First Ever VR Livestream of Major eSports Tourney Coming to ESL One

Counter Strike: GO Fans Can Experience ESL One in VR
by Zvi Greenstein

If you didn’t score tickets to this weekend’s ESL One’s Counter Strike: Global Offensive tourney, don’t worry: We’ve got your back.

NVIDIA will be powering the first-ever VR livestream of a major eSports tournament working with ESL One, the world’s biggest eSports tournament operator, and SLIVER.tv, a VR eSports entertainment startup.

ESL One’s CS:GO tourney is sold out. Nearly 10,000 people will be attending it live this weekend at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. And about 1 million more are expected to view it on Twitch, Hitbox and other streaming services.

Thus far, viewers’ only option has been a traditional flat, 2D video stream of the gameplay from a single player’s point of view. Now you can hop onto SLIVER.tv’s platform and experience eSports action in 360-degree, cinematic-quality VR.

360-Degree VR Livestream

It’s the equivalent of having a courtside seat at your favorite NBA game. Using a 360-degree panoramic viewer or a VR headset from your easy chair, you can get closer to the action than even those at the arena.

In the VR experience, you can still see the traditional 2D program feed, as shown above, but the 360-degree panoramic view allows you to enter the 3D world and explore like never before. You can look around the landscape, examine each team’s blind spots, see how opposing players are using the structures of the map to their advantage and watch each team’s strategy evolve in real time.

How NVIDIA Enables SLIVER’s 360-Degree VR Livestream

NVIDIA GeForce is the official tournament hardware platform for ESL One, where $250,000 in prizes will be up for grabs. That’s just the start of our support.

We’ll be in the webcasters’ booth at Barclays Center, working alongside ESL. SLIVER.tv’s platform, running on a cluster of GPU rendering machines, will be integrated directly into ESL’s tournament servers. The SLIVER.tv platform captures and uses NVIDIA GPUs to render the 3D CS:GO world in real time using its patented “virtual camera array” technology. SLIVER.tv machine-vision algorithms identify, in real time, the player in the 2D program feed and automatically selects the most optimal location to teleport the viewer into the game. Finally, this 360-degree VR livestream is pushed worldwide via SLIVER.tv cloud infrastructure.

We’re planning to scale that livestream to 50,000-plus concurrent viewers across the SLIVER.tv platform. Fans can watch it on the web (www.SLIVER.tv), or SLIVER.tv’s mobile or VR apps. But the best way to experience it will be with a head-mounted display. SLIVER.tv’s apps are available via the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, for Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

For a taste of the action, watch the 360-degree trailer below.

NVIDIA: eSports Champion

NVIDIA GeForce is gear of choice for eSports gamers globally. We’ve built a world-class eSports studio in our Silicon Valley headquarters, where we host pro teams from around the world for pre-tournament boot camps.

We run the GeForce.com and NVIDIA Gaming Network properties to bring players, publishers, teams and tournament operators together. And behind the scenes, tournament organizers rely on our GPUs to create live feeds of the action watched by millions. Learn more about why GeForce matters for eSports in our blog.

And if you’re an eSports fan, cheer on your favorite teams during ESL One CS:GO matches, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, for a chance to win GeForce GTX prizes. The more tweets the community shoots out, the bigger the prizes get.