Medialooks Provides eSports Giant ESL with Video Transport Solution
Medialooks, provider of low-latency video transport streaming solutions for remote production, recently provided a video transport solution to ESL – the world’s largest eSports company – that delivered significant financial and operational benefits for its new subsidiary, ESL Swiss. ESL runs multiple TV studios, is the largest eSports broadcaster on Twitch, and operates branded international leagues and tournaments such as ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters, ESL Pro League and other top tier stadium-size events.
ESL Swiss operates from a fully-featured TV studio built from the ground up in Bern, Switzerland for the first season of ESL Swisscom Hero League—a new local championship based on popular titles. Faced with the challenge of Switzerland’s dual-language situation, ESL turned to Medialooks for an economical production solution that would leverage personnel and equipment resources and serve both German Swiss and French speaking audiences simultaneously, each in their own language without having to build twin studios within the same facility. The answer was to link French talent remotely via Medialooks Video Transport.
ESL’s software only video production setup comprised two state-of-the-art computers based on Core i9 processors and equipped with Blackmagic Design DeckLink cards and vMix for video switching and character generation.
While the commentators speaking Swiss German resided on site, their French colleagues were located in Lausanne, roughly 120km away from the main studio in their own recording room with production PCs, a camera and audio mixing.
Medialooks VT integrated the French production with the same level of quality as the one created in Bern. The master feed was sent to Lausanne via a 1 Gbps Swisscom fibre-optic connection with the producer’s voice embedded which was used to provide the French team with both the gameplay feed and producer’s directions. The camera feed facing the commentator was mixed with his audio and transported to Bern with a total of 100 ms delay, near real time.
With this setup the quality of the French production was indistinguishable from the one in Swiss German; both were streamed to Twitch and YouTube three times a week during the first season of the ESL Swisscom Hero League. ESL has revealed plans to implement the same setup for the second season, which is to start in the end of summer.
Building upon the success of the set-up, ESL Italy has deployed the same approach for its own production (which is being aired right now): having commentators from Rome connect to the main control room in Bolzano.
Gisli Gudnason, producer for ESL Italy stated, ”It’s difficult to get the talent to travel all the way to Bolzano. It’s all about where you have the manpower.”
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