The year 2022 is set to be another fantastic year for the esports industry, and its growth is showing no signs of slowing down. According to Newzoo, the global esports audience will grow +8.7% year on year to reach 532 million, while generating nearly $1.32bn in revenues globally as this year comes to an end. To learn more about the industry, we attended a brand new event dedicated for companies and professionals who are looking to break into the esports market to meet with some of the biggest names and hear their wonderful insights.
Discover: Esports is a unique and intimate two day event that took place on November 29th and 30th which explored the fundamentals of esports. It was an open and welcoming space for individuals of any knowledge level to learn more about this exciting industry or share their own knowledge.
We took the time to sit down and hear from some of the biggest names in the industry in a series of panels to hear their opinions and arguments about where the industry is going and what brands could do to get involved.
Into the esports scene
One of the common questions esports industry individuals face from those outside the space is what is an esport, which led to a discussion on whether brands are doing enough to educate those very individuals. Charlie ‘Sarge’ Sarginson pointed out that there’s more of a recognition of the skills required in esports, and in recent times there’s been a general understanding of what esports is and how it's helpful outside the industry. James Fraser-Murison of Queen’s Mary College argued that for at some point somewhere, everyone has their first day at something and can’t expect to know everything.
Panellists also discussed how brands can engage with the esports industry, with Robin Gray of Gray Jones media explaining that tapping into niche markets is going to enable you to grow along and establish your brand, rather than getting involved at a big level competing with other huge brands. One thing to bear in mind if you’re trying to break into the esports market is to know your audience and make sure that your aims align. Sharing experiences from Esports Insider’s point of view, Riley Soley explained that they make sure the sponsorships and audiences align from a b2b perspective, and they still see companies that want to break into esports without educating themselves or identifying the audiences, mostly seeing the monetary value.
Of course, it’s important to know what it’s like from an esports organisation’s perspective on the industry. Fnatic and ENCE Esports were in attendance and offered their advice on how smaller brands can reach out to an organisation that is well established. The answer is simply to reach out. Edward Gregory of Fnatic made that point and that organisations are welcoming on who reached out and that they are always happy to have those partnership conversations with everyone, even if it might not lead to anywhere. For a service provider looking to partner with esports teams for example, those teams hold inhouse events where they have to outsource. For you to be the provider, developing those relationships and reaching out is your ticket to growing in the industry.
As we’ve previously mentioned, the esports industry is growing at an incredible rate. Some speakers took the time to see where the industry is going over the next few years. Fraser-Murison highlighted that we’re seeing more traditional committees sniffing around esports looking to get involved, yet it will remain niche even at $1.3bn value. We’ve been seeing that there’s a real drive for greater inclusivity from publishers, but each speaker has agreed that there is loads more to be done. And finally new possibilities emerge as web3 gaming and blockchain technology start to integrate into esports with brands and organisations looking to shake things up.
As we wrap up, we spoke with Discover: Esports Co-founder and Event Director Sally Kevan about the event and what to expect in the future: “Discover: Esports, a little dream that became a reality. I had a conversation back in 2021 about wanting to run my own event. I love the games industry and esports has been a part of the journey for me, but I wanted to learn more.
Esports is a growing and exciting industry but for many still a very unknown space. We wanted to introduce other industries and individuals to the space in a friendly and inviting space (Sal's Sofas are really comfy)
The first event was a brilliant success with so much positive feedback and many connections made. We can't wait to start working on the next one.“
Thank you, Sally! Congratulations on a successful event, we can’t wait to see what you and the Discover: Esports team have in store next.