ESL and Sliver.tv are teaming up for the first ever eSports VR livestream of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and League of Legends during Intel's Extreme Masters Oakland tournament next week (November 19th and 20th). The coverage will be available on nearly every mobile and PC platform, including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Gear VR and others. It'll drop you into the middle of the action with a 360-degree birds-eye view and first-person player perspectives, in the case of Counter-Strike.
Viewers will also see real-time stats like kills with different weapons and multi-kill streaks by player and round. "Having a real-time, in-depth look at everything that happens in a CS:GO match is ... only possible in a VR environment," says ESL Product Manager Stuart Ewen.
Having watched highlights from the ESL One New York CS:GO tournament on a Gear VR, I can confirm that it's an easy and immersive way to follow the action compared to a regular stream. It did choke sometimes and drop to a lower resolution on my Galaxy S6 Edge, despite the fact that I have a 1 Gbps fiber connection. That may be down to a previous-gen smartphone and the fact that I'm in France, but obviously you'll need an excellent connection to tune it at any kind of a decent resolution.
Sliver.tv is a pretty new startup and isn't the only company doing VR streaming, but as Techcrunch notes, it made the canny decision to focus on big eSports titles like Dota 2, CS:GO and League of Legends. That's helping it to gain notoriety, as those three titles alone have around 140 million fans.
If you have a VR headset and are interested in tuning in, you can get the best experience by downloading the Gear VR, Oculus Rift, or HTC Vive apps. You can also download the iOS and Android apps to watch in mobile Panorama 360 or use Google Cardboard.