I know the majority of you are asking, what is eSports, and why does it matter?
Whether you are a seasoned gamer or haven’t played since the days of Super Nintendo, you can’t have escaped the rise of the global phenomenon known as eSports. eSports, or electronic sports, are organised, competitive video gaming at any level, often live streamed on platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Mixer and Caffeine. Whether you regard it as a sport or not, with prize money already in the millions of dollars and a business with a net worth of $3bn by 2022, eSports continues to rise as it commands significant interest and audiences.
eSports competitions and tournaments take place across the globe at a variety of venues – local bars and computer clubs to sold-out arenas. They involve a variety of different types of games, from first-person shooters (FPS) such as Call of Duty, fantasy-strategy games (or MOBAs which stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) like League of Legends to sports games such as FIFA and fighting games including Tekken or Mortal Kombat.
Great players are paid to play, with many of them joining teams sponsored by well-known brands. These teams are funded further through advertising, merchandise sales and prize money. Success also commands greater kudos within the gaming and eSports community. Just like conventional sports stars, eSports teams have training facilities, nutritionists, psychologists, etc. to help deliver the best results for their sponsors and associated brands.
The eSports global audience is growing at an accelerated rate, and in some cases, exceeding viewership numbers for traditional sporting events. 2022 projections also have the eSports global audience reaching nearly 450 million (both frequent and occasional viewers) and pushing $2bn in revenue! With that, major brands are exploring ways to align with eSports and capitalise on engagement with a youthful, tech-savvy and affluent fan demographic. For example, sports giant Nike completed a $144m sponsorship deal over four years of China’s League of Legends Pro League.
Over the last few years, Encompass has carved out a reputation as the go-to supplier for connectivity, live streaming and occasional-use (OU) event services for the eSports industry. We have also delivered OTT and VOD services for brands looking to develop their own platform filled with absorbing gamification content and innovative features. Encompass specialises in distribution via satellite and fibre. We have designed and delivered the connectivity services for multiple global eSports tournaments and events onto a variety of platforms, including YouTube, Twitch and cinemas.
Our services have increased the availability and uptake of eSports content and helped boost the reach as eSports continues to rise from emerging curiosity to an accepted global phenomenon, as demonstrated by this customer testimony