For VRFocus’ weekly roundup of virtual reality (VR) related sporting goodness the NHL is celebrating 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup and the recent Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2017 saw VR broadcast popularity and engagement growing by 200 percent.
Intel and ESL Welcome 173,000 Fans to the Extreme Masters Katowice 2017
Last month VRFocus reported on ESL and SLIVER.tv collaborating on a virtual esports stadium experience for fans watching the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice 2017 event.
The entire competition turned out to be a huge success, 173,000 fans attended the stadium event and surrounding festival over the course of two weekends, with more than 46 million unique online viewers, a 35% growth from last year’s event.
Intel and ESL partnered with SLIVER.tv and WonderWorld VR for the VR experience, delivering an immersive 360-degree space that included live stats, replays, and scores in real-time. The VR stream featured a 200 percent growth in peak concurrent viewers compared to IEM’s first VR livestream in Oakland, with 340,000 unique viewers tuning into the VR broadcast reports ESL
“Intel Extreme Masters Katowice shattered all expectations with record breaking attendance and viewership,” said Frank Soqui, General Manager of the Virtual Reality and Gaming Group at Intel. “The gaming community’s passion for esports was on display and Intel is proud to continue delivering the best gaming experiences to fans around the world, whether that’s with IEM tournaments, driving growth in VR content, or improving how people play with Intel processors and technology.”
The IEM Expo also included VR Games Festival and VR tournament, interactive demos including Intel’s Project Alloy merged reality headset, and VR viewing stations from SLIVER.tv.
NHL Fans Experience The Moment Of A Lifetime With The Stanley Cup
To celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the Stanley Cup, the National Hockey League (NHL) teamed up with advertising agency R&R Partners, creating two ad spots voiced over by Liev Schrieber, highlighting the iconic trophy and a VR experience that allowed fans to get up close to the cup.
Housed inside a 20-foot shipping container at PPG Paints Arena, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins and current holder of the Cup, the experience transported fans to a VR world compiled of historic Stanley Cup wins, clips of the Cup being hoisted by famous players and teams and a final moment with the infamous ‘Keeper of the Cup’ Phil Pritchard and an opportunity to virtually reach out and grab the Cup.
What the fans didn’t realise, the actual cup had been placed in front of them whilst in VR so when they removed the headset there it was in all its glory.
Source: This Week in VR Sports: NHL Celebrates 125th Anniversary of the Stanley Cup and Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2017