What does the future of esports hold? That was the main question considered at the esports-centric workshop hosted by Faceit and Intel on Wednesday. A roster of representatives from Twitch, Facebook, Cloud9 and more came together to discuss where they think esports is heading.
One of the hottest topics of the night was virtual reality. Walter Wang, the esports boss at HTC, believes it will be some time before the new technology takes hold in the world of professional gaming.
"We're really far away from esports in VR," he said. "There’s still no killer app and esports requires precision. The precision from the hardware isn’t there yet."
Wong can only speak to HTC's own attitude, but that's still quite a statement. The company's Vive sits alongside Oculus Rift as the highest-end headset available. If it's not happening there anytime soon, it's not likely to happen on less powerful platforms like PlayStation VR, Gear VR or Daydream View.
The subject of VR came up again later, during a "Future of esports sponsorship" panel. The outlook there was more positive, though with a different role in mind for VR than as a competitive platform.
VREAL CEO Martian Rae — who stepped down from his role as president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences in September — sees more potential in VR for esports fans, noting that the technology is "very much a spectating tool right now."