Soccer, Global

Sportlogiq: AI-powered sports analytics and how it works

Why artificial intelligence is set to take sports analysis into the next generation, explained by Sportlogiq.

by Guest Contributor
Sportlogiq: AI-powered sports analytics and how it works

Sportlogiq is an artificial intelligence-powered (AI) sports analytics company transforming the way teams and fans experience the game.

Using computer vision and machine learning, its platform tracks and analyses the movements of every player and generates deep data insights. Monitoring more than 158 million data points per game, it helps professional sports teams win more matches and broadcasters tell better stories.

Sportlogiq is aiming to transform the sports industry with insights such as event data (passes and shots), as well as tracking data (the movement of players), providing teams and consumers with full game context...

Here's how they do it

Using standard, single-camera game footage, specific game events are flagged (shots, passes and possessions), timestamped, and their XY coordinates are recorded. The player-location data is then transformed into meaningful and actionable insights for teams, automated stories for broadcast media, and in-depth insights for sports betting. Sportlogiq is used by experts — from coaches and players, to managers and scouts, to analysts and broadcasters.

The end goal is to understand a player’s behaviour. Computer vision, or more precisely, tracking, activity recognition, and group activity analysis tell us where everyone is and what they are doing at any given time. For example, the outcome a team is seeking when applying a specific tactic or a player’s objective when making a pass can be identified. This information can be used to infer who is going to score the next goal, win the game, or win the World Cup. 

Coaches and players are looking for actionable insights, such as pressure and space creation—an important part of the modern football game. These are the kinds of stats, and full game context, that Sportlogiq provides. Teams are using this information to improve their game.

See it in action

Fifa World Cup: Belgium 3-2 Japan

The last kick of the game that put Belgium through to the quarter-finals - and eventually into third place - their best ever finish in a World Cup.

There are three passes in that clip. But let’s take a look at what we may have missed in those three passes. This is why context is needed in football. It’s what’s missing in football and what Sportlogiq can provide.

Certain things can be seen based on event data, but vital parts of the game that can influence that event-based data can be missed. Here's a good example of how amazing and influential a player can be without even touching the ball:

In this instance we can see Kevin De Bruyne passes to Thomas Meunier, which is a great pass, however, we miss the fact that Romelu Lukaku made a run from right to left that created the space for Meunier to run into and eventually receive the pass

Meunier crosses it into Lukaku - who has now made a run from left to right, which creates space on the left. While he's making his run, the Japanese defender is tracking his run and going with him - allowing space to be created and another run to happen in that area

This is important because when Lukaku is in direct relation to the ball and plays a dummy, the Japanese defender was with him all along, and by playing the 'dummy', he takes the Japanese player out of the game twice - once on the initial pass to Meunier, and the other from the pass to Nacer Chadli, who tapped in the game-winning goal. Lukaku essentially created space by breaking down the Japanese defence with two runs and a dummy - all without touching the ball

We want to know that Belgium scored against Japan in three passes and one shot, but we also want to know that Lukaku's movement off the ball and dummy was the key to allow this to happen.

Without full game context, you miss part of the action. Sportlogiq provides the insights that give you the full picture.