MTI Provides Real Tech Support For Online Gaming Tournament
The videogame industry is huge and hugely popular. And now online gaming tournaments are also becoming as common as the so-called real thing, but filling screens instead of stadiums.
And so MTI provided production services to OS Communications out of New York to cover the first half season of NBA2K League, which featured teams from across the country playing the wildly popular basketball simulation video game of the same name, and competing in 3-on-3 tournaments. The season covered 20 days of competition, from mid-March to mid-May at the esports venue District E Event Center.
But first the bare facility needed to be brought up to online speed. That meant that an extensive crew behind the scenes worked hard to provide an infrastructure to make the games seem as real as possible. MTI’s crew consisted of Ben Wong (Tech Manager), Josh Roberts, Noah Firtel Bill Kaplan, John Obrien, Shawn Chadwick, and Jesse Stern. Handheld videographers included Chris Marilens, Peter Nicol, Corey Matthews, Todd Burger, Sewell Johnson, Eric Wiggins, Garett Farmer, Wesley Bailey, Mark Garcia, and Rich Barber. Dave Lilling, President of MTI, served as the Production Supervisor, which involved working with many different groups for the entire event, as well as interacting with District E personnel. The onscreen broadcasters for the tournament were Harris Rubenstein, Jamie “Dirk” Diaz Ruiz, and John (JT) Fields.
MTI also partnered on the video production end with Quince Imaging of Chantilly, Va., with EIC Tim Crnko.
The many set ups were challenging because of the amount of cabling and the fact that the additional technical needs increased from the first event to the 3-on-3 final.
The tournament was livestreamed over the online platform Twitch. This was a remote event, where the signals from all of the many cameras were fed through the cloud with streaming partner Bitfire. Because there were so many elements involved — the actual people playing the games, the action in the games, the live feeds to and from the team in New York — there was a great need for a large variety of inputs/outputs/throughputs and lots of cables. In all there were more than 15 feeds sent to New York for use by Director Rick Phillips in the OS control room. OS Production support included Rob Orthwein, Megan Kulenschmidt, and Jack Pastore.
The equipment included two Panasonic 4000 broadcast cameras, which were utilized by the hand-held cameramen, as well as two Blackmagic cameras locked down for the host. Each player/contestant was covered by a fixed Lumix camera and Marshall cameras for wide shots and beauty shots. The audio was mixed on the Behringer X32.
While the pre-production work was extensive and at times exhausting, in the end the tournament went was a great success.
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