8 August 2016 - 13:17

Esports and Virtual Reality

Can VR become a viable option for esports in the future and how can VR be used to enhance the experience of the game?

Virtual reality, for the time being, is becoming a phenomenon. With the overall investments from game companies going into this new medium, the topic has been swirling for some time now if any esport game can rise up to the heights of its competitors, but I want to also implore you to consider a different approach than just the game itself.

Imagine if you could, the possibility that virtual reality offers for you, the audience. Imagine placing on the helmet and being a part of the audience without a need to be in the crowd, able to see and experience all that is going on around you. Imagine being able to see what the player sees, watching what each pro is looking at and what he is doing. This is the same for the game itself; imagine if you placed on your VR helmet and you could be able to cycle between different players, like in Overwatch of Counter Strike, switching between the action so you can watch what you wanted to watch.

However, not everyone can afford VR, the main practice of making it a stable gaming ethos is in its cost. The headsets require a powerful PC alone to run it nd when you consider what would be needed after every little detail is polished, at the current time of writing it will cost well over $1000 to get a full set-up in order to run the process smoothly. (Note, I am not including PS4 and PS VR in this equation as I believe it is an entirely separate thing in itself and should be talked about as an entirely separate article.)

Then the big one, which device to use? Just like with games right now, certain games are getting exclusivity to a certain virtual reality helmet, so we can presume that in the future, maybe esports games or streaming software may also follow suit. The normal everyday person cannot afford to get every headset that comes out, may it be Oculus, Vive or PS VR. So how esports as a whole can come to justify an exclusivity deal may it be for its game or its streams, it is a daunting prospect to look ahead too. 

When we consider VR in esports, we shouldn't just follow the norm and consider it for gaming alone, we should look at what it can offer as a platform for entertainment. Sure, games will be made with VR in mind, No Mans Sky is an example of such a game that people are craving to have VR support, but we should become more open minded with its personal and practical use for the scene as a whole.

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