Gfinity taps Videocraft to build Australia’s first eSports production studio

The new production studio will be responsible to deliver live feeds for streaming on Twitch, as well as broadcasting on Australia’s Channel Ten’s digital platform, One

With the global eSports market revenue predicted to reach US$1.65 billion in 2020, Gfinity Esports Australia has announced its plan to hold its new Elite Series competition, which is aimed at delivering gamers and fans a “clear and structured” competitive framework within Australian eSports.

A key requirement for this Elite Series competition was the creation of an eSports production studio, where Gfinity turned to Videocraft, an Australian broadcast equipment sales and rental specialist, to create and build the new studio.

Presented by Alienware, the Elite Series sees six city-based clubs competing weekly in front of a live audience at Gfinity’s eSports arena within the Hoyts Cinema Complex at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter, designed and built by Videocraft. Clubs compete across titles such as Counter Strike Global Offensive, Street Fighter V and Rocket League, and each event is aired live on Twitch, a live streaming video platform.

Sam Harris, COO of Gfinity Australia, said: “Gfinity is setting the new benchmark for quality in eSports in Australia. As such, we looked for experienced partners to help bring our vision to life.

“Videocraft played a pivotal role in the development of the high-quality production capabilities for our first eSports arena at the Hoyts Entertainment Quarter.”

Besides creating and building a production studio to create content for Twitch, Videocraft also had to send content, ready for playout, to Ten’s digital channel, One.

Videocraft’s Nick MacLean, added: “For this studio, we had to produce all the content to a much higher standard than for regular SD TV, which is usually 1080 50i. However, as the primary delivery and viewing platforms are online, and in order to keep up with refresh rates, all of the content from the studio is 1080 60p.

Videocraft designed and built the new Gfinity eSports production studio with its FlyAway kits at the core. The kit also integrates Sony HDC-2400 cameras, HDC-P1 cameras, EVS XT3 video servers, a Sony vision mixer and audio from Yamaha.

The competition match content is delivered in 1080 60p live to Twitch, who, in turn, streamed live to their viewers, MacLean explained. “For One, we had to work with Channel Ten to come up with a solution that looked equally as high quality. This meant a workflow which involved sending One the content in 1080 60i — which is the same as a live feed from the US — and then cross-converting that to 1080 50i. From there, it all went out via the Telstra DVN, and the whole process was flawless.”

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