regular sporting events by the end of 2018,” said Yegor Voronin, general manager of Moscowbased production company, LiveSignal.Ru. “And no wonder - besides the magnetic attraction of gaming, an average person without outstanding physical abilities can easily become a top cybersport performer.” Voronin was speaking after the announcement that his production company had selected Slomo. tv to provide its Blackjack AT/3G replay servers for this past summer’s Warface Championship, one of Europe’s leading eSports events.

LiveSignal.Ru, the broadcaster of the Warface Championships in Moscow, has selected Slomo. tv’s Blackjack AT/3G servers to provide all replays during its programs. “ was the obvious choice for eSport replays: powerful, easy to operate and compact, it fulfils all our needs and allows us to make significant savings in equipment and staff costs,” explained Yegor Voronin.

Analy ysts esstimate thatt eSportts will gain parity y in vie ewin ng audiences wiith regula ar spo orting events by the en nd of 20118

SPECIAL DEMANDS Any major sports broadcast needs action replays and eSports is no exception. However, eSports broadcasting places special demands on event producers. Whereas most conventional TV broadcasts utilise interlace scan systems, eSports works exclusively with progressive scan and requires 3G SDI signals. As a result, broadcasters must use 3G SDI systems or employ additional HDMI or DVI converters to 3G SDI.

OPENING UP CHANNELS Besides its ability to support progressive scan images, another key factor in LiveSignal’s selection of Blackjack AT/3G was the relatively large number of 3G SDI replay channels that it offers. Blackjack provides 12 replay channels compared with other systems which offer just four 3G SDI replay channels. This capability translates to a need for just one replay operator instead of two or three, which is commonplace with other systems.

Also, the built-in multiviewer function of the Blackjack AT/3G enables the broadcast editor to sit alongside the replay operator and monitor in real-time for the entire game, allowing them to quickly and efficiently create replays. In addition, Blackjack AT/3G provides a unique feature: automatic playlist creation from instant replays. With this functionality, the two-person team can quickly prepare analysis of each game in the form of playlists for presentation after each round of the tournament. Another factor influencing LiveSignal’s decision is the form factor of the Blackjack AT/3G server. It occupies 4U of rack space and weighs 21kg, compared with conventional 18U systems, which weigh over 100kg, so space, power consumption and transportation costs are minimised. In addition, Blackjack allowed one operator to work with all 12 channels, whilst 266 hours of SSD HD video storage allowed all the content shot over the three days of the tournament to be stored within the server. Newly developed system architecture and the availability of four video ports provide the user with significant scope to create the optimum 3G video workflows for their productions with no additional equipment requirements.



Forscene’s cloud solution for eSports Gfinity was looking for an editing solution for the massive amount of eSports footage the company was generating. Forscene’s cloud platform provided a way forward


eading eSports promoter Gfinity runs competitive gaming tournaments which are streamed live to global audiences online. Gfinity adopted Forscene into its media workflow to streamline clip editing of live streams and archive pre-recorded video content for social media. Forscene’s cloud platform was used to perform remote logging, live clip editing and direct distribution of gameplay content to Twitch TV and social media outlets. CHALLENGE Gfinity’s workflow focused on direct editing and distribution after the shooting and ingest of gameplay media. The marketing department had limited access to video archives, delaying fan engagement campaigns. With the high volume of media, the necessity arose to organise archived footage more effectively. Gfinity needed a solution that would introduce a flexible logging process and enable monetisation of video archives. SOLUTIONS Direct ingest of SDI feed: SDI output from a

vision mixer is directly streamed into Forscene, containing streams from multiple studio cameras as well as the virtual camera system. Ingesting and delivering 60fps video: Forscene made further developments to its platform to support high frame rate video game content.\ Near-live acquisition: Live and pre-recorded content is ingested directly into Forscene with a choice of different ingest methods. Live editorial: Forscene functions as a live clip editor during gameplay events to clip and package for direct posting to social platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Instant logging process: Footage can be logged in real time as it arrives in Forscene. Remote access: Gfinity can share their media with freelancers logging remotely without the need for handovers. Real-time media management: Once ingested to the Forscene platform, the media is immediately available on any device to log, edit, review and distribute. The media can also be exported at full resolution in multiple formats and conformed into any NLE. Scalable and cost-effective solution: Forscene

