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OUR MISSION WAS TO BE A FORCE FOR GOOD IN ESPORTS AND WE’RE CARRYING THAT FORWARD big fancy set and then fly all the players out for a qualifier event.’ Again, it’s about sustainability in esports, and we need to have the right scale of production for the right time. Luckily, we can do every scale; we boast some shows with two people on the crew and other shows with 200. We really have it all. “We also have to be honest about where we’re at. Some years are up, some years are down. If we don’t get the right scale of production, have the wrong-sized workforce or make the incorrect recommendations to our clients, there simply won’t be clients,” he admitted. “Our mission was to be a force for good in esports and we’re carrying that forward with EFG, integrating with them. We want esports to exist and thrive, but this will only happen if it’s sustainable. Success hinges on a business model with return on investment alongside authenticity with both the players and the community. It’s certainly a tough puzzle to figure out, but when the dust settles, we’re still here. We have been figuring it out for more than 20 years, and we will continue to figure it out moving forward,” concluded Thompson.

to build its global follow-the-sun remote production approach to producing tournaments and events from any of its facilities. This year, the company installed Sony’s MLS-X1 modular live switcher and expanded its use of VideoIPath for broadcast control. It also added a federation of resources designed to enable orchestration systems to collaborate within and between locations using Sony’s Networked Live ecosystem. DREAMHACK IN DALLAS Dreamhack is a global series of gaming lifestyle festivals including Tier 1 esports tournaments, variety programming, an expo floor, art, music and much more. It is an ESL Gaming brand specialising in esports tournaments and other gaming conventions. The series is recognised by the Guinness World Records and Twin Galaxies as the world’s largest LAN party and computer festival with the world’s fastest internet connection and most generated traffic. The latest event – Dreamhack Dallas – took place in June 2024, where gamers from all backgrounds connected for a weekend of esports, cosplay creator-led activities, panels and workshops. Esports Engine, now part of the ESL Faceit Group following a merger in 2023, orchestrated the festival’s esports broadcasts alongside ESL’s production team. Esports Engine works with gaming publishers, rightsholders, brands and teams to contribute production, broadcast, tournament and programme design. In recent years, the company has worked with ESL Pro Tour, Fortnite World Cup, Halo Championship Series, Forza Championship, MLG CS:GO Major, X Games and Rocket League Championship Series.

At the SVG Esports Production Summit in 2023, Esports Engine co- founder and chief production officer Ryan Thompson said: “It’s been a wild year. At the start of the year, we came together with EFG, and we’ve spent that time doing not only several esports events but meeting much of the 1500 workforce there. When working with Esports Engine, we were slowly growing and knew what the endgame was there. “The best thing is we’re finding like-minded production and creatives; at the end of the day, people who just want to make great esports, with the ability to continue realising the mission of Esports Engine to be a force for good – but we still have a lot of work to do. There are ups and downs in the world of esports, and we’re the ones who must navigate that. “But now, we have access to global distribution and so much technical expertise, we can commit to do all the events for next year. Now, we can take giant steps forward with technology,” enthused Thompson. “We have a plethora of sound stages and studios, but it’s difficult for me to go to a client and say: ‘You should spend a lot of money on this

SWITCHING IT UP View of Esports Engine gallery at its Burbank facility, with Grass Valley K-Frame video switcher handling over 96 live inputs

WATCH ME! The latest Dreamhack, with production and broadcast handled by Esports Engine and ESL, took place 31 May to 2 June in Dallas

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