Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Overwatch League Grand Finals: Project Aloha, Cloud Workflows Are Key to Transcontinental Production

24/09/2021

Overwatch League Grand Finals: Project Aloha, Cloud Workflows Are Key to Transcontinental Production Analysts are onsite in Honolulu while players, casters, and crew are spread across the globe By Jason Dachman, Chief Editor

Friday, September 24, 2021 - 2:59 pm

Print This Story | Subscribe

Story Highlights

It has been wild ride for Activision Blizzard Esports' Broadcast Technology Group during the 2021 Overwatch League Season. After producing OWL regular-season matches online and from Project Aloha in Honolulu using its cloud-based, remote-production model, the Group had been prepping for the OWL Playoffs in Dallas and Los Angeles, its first live, in-person matches in more than two years. However, when the Delta variant of COVID-19 hindered those plans, the Broadcast Technology Group pivoted quickly for a return to Honolulu to broadcast the playoffs, which conclude with tomorrow's OWL Grand Final.

The OWL Playoffs feature analysts on-site in Honolulu manning a set at the Moana Surfrider Resort.

When the [in-person events] were canceled, we had only about two weeks to pivot the entire show, says Corey Smith, director, live operations, Broadcast Technology Group, Activision Blizzard Esports. The fact that the team was able to get it done was nothing short of a miracle. We simply wouldn't have been able to do it without the cloud and all the work we had already put in to develop [remote workflows]. We couldn't have been orchestrating trucks and satellite uplinks and coordinating fiber drops in that small of a window. We just didn't have the time to turn around that traditional type of infrastructure. We had to do it with cloud production.

Project Aloha: A Unified Champion Thanks to Hawaii-Tokyo Connection After being forced to have regional champions in Asia and U.S./Europe last year because of travel restrictions and transcontinental bandwidth challenges, Tomorrow's OWL Grand Finals will crown a unified global champion for the first time since 2019.

To pull this season off, Activision Blizzard Esports (ABE) partnered with the University of Hawaii M noa to launch Project Aloha, a competition model in which teams could compete live between Honolulu and Asia. The university provided access to a high-capacity trans-Pacific subsea fiber cable between Tokyo and Honolulu, allowing players to compete online with near-zero latency.

Project Aloha allowed us to combine the teams from North America and Asia for competitive matchmaking, which was great because we weren't able to do that last season, notes Smith. We obviously didn't want to end this season again by crowning separate champions in Asia and North America, so Hawaii allowed us to conclude the season in a way that made sense.

Onsite in Honolulu: Analyst Desk Heads to Waikiki Beach During this week's OWL Playoffs, for the first time at Project Aloha, analysts are located onsite in Honolulu, delivering live coverage during broadcasts from its set on the balcony of the penthouse suite at the Moana Surfrider Resort.

OWL Playoffs coverage spans the globe with interviews across multiple continents.

The big challenge here for the set was connectivity at the top of the Moana Surfrider, says Senior Technical Manager Ryan Cole, one of the few crew members onsite in Honolulu. [The hotel] cannot support the network at the level and scale we needed at the penthouse, so we ended working with the Marriott folks and some onsite vendors to setup two point-to-point [wireless bridges] from different locations around the island to the suite to get the network connectivity we needed. And it has been going really well.

A small crew is also on hand in Honolulu: the production team manning the Moana Surfrider set and the competition room at the UH M noa, four editors located at the Sheraton Waikiki, an ENG team shooting behind-the-scenes content with the teams, and IT and operations staff. UH M noa students are also playing a role in the productions and getting hands-on experience in a live-esports-broadcast environment.

OWL observers remote into cloud-based VMs in both South Korea and Los Angeles.

At the UH M noa where teams compete, ABE has deployed Always-On Player POV cameras for each player, a wide shot of the competition room, two handheld cameras, and ambient microphones throughout the room. In addition, the broadcast will incorporate Player POV cams and shots from the competition rooms in China and South Korea.

