ESL and Plays.tv to capture point-of-view pro videos at Intel Extreme Masters and beyond

ESL talks policy changes

Serial e-sports enablers ESL have a busy YouTube channel, but there are limits to what they can do. They haven’t, for instance, been able to disseminate point-of-view recordings of pro performances for fans to study and admire.

It just so happens that gaming social network specialists Raptr have a platform that does just that. Beginning at Gamescom’s Intel Extreme Masters next week, Raptr will capture video directly from ESL tournament PCs and share them via their Instagram-like Plays.tv platform.

The recordings come replete with player audio, and will be made available on Plays.tv once matches finish, shortly after the traditional spectactor-view VODs.

The idea is that you’ll be able to make better sense of the action after the fact: seeing exactly what key players could see, watching where they clicked, and hearing their team talk.

“In terms of the technology, we’ve reached a point where almost any PC made in the past five years can record gameplay as high quality video without significantly impacting system performance,” Raptr founder and proto-pro gamer Dennis ‘Thresh’ Fong told PCGamesN.

“Fans can now effectively jump between participants to get a far better sense of how each player saw, processed and reacted to any moment in any match.”

ESL are busy installing the Plays.tv recording client on competition PCs for the Gamescom IEM – where Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and StarCraft II will be the first games to benefit. They’ll also curate match videos and highlights for Plays.tv, if you don’t fancy digging through the moment-to-moment shooting and shouting yourself.

The tool has potential as a training tool for aspiring professionals, too.

“We’ve already heard that feedback from members of several top pro teams,” says Fong. “The ability to go back and review a given moment, from both your own perspective and the viewpoints of teammates and opponents, is definitely an added benefit.”

Plays.tv have “ambitious plans” to help push the popularity of e-sports – a field “still in its infancy” as ESL announce drug testing.

“How long did it take traditional pro sports like basketball and baseball to begin testing players for PEDs?,” Fong asks. “E-sports will continue to grow at a rapid rate, and as it does, it will have to ‘mature’ in some key ways – with success comes responsibility, to the fans, to the players and teams, and to sponsors and advertisers.”