Professional esports fans represent some of the most passionate of sports fans, following the performance of their idols with a similar demand for stats and trends as the players themselves.
Given the popularity of esports and the rise of tournament broadcasts, the need for pre- and post-match analytics also applies to how fans view and consume these fast-paced games. SAP has been working with esports teams, tournament organizers, and broadcasters over recent years to enable real-time analytics in esports.
SAP and well-known game developer and digital media company Valve have joined forces to build on the real-time insights to elevate the fan experience.
As the Official Cloud Analytics Partner of The International 11 (TI 11) tournament, SAP is collaborating with Valve to automate and enhance the integration of advanced analytics into the broadcast in milliseconds before and after each match.
“When discussing the need and desire to enhance The International’s broadcast statistics features, there was only one partner we believed could deliver on the objective, and that was SAP,” said Sarah Kneller, executive producer at Valve. “With more than 2.7 million peak concurrent viewers for The International 10, our partnership with SAP will allow us to bring the broadcast for TI 11 to the next level for our fans watching around the world.”
“Thriving for constant innovation is the core of our business at SAP and the reason why we are active in esports. The partnership with Valve was a logical next step and we’re eager to employ SAP technologies that will enhance and elevate the fan experience during The International 11,” said Lars Lamadé, head of Global Sponsorships, SAP. “With all the knowledge we have gathered in the last years in esports broadcasts, we will add great features to make TI 11 broadcast as innovative, immersive, and compelling as possible.”
Real-Time Data and Analytics for Tournament Broadcast
Examples of the pre- and post-match insights available to the broadcast team include the identification of the most successful hero for a single player within the tournament, capturing and comparing win/loss data for different players, and calculating the averages of various tournament metrics, including average match duration, unique heroes played, etc.
Capturing and sharing these insights is possible thanks to SAP HANA Cloud, which stores game data and provides instant access to historical data of all official matches in which TI players compete. SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) hosts the data management, analytics, application development, and data integration, processing and analyzing the data for the broadcast in milliseconds. Thanks to the flexible data modeling capabilities of SAP HANA Cloud, the requirements of the tournament can be realized quickly.
“Valve is partnering with SAP to enhance the fan experience for the Dota 2 Championship, The International 11,” said JG Chirapurath, chief marketing and solutions officer for SAP BTP at SAP. “Solutions powering SAP Business Technology Platform, like SAP HANA Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud, enable them to gain valuable insights on matches, teams, and players based on real-time data and analytics. Those insights bring the game to life and deliver a compelling experience to the fans watching across the globe.”
Setting the Stage
Starting with the release of Dota 2 in 2013, Valve created and organized an annual tournament known as The International. Now in its 11th edition, The International 11 has brought the world’s best Dota 2 players together in Singapore throughout October for one of the most prestigious esports events of the year. This is also reflected in the price pool, reaching $40 million in the last year.
The popularity of The International cannot be understated — the finals at last year’s event reached at more than 2.7 million viewers, setting a new tournament viewership record.