We're focused on making this feel like it's truly a Grand Finals and not just another Overwatch league show, says Smith. We're upping the scale of the show as much as possible. We owe it to the teams, the players, and the community that's watching to polish it up and do whatever we can do to entertain them in a new and different way.

Spanning the Globe: How the Cloud Brings It All Together Nearly the entire production team, meanwhile, remains remote and continues to use ABE's cloud-based production workflow. This production model allows the production crew and casters to continue to work entirely from home, from locations across the mainland U.S., Hawaii, South Korea, and China.

Observers use remote stations like this one to tell the story as in-game camera operators

The cloud production ecosystem is built around vMix live-video-streaming software and uses software-based Unity intercom, Viz Trio graphics in the cloud, and Parsec remote-desktop software. ABE also created its own master-control platform - dubbed Echo - which can distribute multiple regionalized feeds with different graphics and commercial insertion for each region.

Observers - the camera operators who cut the in-game action and are integral to the broadcast - remote into cloud-based VMs in both South Korea and Los Angeles, which provide them with ultra-low-latency connections.

OWL's
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2021/09/24/overwatch-league-grand-finals-p...
See more stories from svg

Most recent headlines

18/10/2021

Darcy Antonellis to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award From HPA

The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) Awards Committee announced today that veteran media technology executive Darcy Antonellis will receive the organiza...

18/10/2021

L3Harris Mobile ISR Solutions Enable All-Domain Network Convergence

The company's integrated systems enable enhanced communications and ISR capability for national security, providing uninterrupted voice and high-speed data ...

18/10/2021

ENTERTAINMENT ONE BUILDS DEEPER PARTNERSHIPS IN THE NORDICS THROUGH EXPANDED CONTENT DEALS AND PLANS FOR NEW LOCAL PRODUCTION

BACKENTERTAINMENT ONE BUILDS DEEPER PARTNERSHIPS IN THE NORDICS THROUGH EXPANDED...

18/10/2021

2021-10-18

CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced the Apple Music Voice Plan, a new subscription tier for Apple Music designed around the power of Siri. The Apple Mus...

18/10/2021

Vislink Launches Vislink Connect Bonded Cellular Service for Live Broadcast and Sports Production

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ Vislink today announced the launch of Vislink Connect, a premiu...

18/10/2021

Sinclair Hit by Ransomware Attack

HUNT VALLEY, MD Sinclair Broadcast Group was hit by a ransomware attacking that affected local TV programming and operations over the weekend....

18/10/2021

Dish Files Bad Faith Complaint with FCC Against Tegna

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. DISH has filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against Tegna accusing the station group of bad faith during failed...

18/10/2021

MediaPlatform Adds New Suite of Caption Services to Its Webcasting Platform

LOS ANGELES MediaPlatform has announced that it has integrated a new suite of managed captioning services with its MediaPlatform Broadcaster live webcasting pla...

18/10/2021

7de Laan: What is happening Monday 18 October 2021 - E207 S22

7de Laan: What is happening Monday 18 October 2021 - E207 S22Don't miss out on what's happening on tonight's episode! by SA TV and Soapies 18-10-...

18/10/2021

Skeem Saam: Tonight's episode, E336 S9 - Monday 18 October 2021

Skeem Saam: Tonight's episode, E336 S9 - Monday 18 October 2021Find out what's going on tonight on Skeem Saam! by SA TV and Soapies 18-10-2021 in S...

18/10/2021

TONIGHT'S EPISODE: Scandal - Monday 18 October 2021 (E3934 S13)

TONIGHT'S EPISODE: Scandal - Monday 18 October 2021 (E3934 S13)Get to know what's happening on tonight's episode! by SA TV and Soapies 18-10-2021...

18/10/2021

Gomora: What's happening tonight Monday, 18 October 2021 - E127 S2

Gomora: What's happening tonight Monday, 18 October 2021 - E127 S2Don't miss out on what's happening on tonight's episode of Gomora! by SA TV ...

