Asia-Pacific Broadcasting (APB) June 2018 Volume 35, Issue 5 - Page 33

X-PLATFORM June 2018 33 Studio Invate masters the power of eSports In South-east Asia, the growing popularity of gaming is fuelling the continent’s 44% contribution to the total global population of eSports enthusiasts. Therefore, it is a perfect market for Bangkok-based video company, Studio Invate, where gaming is a passion for nearly the whole staff. Studio Invate produces highly creative videos, live broadcasts and commercials for companies of all sizes. But in between the studio and on- location work for clients, the company’s crew of 14 employees and freelancers enjoy live-streaming video game tournaments. own use to integrate with the features of its existing Blackmagic cameras. Building for speed eSports like any other sport Studio Invate’s public mission is to be the force behind transforming the eSports industry in Thailand, and this involves producing broadcasts so compelling that “audiences will watch game tournaments with the same level of excitement as sports tournaments”. This does not go unnoticed by the tournament producers of big-name gaming events. Overall, the studio produces live-stream broadcasts for 15 major eSports tournaments every year, each with up to 40 gamers competing and up to 50,000 spectators viewing the live stream. The rest of the company’s weekends are filled too, with an additional 30 medium-sized and smaller eSports events. Studio Invate has grown to become the largest production company specialising in eSports in Thailand and it still has big growth plans. Gaining size and power Studio Invate has the desire to expand, but face the limitations of SDI-only production in a computer- based world. As a result, Pachara Ruangrasameejantorn (Benz), the company’s co-founder, knew they had to go with IP-based video production. In order to overcome the limitations of SDI-only production in a computer-based world, Studio Invate decided to go with IP-based video production, with NewTek the chosen solutions provider. The Studio Invate team was already using the NewTek TriCaster 8000 integrated production system, along with the NewTek 3Play 4800 replay solution for its live production services, but the requirements in eSports production were changing quickly. JM Lim, technical training specialist for Blonde Robot, a NewTek Elite reseller-distributor, said: “When you talk about covering eSports competitions in terms of game play, you could have 20 individual players. In other words, it’s not a field or court group sport. In eSports competitions, since anything can happen at any time, each player has coverage.” Eamon Drew, director of Blonde Robot, added: “Switching live between real-world players and the actual game on a computer screen, without having to use scan converters, is a challenge. With eSports, the content is on a computer and playing out at 1080p 60f. But by using NewTek’s NDI technology, the video coming over the network is already in the right format.” Looking at the size of the typical tournament events it produces, Studio Invate calculated that it would need to switch among at least 24 hybrid IP/SDI feeds. For instance, 12 come from SDI sources such as the players’ POV cameras, the announcers’ fixed cameras, and the roaming action cameras. The rest is from computer sources, such as the gaming screens of the players, as well as graphics and effects, added Studio Invate’s Benz. NewTek Mark II In order to hit that 20-plus input requirement, Benz and his team selected a NewTek IP Series, including a VMC1 video mix engine (which can switch up to 44 external inputs, from both SDI and IP sources) and a four- stripe control panel. In the first instance, Studio Invate expanded the VMC1 unit’s built-in SDI capacity with a NewTek NC1 SDI input unit to achieve a total of 12 SDI inputs. Studio Invate then added a NewTek TimeWarp replay controller, so the company could have an operator performing live replays during