Ever since Kuro Takhasomi belongs? No? Nicknamed KuroKy, the 25-year-old Berliner is one of the biggest stars in his sport and has already won more than $ 3.7 million (about € 3.2 million) in prize money in his career.
In the middle of August KuroKy joins the team with his team-mates at the tournament “The International“In Vancouver. The goal: Defending the title at the highest-paid ESports event in the world. The sport? Dota 2, a team-based computer game.
E-Sports, long ridiculed as an unworldly hobby for basement children, is on the way to the billion dollar market. The scene is developing rapidly and the potential for sponsorship and advertising is gigantic.
E-Sports: “Why do you watch other people playing?”
If my grandmother asks me what e-sports should actually be, the answer is quite trivial: Like the Olympic Games, players compete alone or in teams in a variety of disciplines against each other in the competition. Only the disciplines are not handball, tennis or archery, but computer Games like Dota 2, League of Legends or Counterstrike.
The sports equipment? Mouse and keyboard – instead of rackets, sneakers or ball. And as diverse as the classic sports disciplines are the various games, because the “one” e-sports does not exist.
Organized are the various games in leagues and championships, often with teams from around the world. The final rounds fill big arenas with thousands of spectators, the events are broadcast on the Internet and more and more often on the classic television.
But sports and e-sports have one thing in common – only with years of hard training and a lot of discipline does the leap from hobby to profession succeed. And this is exactly where the secret lies to the often asked question “Why do you watch other people playing the game?”.
For the same reason why millions of people watch icons like Lionel Messi, LeBron James or Serena Williams in front of the television: because they are among the best in their profession and do things in the field that one can only dream of as a hobby player.
E-sports are becoming the growth engine of the streaming platforms
E-sports is primarily one digital entertainment medium and is well-suited for digital display and moving-image advertising due to its high range and viewing time. The primary target group are young, tech-savvy men, who are often difficult to reach via traditional media.
The most important platform is undoubtedly the Amazon subsidiary TwitchE-sports content is among the most viewed content on the platform. A special feature is the close connection between the fan community and the pros: many e-sports enthusiasts not only pursue the big tournaments, but are also loyal spectators of the daily training sessions of the players, in which they interact directly with their role models and learn more about their favorite games.
In recent years, too YouTube and Facebook started investing heavily in e-sports. The Electronic Sports League Earlier this year, she signed an exclusive streaming deal with Facebook for some of her popular tournament series, including Counterstrike.
Where young target groups still find sponsoring and marketing really great
For companies E-Sports is an enormously attractive Sponsorship environment, Particularly target groups who are otherwise not suspected of being particularly open to sponsors and advertising communication are very interested in seeing “their” game and “their” heroes grow.
The multiplier effects of sponsoring e-sports teams or players should not be underestimated. Through the constant presence of gamer on the streaming platforms also off the tournaments, the sponsors are elementary part of the community – they make it possible for the athletes to turn their hobby into a profession and to deny a high level without financial worries.
This is exactly what the fans appreciate – and brands can easily create a positive perception in the scene. In combination with a social media team that gets a little involved in the gaming culture and interacts with the fans on an equal footing, as well as small actions such as give-aways, a powerful marketing tool is created.
A recent survey by WaveMaker’s colleagues has shown that brands that are present in the e-sports environment, especially in the beverage and technology sectors, have generated not only high awareness but also very good activation performance among ESports fans.
And: You have a good opportunity to gain first impressions about e-sports, gaming and the fans at the end of August during the GamesCom in Cologne.
About the author: A passionate nerd since childhood, Alex Turtschan has spent more than 10 years in the Serviceplan group looking at consumer, market and technology trends and their impact on digital marketing. He is currently Director Digital Strategy at Plan.Net Media.