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graphics are added, before being sent to audiences internationally. There are roughly three types of event set up for an esports game. There are the travelling in-arena events, set up and ticketed like a big concert at a local venue and built around a particular game or tournament. “These are produced very much like a rock concert,” says Grass Valley’s Merrill. “You need equipment that travels and is portable and can be set up easily repeatedly.” Second, there are dedicated esports stadiums – like the MGM Grand HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas – that are built to be multipurpose. “Venues like these are dedicated to esports, but you can bring in lots of different types of games. They can be very flexible in the number of camera feeds they handle and their equipment can adapt to the different games played there,” explains Merrill. Then there are facilities that are purpose-built for only one or two specific games. Burbank’s Blizzard Elite Arena is an example, and Riot Games has also made moves in this direction. “This is where you are getting into a different business model. These are often sponsored by rights holders for the games.
And league team owners are starting to build these, too,” he adds. Last year, Blizzard introduced the idea of ‘home’ and ‘away’ Overwatch games, with every team across the US having their own home stadium. Every team hosts a minimum of two home matches throughout the season. “Some people are still putting everything in a flypack and sending it off to the next event, which can make it hard to keep the product consistent. But many are standardising and – wherever possible – using some sort of remote production model,” says Merrill. “We have production gear in a lot of those stadiums. We’re trying to meet customer needs where they are, but we realise that this is an evolving industry.” He concludes: “What they like about the fact that it’s broadcast gear is that you can always find a pool of freelancers familiar with it. They know it can handle the scale of the productions. When you’re talking about Fortnite and 100 cameras, it’s beyond what most people are capable of doing.”
HOW YOU TELL THE STORY FOR EACH OF THESE GAMES IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF PLANNING THE PRODUCTION AND WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO REQUIRE FOR IT
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