Remember when gaming was considered a weird niche hobby? Yeah, right before it created a market with $1 billion in revenue in 2021. Well, well, well, how the turntables.
Now, folks are paying attention — and cash — to the eSports industry, which are both vital to its development.
So let’s see how we can get more of those views by improving the way we deliver broadcasts to the audience — with automated eSports highlights.
How we do video highlights for eSports now
Broadcasting an eSports event is a complicated process which requires an entire team of professionals to manage. There’s not a lot of room for mistakes: just like in the regular sports, the in-game events are so intense that once you miss a highlight worthy of a replay — it’s gone.
And you can’t underestimate the value of those high-intensity moments — that is where the gist of the show is! All of those kills, clutches, and perfect round executes are what lure in more viewers.
Make no mistake — companies are on that already. Striving to boost online viewership as well as arena attendance, eSports broadcasters put the clips of best player performances online.
Those eSports highlights compilations go on every platform where the most number of people can see them. YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Instagram — you name it.
How do they do it, though?
Well, it’s complicated.
Let’s start off by saying that everybody does it differently — and that difference is often dictated by the type of broadcasting a certain media company does.
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Here’s what I mean.
Just like in any other sports, we can divide eSports media companies into three large groups:
- First-party broadcasters;
- Third-party broadcasters;
- Everybody else.
Now let’s see what is so different about the way they approach eSports highlights generation.
Those guys are at the top of the food chain when it comes to the eSports media. They host events, doing which not only include booking a venue and sitting gamers in front of come PCs — they also stream the whole shebang right from the arena.
Usually, those broadcasters utilize the abundance of cameras and other equipment to catch every little thing about the game. It includes capturing the players’ screen, recording their reactions on webcams, and having an operator film them and the audience.
The venue also includes a broadcast control room where a team of directors manage the stream output: they decide which camera angle to use, when to include players’ or viewers’ reactions, which player’s screen to display, and so on.
And that is where they can source the data for the eSports highlights. The approach might be based on replays that the stream captures.
Let’s imagine a Counter-Strike match: as an intense clutch moment unfolds, the director asks the control room guy to mark the last 15-20 seconds of the game to identify the beginning and the end of a highlight.
After the round has ended, the director plays that clutch recording before the next round starts.
Using the timestamps, broadcasters can easily find the clips in the game stream and edit them into a compilation. After that the marketing team can go at it: push the clips to social media, create intros and outros, use them in the ads. Sky's the limit here, really.
But what about other media outlets?
That is a cluster that includes eSports studios and media companies that do not have the ability to host their own events. But they have come up with a workaround.
In order to provide their audiences with live eSports content, they stream the first-party broadcast, adding a whole bunch of content over it.
For example, between the game periods, they might have their own analytics studios discussing how the game has gone so far and what they expect to happen next.
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They also might have interviews with regional players, and obviously — their own casters.
Back to the highlights — how do they do it?
The thing is that all they get is an official stream — no data, no several video sources. The same deal as the regular viewer gets.
Here's where the hard work begins. The editors have to manually go through the recording and cut the highlights, then edit them into a compilation.
Here we have everyone else involved with the eSports industry: media companies, sponsors, venues, and so on.
For those, the situation is the same as with third-party broadcasters: all they get is the official stream.
And just like them, they also have editors cut eSports games highlights and then use the clips for promotional purposes.
But it’s not the only way.
Media companies can also purchase the data which they can use for highlight generation in eSports. But it is most often quite costly, which might become a problem if a company deals with a lot of gaming events.
We are not happy with video highlights for eSports generation
The manual approach is a liable option to get your brand some recognition and draw more viewers on your platform.
It is also a liable option if you enjoy spending a lot of time in the editing room.
That is the first and the most important issue with manual eSports highlights generation. There’s no going around hours spent trying to find every single intense moment and then edit those.
And do not forget to multiply the time of the number of games you are covering. What a workload.
Time is also not on your side in terms of marketing: people are craving fresh content constantly, so you better make sure you’re the first one to put it out.
But fear do not — we have something that can help you out.
Automated eSports video highlights generation with cognitive computing
If there only was a way to automate eSports highlights so that the editors wouldn’t have to do the whole thing by hand.
Oh, wait — there is!
Learn more about Cognitive Computing potential!
The AIHunters team has managed to wield the power of Cognitive Computing technology to deliver the tool that analyzes the game footage, finds the best highlight-worthy moments, and then edits them into the compilation.
No post-editing, no footage review, no nothing. Just sit back and enjoy as the robot does the whole thing for you. The tool is called Cognitive Mill™, and it does all of that reeling thing as accurately as the humans — but faster.
And that human comparison? You better believe it’s deliberate.
While working on our solution, we have come to the realization that regular AI and deep learning algorithms are very limited in terms of informed decision making.
AI requires more of a hands-on approach, where you have to teach the algorithm to recognize a certain thing in the game footage. What if you get into another genre of eSports? Right, set aside some time to re-train the AI.
So long for the production automation, right?
On top of that, AI-based algorithms might provide inconsistent results if the data set is incomplete. That is why many of those solutions rely on the third source of data — like an audio analysis or tags.
Cognitive computing, on the other hand, beats AI in decision-making capabilities. With the help of probabilistic AI, cognitive science, and math modeling, AIHunters engineers have built a robot that actually “thinks” like humans — it can make sense of the eSports footage and understand its context.
It’s not just a probability score — Cognitive Mill™ can exactly tell apart a regular gameplay and a high-impact multikill or support play.
Then, there’s the decision aspect. CognitiveReez™ automates the eSports highlights generation process from start to finish — meaning it will not only find but also edit the clips into a cohesive video on its own.
Here are a couple more benefits that you can enjoy from automated highlights generation:
- Speed. The tool analyzes the game footage and creates video highlights for eSports at a much faster rate. Have several hours of video analyzed in just minutes;
- Customization. Cognitive Mill™ allows you to change the type of compilation you get. Want to capture only multikills? No problem. Need a players’ reaction clips? You got it, boss;
- Scale. eSports tournaments host a lot of matches during the season, meaning you have a lot of work on your hands. Cognitive Mill™ is able to effectively analyze hundreds of hours of video content and produce automated video highlights for gaming at any scale you work with.
Boost your content strategy with automated eSports highlights
The eSports industry is blooming with countless tournaments, bringing in a plethora of audiences.
Striving to get their piece of the pie, many media companies put out as effective of a coverage as they can: that means streaming live events, gathering the whole team of analysts and casters to support the content, and create more of it.
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That “secondary'' type of content is how the media companies covering eSports, and the industry in general, get new viewers.
Those viewers are lured in by exciting clips captured during the event: mostly, those are eSports video highlights.
So we got it: you have to create a ton of highlights to get more and more viewers. The content also has to be of high quality.
But how do you make several compilations from each and every single match when there are so many of those unfolding during the never ending season?
We got your answer. Automated eSports highlights can help you out.
Cognitive Mill™ is able to analyze the video content and understand it just like the human does. That ability helps it create video highlights for gaming completely without any help from a human.
You just feed it the video, and it produces a highlight compilation.
Isn’t that great?
You can also customize the type of compilation you get, as well as scale the solution up or down according to your production needs.