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BTS: PlayEX @ PeoriaCon - Designing an Esports Booth

PlayEX is excited to be bringing an esports arena experience to PeoriaCon - the midwest-USA's largest pop-culture and gaming convention. The convention will be held at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, IL on March 2 and 3, 2024.


The PlayEX booth will be located at the back left of the exhibition hall. We've been tasked with creating an exciting esports experience in a booth with only 400 square feet of floor space. The booth will feature 12 Nintendo Switch stations, live commentators, and broadcast/lighting equipment.


3D render

In this post, we'll be looking behind the scenes at what the setup will feature.


Booth Specs:

  • Dimensions: 20ft x 20ft

  • 12 gaming stations (2 groups of 6)

  • Casters center back

  • Broadcast control in middle

  • Registration/TO table front center

  • Black drape at back edge



2D plan drawing

Broadcast Control

PlayEX is known for top-tier live broadcasts for esports events. While we are known for online-only events, we'll be bringing our expertise and quality to in-person events as well. When designing our broadcast setup, we came up with a list of requirements


  • The broadcast setup must be scalable

  • The hardware selection must be compact

  • Every player station needs to be viewable on the live broadcast. Everyone deserve their time in the spotlight!


Our broadcast system is based on the ATEM Constellation switcher lineup from Blackmagic Design. The entire broadcast control system is a single, 6-unit rack and contains the following:


  • Power Distribution Unit

  • Blackmagic Design ATEM 2 M/E Constellation HD Switcher (20 inputs, 12 outputs)

  • Blackmagic Design Multiview 16 (16 input multiviewer)

  • Blackmagic Design SDI Distribution Amplifier

  • Blackmagic Design Web Presenter 4K

  • Blackmagic Design Web Presenter (original version - USB 2.0 | backup unit)

  • Netgear 24-port gigabit switch


Each Nintendo Switch will be connected to a Blackmagic Design Bidirectional SDI/HDMI Converter 3G - this will convert the HDMI output from the Switch to SDI for the video switcher, while also including an HDMI passthrough to go to the player's monitor. As a backup, we will also have Datavideo DAC-70 converters as well which can perform the same function.


Lighting

Due to space and power limitations, we decided on a basic lighting setup. For ambient light focusing on the player tables, we will be using 4 (2 for each side) Chauvet COLORado M Solos. For light on the commentators, we will be using 2 Chauvet Ovation E-260CW ellipsoidals. All lights will be mounted on stands at the front corners of the booth. The back drape will be uplit by 6 Chauvet WELL Fits.


Cameras

Again, due to space limitations, we will be using 3 cameras. For the primary camera on the commentators, we will be using a Sony PXW-FS5 cinema camera with either a Sigma 16mm or a Sony 18-105mm lens. Also mounted on the light stands will be two Sony HXR-MC88 camcorders for aerial shots of the players.




This setup was designed to be exciting for the players, while maximizing the space we have and simplifying setup and teardown time.

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