OMEN Challenge 2019
Last year, the epic.LAN crew had the opportunity to get involved in not only a challenging esports event, but also a massive technical feat for the live broadcast, including some amazing mixed reality technology, allowing players and spectators to enter the game map in person.
epic.LAN is usually hidden away behind the scenes on esports events providing important but vital whitelabel technology solutions, HP’s OMEN Challenge last September in London was no different.
The OMEN challenge involved the world’s best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players, competing for $50,000 but with a twist, the game was played on a custom map and game mode with prizes awarded for winning the overall competition, but also for key bounties during the tournament like knife kills and kill streaks so accuracy and integrity were essential for the show.
As experts in both esports operations and server/network technology for CSGO with a range of existing in-house software solutions, broadcast experts Flux Broadcast approached the epic.LAN team after an introduction from renowned esports producer, Sam Deans. Initially the team was commissioned to provide our standard league operations and networking services but it soon became clear that in order to join all of the data elements of the broadcast together, custom software solutions would be required, particularly due to the custom game mode and scoring model used for the tournament. Using our in-depth knowledge and experience of esports, event production and own tech solutions, we were able to deliver the software solution that became a fundamental part of the successful show.
"It was an absolute pleasure working alongside epic.LAN for this year's OMEN Challenge, they made the entire experience seamless from start to finish and have become our preferred partners for on going work in this industry and beyond."
Chris Pleass, Flux Broadcast
- Working closely with map developers and agencies to advise on the esports implications of key design decisions
- League operations crew to manage competitive integrity and ensure broadcast ran to schedule (including video referee to verify cash bounties due to the large sums of money involved, think VAR equivalent in esports)
- Event network management to link all key partners together and manage bandwidth and security for maximum uptime
- On site cache for rapid deployment of freshly installed gaming PCs
- CSGO and GOTV game server management (modified for custom game type) with hot backups to minimise downtime and fast demo management to enable mixed reality segments
- In house match control plugin to start and stop matches within the custom game mode
- Custom software development for results tracking and bounties to drive LED set and broadcast graphics
epic.LAN provided the digital ‘glue’ to move key data elements between the various agencies during the broadcast. The fast-paced nature of the map and unique game type meant that data was essential for the commentators, live studio audience and 110,000 peak online viewers to understand the stories that developed throughout the day.
Key statistics were tracked direct from our server plugin which had been heavily modified for the game mode and map and pushed to AR and LED operators which enabled the set to react to key moments within the game such as scores, headshots, kill streaks and wins. Data was also pushed concurrently to a SQL instance which could then be queried by Ross Xpression operators for instant broadcast graphics generation.