Gamers8 in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia - Despite only launching in 2022, Gamers8 has become the largest globally recognised Esports tournament. Taking place in Riyadh over eight weeks, this year’s Land of Heroes event kicked off on 6 July, bringing together gaming enthusiasts from all corners of the world, who competed to take home cash prizes and the Gamers8 trophy.
The production behind Gamers8 is considerable, as alongside the intense gaming tournaments it also plays host to live concerts, attractions, and entertainment shows. A line-up of world-renowned artists and DJs, including Afrojack, Macklemore, Iggy Azalea, Imagine Dragons and more performed across its eight stages this year, in a show-stopping production.
Visual design and technology studio bright! studios were responsible for the media playback and virtual production of the gaming tournament elements of the event. bright! worked alongside other production companies and a pool of freelance technicians to take care of on-site virtual production, as well as augmented reality, lighting design and show control.
“Gamers8 is an incredibly big project,” begins Leon Herche, creative producer at bright! studios. “Stage Precision’s SP platform was imperative to the work we were doing, as it was able to handle and control many different hardware and software platforms. We had around 30 Unreal Engine machines, 28 tracked cameras and 36 disguise servers that were all controlled using SP.”
Stage Precision’s SP software is a data and control platform for tracking workflows, virtual production and advanced media systems. Gamers8 was made up of several high-profile battles, including; Dota 2, Fortnite, Rocket League, Rainbow Six Siege and PUBG Mobile which all returned to the festival for 2023, while CS:GO, StarCraft: Remastered, Starcraft II, Tekken 7, Street Fighter 6, PUBG, R1 and FIFA were played for the first time. SP was essential to bringing these tournaments to life.
“We used 14 different SP PCs across the whole event,” says Herche. “Every stage has two studios, one in Arabic and one in English and the platform took care of show control, including all the AR elements, as well as controlling and manipulating tracking data, lens calibration and alignment across the event, too. It also allowed us to get data from the games and APIs (Application Programming Interface) and send it to Shield and Media servers at the same time.”
Shield is a virtual production optimised plug-in for Unreal Engine 5. It easily manages camera tracking inputs, splits scenes into fore- and background render passes, applies lens distortion and renders object passes for matte applications. In addition, it takes care of data in- and outputs for scene control and device integration. It was an extremely useful workflow tool for 2023’s Gamers8 spectacle, which needed precise control over its virtual elements, especially when compositing AR graphics in real-time.
“We handled three different APIs per game,” furthers Herche. “One would show the winning team, and we’d then use disguise media servers to display their name or photo. Shield displayed 3D scans of the players, and another API gave us statistics from a database, which we displayed using Unreal Engine as well. This is how we were able to create a completely immersive experience for the audience.”
Stage Precision’s SP platform also handled the extravagant opening ceremonies that took place to mark the start of the weekly tournaments. bright! used Unreal Engine with Shield plugin and SP to play AR and video content at the same time, while creating a timeline and rendering multiple systems at once.
This year’s Gamers8 tournament offered the largest-ever prize pool in the history of Esports at $45m. The event reached 429,000 peak viewers and, collectively, over 2.5m hours of the tournament were watched on the first day.

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