Kovaak 2.0: The Meta is an esports training program for budding and professional gamers
Perfect practice makes perfectBy Cal Jeffrey
Why it matters: The growing popularity of esports has created numerous opportunities for those wanting a piece of the pie. The potential for gamers, advertisers, and venues are a given, but they are not the only beneficiaries of the booming industry.
Training for esports is a virtually untapped market. KovaaK 2.0: The Meta hopes to fill that void with a new training platform for gamers. Currently, e-athletes hone their skills primarily in battles outside of tournament play, or perhaps through non-match features like Fortnite's Playground Mode. However, this may not be enough.
For example, former Quake professional KovaaK built an FPS aim trainer specifically to target improving his precision with the mouse. The Meta cofounders Duncan Haberly and Chris Olson noted KovaaK's laser-point accuracy and decided to build on the idea that simply playing the game is not the perfect scenario for practicing skills.
The team began working on a multifunctional training platform that both pro and amateur gamers can use to improve various skills needed to compete and win at the tournament level. The trainer mimics the physics and gun mechanics of several popular competitive titles while remaining generic enough not to get nailed for copyright infringement.
The Meta comes in two parts. First, players will use the platform's guided training modules, each geared to hone specific first-person-shooter skills. It offers feedback to players on areas where they are weak. For example, if they consistently miss shots on a particular portion of the screen, the program will let them know, so they can pinpoint the deficiency and work on it.
Guided training is still being fleshed out, though. Currently, it only has a module for a technique called flicking (aka click timing). However, the team is working on tracking and scoping skill sets, which they hope to have ready soon.
The second part is referred to as KovaaK's Sandbox. The Sandbox is essentially an expanded version of the aim trainer that KovaaK used for himself and later released. It is comprised of a number of scenarios players may encounter in match play. There are over 2,500 practice simulations in all.
KovaaK 2.0: The Meta is available through Steam for $10. TechCrunch notes that The Meta is selling about 20,000 units per month. The company has also secured over $2.5 million in funding from investors, including Village Global, Canaan Beta Fund, Courtside VC, Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund, Betaworks, and GFR fund.