If you don’t know what Esports is, its electronic sports, they are all video games but the rules and techniques of each individual game can be as different as Chess is to Football. Over the past few years Esports has soared in popularity drawing fans from all over the world, the growth of the sports in terms of viewership and the money in the sports is astronomical compared to what it was 5 years ago.
It is a global Phenomenon with tournaments held in the USA, China and Poland, The Counterstrike global offensive final held in Katowice, Poland had 173,000 people attended the event, (Intel, ESL, 2017). By 2020 300 Million people are predicted to watch esports online.
One of the first esports tournaments played on a game called quake had a Ferrari as first place prize put up by the creator of the game John Carmack. This was a huge deal for Esports and the players as this story was put on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. (WSJ,1996) Throughout Esports money is starting to get pumped into companies and players, in 2019 $34,330,069.00 was paid out as one of the largest prize packages in esports history. (EsportsEarnings, 2019)
Some game makers have their own leagues to go alongside the tournaments such as Riot and Blizzard, groups like cloud 9 have multiple teams that they field in each individual game such as PUBG, Rocket League, and counter strike. This would be like Manchester City having a team for rugby, hockey, and tennis alongside the Football team.
Some esports are control by just one company such as riot games which means that they control every aspect of the Sport, this business model is unheard of in other professional sports as they are the ones who organise the sports events and the competitive play of it on the leagues and tournaments, they are then the ones producing the content and then they are broadcasting it out to be consumed by the viewer.
They are the Masters of the of Marketing Mix with the 4 E’s (Constantinides, 2002), they create an Experience Which is the customers journey from start to finish which could be finding out about the esports team on the website to them actually becoming a consumer of their products. Placement has evolved into everyplace, they aren’t confined to specific locations, they are in everyplace as you can access the content anywhere through streaming services and social media being the two biggest platforms.
The Exchange is not just about the cost of products it’s about the value of the customers attention and engagement through the consumers attending matches and tournaments. Evangelism, fans who feel so strongly about supporting the teams that are competing in the tournaments the teams can utilise this to attract new fans and new customers using social media and word of mouth.
With Esports being the masters of their own universe it is inevitable with the increase of money and fans that esports will be one of if not the biggest sports in the world.