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Esports organisations embed these streams into their websites, where fans can earn in-game rewards. In-game cameras are directed by observers, who are the storytellers – former professional players with intimate knowledge to tell the story. The creators and producers should always seek to work closely with the observers. Good observers tell the story, while show producers provide them with triggers to populate graphics and switchers. Esports organisers have pioneered AR by streamlining Unreal Engine to control immersive environments in real time. The engine empowers producers to blend live action with immersive graphics, while AI tracks in-game statistics like win percentages. AR and AI have become integral in processing and visualisation to deliver heightened experiences, supported by a shift from bespoke hardware to the more flexible CPU and GPU space, allowing greater creativity for esports producers. A key hurdle esports tournament organisers face is that a large portion of the audience watch through various streaming services, rather than being in the stadium. In contrast to traditional sports, there are no external TV crews from sports channels present, so the organisers must carefully plan and produce the event themselves. For esports events, having multiple diverse fibre connections in and out of the venue is imperative to guard against any potential internet faults or outages. For large events, production organisations typically have their own systems integration and engineering teams to ensure smooth operations. Whereas in traditional sports, the ‘team in the truck’ focuses on cameras and replays covering the field of play, esports production must also present

what is happening within the game. This is why the observers, who change camera angles in-game, are so critical and unique to this genre. All the tools of traditional sports broadcasting are important, but in esports, the added complication is automation. Producers need multiple events, triggers and cues to manage the huge amount of data generated in a virtual environment. This automation is typically a combination of signals around in-game data, triggering cues and automatic feeds. For example, during a time-out, cues for music and other elements are entirely automated. BEHIND THE SCENES AT IEM In a recent company blog, Ross Video marketing manager Paul Seymour took us behind the scenes of ESL Faceit Group’s Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Cologne 2023 Grand Finals, stating, “Part of the magic of live events is that the audience doesn’t realise there

is another show going on behind the scenes: a secret and carefully synchronised dance which brings the show on stage to life. “The coordination required by production crews is worthy of an audience itself. From the technical director and replay operators to the content managers, graphics playback teams and broadcast engineers who bring it all together – the show’s success hinges on their perfectly synchronised teamwork. “In the realm of esports, the challenge is even more significant. The presentation of real-time statistics during a live event is vital to delivering a compelling story to fans. However, the lightning-fast pace of esports is too quick for operators to provide integrated statistics and graphics in

WATCH ME! Making the League of Legends Worlds 2023 Finals opening ceremony featured live performances by Newjeans and Heartsteel


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