has an SaaS pricing structure, so Gfinity only pay for what they use. BENEFITS Fast delivery: The finished media can be published directly to social networks or in higher quality to broadcast or for archives. Inter-departmental cooperation: Forscene’s cloud platform allows all departments to access the video content and collaborate together. Optimised content for social media campaigns: The social media team share concurrent access to the content and can easily repurpose for multiple social media platforms. CONCLUSION “Faster publishing of live events into social media and better overall use of the video content we produce is vital for us. Forscene fills a gap in capabilities that we have been looking to solve,” said Paul Kent, chief gaming officer at Gfinity. Forscene’s cloud based solution has enabled Gfinity make the most of their gameplay video content and allowed them to reach wider audiences.



September 2017

AI for eSports highlights Elastic Media is using AI to allow gamers to easily build and publish their own highlight reels


VE, the Elastic Video Engine, is an AI platform developed by UK-Israeli startup Elastic Media. EVE uses AI and deep learning to ‘watch’ live streams and broadcasts and automatically separate them into content-aware segments. The clips are tagged with metadata that can be used to filter the action, enabling content producers to tailor the content, saving substantial hours of work for editors and reducing costs for broadcasters. At first, the EVE AI was aimed at broadcasters, particularly for sports and news applications, but recently the Elastic team, lead by CEO and founder Ronen Shoval, has looked at the benefits the platform could have for eSports. We talked to Elastic Media’s VP of business development, Gavin Goodvach:

How does EVE work? We use artificial intelligence that can understand where the semantic units are in a piece of content. We teach the computer how to isolate those semantic units, and we use a variety of different filters for that. For example, in a sports broadcast, different camera angles mean different things. Different in-buffers and out-buffers mean different things. We can even teach the AI to understand the inflections of voice. What applications does the EVE AI technology have? We have 19 patents pending on our technology. One of them is what we call Live Catch-up. Say you tune in 30 minutes late to a live football match. How do you catch up on the highlights of what’s happened without missing the rest of

the game? Live Catch-up let’s you press a button on the bottom of the screen; the live game continues to play and you can swipe through the highlights of the game, which have been selected automatically by the EVE AI. How did you develop the AI technology for gaming? We are developing deals with CNN and Bloomberg and other big broadcasters, but we thought: What other verticals are there where we can go to market quickly? And that’s when we started looking at eSports. Esports is probably the fastest growing content vertical there is. If you’re a good player in the United States, you can get a full ride scholarship at some universities. We took a look at what their pain point is and it’s very clear. A gamer will play six, seven, eight

hours of gameplay a day. At the end of the day they have eight hours of video and nothing they can do with it. Who’s going to edit an eight hour video and who’s going to watch it? There are 17,000 registered streamers on Twitch and they are all generating these huge video assets that they can’t do anything with.

Esp ports iss probab bly the faste estt grow wing conttent vertiical there e is So we started with Hearthstone, which is one of the top ten games, and we taught the computer to automatically edit Hearthstone. We call it a “clickbot” – the first clickbot in the world. What it does is allow the streamer to take the URL for a video of his gameplay, stick it into our


website and at five times the speed we process that video and cut it up into individual games with metadata attached – how long the game was, what characters were played – so at the end of the day the player has ten or twenty assets that he can use to monetise or publicise his brand. And all the metadata is created solely by analysing the video. The next level will be to create an online destination where anyone who wants to play a certain level of a certain game can search any part of a game via our metadata. And the response we’ve had from the gaming community has been surprisingly overwhelming. What are the future plans for the EVE technology in eSports? We plan to scale horizontally. We’ll have bots


for League Of Legends and other games, and we’ll try to get as many games on the platform as possible. And we’re going to develop more metadata for each of the games. We talk to the gamers and players and we ask them: What do you need? What do you want? What are the important elements of metadata that we can add? For Hearthstone there are specific types of metadata that are useful for the gamers, where on, say, League Of Legends it could be a very different kind of thing. One thing I’ve learned in the last six months is the key to any product succeeding in this space is to have contact with the community. The most important thing is that we enable that conversation. And we enable it through social media, we enable it through our portal which has places where the community can feedback to us.



