Contributing Editor: Alex Jones, Encompass Sales Director – EMEA
We have been watching other people play games for centuries. From jousting to gladiators, professional golf, football and baseball, to the World Poker Championship and broadcasted Halo competitions – we love to watch a good tournament. Today, more people between 18-25 are watching eSports than the World Series or NBA Finals. Statistics show that within two years, eSports will be a 1.65 billion dollar industry!
To mirror this rapidly growing trend, the 2018 Sports Emmys Awards now include two eSports entities. ELEAGUE is going up against the likes of HBO, NBA, FOX and NHL across the different categories in which it has been nominated. Riot Games’ “League of Legends” is competing against the 2018 NBA Finals, NBA All-Star Weekend and college basketball on ESPN.
Activision Blizzard reported that in its first season, the Overwatch League garnered 280,000 viewers per minute. Even If you don’t know anything about video games, you have probably heard someone say, “World of Warcraft,” which Blizzard produced. Unbelievably, Toyota, T-Mobile and Intel are sponsors of this live video game tournament.
If this is the kind of company eSports is keeping, it is time to up the game. The gaming field is clearly an income-generating avenue broadcasters and advertisers should be taking advantage of. But if you want to monetize the content, you have to deliver it reliably because advertisers of this caliber will demand it.
Today, eSports are hosted in theaters and auditoriums across the world. Competitors assemble in front of large screens where the video games are projected. Video cameras capture the broadcast and transmit it to someone’s laptop, where it is thrown up on Twitch – a streaming platform specifically for gamers, owned by Amazon.
It is great gamers can share their hobby with the world at large for an extremely low cost. The stakes are high and the transmission piece is free, but transmitting a broadcast this way comes at some serious risks and disadvantages: blackouts, latency and issues with the technical delivery.
These common problems can jeopardize a huge sponsorship opportunity. If a company like Coca-Cola signs on to sponsor an eSports tournament, the organizers really only have one shot to get the transmission right.
eSports is investing a tremendous amount of money into broadening their industry, offering $70,000 salaries for professional gamers, training facilities, dormitories and even scholarships. It seems counterintuitive to not invest in the eventual output of those efforts.
The most efficient place to start is by hiring an end-to-end managed services provider.
Here are some of the advantages:
- Gives organizers access to quality equipment
- Ensures enough bandwidth available onsite or during transfer of data
- More professional, polished experience to attract big brand advertisers
- Consultation from a seasoned live event services provider, where standards are already high
There is a significant live event component to other sports and they already have the kind of quality production large advertisers are seeking. We simply have to transition the same principles to the eSports arena.
Encompass Digital Media manages the end-to-end capture, process and delivery of high-profile sporting events all over the world on a daily basis. Having difficulty with your endgame? Contact us now to discuss how we can help your next eSports event win a flawless victory and impress advertisers.