18/10/2021

Monday's Episode: Generations - The Legacy, E236 S30 (18 October 2021)

Monday's Episode: Generations - The Legacy, E236 S30 (18 October 2021)Keen to know what's happening on the latest episode of Generations: The Legacy? b...

18/10/2021

The River: what is happening E181 S4 - Monday 18 October 2021

The River: what is happening E181 S4 - Monday 18 October 2021On tonight's episode of The River . by SA TV and Soapies 18-10-2021 in SA TV and Film The...

18/10/2021

TONIGHT'S EPISODE: Diep City E141 S1 - Monday 18 October 2021

TONIGHT'S EPISODE: Diep City E141 S1 - Monday 18 October 2021We've got you covered on what's happening tonight. by SA TV and Soapies 18-10-2021 ...

18/10/2021

UZALO: Tonight's episode, Monday 18 October 2021 - E161 S7

UZALO: Tonight's episode, Monday 18 October 2021 - E161 S7Don't get left behind, catch up on Uzalo now! by SA TV and Soapies 18-10-2021 in SA TV an...

18/10/2021

MUVHANGO: Monday's Episode - 18 October 2021 E204 S22

MUVHANGO: Monday's Episode - 18 October 2021 E204 S22Don't miss out on the latest drama in Muvhango! by SA TV and Soapies 18-10-2021 in SA TV and F...

18/10/2021

Tonight on Imbewu: Monday, 18 October 2021 - E916 S4

Tonight on Imbewu: Monday, 18 October 2021 - E916 S4Catch up on what's going on tonight! by SA TV and Soapies 18-10-2021 in SA TV and Film Monday'...

18/10/2021

College Students in AI Take World's Greatest Field Trip' to GTC

Seventy-five students from Houston Community College's new two-year artificial intelligence program will attend NVIDIA's GTC conference next month. Cal...

18/10/2021

Tentative agreement averts Hollywood production strike

The proposed contract averts a major US strike that would have started today By George Winslow Published: October 18, 2021 The proposed contract averts a ma...

18/10/2021

Zero Density releases plug-and-play graphics for virtual sets

RE AMPERE features latest-generation NVIDIA RTX A6000 GPU and AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro CPU, and is configured to optimise both rendering performance as well a...

18/10/2021

Gomora' Review: Why Marvelous Dlamini turned into Melusi Dlamini

Gomora' Review: Why Marvelous Dlamini turned into Melusi DlaminiMelusi's wife, Gladys previously hinted that Melusi was a gangster before he became Prin...

18/10/2021

A new detective in town?: Yonda Thomas joins Generations: The Legacy'

A new detective in town?: Yonda Thomas joins Generations: The Legacy'There are reports that Thomas's new character, has replaced Nebulane's, who...

18/10/2021

ITV announces Climate Action Week plans

ITV plans to put the environment front and centre for its viewers during the channel's Climate Action Week, taking place from November 1st alongside the COP...

18/10/2021

ITV launches menopause policy

ITV has today announced details of its menopause policy, intended to support colleagues who are experiencing symptoms in the workplace. The policy is intended ...

18/10/2021

Tentative Agreement Averts IATSE Strike

LOS ANGELES The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has reached a tentative three-year agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture an...

18/10/2021

WRAL-FM Moves To Top of 2,000-Foot Tower, Exceeds Population Reach

A crew from Tower King II works with Erickson Skycrane to remove the old antennas and install the new WRAL-FM antenna on one of the CBC towers in Auburn, NC, on...

17/10/2021

TV By the Numbers: NBC, NFL Win Weekly Watch-Time War; CBS, College Football Corral TV Ad Impressions Win

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Oct. 4-10, shining a sp...

17/10/2021

Digital Advertising Still Growing, But Faces Concerns, IAB Report Says

The IAB released an new outlook Friday calling for continued growth in digital ad spending, but warning about some issues facing the industry....

17/10/2021

Redbox Adds Curiosity Content to AVOD and Streaming TV Services

Redbox, making the transition to streaming from its kiosk-based DVD rental business, said it reached an agreement to distribute Curiosity Inc factual content on...

