Fortress Melbourne, Australia’s premiere games and entertainment venue, sits at almost 30,000 square feet across two levels and is home to The Alienware Arena, the largest permanent Esports structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Featuring a 220-seat retractable grandstand and permanent stage with 12 top-of-the-line Alienware PC stations for live LAN events. The Alienware Arena hosts professional and amateur tournaments for a range of games that are streamed online to worldwide audiences.
Chris Stewart, Fortress Production & Broadcast Manager, oversees capturing and delivering these engaging live streams. To give audiences a fully immersive experience along with the player reactions, Stewart relies on the CV506 POV Camera from Marshall Electronics supplied by Corsair Solutions.
“In esports, you often face limitations around space and positioning that you don’t typically encounter with traditional sports,” says Stewart. “We have all our players on stage, close together, so it is crucial that the cameras we use can fit within the constraints of the small environment. Additionally, POV cameras are, by their nature, required to be either on top of the desk the player is sitting or right beside it, so any gear we use must not interfere with the players’ space. That’s where Marshall and the CV506 come in.”
At Fortress Melbourne, every week is different in terms of games and tournaments. “Our cameras need to be flexible in how they can be used. As an example, aside from a typical stage setup, we have used our Marshall cameras to facilitate a wider, down-the-line shot of the team – where the audience is given the perspective of the side profile of the team for celebrations and so on. Additionally, we used four Marshall CV506 cameras recently in an F1 22 racing competition; we had four racing rigs to capture the best lap times on a track, and the cameras served as a way for the audience in venue to see the participants as they raced as well as being fed into our replay system to provide instant replay of players’ reactions as they set new times.”
In an environment where livestreams are required to display both gameplay and POV cameras side-by-side, it is key that the camera is synchronized to the gameplay as closely as possible. According to Stewart, “Many other possible solutions have limitations such as delay on output, limited number of outputs and so on, but the Marshall cameras not only offer near-zero latency via SDI output but also provide additional outputs, such as an HDMI feed. This workflow provides exceptional capabilities for the live environment while also allowing the cameras to be used in a more casual setting with no additional labor needed for setup.”
Stewart was also able to see the CV506’s shine at one of Fortress Melbourne’s recent tournaments. “The competition had four teams flying to Melbourne to participate and play on stage. The tournament was broadcast both locally and sent to a global channel where it was redistributed around the world. Our Marshall cameras got a heavy workout for this. Any time our observers switched perspectives on who was watching, so did the POV cameras that were positioned in the corner. This allowed the audience to see the face of the player who they were watching on screen.”