eSports Livestreaming 101: Essential Tech Tips for Seamless Streaming and Dynamic Graphics

Published on in ProductionHUB Exclusive

Like many parts of the entertainment and media industry the eSports segment has recently seen its share of ups and downs. But as with any maturing market segment, corrections were to be expected. You’d think that these “market corrections” might paint a less than cheery forecast for eSports and all those involved — from manufacturers to venues and players? That’s not the case, especially in the domestic marketplace. 

In 2022, the global eSports market was valued at just over 1.38 billion dollars. Additionally, the eSports industry's global market revenue was forecast to grow to as much as 1.87 billion U.S. dollars in 2025. Needless to say, eSports is big business, whether its worldwide events or equipment sales and even colleges and universities that have developed programs to train future eSports professionals. 

Before we continue, let’s first define “eSports.” According to Statista, the term “eSports” is characterized by regional or international video gaming events in which professional and amateur players compete against each other. Additionally, an eSports tournament is a complex event designed to immerse its audience in the virtual world that makes up the game. 

Who Watches Other People Game? 

According to viewership numbers, there are a lot of people that watch others game. As of 2022, the worldwide eSports audience size had reached 532 million people. More viewer’s growth is expected as audiences tune in to watch their favorite games being played by gamers and streamers from all over the world. 

By 2025, there are expected to be over 640 million viewers of eSports worldwide. Just by the very nature of gaming, people can watch from the comfort of their homes — a trend I believe was accelerated by the pandemic. In addition to the impressive audience sizes, top players earned millions of dollars in prize money and gained rockstar levels of fame. I guess I should have stuck with Super Mario Brothers! 

How Does eSports Production Happen?

There’s a lot to unpack in the complex eSports production world.  It goes without saying that all of the production elements need to work together, so mass computing power is an absolute must. If you want to do eSports production right, you’ll need to be able to handle heavy switching, live streaming, drop dead graphics, analysis and playback, some with AR and VR capability. If you’re inclined to buy your technology, I’d recommend to start by looking at some robust switchers that can handle the heavy lifting requirements for eSports I mentioned above. 

Companies such as Virtz, ROSS, Blackmagic Design, Grass Valley, Panasonic Karios, and more, are a great place to start your research. Each of these companies have excellent eSports solutions switchers and other production components.  There are also other companies like LiveU that provide ancillary gear to stream so you can enhance your overall live streaming production value. 

Final equipment purchase or rental decisions may come down to things such as your working knowledge of production switchers and related gear, your budget, and perhaps long term goals. As a point of reference, I have also included a flow diagram courtesy of ROSS that shows the complexity of eSports productions (see below). It is by no means the only flow diagram, but I feel it presents somewhat of a complete picture of the dynamics involved in an eSports production. 

 

3 Tips to Build a Successful eSports Production

There is no one tried and true process for live production, but I’ve found that gathering up as much information and resources as possible is always a good place to start. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three excellent tips from SmartSource that offer a solid starting place on eSports production. 

As noted on SmartSource, producing immersive events, especially those broadcasts that are live, involves detailed planning and solid execution, and lots of Plan Bs and sometimes even Plan C options!

Tip 1: Get dedicated Wi-Fi 

Don’t be fooled into believing that you are obligated to use a venue’s existing Wi-Fi network for your event. Most venues, even convention centers, have mediocre Wi-Fi capabilities at best. Because of the weight in prestige that an esports tournament carries these days, most venues would rather allow you to bring in your own Wi-Fi solution than lose the booking.

Tip 2: Think About Renting (don’t borrow or buy) hardware and display technology 

Buying computers and displays, switches, video walls, and Wi-Fi boosters doesn’t make sense if you plan to use the equipment repeatedly at other events throughout the year. The cost of transporting and storing equipment and the staff required to manage it may eat into your profits. But the choice to rent or buy is ultimately up to you.

Tip 3: Hire professionals to manage the technology during the event

This is referred to as turnkeying in some circles. You’ll want professionals managing the tech equipment from start to finish because even one glitch can bring the live event to a screeching halt. Think about hiring some technology architects that can construct an AV, computer and lighting solution that will fulfill your vision for the event without breaking your budget. Secure a dedicated production team to manage the technology, available from SmartSource or other providers, that can act as an extension of your team to make the event the success you (and your clients) imagined. 

Closing Thoughts

In 2024, eSports will continue to grow and thrive due to the fact that eSports is the perfect yet (complex) blend of live competition and entertainment. Think of yourself producing an eSports event either on site or remotely, where you can have all the elements of a live production both in venue and with  your online audience. I’d love to be the director for one of these productions!

Lastly, you’ve got this! Don’t be intimidated by the scope or size of the production. Do your homework, ask a ton of good questions, study the manufacturers websites  and look at other successful eSport models. Knowledge is definitely your friend here. Hire the best engineers and crew. Buy or rent the best equipment you can afford. You can find all those great people and resources by posting a Request here on ProductionHUB, or by searching our directory. It is your reputation after all. Now is NOT the time to cut corners, because as we know all too well,  live production can be most unforgiving at any level. Do your due diligence and you'll be just fine! 

ProductionHUB ProductionHUB Logo

About the Author

Mark Foley
Mark Foley
Mark J. Foley, MBA BA is an award-winning producer and director and the Technology Editor for ProductionHUB.com. He is on a mission to provide the best in new equipment reviews, along with exclusive analysis and interviews with the best, the brightest, and the most creative minds in the entertainment and production business. Have a suggestion for a review? Email Mark at mfoley@productionhub.com.

Related Blog Posts
Beyond Entertainment: The Vital Role of Film Documentaries in Today's Society
Beyond Entertainment: The Vital Role of Film Documentaries in Today's Society
In the vast sea of entertainment options available to modern audiences, film documentaries stand out as powerful vessels of truth, empathy, and understanding. They're more than just a form of entertainment; these cinematic works serve as windows into the human experience, shedding light on pressing social issues, historical events, and untold stories. As consumers increasingly seek meaningful content, the importance of film documentaries in both the TV and film industry and the broader societal discourse cannot be overstated.
Published on Tuesday, April 9, 2024
How the Gig Economy is Reshaping the TV and Film Production Landscape
How the Gig Economy is Reshaping the TV and Film Production Landscape
In the bustling world of TV and film production, where creativity meets tight deadlines and ever-evolving technology, the gig economy has emerged as a transformative force. Defined by a workforce of freelancers and side-hustlers, the gig economy has permeated every aspect of the industry, from pre-production to post-production, and its impact is both profound and multifaceted.
Published on Friday, March 15, 2024
6 Ways to Market Yourself: A Guide for TV and Film Production Freelancers
6 Ways to Market Yourself: A Guide for TV and Film Production Freelancers
In the competitive landscape of TV and film production, standing out as a freelancer requires more than just talent and skill—it demands strategic self-marketing to showcase your expertise and attract potential clients. From crafting a compelling online presence to leveraging industry platforms like ProductionHUB, here's a comprehensive guide to effectively market yourself as a freelance professional in the world of entertainment.
Published on Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Comments

There are no comments on this blog post.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.