17/10/2021

Bill Abbott's GAC Family, GAC Living Find a Family-Friendly Home on Frndly TV for the Holidays

Former Hallmark Channel head Bill Abbott's new company GAC Media has reached...

17/10/2021

You' Season Three on Netflix, Which Signs Up for Season Four

Season three of psychological drama You is on Netflix Oct. 15, and Netflix has ordered a fourth season. Sera Gamble and Greg Berlanti created the show, about a ...

17/10/2021

Cape Cod Drama Hightown' Starts Season Two Oct. 17

Season two of Hightown arrives on Starz Oct. 17, depicting Jackie Quinones trying to bring down drug dealer Frankie Cuevas out on Cape Cod....

17/10/2021

B+C' Marks a Milestone

It was on Oct. 15, 1931, that Broadcasting+Cable (then Broadcasting) magazine published its first issue, co-founded by veteran reporters Sol Taishoff and Martin...

17/10/2021

Succession' Picks Up After That Bomb Dropped End of Season Two, Says Creator

Season three of hit drama Succession begins Sunday, Oct. 17 on HBO. There are nine episodes. Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin are in the ...

17/10/2021

ABC Hosts Queen Family Singalong' Nov. 4

ABC hosts The Queen Family Singalong, with various artists performing Queen songs, Nov. 4. The one-hour special is the fourth installment in ABC's Singalong...

16/10/2021

Making the Cloud Work for Broadcast

ALEXANDRIA Years ago, science fiction author Isaac Asimov said that although forward thinkers in the 19th century could imagine the automobile, they completely ...

16/10/2021

SuperCloud Launches 5G TV Service

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. SuperCloud International has launched what it is billing as the worlds first 5G TV service via its new UMAXX.TV entertainment brand on sma...

16/10/2021

Food for Thought: Startups Harness AI to Nurture the Future of Agriculture

From counting cows to detecting weeds to pollinating tomatoes, startups around the world are deploying AI technology to solve problems that farmers have struggl...

16/10/2021

Robert Park Joins Dolby Laboratories as Chief Financial Officer

15 October 2021, 09:07 (PDT) Robert Park Joins Dolby Laboratories as Chief Financial Officer Seasoned Executive Brings Decades of Financial and Business Le...

16/10/2021

The Cockfields come back to Gold for Christmas

Special one-off festive episode to follow series two Praise for series one: Daily Mail Weekend - One of the most well-observed comedies of 2019 The Times - M...

16/10/2021

Meet the new generation of journalists making a mark

It's one of those points in the annual media calendar that early-career journalists await on the edge of their seats - and the moment has arrived. We can ...

15/10/2021

The Fall 2021 SVG SportsTech Journal Is Now Available Online!

The Fall 2021 SVG SportsTech Journal Is Now Available Online! Go behind the scenes at the Tokyo Olympics with NBC, OBS, and more By SVG Staff Friday, Octobe...

15/10/2021

SVG Sit-Down: NEP UK's Simon Moorhead talks Brexit and Pandemic Challenges to the Mobile Production Truck Business in Europe

SVG Sit-Down: NEP UK's Simon Moorhead talks Brexit and Pandemic Challenges t...

15/10/2021

SVG Sit-Down: Fox Deportes' Sergio Verdu Aims To Synergize Technologies With Fox Sports

SVG Sit-Down: Fox Deportes' Sergio Verdu Aims To Synergize Technologies With...

15/10/2021

Spotify Expands Our Company News Podcast Slate With Two More Shows for Listeners To Love

In summer 2020, we launched the Spotify: For the Record podcast to accompany our...

15/10/2021

MUNICH - THE EDGE OF WAR

Back to All News MUNICH - THE EDGE OF WAR Entertainment 11 October 2021 GlobalGermanySwitzerlandAustriaUnited Kingdom (Great Britain) Head HERE for the Fir...

15/10/2021

Announcing Netflix Book Club with Host Uzo Aduba and New Social Series with Starbucks

Back to All News Announcing Netflix Book Club with Host Uzo Aduba and New Socia...