eSports is big business and the number of people watching live events continues to grow. It's also not a surprise that someone has combined eSports with the growing world of virtual reality.
SLIVER.tv is a cross-platform service that has come to Windows Mixed Reality as one of the launch apps. In some regards, it's similar in execution to other Mixed Reality apps for consuming video content, but it has one significant party piece that really stands out.
You're in the action
The best feature of SLIVER.tv is that it puts you inside the action. Not just in a sense of viewing 360-degree content, but actually inside the maps. Primarily you're looking at CS:GO and League of Legends right now, but the end result is an entirely new way to enjoy eSports.
You still get a big screen on a 2D plane to view the content as you would normally on Twitch or Mixer, and if you'd prefer you can just watch it this way in a virtual arena.
But, the real experience comes when you're watching from within the actual game environment. You're either perched high above Summoner's Rift or at various viewpoints around the CS:GO maps. The advantage here is that you can see everything that's going on, not just what the casters are looking at on the screen.
Video quality is decent enough and there are a few settings to make it better or drop it down depending on your bandwidth. It's perhaps less jarring than watching live action 360-degree content when the resolution dips since it's a game you're viewing, but overall it's pretty good.
Hopefully more content to come
SLIVER.tv is a fairly simple idea, and very easy to use. Content is coming from some pretty big sources so far, with live action courtesy of huge tournaments ESL One and Intel Extreme Masters. But the range of supported eSports is still fairly slim.
Sure, CS:GO and League of Legends are two of the most watched, but for fans of the wider world of eSports like Overwatch, Call of Duty, even Microsoft's own Gears of War or the Halo World Championship, there's nothing really here for you yet.
But, the execution is sound. Live and on-demand content is there to enjoy and it's certainly a unique way to enjoy a broadcast. The next step, hopefully, is a wider selection of professional gaming tournaments featured in this way.
It's free to download so if you have a Mixed Reality headset hit the store link below and give it a look.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine