UK Government-backed esports viewing app Weavr goes live, further updates planned for ESL One Birmingham 2020

The latest release of the Weavr technology platform – which promises greater immersion when watching esports – has been released.

The Weavr consortium – led by ESL UK and announced at the start of the year – was awarded £5.8m in funding (£4m of which came from the UK Research and Innovation, the UK Government’s non-departmental public body for innovation and research). The two-year project aims to revolutionise how people watch esports.

Weavr’s updated mobile app and virtual reality experience were unveiled to thousands of fans at ESL One Hamburg to watch Dota 2 action live. It gave fans more info on the performance of players and teams, as well as win predictions, and has the goal of creating an ‘immersive and personalised’ experience for esports fans.

The newly-released app detects key moments and performances, and serves users a story feed that is tailored to what matters to them most. They are able to track and compare the performance of their favourite players in real-time, including unique stats.

The app also includes Weavr’s Performance Index tool, a new statistic driven by machine learning that shows how each player affects their team’s chance to win. 

“We said at the start of this project that we wanted to move away from linear ‘one-for-all’ coverage towards hyper-personalised experiences. Here at Hamburg we have just taken a huge step towards reaching that goal.”

James Dean, ESL UK

The consortium conducted research with fans and feedback will be incorporated into the future development of the platform, updated in time for ESL One Birmingham 2020.

For the first time, the consortium made the Weavr app available for public download on the Google Play Store. It will only be fully compatible at selected live events where the Weavr team are present.

The app was downloaded and used by fans watching in the arena at ESL One Hamburg as well as those following the matches from home.

And in another first, the consortium broadcast live in virtual reality to some of the ESL Play community in the UK.

The consortium said they were thrilled with the reaction from fans and talent, and were delighted to see broadcast analysts in Hamburg starting to use the Weavr dashboard which helped them to formulate their narrative.

Of those who downloaded the app, 82% used it on a repeated basis.

Whilst in Hamburg, the Weavr team were joined by British Dota 2 player and coach Robson ‘TeaGuvnor’ Merritt, and US caster Gabriel ‘Lyrical’ Cruz, who helped to demonstrate the platform to fans there.

James Dean, ESL UK CEO, commented: “We said at the start of this project that we wanted to move away from linear ‘one-for-all’ coverage towards hyper-personalised experiences. Here at Hamburg we have just taken a huge step towards reaching that goal. Experiences are tailored to each viewer’s interests, they are fully interactive, and provide individualised insights into matches in real-time.

“And it’s not just fans here in Hamburg who have been impressed; people have also been downloading the app from home. The feedback we have received both here in Hamburg and further afield has been fantastic, and we are already planning for the next stage at ESL One Birmingham which takes place next year.”

Robson ‘TeaGuvnor’ Merritt added: “While spending time with the Weavr team at ESL One Hamburg, it became clear that the work they are doing has the potential to grow into something that is an integral part of the esports viewing experience; benefiting both the broadcaster and the viewer.”

The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free at esl.im/weavrapp, but will only be fully compatible at selected live events where the Weavr team are present.

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