The next-generation 360° platform will support Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and Dota 2.
We’re finally getting a look at what Sliver VR Technologies has been quietly brewing over the past year. The Cupertino, California based company has announced the close of a $6.2 million seed round of equity funding and the open beta launch of its eSports entertainment platform, SLIVER.tv.
Launching today, the SLIVER.tv platform provides eSports spectators with uniquely immersive and cinematic experiences in 360° and virtual reality. The platform is supporting three of the largest eSports titles, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and Dota 2, reaching over 140 million monthly players globally. With future expansion plans, SLIVER.tv is launching its app for Android and iOS devices supporting 360° video for mobile and Google Cardboard VR headsets.
SLIVER.tv was founded in Fall 2015 by successful entrepreneurs led by Mitch Liu, co-founder of Tapjoy, a leading mobile advertising company, and Gameview Studios, a mobile game studio acquired by DeNA.
“We’re focused on the intersection between today’s 250 million eSports viewers and the emerging VR market” commented Mitch Liu, founder and CEO of SLIVER.tv. “We recognized early on that the existing eSports viewing approach from the player’s point-of-view is not necessarily the best perspective for the audience. Our vision is to transform the eSports spectator experience forever.”
In addition to the beta launch of SLIVER.tv, the company also announced their seed investor roster, which includes top-tier Silicon Valley venture capital firms DCM Ventures, Sierra Ventures, The Venture Reality Fund (VR Fund), and Japanese mobile gaming companies GREE and Colopl. Leading Hollywood media investors CAA Ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI), Greycroft Partners, and Advancit Capital, along with Sparkland Capital and Green Pine Capital Partners also participated in the round.
With eSports being one of the fastest growing spectator sports in the world, SLIVER.tv is hoping to capitalize on the millions of passionate game enthusiasts who may one day supplement current live streaming sessions available today with more immersive VR experiences. And the company is already taking strides to ensure they own a sizable piece of the VR eSports market going forward through a number of patents, proprietary tech and live streaming algorithms.
SLIVER.tv’s first set of patents cover the use of multiple virtual camera arrays in recording video games in fully immersive VR, especially games that don’t currently support VR. The approved patents also include the SDK and game connector modules to enable non-VR games to become VR-capable during playback, and using player and game metadata in VR environments.
The company’s “Auto Content” generation technology crawls, indexes and records over a dozen live professional tournaments and players at any given time, building up a database of top matches, players and tourneys along with unique game metadata. “Hot Spot” proprietary algorithms identify exciting moments from these matches and tournaments, and automatically create highlight reels, replays and top plays, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive headshots or League of Legends multi-kills. The “Special Effects” algorithm then applies slow motion, zoom-in effects, and dynamically places virtual cameras to capture the action at optimal viewing angles. The company currently generates and publishes these 360° game highlights within 12-24 hours of a match completion held anywhere in the world.
Back in July, Valve launched Dota VR Hub, an update to Dota 2 that let you not only watch matches in a virtual theater but also immerse yourself into the game itself. It was seriously impressive — giving us a glimpse at the impact VR could have on spectating eSports in the future.