Esports is the biggest buzz word in the entertainment industry at the moment. Indeed, only ICO, VR, and Trump seem to generate similar levels of ‘googleability’.
We’ve all heard the furore and hype around products like Twitch, the Overwatch League, and the Gfinity Elite Series. We’ve all heard about sports stars and brands purchasing their stake in the industry: Alex Rodriguez and Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Rick Fox, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Boston Celtics and AS Roma, and more.
We’ve heard epic proclamations about esports: “The fastest growing consumer marketplace in the world”, 365 million viewers in 2017, League of Legends finals has more viewers than the NBA playoff finals.
Many non-endemic brands are looking at esports as a potential conduit to product and service sales. Brands like Gillette, Mercedes-Benz, Jack & Jones are using the extensive reach of the streamers, gamers, influencers, teams, leagues and games to get to a difficult-to-engage-with millennial audience.
Moreover, new teams, new leagues with new formats, as well as endemic esports brands are recognising the power for lifestyle, fashion, tech and sports influencers to sell esports products to a wider audience.
That said, esports is one of the most vociferous industries for those who don’t “get it.” If you don’t know the difference between a mid-laner and an ADC, between Terran and Zerg, or between a no-scope and a top-deck then you’ll be found out, fast.
So I have detailed its top 7 no no’s for esports industry newbies to keep in mind when they are trying to engage with the esports and video games industry.
1. It’s esports – not Esports, e-Sports, eSports, or any other insane iteration.
This debate was settled long ago. Yet people, even within the industry, continue to write this word incorrectly. It’s a word, like any other. It’s not a brand like iPhone. It’s spelt email, not e-mail, not eMail. As such, please just write esports… unless it’s at the start of a sentence. Esports can also be written like this when normal rules of capitalization apply.
2. Esports are not sports… you are right… and nobody cares.
Gamers and esports advocates love the environment and ancillary social status. Call us geeks. Fine. Say we eat Pizza. Who doesn’t! It’s just jealous minds at work as we take over the world of entertainment. After all, it’s been reported that more people watched E3 than the World Series. Esports pros will be making the same amount of money and have the same online following, we don’t need to be called a sport.
3. Please don’t call it e-gaming…
This makes no sense as ‘e’ stands for electronic and all gaming is already online/electronic, no one says digital social media as all social media is digital. Just stick to calling it esports and we can all be friends.
4. No! Not EA Sports. Esports.
EA Sports is a division of the video game developer EA Games. EA Sports titles include- the produce FIFA 18, Madden, and NHL 18. Esports (capitalized only because it starts a sentence) is competitive video gaming, not limited to sports titles.
5. FIFA is not THE esport, in fact, it’s the 11th most watched
Everyone seems to have played FIFA at least once in their life but as long as you pick Barcelona you have a pretty good chance of winning, not much variety and differentiation and even more boring to watch than football. Yaaawn.
6. No, you can’t find much esports on terrestrial television. And it doesn’t matter…
The gaming community knows that it lives on the internet and not the living room. Streaming platforms have told ABC News that they don’t see television as being essential to esports’ growth. Yahoo and ESPN have created esports as a separate part of their website, as esports is played online it makes sense for viewers to watch online, make yourself a Twitch tv account to watch and talk about all things esports. www.twitch.tv
7. Gamers are sociable, modest, fit, intelligent and not all male
Esports and pro gamers have come a long way from being referred to as sad, lonely, spotty nerdy guys in their parent’s basements. Pro gamers now have fangirls/boys, huge social media following, the top teams have trainers, nutritionists and managers, they live in a luxurious team houses and are sponsored by AAA brands (endemic and non-endemic). Also, there are more and more all-female esports teams becoming champions in the scene.