E-sport Gaming

What is e-sports and how does it differ from gaming?

So, here we are going to become eSports specialists in a short time, so let’s first understand what eSports is and how it differs from gaming.

I’m going to disappoint you right away: there hasn’t yet been an international certificate authority for gamers, so there’s no single interpretation of the definition of this audience. But there are boundaries by which it can be outlined and the definitions of this term intersecting within the meaning of the term are applied by numerous publications and research companies.

My colleagues from the creative cybersport agency Syndikat collected and analyzed about one and a half tons of information on this topic, so in the article I will briefly describe what is gaming and what is eSports. The judgments are supported by the general opinion of authoritative experts / sources, than by the subjective assessment of the author.

What is gaming? Wiktionary suggests that this is an “occupation, passion for games.” At the profile forums of the mid-2000s, gamers called people who devoted a significant part of their lives to games. Today, this applies only to hardcore players who spend at least 6 hours a day playing seven days a week, i.e. almost all my free time. Such people, as a rule, are well versed in the gaming industry, they know the release calendar of the projects they are interested in and understand why The Last of Us will never be released on the PC.

These are hardcore guys. But there are just gamers. And these are not skinny and pimply goggles-introverts, sitting at a computer in a dark room with curtains drawn all day with red eyes, hoping to spend the money that my mother gave for school breakfast, on the new skin of the AK-47 gun. No, gamers are everywhere. Go down to the subway and see what the baleen uncles and adult aunties are doing for 50 or students who are “sitting” in their devices. Go to Starbucks and wait in line, walk around the business center and look at the important office staff who are seriously “working” with their “business assistants” during the break. I have a friend who can spend 100 thousand rubles at a time in a skin shop. At one time … Yes, these are the same people as we are, and this has long been absolutely normal. The only difference is that in their free time, instead of watching TV shows and reading books, these people play. And they do it for their own pleasure and interest in the process.

If we talk about the nature of gamers in general, they actively interact with those brands that support their hobbies. Of the ten different soda cans, a MOBA fan will choose the one that says “Solo Mid” (please do not ask what this means).

What is e-sports? In fact, with gaming, eSports combines only a high level of competition (in terms of game mechanics) and entertainment. Thus, as in ordinary sports, the main drama here is built around confrontation, the rivalry of two people / teams. The spirit of struggle and passions in eSports is often higher. But, for example, when playing Mario, we do not compete with anyone except the game itself, therefore, the player in Mario is not a cyber-sportsman.

An additional incentive for a cyber-sportsman (and indeed any normal person) is the prize pool of the tournament. At the last Dota 2 World Championship – The International 2018 – it amounted to $ 24.5 million (damn it, this is one of the best motivations in life!). Thus, the presence of tournaments with more or less normal (from 100,000 dollars) prize money is also a clear sign that the game is beginning to be popular as a cyber-discipline.

E-sports fans, like gamers, are a very loyal and easily involved audience. But I will say this: in my experience, as far as it is involved, it is just as toxic. In other words, “measures do not know – either we love or we hate”. Therefore, be prepared for the fact that an unsuccessful attempt to beat gaming slang in your public can turn into crowds of trolls flooding your page with tons of shit. Too intrusive and clumsy direct advertising, but with gaming-seleb? Get a bucket of slops. This audience has a very active core, responsive to any content, and it is necessary to approach the implementation of such campaigns wisely. But, as they say, the winner is the one who risks, so a successful activation can just as well bring great viral organic coverage.

When working with both formats, you need to remember some features, but you cannot tell all of them in one record. For example, one of the factors of the overall sharp growth of the market was that the emergence of cybersport disciplines opened the way for big brands to a mass audience: only 3-4 cybersport disciplines accumulate 80% of the audience. But the audience of single-player and multiplayer games is much more fragmented and “buying” it through many integrations into different products in the end turned out to be significantly more expensive. In addition, the emergence of eSports as a full-fledged social phenomenon has created a huge number of opportunities that intersect with sports marketing. Here you will find sponsorship of specific players and teams, merch, sponsorship and integration into tournaments, offline activation on cyber areas and much more. But we will talk about all the tools in the following materials.