MLB, Little League Join Forces for 2019 Home Run Derby VR Little League Challenge on ESPN
Major League Baseball (MLB), Little League International, and ESPN partnered to again host and broadcast a special Home Run Derby VR (virtual reality) video game competitive tournament, live from Williamsport. The 2019 Home Run Derby VR Little League Challenge, featuring one player from each of the 16 U.S. and International teams participating in the 2019 Little League Baseball World Series, was available free via live streams on the ESPN app and the official MLB channel on Twitch.
This year’s tournament featured the players in a four-round, bracket-style tournament in which each competitor had 90 seconds to hit as many home runs as possible. The broadcast was produced by MLB, along with its production and logistics partner Engine Shop, and featureed commentary from MLB Network’s Jackie Redmond as well as analysis from popular gamers and content creators RealShelfy and Fuzzy.
In addition to the live streams, a 30-minute special highlight recap will air on ESPN and the ESPN app on Sunday, August 18, at 4:00 p.m. (ET).
The VR Video Game
Little League players competing in the challenge used a special All-Star multiplayer edition of the award-winning VR video game featuring Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, custom-designed in a 360-degree hi-res visualization. Within the VR video game experience, developed by the MLB Games and VR team, the competitors swung a proprietary VR bat controller, which included the VIVE tracker, to deliver a feeling of holding a real bat into a synthetic environment. The game was powered by HTC’s VIVE Pro VR system.