VR eSports Start-Up Raises $6.2 Million

Virtual reality and eSports have been making a lot of news of late. A Cupertino, Calif.-based start-up hopes combining the two will transform how people watch competitive video gaming.

Sliver.tv announced Aug. 24 that it was launching a beta app for both Android and iOS devices that supports 360-degree video for mobile and VR for Google Cardboard, covering broadcasts of three major eSports events: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and Dota 2. Sliver.tv has plans to add VR support for other major VR headsets as well.

“We’re focused on the intersection between today’s 250 million eSports viewers and the emerging VR market,” said Mitch Liu, founder and CEO of Sliver.tv, in a statement. “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.” Liu is the co-founder of mobile ad company Tapjoy.

Sliver.tv will broadcast the eSports events via multiple virtual camera arrays and will enable non-VR games to be broadcast in virtual reality for the end user. The company’s platform can record more than a dozen live tournaments and players at any given time and promises to build a database of top matches and moments using game metadata. The platform also employs special effects, including slow-motion replays and zoom-ins.

Sliver.tv also announced it has raised $6.2 million in seed funding from venture capital firms DCM Ventures, Sierra Ventures and The VR Fund, along with media investors CAA Ventures, BDMI and Greycroft Partners.

“Virtual reality has the power to create an immersive experience and bring a new dimension to spectating existing 3D games,” said David Chao, general partner at DCM Ventures. “Sliver.tv’s platform will bridge VR and eSports in a truly unique and innovative way, and we’re excited about what the technology will bring to viewers globally.”