The second day of the SiGMA Asia Summit brought yet another day of incisive and experienced discussions to Manila’s SMX Convention Center.
A particularly re-inventive and innovatively focus panel was, the “Esports Industry in the Coming Age of AI.”
Moderated by Aidan Maughan, VP of Product at BetDEX, who was joined by a panel of industry leaders to discuss the uses and abuses that may occur in the Esports sector with the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI).
The panel members included a comprehensive wealth of knowledge in Marco Kowalevski the founder of Starzz LLC, Co-Founder of Daredevil Media Jared Dillinger, Professional Esports caster Shin Boo Ponferrada and Alex Chernavin, Senior Development Manager at Oddin.gg.
AI putting an end to cheating
Chernavin would begin by making a point about how AI is already being used in a regulatory sense to prevent cheating in Esports contests.
He explained how cheating is an unfortunate reality and that it must be taken seriously due to the lucrative nature of professional competitions.
Cheating can be perpetuated in numerous ways, Chernavin mentions methods such as unauthorised access to data and invasive use of radar.
Through the use of AI however, such instances can be monitored through the analysis of various data points related to sports bets. Factors such as specific match details and their market context.
He also highlighted how the use of AI can reduce manual effort when endeavouring to complete such large data analysis.
The focus then shifted to the game of Poker and the repercussions of certain tools such as optimal game theory, with the speakers drawing a comparison in order to contextualise the introduction of AI to esports.
Chernavin first states that despite the perceived decline of poker and its popularity, in actual fact the market is still growing globally, no more than ever in emerging markets. He also re-iterated the risks related to integrity, especially with cheating at lower levels.
An important distinction the discussion drew is that with Esports being a game played in real-time, it presents different challenges and may not have the same resurgence charateristics as seen in poker.
Ponferrada built on Chernavin’s point by highlighting the nostalgic elements being utilised in the esports sphere.
This comes in the form of both viewable content and reminiscent activities, mentioning street basketball specifically, that resonate with a much wider audience that would not show interest in esports normally.
First person shooters
Jared Dillinger then asked a question of his own, pertaining to first-person shooter (FPS) games naming industry leaders such as Call of Duty, Valorant and Coiunter-strike. He wanted to know what capabilities can be expected to come to fruition and how could these affect the future for these games.
An answer would come from Ponferrada, who began by explaining that in terms of tournament integrity, shooting games actually have the most strikes against it.
Undoubtedly a pioneering type of game, shooting games have held a longstanding relevancy, and due to their age they function with the use of highly fundamental mechanics. Due to their simplicity, these games allow for player movements and actions far easier to collect and measure.
This makes it far easier to gather data points when collection is focused on the player as opposed to the gameplay itself.
Ponferranda emphasised that it is actually very easy to gain accurate data from a FPS games due to the unchanging fundamentals that have always been staple in this context.
This specific accuracy means that when it comes to the incorporation of AI will also yield highly accurate results.
AI and personalisation
Kowalevski then joined the discussion, bringing up the topic of personalisation, which he believes has been increasing due to AI-driven gaming.
In this form of gaming, data from each player can be utilised in the game to cater preferences and interactions which could eventually allow incredibly deep integration into the gaming experience.
Chernavin added to this, emphasising how APIs can make data readily available for use.
He suggested that AI-driven technical or production innovation in areas like graphic design and esports production will be significant.
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