Esports or electronic sports essentially means competitions or matches that focus on video games. It’s not about sports online as what many used to think, although some esports games involve sports-themed video games. A good example of esports games is the League of Legends World Championship. It is an organized tournament participated by professional gamers. Competitors in esports can be teams or individuals of all ages.
Popular video game genres often played in esports are:
- First-person shooters (FPS). The most common games played include Counter-Strike, Rainbow Six, and Call of Duty.
- Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). Some of the most notable MOBA games are Dota 2, and League of Legends.
- Fighting, battle royale games, and real-time strategy (RTS) games. Mortal Kombat, Super Smash Bros, and Street Fighter are some of the most popular titles. As far as esports battle royale is concerned, two games stand out: PlayerUknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite Battle Royale. Some of the most common RTS games are Starcraft and Warcraft.
Why Esports Attract People and Businesses
Esports involves video games so the reason why people are drawn to it may already be obvious. Businesses, on the other hand, want a piece of the esports industry for several reasons. Here are some statistics to ponder.
- Esports is a billion dollar industry. According to a Reuters report, global revenues from esports is expected to hit $1.1 billion in 2019, 27% higher than the amount recorded in the previous year.
- Approximately 82% of the total esports market is attributed to endemic and non-endemic investments. These include sponsorships, advertising, and media rights.
- Sponsorship is the highest revenue stream for esports. In 2019, sponsorship alone comprised nearly half, at $456.7 million, of the earnings generated in this industry.
- Media rights is the second highest revenue stream with $251.3 million, followed by advertising ($189.2 million), merchandise and ticket sales ($103.7 million), and esport game publisher fees ($95.2 million).
- In 2019, the global number of esports viewers is expected to reach 453.8 million. This means a growth of 15% over the past year’s figure. By 2022, total audience number is estimated to reach 645 million. Expect several esport news sites to rise with the growing interest of audiences in this industry.
- Around 201.2 million of the global audience are labeled as enthusiasts while 252.6 million are categorized as occasional viewers.
- Revenue per fan for the esports industry is projected to hit $6.02 by 2022.
- Taking the current trends into account, analysts expect the industry to pass the $1.8 billion level by 2022 or $3.2 billion in a more optimistic projection.
- The highest overall tournament prize recorded for an e-sport event is $25.5 million for The International 2018.
How to Enter the Esports Industry
There are two main ways to be part of the esports industry. One is to be a player or someone who handles a gaming team. The other is to be a business that provides sponsorships or advertising, sells merchandise associated with certain esport games or teams, or a business that organizes esport tournaments and events.
1. Creating and Developing an Esports Team
Forming a team and playing at esports events is not as easy as signing up random people (who know how to play video games) and registering at events. If you seek success, you it has to be a thoughtful process.
First of all, you need a management team. Typically, you have to find co-founders, co-owners, and members for the executive board (chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief gaming officer, and chief market officer). It’s important to have a solid management team to make sure team operations proceed in an organized manner.
When it comes to selecting players, it’s important to decide on a team category. Gamers in esports are also like athletes. They have their respective specializations. It’s a rarity to find someone let alone an entire team of players who is excellent in all of the video games played at esport tournaments. Carefully examine potential candidates. Consider players in amateur rankings and those who play in local events.
Once you have created your team, make sure that everything is legal or in abidance with prevailing policies. Your team may need to become a registered company in some states. You also have to be mindful of ethical considerations or policies when it comes to player poaching.
After going through the team organization and legalities, start building your team brand and reputation. It’s not just about choosing a name, logo, and identity. It’s also about standing out and attracting and establishing a solid fan base. If you want your team to be noticed (and gain from it), you need to make sure your team distinguishes itself from others in positive ways.
Next, you have to undertake a sensible marketing campaign by covering all relevant social media platforms and maintaining presence in avenues that matter. Put up a website for your team where you can post all official details and publish useful content for attracting online audiences and building a reputation.
By creating an appealing brand and reputation and engaging in effective marketing strategies, you can attract potential sponsors for your team, advertisers, and ink deals for broadcast rights revenue sharing. This is how you enter the esports industry as a player or someone who operates a team.
