FACEIT relied on Panasonic solutions to save its esports season during the worst stages of the pandemic
FACEIT is an independent competitive gaming platform for online multiplayer PvP players. In addition, the organization has its own television and media production unit that provides professional gaming coverage of some of the biggest esports events in the world.
Like all companies around the world, the pandemic affected their working models. For example, the emergency situation prevented FACEIT’s production team from traveling to the United States to host their Counter-Strike:Global Offensive Flashpoint Season 2 tournament. They changed plans and moved the production site to Twickenham Stadium in the UK, in addition to using Panasonic’s PTZ camera and robotics solutions.
“We had worked with Twickenham in the past, and as a venue it is suitably secure and locked down,” said Andrew Lane, Director of Broadcast & Production at FACEIT.
The company decided to go ahead with the event but with all the players competing remotely and creating a studio at Twickenham. “We wanted to give the talent space and the option to not have to wear a facemask, allowing them to be on camera and do their jobs properly,” explained Andrew. “Having operated cameras wasn’t really an option because our footprint in the studio would have significantly increased – especially when you add a jib or a Steadicam.”
The team used a PTZ camera-based system featuring the Panasonic AW-UE150 camera, for three purposes. They could control these cameras over a network, so that the team could operate in isolation, from their hotel rooms, in the worst-case scenario.
“We had access to the full hotel network, and had patched this to make it our own. This meant that everyone from the bubble had wired network to their room from day one. This was great for a bunch of gamers because they all enjoyed having high-speed internet and gaming machines in their hotel rooms! For the majority of people, it was a very practical way of working,” assueres Andrew.
The production team’s system included six Panasonic UE150 cameras, an AW-RP150 controller, and a Tuning rail system with an elevated column – all supplied via ES Broadcast. The Panasonic UE150 cameras and Tuning system fitted in the environment because they didn’t require proprietary cables, and could be controlled from a simple IP network.
The wider production system was very Blackmagic-based and included an ATEM Constellation mixer and RIEDEL comms. The team also used an infinity green screen and Augmented Reality effects on the live show and behind the scenes, in use with the Panasonic UE150 cameras, thanks to their compatibility with the FreeD protocol.