In an interview with Intel's esports marketing manager George Woo, our sister site eSports Pro has talked about how Intel's IEM esports events could be leading towards better adoption for VR
The IEM is a collaboration between esports outfit ESL and the tech giant, and Intel are using this event to talk about their plans for virtual reality.
"First of all it’s the viewership," said Woo."Last year we had 256 million viewers watching this stuff. That’s supposed to grow to 345 million by 2019. So there’s a huge growth opportunity there.
You’ve got the communities, the competitions are getting better, more digital platforms like Facebook Live and Twitter – this is all spurring the growth of eSports. And then tech companies like ourselves – we’re learning too. We’re learning how to address those audiences and create those amazing experiences, pushing the boundaries of innovation. And this year is all about VR.
We are going to continue to be that leader in VR. 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.
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 AAA 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. Because we believe that IEM delivers the best VR Gaming streaming content in the world, and you need that with the whole suite of Intel products. It’s a natural fit. That’s why we want to continue to do this."
Intel could be a powerful advocate for virtual reality, even if they admit in the interview — which you can read here — that Intel are mostly interested in it so they can ride the hardware wave that increased interest in virtual reality can give, but a rising wind lifts all ships, and developers looking to develop in virtual reality could also benefit from Intel's efforts.