2. Becoming a Sponsor, an Advertiser, or an Esports Organization
While forming and operating an esports team can be considered a form of business, when it comes to the esports industry you can be involved as a non-playing business entity. It’s similar to what happens in traditional sports events. There are the basketball teams, for example, that are run like businesses and on the other side, there’s the presence of the traditional businesses involved in sponsorships, advertisements, and the behind-the-scenes transactions that enable the hosting and airing of the esports games.
Do Businesses Actually Get anything by Sponsoring Esports Teams?
Apparently, they do as evidenced by the multitude of brands conspicuously present during esports events.
- Coca-Cola, for one, is the main sponsor of the League of Legends World Championship. The global beverage company also forged partnerships with cinemas to host simultaneous viewing parties for the championships.
- Mountain Dew is another major business involved in the esports It hosts several esports teams including Team SK Gaming, Splyce, and Team Dignitas.
- T-Mobile also has a significant presence in the industry as it sponsors the esports organizations TSM and Cloud9 as well as the Twitch Esports Arena
- Other companies known to sponsor or advertise in large-scale esports are Mercedes Benz, Red Bull, Comcast Xfinity, and Intel.
If you are a small or midsize business, you can also become a sponsor or advertiser but, logically, you would have to limit your involvement in local events. You also have to carefully evaluate if the esports community is a good target audience for your promotional materials so you don’t end up spending your marketing money for nothing.
Moreover, businesses can enter the esports industry as an organization that hosts the events or tournaments. What’s great about being this setup is that it can generate revenues through several ways including ads, sponsorships, and fees for game and broadcast rights. Some also take cuts from the winnings of teams. However, this kind of venture is not guaranteed to be successful and it takes a lot of capital outlay. It is usually a large-scale undertaking that entails the raising and shelling out of huge sums of cash and an excellent business acumen. It’s a remotely good option for newbies who want to be part of the esports industry.
Translation and Localization in Esports
You may have heard of international esports events participated by gaming teams from different countries with different languages and cultures. You might be wondering how players who speak different languages interact with each other.
In most cases, player interactions are not a problem. Many players know some English while those who don’t just limit their interactions within their own teams and focus on winning.
There are no rules requiring players to use a specific language although all participants should find a way to clearly understand the terms and conditions of their participation in the events. Almost all international esport competitions use English as the main language, but there may be instances when the hosts or organizers are not that accommodating so participants are advised to take an interpreter with them. Translation is usually only needed when broadcasting or streaming the esports games to audiences who are more accustomed to certain languages. Broadcasters or streamers need to tailor what they show according to the market their broadcast is targeting.
Esports tournaments or events are generally not the best venues for promoting video games especially if the goal is to reach out to potential players in foreign markets. However, foreign language streams or broadcasts can be good advertising platforms to promote video games and facilitate overseas expansion.
We didn’t mention this in our Expanding Your Game Overseas Guide, but it is possible to attract new players for a game you localized for a foreign market by placing pertinent ads in esports streams or esports broadcasts.
Esports is an exciting and rapidly growing industry. It’s also highly competitive not only for gamers but also for the companies that want to promote their businesses. Since it’s still in its infantile years, there’s still a lot to explore and exploit whether as a player/team owner or as a business looking to place marketing materials that target audiences with relatively high purchasing power. Translation and localization may not be highly relevant in entering this industry or in joining international esports competitions, but they may be needed when doing esports broadcasts for audiences that speak different languages.
Want to Reach New Audiences for Your Esports Streams? We Can Help!
If you want to broadcast your games to a specific region or country that uses a different language, it only makes sense to provide translations. This is something we at Day Translations, Inc. can provide competently, accurately, and in a timely manner. Esports streams can become more engaging especially for loyal fans if they come with subtitles or translations.
For all your questions and other concerns, you can send us an email email at Contact us. You may also reach us via telephone by dialing the number 1-800-969-6853. Our lines are open 24/7 to answer your inquiries and arrange the language services you seek.