A decade of change: How broadcast technology has changed in Esports
A lot has changed.
Esports has come a long way in the last decade. From changes in production value to how we report esports news, the industry has been maturing and evolving at a rapid rate.
While the change has been enormous if you’ve been along for the ride the entire time you may have not noticed just how much it’s transformed since 2009.
So today, we’re going to take a look at a couple of different facets of esports and see just how far we’ve come in the past ten years.
Probably the most notable change of all has been the massive advancement in event production value.
Gone are the days of EVO in a small banquet room with a tiny platform stage for the players up front. No longer do we have to deal with fuzzy microphones and 240p broadcasts.
Esports events nowadays are massive shows with full production teams working behind the scenes to make them run as smoothly as possible.
Take a look at the League of Legends Worlds 2018 Opening Ceremony, for example, a massive endeavor inside a 49,000-person stadium, complete with holograms, two musical numbers, fireworks, and a transforming stage.
The casters and hosts voices boom clearly across the entire venue, the set-ups for players look sleek and professional, and fans actually feel like they’re at a major competitive event.
The broadcast is even in 4K for those that have a tv or monitor that supports it, meaning you can see every little detail of the event down to the sweat on the player’s faces as they try and outplay their opponents.
Furthermore, the post-game production has also spiked in value, going from just two guys sitting in front of a camera to full analysts desks backed up with interesting segments (such as the analyst desk at a Major looking at CS:GO news), stats teams feeding the desk all the information and interesting stats on players, as well as smooth transition graphics from segment to segment.
Game HUD Quality
On the opposite side of the competitive scene, the in-game HUDs used to display important competitive information has also made major improvements. Gone are the days of the awkward built-in HUDs and watching the observer’s mouse wander around the screen.
Nowadays, spectators have beautifully crafted overlay’s, inserted graphics rotating sponsors, and dual-feeds allowing you to watch a replay while there’s a lull in play or an interview with a team’s coach.
The HUDs have also gotten significantly crisper and more professional looking in nature, a significant step-up from the Photoshopesque team names awkwardly pasted over the in-game one.
They now seem closer to an NFL or NBA game in quality, likely a result of the heavy investment from traditional sports entities into the scene. Esports is no longer a little hobby with school-play quality production value.
They’re full-fledged sporting spectacles with the production value you’d expect to see out of an ESPN or FOX Sports broadcast, and it shows in the quality of broadcasts we get for pro-level tournaments.
Where production goes from here is anyone’s guess, but if the changes are like anything we’ve seen in the past decade, the future of esports events is looking bright.
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