This Sunday’s Scottish League Cup Final, presented by Utilita, between Hibernian and Ross County was not only played out on the pitch but also in virtual reality, in a first major sporting event test by San Francisco-headquartered technology company, Virtually Live.
The SPFL facilitated Virtually Live to test a live football broadcast in virtual reality at Scotland’s National Stadium Hampden Park in Glasgow when the showpiece national cup final kicked off at 3pm. It is the latest in an eight-game trial which has also included the competition's semi-finals and Queen's Park Ladbrokes League 2 matches.
Virtually Live delivers live sporting events in real time, providing fans who can’t attend in person with a new way to experience live events virtually, as if they were physically there. Future sports fans will be able to go anywhere in the virtual match, watch in the middle of the field, in the dugout from the manager’s perspective, or in a VIP suite with embedded television footage, all by using high-end headsets, such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Playstation VR.
Virtually Live CEO, Tom Impallomeni, noted: "We’re excited to be working with the SPFL to develop a groundbreaking immersive VR viewing experience. Virtual Reality is the next frontier for sports fans, and we’re excited to offer fans around the world a new way to experience Hampden Park."
An SPFL spokesman added: "This is a groundbreaking and innovative trial, taking place around the Scottish League Cup Final presented by Utilita, and we are excited to see the output from this trial of Virtually Live's innovative technology."