September 2017

Could eSports save TV? Pro video gaming is more watched than played among millennials making it TV gold. Adrian Pennington reports


he emergence of pro video gaming has been likened to that of action sports like kiteboarding and trial riding – activities that went mainstream with the oxygen of video streaming. The difference is that while not everyone has access to mountains or a surfboard, pretty much anyone can play a video game. What has made broadcasters sit up, though, is that eSports is more watched than it is played. Traditional broadcasters are astonished when they learn that some of the most popular entertainers in the world are gamers whose YouTube playthroughs get millions upon millions of views. Online game-play ignited twenty years ago when avid gamers began showcasing their skills to gain street cred online. Amateur competitions attracted games publishers to formalise play into leagues and promote their titles. At the same time, individual gamers began posting videos of gaming-with-commentary on YouTube. Player and team profiles rose on a wave of internet streaming, sponsors have helped legitimise the activity, Amazon took game-casting mainstream by scooping gamer video community Twitch (ahead of Google), prize money rocketed accordingly, and gaming tournaments are now

streamed live from packed stadiums. “So far eSport has not needed traditional media to grow,” confirms Amisha Chauhan, research analyst, Futuresource Consulting which puts a $500m current value on eSports worldwide. “From its online base it has grown immensely due to fans that are highly tech savvy and internet fanatics.” eSports draws comparison with top tier global sports like Champions League football in terms of the number of viewers. The 2015 UEFA Champions League final had around 180 million TV audience in 200 territories (and a total estimated reach of 400 million viewers). By comparison, the 2015 League of Legends world championships boasted a cumulative number of viewers online and TV of 334 million over the four-week tournament. “eSports is fast becoming one of the most watched and passionately followed global sports categories among younger audiences,” said Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, CEO of Swedish digital media powerhouse Modern Times Group. “There are now almost as many gamers in the world as traditional sports fans.” The fanbase is overwhelmingly the demographic which has deserted TV for online

entertainment. “Gamers are ultra-consumers: early adopters of new technology, heavy users of broadband, more interested in HD and natural-born multi-screeners,” says Michiel Bakker, CEO Ginx. “With the rise of YouTube and Twitch, games have become media themselves,” says Todd Hooper, CEO of virtual reality gaming platform VREAL. “More people are watching games than playing games. If you are a publisher or studio building a game you are also thinking about how it will be viewed as entertainment.” That’s why broadcasters are eager to bring eSports onboard. MTG, which bought a controlling share of Cologne-based Electronic Sports League (ESL) a year ago for €78m, launched the world’s first 24/7 eSports TV channel last year. Turner Broadcasting’s E-league – a joint venture with talent agency WME IMG – also went live last year on the TBS TV channel and on Twitch, scoring more than 150 million minutes of video consumption in its first week and 92,000 concurrent streams on Twitch. Sky and ITV then took minority stakes in London-based Ginx eSports with the aim of launching a 24-hour TV channel. Ginx TV hopes



