ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier will utilize eye-tracking technology on players and advanced statistical overlays

ELEAGUE will implement eye tracking and advanced analytics in the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier
ELEAGUE will utilize three new features in its latest CS:GO event. Photo courtesy of Turner Sports/ELEAGUE.

ELEAGUE will increase its technological output for the upcoming ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier, which begins Friday.

Three new features will be implemented in ELEAGUE’s latest CS:GO tournament. The first is the use of biometrics, specifically eye tracking developed by Swedish technology company Tobii. The data is analyzed on the players’ computers and used to create an immediate gaze overlay highlighting precisely where players look throughout their games. The idea is to give viewers insight into where the world’s best players look when they’re playing to show how or why they play the way they do.

Initially, it will mainly be used to illustrate points made on the analyst desk or explain how a player came to a specific decision.

“It’s not just the gaze tracking we’re talking, either,” Robert Occhialini, the vice president of esports products and technology at Turner Sports, told Slingshot. “It’s where they’re looking and the velocity with which they’re moving their eyes. These guys look around at just a much higher rate than a regular person can even process.”

The technology is still in its early stages, Occhialini said, and because of current limitations, only two players can be tracked at once. The goal is to expand that to all 10 in the future, which would open up more possibilities for how to utilize the data during broadcasts.

ELEAGUE will also utilize DOJO Madness’ Shadow.gg platform, which provides viewers with advanced data visuals including heat maps, smoke maps and path maps, along with tactical and statistical replay views. This will be used to give pictures and specific details about what happens in a round of CS:GO so  viewers can see what analysts are dissecting instead of just listening to them speak on the desk.

Chris Schetter, the general manager of Counter-Strike tools for DOJO Madness, said the use of Shadow could also expand.

“Hopefully what that will allow the analysts to do is tell better stories,” Schetter said. “The analysis they’re providing is far more clear. As time goes on, and we figure out what the production wants out of compiled statistics or things like that, or tracking particular metrics over the course of an ELEAGUE season. Those are things we’re still discussing and exploring, and it’s just best to kind of figure those things out as they start to produce some matches with the tool.”

Shadow launched in November, and Schetter said 10 professional teams use the platform for their own analysis.

There’s kind of been this surge in awareness about teams using data analytics platforms, and really researching things on that side,” he said. “And I think it has showed in the gameplay recently.”

The third feature for the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier is SLIVIR, so users can watch the tournament in a virtual reality stream. The feature will “immerse the CS:GO fan inside the game map, allowing a unique perspective on their favorite players and an exceptional level of gameplay interaction,” according to a news release.

The ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier begins with Group A play Friday. Digital coverage starts at 6 p.m. ET, and it will be broadcast live on TBS at 10 p.m. ET. The technology upgrades have been in the works for more than a year, Occhialini said, and the timing is right to implement it now with ELEAGUE’s return to CS:GO.

“I probably would have used this software for the Major if I had the budget for it at the end of the last year,” Occhialini said. “But I didn’t, and it’s improved dramatically since then. If we had done a CS:GO tournament earlier in the year, I would pulled the trigger on Shadow earlier in the year. It was really the eye tracking that we’re still landing the plane with.”

Cover photo courtesy of Turner Sports/ELEAGUE

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