WEAVR: Redefining Live Sports Broadcasting

Weavr is creating cross-reality viewing experiences allowing fans to immerse themselves in high fidelity statistics, visualisations and data-driven stories that give them deep insights into live matches across esports and sports.

In the 25bn esports industry, data is king. With detailed data from every single match being played across all levels of skill, covering uncounted hundreds of thousands of years of playtime, there is no bottom in the ocean of data that we can analyse and visualise.

The availability of data, the digital nature of the games, the technical infrastructure and the surrounding young audiences has led esports to become a rapidly innovating sector, which is constantly striving to invent new ways of engaging audiences. More than half a billion people play esports games regularly, and the audiences are young, technologically in the forefront and keen to be involved in the experience, as opposed to traditional one-size-fits-all sports broadcasting. They are the audience of the future, and esports has become a testbed for new entertainment technologies, with companies launching new initiatives on a daily basis. Jointly, this has launched esports as the fastest growing entertainment sector worldwide.

On this exciting background, the UKRI/Innovate UK Demonstrator project Weavr was launched in 2019 as a collaboration between seven companies and the University of York. Weavr has since its inception launched data-driven, interactive and personalised audience-facing experienced across mobile platforms, VR, AR, 2nd screen, and other formats, all utilising data from esports matches to tell stories with data. 27 million views and 2 million users later, Weavr has highlighted the potential impact of data visualization in esports.

Weavr enables audiences to seamlessly move between virtual and physical viewing, as well as utilise second screens to watch immersive esports content on the go.

The use of AI & data learning to create highly personalised viewing experiences allow for fully interactive and individualised insights for the audience – all of which will permit Weavr to demonstrate insight into how audiences of the future engage in immersive experiences and the pathways to future commercialisation.

The Weavr team has designed experiences for esports viewers and audience across VR, AR, 2nd screen, overlays for game streams, 360 degree video enhanced with data, and more. Using the Weavr platform, users can seamlessly move from between these experiences.

Through a consortium led by ESL, the largest esports company in the world, and including leading academics and innovators across VR/AR, AI, data-driven content production and broadcast, Weavr will is transforming the experiences of millions of fans.

Weavr is funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the UK Government’s non-departmental public body for innovation and research, and the consortium partners ESL (Turtle Entertainment), Rewind, Dock10, Cybula, FocalPoint VR and the University of York. Weavr is a 2.5-year demonstrator grant that focuses on esports broadcasting, as part of the Industry Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). Weavr has already generated international awareness and interest from UK policy makers:

“The UK esports industry is growing rapidly, and ESL UK are right at the heart of its expansion. I’m excited to see how the Weavr project will create innovative and immersive experiences for esports fans across the globe, helping to get them even closer to the live action.” Margot James MP, (former) Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries

The Weaver Companion is the first application build off the Weavr technology stack, and was showcased during the ESL One Birmingham 2019 tournament. It showcases how audience-facing services can tap into the proprietary Weavr data platform to build data-driven experiences for esports and sports audiences.

The app is show of the style and approach Weavr is taking towards telling stories with data. Weavr Companion is an audience companion application, designed as a 2nd screen tool for Dota 2 audiences. The application provides real-time visualisations of the in-game action of the tournament, in an easily accessible and interpretable format designed for novices and veterans alike.

Esports games such as Dota 2 can be incredibly complex to understand, play and watch. The Weavr Companion breaks down the action into seamless, personalized narratives. 

The Weavr Companion application includes real-time visualisation and analysis of the in-game action for Dota 2.

The Weavr Companion application is backed with machine learning models which provide real-time assessment of the active matches aimed at condensing the incredibly complex esports games into more easily accessed elements. One example is the real-time match prediction model which provides an at-a-glance overview about which team is leading the match.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s