- Do you think that technology, both radical and incremental determines the growth of the esports industry?
Tech is the very base of esports as games in today’s time heavily rely on the machines and the software. If you look at the course of the history of games, the evolution is primarily based on the technological advancements over time. It went from board games to arcade machines to PCs, consoles and smartphones. The same evolution worked for esports, games started to get better in quality, thus the need for better hardware and software to play, record, stream and broadcast, came into being. In-game communication got better with community apps like Discord. The viewing experience of fans in an esports arena has enhanced as we now have access to clearer, brighter and sharper LED tech, thanks to the complex programming. On the other hand, AR and AI play an important role in bringing the fans closer to a game. And the crucial one, AI, the tremendous development in Artificial Intelligence has led to better coaching of the esports athletes, AI has helped anti-cheats get better, the social platforms and live-score websites have gotten more interactive and precise. All of this put together is a massive boost to the viewing and playing experience. As a tournament organizer, good tech means simplified workflow, shorter tasks in hand, less manpower and easier management.
- What role do you think has technology played in making esports available to the audience?
I would say that technology has got esports entertainment closer to the people and made it into a spectator sport. It had the power to mainstream esports which in turn made esports accessible to a much bigger audience.
- What is still the unexplored subcategory of technology that you think might be revolutionary in the future that would change the course of the gaming industry in India?
Right off the bat, I would pick 5G as a gamechanger. I won’t say it’s unexplored as it hasn’t arrived yet. But I’m 100% sure that 5G will change the way people game, stream, record and produce content in esports once it’s out there. And connected to 5G would be cloud gaming, I can just imagine the monumental rise in gamers and content creators if the audience accepts cloud gaming.
- Do you think the Indian audience is well acquainted with the technology? Why or why not?
Right now, the audience takes note of the talents on screen, it takes note of the big players, it follows the big tournaments and shows its support in the best possible. I think the audience is a bit too young to be interested in the work behind the camera. There is definitely a small audience that shows their heartfelt love and support and their genuine interest in the backend work. The audience still needs some time and space to really generate that curiosity.
- How do you think NODWIN will contribute to this technological revolution?
NODWIN has started contributing to the technology revolution already. Our flagship tournament, the ESL India Premiership, has been a hub of latest gaming technology. The PMCO Fall Split South Asia 2019 was the first AR integrated esports tournament in South Asia. Plus, the influx of remote operations due to the COVID situation, has fueled new innovations and ideas in the broadcast spectrum. The interviews, the filler segments, the process of offline shoots, the recording, storage and transfer of content are all tangible tasks, to turn these into remote tasks was a greater challenge. Cloud storage, faster file transfers, lag-free broadcast etc were adopted in the last few months which resulted in NODWIN having one of the finest tournament executions even in these tough times.