While we may still be some way off seeing VR games competing with the top eSports titles, the role of VR for eSports viewers is expected to grow in importance.
That’s according to Intel eSports marketing manager George Woo, who told eSports Pro that getting people to experience eSports in VR first-hand is crucial to its uptake.
“Are we going to say we’re going to have eSports in VR next year? No. But what we want to do is get this top of mind, get people experienced with the head units, start with the experience showcases, and the next iteration is broadcast – in which we did League of Legends and CS:GO with Sliver.TV,” Woo said.
“If people didn’t have the head sets, they can still see in 360. It’s just getting that option rate higher and faster. The more that happens you get triple-A titles, titles that might be more conducive towards eSports that the community gets behind, and so on. And we want to be at the forefront of that.”
Woo also reflected on how quickly the eSports scene is evolving.
“eSports has grown up a lot – in terms of the viewership and the acceptance that this is an actual a sport for the millennials,” he added. “This is something that isn’t a hard sell anymore in order to get the investments partners from non-endemic companies, and from sports companies. There’s a lot of dollars coming in fuelling the growth of eSports, and it’s very important.
“I look at it from a macro-view, I mean having Gillette here. Does it help Intel? No. What it does is helps the overall segment. And it’ll help accelerate it to where we want to be.”
Woo also explained that despite the growth of mainstream eSports sponsors – like Gillette, Nissan and Dominos – TV coverage for eSports is still quite patchy.
“A lot of it has to do with the titles. A lot of liner TV doesn’t want to touch a title like CS:GO,” Woo claimed. “And that’s one of the things that we are working together on – to figure out what is that next big title where linier TV can accept it. Even Proctor and Gamble, and Gillette, they don’t really want to touch CS:GO. They have a whole suite of products and it’s not aligned with their brand, so that’s something that we will continue to look at – titles that are more family friendly for linear TV.”