EA selects Grass Valley for remote esports production

20 April 2021


Electronic Arts Competitive Gaming Entertainment (CGE), EA’s esports division, has announced that it will use remote production tools by Montreal-based media provider Grass Valley to power its EA Sports FIFA 21 and Apex Legends online competitions.

Grass Valley Agile Media Processing Platform (GV AMPP) will allow EA to coordinate production teams remotely for the two titles across the world.

EA Grass Valley
Pictured: Grass Valley’s GV AMPP live production in action during the FIFA 21 Global Series Europe Qualifier. Image credit: Electronic Arts

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The Grass Valley system will be used on an ongoing basis for the 2020-2021 FIFA World Cup qualifying tournaments. Per a release, AMPP was chosen for its ‘low latency, high frame rate results and unmatched viewing experience for gaming fans around the globe’.

Joe Lynch, Electronic Arts CGE Head of Broadcast, commented: “We learned [that] a live production in the cloud brings together several unrelated systems, creating a lot of complexity — if one part of the workflow fails, the entire system falls down. These were unique, unprecedented circumstances to solve for during COVID-19 in order to continue esports competition.

“Grass Valley’s GV AMPP was a helpful solution, bringing all of our needs together within one harmonised ecosystem. AMPP gives us a professional broadcast quality platform — in the cloud — with the production values and the reliability that we need to give our fans the best experience. For our operators, using K-Frame in the cloud was seamless, with no perceivable difference to working in a studio environment.”

GV AMPP is part of Grass Valley’s GV Media Universe, an ecosystem of connected solutions, services, and marketplaces that allow teams to work in cloud-based media workflows.

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Grass Valley’s CEO and President, Tim Shoulders added: “The need for flexible workflows to support a wide range of live event configurations and deliver the same rich experience and stunning images across any screen is no longer in doubt. It is exciting to see early adopters like EA boldly moving to the cloud to leverage its power and agility.

“The project with EA is also a fantastic example of how today’s workflows need to pivot rapidly — whether that’s to work around a global pandemic or to keep pace with diverse audience demands.”

EA tested Grass Valley’s workflow tools during an Apex Legends live tournament in early December. Soon after, EA used the AMPP platform to support its FIFA 21 Global Series European Qualifier 1 Event that included more than 20 camera feeds from Europe and Northern Virginia.

EA’s set-up includes a range of AMPP applications, including Master Control, Flow Monitors, Clip Players, Master Control Switcher, I/O, Test Signal Generators, AV Mux, Delay module, HTML 5 Graphics Render, Multiviewer, Recorders and Streamers. The team has access to probing and monitoring capabilities for transparency across all parts of the workflow.

Esports Insider says: This is a great time to offer low-latency production options as the future of in-person events remains uncertain. Having Electronic Arts as a partner can only help Grass Valley’s pursuit of new clientele during these mid- and post-pandemic broadcasts.

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