‘Bet­ter for spec­ta­tors’

Muscat Daily - - FEATURES -

Spec­ta­tors, mean­while, can en­joy a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence com­pared with the stan­dard eS­ports tour­na­ments.

Not only can they fol­low the ac­tion on screen, they can also see the play­ers mov­ing around an arena, not sim­ply sit­ting in front of their screens.

"They have LED lights on their head­sets ac­cord­ing to the colours of their teams but also you can see the num­ber of lives that re­main for ev­ery play­ers," said Mar­i­otte.

This is by no means the first tech­ni­cal great leap for­ward for eS­ports.

The ar­rival of high-speed In­ter­net paved the way for play­ers to take part in hugely sophistica­ted games in sta­di­ums that are broad­cast live.

But VR could pro­foundly trans­form eS­ports, al­low­ing play­ers to in­ter­act be­tween each other on two lev­els dur­ing the games - on- and off-screen.

"This will be the new way of play­ing, that's for sure, and in mar­ket­ing terms it's a rev­o­lu­tion," said Fred­er­ick Gau, head of Gozult­ing, a con­sul­tancy spe­cialised in eS­ports.

But he also ex­pressed scep­ti­cism over whether VR would take over eS­ports, say­ing the cost of the de­vices could prove pro­hib­i­tive for many gamers, as could a lack of band­width, "even with 5G."

‘Niche market’

But VR could also put an end defini­tively to the de­bate about whether eS­ports can re­ally be con­sid­ered a sport, by get­ting play­ers to be phys­i­cally ac­tive.

"Vir­tual Real­ity can bring eS­ports closer to sport but it could also drive them fur­ther apart," said Gau.

"Play­ing at sim­u­lat­ing (ac­tions) does not in­volve the same sense of risk or fear of in­jury that there is in the same sit­u­a­tions in real­ity."

How it evolves will also de­pend on whether de­vel­op­ers choose to high­light the phys­i­cal as­pect of the games.

Gau said he ex­pected the adop­tion of VR to be limited in scale, at least for now.

"We were al­ready ex­pect­ing a rev­o­lu­tion with the mo­bile phone but in the end, eS­ports play­ers stayed on their con­soles and PCs. When we have con­nected ar­mour and gloves then, yes, but for now it (VR) will re­main a niche market," he said.

The tenth edi­tion of the Paris Games Week held at the Porte de Ver­sailles ex­hi­bi­tion cen­tre con­cluded on Novem­ber 3, 2019

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