A relatively recent phenomenon, eSports, which is also referred to as electronic sports or even simply pro gaming, consist of games and competitions that are performed in an electronic medium and through electronic systems. Large video game competitions and individual live gamer streams are common examples of eSports. Essentially, a huge group of gamers and gaming fans gather to watch a select number of gamers compete against each other, and the games are broadcast live to a huge international audience.
While video gamers have always gathered in groups to compete against one another, these highly organized and publicized competitions have changed the way that viewers can join the excitement. And they’re getting more popular by the day. The most prevalent site for eSports streaming, Twitch.tv, ranks fourth in peak online traffic (coming in behind giants Google, Apple, and Netflix).
As with any popular gaming or sports event, eSports is now a highly sought-after source of advertising. And it’s more than just a new marketing option. It’s quickly becoming an arena of innovation. While many people still haven’t heard the term “eSports,” including many in the gaming community itself, its effects are being felt everywhere.
Check out the ways that eSports is going to change the digital marketing world as we know it:
Digital and social media marketing have become more saturated with real-time updates in recent years. Sites and apps such as Twitter and Snapchat naturally lend themselves to real-time sharing, and Facebook now has Facebook Live. eSports capitalizes on those immediate types of interactions that our world has come to expect.
Not only are eSports competitions and experiences live, but they’re also available all the time. In addition to large gaming conventions, any moment that a broadcaster is out there gaming, a user can log in to a variety of different sites and stream their videos. Websites and apps such as Twitch and YouTube Gaming allow video game fans to watch popular gamers and big competitions from the comfort of their own homes.
It allows for more engagement than ever before
When active users watch live eSports streams, they have the ability to comment and ask questions of the gamers they’re watching. Gamers can then respond directly to users, answering their questions, making jokes, and interacting on an unprecedented level. It’s no longer enough to provide entertaining content and popular videos. Users want to be brought into the experience in new ways.
Video games and online gaming are now more sophisticated than they ever have been before, and this is not going to stop anytime soon. Many eSports streaming sites have implemented very simple ways for end users to send money to their favorite presenters, an idea that has endless marketing applications.
Huge brands are getting involved
You know that when big names like Coca Cola, Bud Light, Red Bull, ESPN, and Taco Bell jump on the bandwagon, you’re likely looking at the next big thing, or at least one of the next big things. Popular eSports championships such as League of Legends can attract more viewers than most major traditional sports championships, so it’s no wonder that these brands are getting involved now. Coke has a hugely popular Twitter account dedicated solely to eSports, and Taco Bell gives free food to eSports game developers. ESPN’s website now has a section just for eSports, and Red Bull is getting in on the eSports content sharing, as well.
eSports allow for a more intimate experience for a wide variety of users
Even if some gamers don’t have a certain new gaming system (or any gaming system at all), they can watch other people play any game they can imagine. Do you want to know if you’d like a game before you buy it? Simply log on to a website and watch someone else play it before you decide. Want to get real-life advice, tips, and tricks for beating the part of a game you’re stuck on? You can watch a live stream to get that, too.
Imagine a live stream that allows you to watch your favorite actors and actresses in their element. Would you pay money to subscribe to such a service? Even if you wouldn’t, a huge number of other people would. That’s what eSports streaming services do for gamers everywhere. Big names in the gaming world have quickly garnered a huge following, and lesser-known names now have the opportunity to build a fan base by showcasing their skills.
You and your family members might not be directly involved in eSports, and maybe you don’t like gaming at all. But chances are, you’ll be affected by the way eSports is changing the digital marketing landscape. As massive as the industry is right now, it’s still growing at a consistent pace, and we have a feeling that we’ll all be hearing about eSports more in the coming years.