The virtual reality platform SLIVER.tv has signed a deal with event organizers ESL and DreamHack to bring VR streaming to their major tournaments. In 2017, 14 premier esports events will give fans the opportunity to enjoy the action in virtual reality.
SLIVER.tv making moves
Last year, the California-based company successfully raised $6.2 million to launch its VR platform. ESL New York and IEM Oakland, two of ESL’s major events, subsequently offered SLIVER.tv’s VR streaming. The latter attracted more than 130,000 unique viewers across SLIVER.tv’s web 360, mobile, and VR apps. Additionally, IEM Oakland drove 40 percent greater engagement and 13 times more video content than IEM New York.
“We are thrilled to be working closely with two of the largest esports tourney organizers in the world in 2017,” said SLIVER.tv founder and CEO Mitch Liu. “Our vision is to forever transform the esports spectating experience by providing new perspectives and insights into live esports streams. In partnering with ESL and DreamHack across these 14 global events, we have the opportunity to showcase our 360 virtual reality, live replays and stats technology to millions of esports fans worldwide.”
Upcoming VR-capable events in 2017 include ESL One Cologne and New York, IEM Katowice, DreamHack Masters Las Vegas, all of the DreamHack ASTRO Opens, as well as the DreamLeague Season 7 and 8 playoffs. Details about the remainders of the 14 events have yet to be announced.
“Our partnership with SLIVER.tv at ESL One New York and IEM Oakland last year exceeded our expectations, and our fans, teams and players were blown away by the first-ever live broadcast of CS:GO and League of Legends in VR,” said ESL Product Manager Stuart Ewen. “We are delighted to partner with SLIVER.tv this year across seven events starting with Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice, Poland where in 2016 we saw over 100,000 attendees and nearly two million peak concurrent online viewers. With the help of SLIVER.tv we hope 2017 will be even bigger and better.”
— SLIVER.tv (@SLIVERtv360) January 18, 2017
Marcus Lindmark, CEO and president of DreamHack AB, added:
“DreamHack was impressed with SLIVER.tv’s success with ESL events last year and its unique offering. We decided to work exclusively with SLIVER.tv globally in 2017 on seven events and leverage its turnkey end-to-end VR Live Cast platform solution so we can focus on our production.
DreamHack ASTRO Open is one of the longest running esports circuits in the world with over 150 million started streams alone in 2016. We are looking forward to an even more successful year with the addition of the new 360 VR streams.”
Expanding VR in the growing esports industry
Since VR emerged within the esports scene, many companies have tried to capitalize on this new technology.
Valve, the company behind Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, has launched a VR platform.
HTC, with its Vive product, took a different path by partnering with Meltdown eSports bars to launch Vive Nights. Fans around the world can experience virtual reality by competing against each other using HTC’s headsets during these events.
Boom.tv, another live-streaming platform, also recently raised fresh capital to expand its VR business. Claiming to be the first 3D live-streaming platform where users can watch esports, the company is jumping on the VR trend in its own way.
Like esports, the VR market grew steadily last year. The market is projected to grow to $30 billion by 2020, according to various sources. Additionally, the esports crowd is on its way to reach 400 million fans by 2019, according to market researcher Newzoo. Both markets are looking at bright futures.