to air competitions such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive live from its studio in King’s Cross. It says the deal will enable it to reach 37 million households worldwide making it the world’s biggest eSports TV channel. Investment is piling in from elsewhere too. Multichannel network Machinima, in which Warner Bros and Google have stakes, is launching magazine show Inside eSports on Go90, the mobile video service of American telco Verizon. Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard paid $46m (£30m) for eSport network Major League Gaming and plans to launch its own eSports cable channel. PRODUCTION Live events such as Dota 2 and League of Legends held at major stadium venues in front of a capacity crowds are treated in much the same way as any OB. When BBC iPlayer and BBC Three showcased the quarter finals of the League of Legends world championships last October from Wembley Arena, Trickbox TV built a temporary flyaway control room. “It was of the same standard and using the same kit which we would deliver to any live broadcast,” explains Trickbox MD Liam Laminman. “With three incoming host feeds, our location facilities were augmented coverage with Sony HDC-1500 cameras, an EVS and other equipment including a Trilogy Messenger talkback system.” For production of E-league, Turner built a 10,000 sq ft arena including 25,000 sq ft of LED lighting in Atlanta. The facility is fitted with 26 cameras, including 12 devoted to capturing POVs for each player and one trained on the collective team. A camera suspended from the ceiling offers 360-degree angles of the event floor. In addition, Turner Studios has built custom eSports training facilities and 75 post production suites. Red Bull runs its own eSports studio in Santa Monica. One format produced from there pits two video gaming teams of five players against one another. As they play, Reidel MediorNet Modular frames ingest twenty HDMI POV video signals from the gaming consoles, convert them into HD-SDI, and carry them to the control room. The POV cameras focus on the faces and hands of all ten players, with additional HD-SDI cameras positioned on the game commentators. These inputs are combined with the primary gameplay feeds to produce the eSports broadcast. Many eSport companies run production on BlackMagic Design or Ross Video hardware. Romanian-based sports producer PGL has several Atem 2M/E 4K mixer, Teranex converters and Decklink capture cards. Rival streamers ESL and Hitbox deploy Ross Video Carbonite switchers and Xpression or casperCG graphics gear.

“We surpass TV in some aspects,” claims Vlad Petrescu, head of broadcast, PGL. “While TV has the edge in overall professionalism and broadcast consistency…an eSport production looks and feels more complex.” eSports is highly connected to viewers via social media. During PLG’s production of The Manila Major, it showed a custom Battleview for Dota 2 and received “tonnes of valuable feedback from people that know how they want to watch an eSports match,” reveals Petrescu. “The next day we coded these features and presented a new version, which was way better received by both viewers who saw it for the first time and those that didn’t like it very much the first time around.”

Itt was of the same e stan ndard d and using g the sam me kitt whiich we would deliver to any live bro oadca ast During an event, PGL will scan social media. “If we find something interesting, we have ways of showing it during different segments of the show. For example, we’ll have a Q&A segment at the end of a match where our analysts answers questions from various social media channels.” According to Adam Simmons, director of content for game streaming platform Dingit.TV, latency is crucial for streaming where audience interaction is vital to platform success. “Using social with the live stream is vital,” he says. “Players can type in a chat room to respond to fans or to explain move. If that delay is more than a few seconds the game will have moved on, and you will have lost your audience.” Both and Hitbox claim their latency is the net’s best. “We can deliver in milliseconds which is no different to Skype,” says Jason Atkins,

eSports player turned Hitbox events manager. Hitbox also claims to be first to market with 4K video by trialing game Heroes of the Storm in 4K in February. “4K will be standard in a couple of years,” says Atkins. “People are beginning to get kit which won’t break the budget, like Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics cards, to power 4K.” ESPORTS OLYMPICS The marriage with TV should help legitimise eSports in the public consciousness. “This level of recognition will help propel eSports towards mainstream audiences rather than mainly millennials,” says Futuresource’s Chauhan. “The integration of eSport in the 2020 Olympics would potentially help overcome the stigma against it.” Chauhan also points to cheating and drug abuse as issues impacting player performance. “The other road bump would be the lifecycle of the actual games and how long they (eSports producers) can sustain viewership for.” There are obvious differences in an eSports athlete verses an action sports athlete in that they aren’t propelling their bodies during their sport. However, argues Kimberly Popp, eSports performance manager at Red Bull, eSports players are using skills and mechanics such as hand-eye coordination. “Their physiology impacts performance,” she says. “Players train for hours to perfect their craft. Just playing the game is no longer enough to remain competitive.” eSports could be given another boost with the sale of virtual reality (VR) displays. eSports players use a mouse and keyboard to play making it hard for the general public to see them as athletes or accept eSports as a real sport, observes Petrescu. “When VR arrives this prejudice will disappear for good. One will need to be a true athlete to be a successful in VR eSports.”

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