University of York - Putting the UK at the forefront of the global Esports sector

The University of York is leading R&D for a consortium driving innovation in esports, a fast-growing form of entertainment with an estimated 2019 global market size of $25 billion. 

Weavr is a UKRI funded demonstration project exploring how esports audiences engage in immersive experiences. The University of York is helping shape the research agenda of the five UK esports companies involved in the project, blending advanced research in AI and data analytics with state-of-the-art technology to present audiences with high fidelity statistics, visualisations and personalised viewing experiences. The interdisciplinary work driving advances is being delivered by researchers in the University of York's departments of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media (TFTI), and Computer Science.

Initial support for the project was provided by £4 million in match funding delivered through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Weavr technology is delivered to fans watching esports in an arena, at home, or on the move through a mobile companion app and virtual reality broadcasting. 

Research advances will be commercialised within the UK, building on existing strengths within the gaming sector and creating opportunities for expansion into new global markets. 

The project has delivered new insights into how audiences engage in immersive experiences, demonstrated pathways to future commercialisation and directly stimulated an additional £2.2m of investment in R&D and innovation across participating businesses. Weavr has helped create 45 highly skilled jobs across the consortium and the project has a projected market value of £100-200m over the next five years. 

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