The ‘Dota 2 Tug of War: Mad Moon’ tournament took place in Kiev, Ukraine, from 19-23 February.
OSLO, NORWAY — 09 April 2020: The Future Group, developer of live photo-realistic virtual production system Pixotope™, today announced that it provided the mixed reality platform for WePlay! Esports’ ‘Dota 2 Tug of War: Mad Moon’ tournament, which took place in Kiev, Ukraine, from 19-23 February. WePlay! Esports, which organises tournaments as well as providing online coverage, has the vision to blend competitive esports with entertainment in all-embracing coverage – “esportainment” is the word coined by Oleg Krot, CEO at WePlay! Esports.
To bring the audience into the esports action, WePlay! Esports decided to use augmented reality. “For us, augmented reality is a powerful tool to enhance the tournament theme, and add creativity and consistency to the broadcast,” said Aleksii Gutiantov, Head of AR Dept at WePlay! Esports. He turned to the proven Pixotope solution from The Future Group: “the best product on the market in my experience,” Gutiantov added.
Pixotope takes the remarkable rendering power of the Unreal Engine from Epic Games, and builds it into a complete virtual production hub. While offering a user interface simple enough for the pressures of live production, it provides along with the ability to make last minute changes while in live mode, all the power of an augmented reality system including camera tracking, motion capture and data-driven graphics.
“We needed to create the brightest visual impression during the broadcasts,” said Maksym Bilonogov, General Producer at WePlay! Esports. “Pixotope allows us to create surprises and tell exciting stories. We can display player stats in a new way, inside complex 3D multi-level stages, 360˚ environments, and we can bring in-game characters to life, and surround the stage with surreal scenery. Dota 2 real-time driven Drafts were among other scenes on that tournament and the WePlay! Esports in-house production team was able to recreate over 120 characters of Dota2, all visualised in Unreal Engine.”
“One of the most awe-inspiring things we achieved was place the tournament stage inside a cyber-punk city with hovercraft flying everywhere,” Bilonogov added. “Our productions now allow the audience to enjoy all the game play while at the same time believing they are part of what is happening on the screen – something that cannot be felt in real life.”
Pixotope was used to create the augmented reality elements for this event, covering a 100 square metre stage area with pinpoint precision. It worked seamlessly with camera tracking systems from stYpe and camera robotics from Movicom, as well as integrating with conventional graphics from Vizrt. The Mad Moon tournament generated peak concurrent online views of around a quarter of a million fans.
“The esports market has massive potential,” said Marcus Blom Brodersen, CEO of The Future Group. “Virtual production can take the viewer inside the game scenes. Interactivity could unlock a whole new genre of live entertainment. WePlay! Esports is constantly pushing our technology to new, visually stunning heights and we can’t wait to see what they do next.”
Watch highlights from the WePlay! Esports’ ‘Dota 2 Tug of War: Mad Moon’ tournament, here: https://vimeo.com/405009336.
About The Future Group
Pixotope™ is the world’s leading solution for live mixed reality media production. Pixotope is created by The Future Group, an international award-winning technology company headquartered in Oslo, Norway with offices in London, Madrid and LA. For more information, visit: https://www.futureuniverse.com/
About WePlay! Esports
WePlay! Esports is an esportainment company that combines the best practices of the esports and entertainment fields. Since 2012, WePlay! Esports brand is well-known for the high-quality organization and broadcast the online esports tournaments and LAN finals. Besides, to the creation and distribution of the esports content to own media, WePlay! Esports, the company’s expertise lies in competitive gaming services, brand integration into esports, and media rights sales.