Rockleigh, NJ 07647
Crestron Electronics, Inc.
June 27, 2022 - It's critical to think of esports as any sport that can have players and spectators.? A key aspect of this is understanding that just as any sport has levels of interaction, so does esports.?
Take, for example, basketball: It's a game that can be played in a venue as small as a driveway to something as large as an NBA arena. Between those extremes lie everything from public parks to high school gyms — it's the same concept with esports.?
However, there's a key difference: It's important to understand that unlike major sports that feature athletes that are in action and provide motion for excitement, esports players are static and do not move.?The excitement and action come from the graphics of the games themselves and the specific environment they are being played in. Therefore, AV applications — combined with other elements like lighting and sound reinforcement — are absolutely paramount to the success of the esports space.??
Esports venues can commonly be found in three sizes:? Labs, Training Venues, and Competition Venues.
Fundamentals of Each Space
No matter what size esports venue is being created, there are certain constants — requirements that need to be met for each type of gaming center. Those requirements are often remarkably similar to the standardization protocols need for a large university or corporate AV project. Don't be fooled by the size of the venue being created — they all need certain foundational technologies that change very little as a project is scaled up.
High-Integrity Imagery — The best possible resolution is a big part of making the experience satisfying. As game imagery becomes ever more realistic, display solutions have to keep pace.
Solid Audio — Sound is becoming more and more a part of the sport — can players hear the footfall from an opponent behind them in a "single-shooter" style of video game? Additionally, quality microphones can help with team communications as well as the spectator (or recording) experience.
Quick Refresh Rates — Refresh rates, or the number of "frames per second" (FPS) displayed on a screen needs to keep up with the action. Video needs to be smooth and absent of any "ghostly" artifacts, especially when real-time reactions are key. To put this in perspective, movies are generally shot at 24 FPS, while many current games can run at 120 FPS.
Scalable Solutions — Is your venue equipped to handle the next generation of tech? More players? Ensure that you have the ability to "max out" the space you're creating.
Proper Lighting — The right light is not only important for large, drama-filled venues. There's also the need to light players as these venues scale up — images of players are often displayed to spectators so that the audience can see a gamer's emotions and reactions. That lighting should never interfere with the gamer's efforts, however — in fact, lighting that reduces issues such as screen glare can even help curb gaming burnout and eye strain.
Risk Mitigation/Security/Compliance — In an office environment, most users of an AV system are working on company-issued devices and following specific protocols. Gaming venues see users operating a broad variety of "bring-your-own-devices" (BYOD) from a transient population — from students to campus visitors in a collegiate setup, for example. Piracy prevention is a concern here as well.
These are smaller spaces with individual stations with a small number of spectators, if any. Audio and video functionality need not be terribly complicated in this application.?Unlike larger spaces, these venues generally don't need accommodations for moderators or spectators.
- A space that can accommodate 3-10 players
- No need for moderator accommodations
- Simplified system designs that have limited sources and displays (Note: Although these spaces are smaller in scale, they'll require many of the same considerations as larger venues when it comes to the technology in use.)
The Experience to Strive For
- Fast signal processing of USB-based peripherals for quick human reaction times during the game; real-time video interaction
- Personal station customizations (user-preferred joysticks or keyboards, for example)
- User-adjusted lighting, volume, and other elements at each station
These are larger venues that can accommodate any number of players at individual stations with limited capacity for spectator involvement. Enhanced audio-visual solutions are required here to display the games to larger screens, but the bulk of the technology is scaled up from smaller labs.
- Accommodations for 10-30 players
- Larger venue to handle increased stations and aspects of public viewing
- Passive viewing options for spectators for viewing on public displays (with content chosen by the moderator)
- Accommodations for a moderator to route and control content for spectators
The Experience to Strive For
- All experiences mentioned in Labs, plus
- Multi-player intercommunication via headsets and chat applications
- Source switching from gamer to public display (inclusive of audio)
- Station monitoring for uptimes
- Ambience control, including lighting, sound, HVAC
- Ability to stream content out as needed for viewing consumption through a cloud-based video repository
- Individual control to select featured gamers for viewing (in addition to public displays)
Large, arena-like event venues hosting any number of players at individual stations fit this category, with the capacity to host hundreds if not thousands of spectators. Very advanced AV is required to route gaming content locally to the gaming stations as well as to advanced video screens and/or walls for the spectators.??
- Accommodations for any number of players for advanced competition
- Seating for thousands of spectators in defined areas
- Technology that's significantly scaled up to deliver an experience similar to a professional sporting event
- Camera integration focused on players (similar to traditional sports where the athlete is prominently shown to an audience)
The Experience to Strive For
- All experiences mentioned in Labs and Competition venues
- All experiences mentioned in Labs and Competition venues, plus
- Source routing from station cameras focused on the gamer to be featured with gaming content for viewing (i.e., a "picture-in-picture" experience where one can see the player and the action)
- The ability to stream games from the venue for remote viewing
All experiences mentioned in Labs and Competition venues
1420 S 4800 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84104