This week we’re at Next World Forum, Saudi Arabia’s premiere event for esports and gaming.
With the Gamers8 tournament only recently behind us, the question of esports and its place not only in the kingdom’s culture and economy, but also worldwide, is on everyone’s lips. So, when we got the chance to put some questions to Danni Tang, co-founder of Chinese esports company VSPO - which also recently received a major investment to the tune of $265m from Savvy Games Group - we leapt at the chance to learn more about mobile esports in China and how they've exploded in popularity.
PocketGamer.biz: Why is mobile so important to organisations like VSPO?
Danni Tang: We think mobile esports is really, really important, not just to VSPO as a company, but the industry as a whole. The way that we see it, esports is going to be the future version of sports and then in order to do that it needs to reach a wide range of audiences, it needs to be able to penetrate into our daily lives and become a way of life. And mobile devices, with their accessibility, are going to make this possible.
Esports need to be able to penetrate our daily lives and become a way of life. And mobile devices, with their accessibility, are going to make this possible.Danni Tang
What makes mobile uniquely appealing to the Asian and Chinese markets?
We made a big bet on mobile esports when we started VSPO seven to eight years ago in 2016, and we’ve seen that happening in China. What we’ve experienced in China is that mobile esports has really changed the perception of esports. It has really turned esports from a niche industry into one that really influences pop culture. So, we don’t just see that as a Chinese or Asian phenomenon, we see that as a global phenomenon to come.
Can you elaborate on that last part?
We don’t see mobile as uniquely appealing to the Asian and Chinese markets, we foresee that mobile will be the future on a global scale. It will appeal to game players and viewers around the world, it’s just a matter of time, I think different markets will respond to this at different rates.
What kind of work goes into event management for mobile esports?
On top of what usually goes into esports tournaments in general - for PC or for console - what’s special about mobile esports is probably on the stability of the devices, on the more stringent control of the internet environment, and also on the artistic expression.
We have slightly higher requirements for this on directors, because the fact is that the players will be focused on playing on a much smaller screen than, say, PC or console. So it is up to the directors to figure out the best way to convey the emotions the players are feeling to really highlight or enlarge the actions that are happening on their screen.