Big stages. Bright lights. Huge screens and loud music. Fog machines. HUGE ARENAS. Wait, this is all for Esports? Yeah you better believe it. Esports has come a long way from the days of competitions being held in dark and dingy, sweaty rooms. Filmed with just 1 camera on the screen. Now we pack out arenas for millions of dollars worth of prize money, it’s incredible! Today we’re going to be taking a look at some of the technology they use in Esports competitions. From the tech that makes up the viewing experience to the tech used by the pros themselves. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
So first things first, something we all see all the time, not just in Esports competition, but concerts and more. Laser shows! They look beautiful, but what goes into making one of these crazy performances, usually used to open the show or as people are walking to the stage or even to help hype up goals or the taking of a tower. Firstly, you need to have a light source. The type of laser that you use will determine the colours and how bright things will get. Brightness is measured in watts and the colour is determined by wavelength. For example a 40 watt, 532nm laser is going to make an “emerald green” beam that will be pretty visible, even across cities.
Laser/Light shows are becoming more popular at big Esports events now.
Next they use small arrays of moving mirrors in a projector so that the beams from the lasers can be moved into different places, they move so fast that the human eye can’t see the individual beam anymore. Instead, the crowds will see the beams as fans or cones, or even more depending on how it’s set up. Some venues will also have mirrors positioned in the rafters to create a bouncing effect, allowing the beams to be thrown across the arena in directions it wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. Once you’ve got the projectors and lasers positioned, you just need an ARTIST who will use software to synchronise the lasers to their vision, paired with music. Beautiful.
It wouldn’t be a tech article without talking about the rigs the pros really use, would it? The beauty of a LAN tournament is that you’re taking ALL LATENCY from networking out of the equation meaning, outside of peripherals as the gamers use their own gear in that respect, you’re basing competitions purely on the players skills and their ability to work as a team and counter opposing strategies. When we’re looking at the rigs themselves, it’s all going to depend on what game you’re playing. For example, a couple years ago they swapped competitive Call of Duty from console to PC.
Now previously the only PCs you needed to set up for a Call of Duty tournament realistically needed to be the broadcaster, who would be in the lobby in spectator mode. However, given the high system requirements for Call of Duty games, especially if you want the gamers to have every possible benefit, you’ll be needing some HIGH SPEC PCs, we’re talking high core count PCs to help with any excess work loads required in the background like pulling the game feeds etc, those cores will need to have high core speeds too given the fact gaming benefits MORE from a high clock speed than core count. Then you’re gonna be needing between 16-32gb’s of high speed DDR4 memory, again, you need to isolate and stop any potential bottlenecks.
The big stage, gamers in a packed out arena playing the highest tier of CS:GO.
Then… The big one, the GPUs, most of these tournaments will have a system builder as a sponsor to help them acquire the tech they need for the gamers, otherwise you’d better believe that the tournament organisers will be checking betting odds while trying to get hold of the GPU’s they need, which for a Call of Duty game you’re DEFINITELY looking at a 3070+ and if you want zero potential issues you’re possibly looking more at a 3080 or a 3080ti, and then you need 10 of them for a Call of Duty tournament minimum.
Of course, if the tournament is for something like League of Legends perhaps, you wouldn’t need such a high spec rig, in fact you could absolutely run budget rigs as the pros themselves tend to play with low graphics anyway, they prioritise frames over pixels, as it is proven to increase performance with less latency and a higher FPS count. So you could get away with running 3060s more than likely, which would save the organisers a boat load of money at this point… *grumbles* bloody scalpers..!
Interesting Related Article: “What are eSports? Definition and examples“