TNL ESPORTS STARTUPS 004: Sliver.tv
TNL Take: At a certain point VR/AR will be integrated into every aspect of our lives but we still have a while to go for truly mainstream mass adoption.
The starting point for VR/AR hardware manufacturers, software and content providers has been Gaming, with the eventual overlap into eSports.
The International 2016 recently showed two really interesting use cases.
Valve revealed a VR spectator mode for DOTA2 and it looks amazing:
During the weekend tournament at Key Arena in Seattle, viewers on Twitch watched the hero lineups being picked aided with Augmented Reality:
I played around with it and it's super cool for one primary reason:
Sliver.tv's tech takes existing 2D eSports content and transforms it for VR or 360 video.
This has always been the chicken-or-the-egg challenge with new hardware: No one wants to make content unless people buy hardware and no one wants to buy hardware without any content.
How's your 3DTV working out?
Instead of waiting around for custom VR content, Sliver.tv can make use of the current popular eSports and Gaming content; it has League of Legends, Counter-Strike and DOTA2 already on their platform.
While that demo is for Counter-Strike, I think it works much better for a MOBA type game like League of Legends.
Just look at the example on their homepage.
Now imagine this; take a game like Mirror's Edge - which is one of the most underrated games of all time - and watch this in VR:
In The Next Level 004, I looked at Seattle based VREAL which raised $3.3M and is looking to develop a VR platform.
The difference is that VREAL is approaching it from "VR Streamer -> VR Viewer", when eventually hardware is more prevalent.
$6.2M is a lot for a seed round and monetization is always the question but the platform is off to an interesting start.