Marshall POV Cams Make Their Way Into the eSports Live Stream Arena
The eSport craze is gaining momentum at a rapid pace. According to market researcher Newzoo, eSports at large made $696 million in 2017, with a total audience of 385 million people. But these numbers are expected to grow exponentially over the next few years, with Newzoo predicting that by 2020, overall revenue for eSports will be in the $1.5 billion range, and have more than 589 million people tuning in.
This movement has in large part been spurred on by the phenomenal growth of live web stream websites like Twitch, where users can watch eSport athletes play video games and narrate as they play. Twitch boasts a current audience of about 55 million users, with a much sought-after demographic for advertisers of young, male die-hards (81.5% of twitch users are male, with 55% in the age range between 18-34). There are currently over two million users who broadcast live on Twitch each month, and the appetite for viewing live eSports competitions is only growing.
We bought 15 of the Marshall CV502 POV Cameras for our first eSports broadcast, and a lot of major eSports brands were paying attention to our production that year. Now you’ll see the CV502 at pretty much every major eSports broadcast. It’s become the industry standard.“ -Tim Reiss
In 2013, the most well-known eSport gaming company hosted their world championship competition in the Los Angeles Staple Center to a sold-out crowd, and the very next year sold out a 40,000-seat world cup soccer stadium in Seoul, Korea, garnering an online audience of 27 million, (a number that exceeds total viewership for the World Series and Stanley Cup finals combined).
Now some of the largest and most popular video game developers are building their own studios to host regular league competitions, and the prize money for eSports athletes just continues to go up. Total prize money has risen by as much as 580% since 2012, with a recent top prize for one championship totaling over $5 million.
One particular production team was tasked with broadcasting and live streaming a live world championship for one of the more popular online games back in 2015. The job was given to Tim Reis, a producer who also helped out on the live broadcast of the Georgia Dome Implosion last fall.
Marshall Electronics got a chance to talk with Tim Reis and ask him about how our Marshall POV Cams played a crucial role in getting the “player cam” shot that focuses on the athletes’ faces as they play.
Tim Reis: The first eSport broadcast we did using the Marshall POV Cam was for a particularly popular 5 vs. 5 online multiplayer game. The championships were held in an arena format with all 10 players sharing a single stage. Part of the production required us to bring up individual “player cams” on the screen to get a look at the intensity of the eSport athletes’ faces as they played. In previous years, we used standard webcams for each player, which inevitably resulted in a complicated network of wires and conversion boxes to make the player cams a functional asset to the program.
Marshall Electronics: How did you first hear about Marshall POV cameras?
Tim Reis: As we prepared for the 2015 Championship, it was clear that our system needed an update. I needed a 1080p SDI out native camera with a small footprint and action-cam-style field-of-view. I googled my specs and was led to the B&H page for the CV502.
Marshall Electronics: How did the camera perform during the broadcast?
Tim Reis: The Marshall CV502 SDI cameras offered a clear solution that gave us unrivaled visual fidelity (especially considering the constantly shifting stage lighting at a major gaming event like this) and a streamlined workflow to the switcher that would have been simply unachievable with our old webcam-based setup. We bought 15 of them [CV502s] for that show, and a lot of major eSports brands were paying attention to our production that year. Now you’ll see the CV502 at pretty much every major eSports broadcast. It’s become the industry standard.
Marshall Electronics: Have you worked on other e-sports competition broadcasts since 2015?
Tim Reis: Yes, I produced the same company’s 2016 championship, as well as two eSports tournaments in Estonia. I produce the charity stage at Twitchcon each year and I’ve also consulted for Turner’s E-League.
Marshall Electronics: Do you use any other Marshall Electronics equipment?
Tim Reis: Yes, I’ve rented the Marshall V-MD241 Monitor with the SDI mod a few times as a client monitor and have been very impressed. It’s rugged and has great color fidelity. It also has fantastic false color exposure tools for camera ops.
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