Overwatch's Hawaiian holiday highlights opportunity
Due to travel restrictions in place last year, Activision-Blizzard’s Overwatch League took place with athletes and teams competing from various countries around the globe.
This caused a unique problem for esports: The internet connectivity between continents was too slow. Even the slightest delay can make an extreme difference in outcome, both for gamers and for viewers.
To tackle the issue this season, the gaming behemoth made the decision to fly the top West division teams to Hawaii and the top East division teams to Tokyo so they can connect to the same fibre-optic cable to remove any sort of competitive advantage. However, it is only a short-term fix.
Photo Source: Dallas Fuel
A Growing Demand
Notably, Sony Interactive Entertainment has patented its own eSports betting platform. The patent was filed in 2019 but published this month and describes a system that allows users to bet currency (including Bitcoin) or digital items, with odds determined by machine learning.
Video Games Chronicle speculate that the patent could, in theory, be used to allow live match betting on eSports games such as those held during the EVO fighting game tournament, which PlayStation jointly acquired earlier this year.
Technology of this sort can fundamentally alter the gaming landscape and create whole new enterprises that have the potential to be extremely profitable.
Decreasing latency is the rough equivalent of delivery companies seeking ways to minimize the time it takes for a package to travel the ‘last mile’ to the intended destination—it is critical and those who solve it are going to reap considerable benefits.