What are Esports tournaments?
First, we need to look closely into fan engagement in Esports. What is it? Esports tournaments online are basically playing any video game competitively. Just like traditional sports, anyone can participate in Esports tournaments irrespective of their skill levels. New players compete against each other, celebrities compete for entertainment purposes and promotional purposes, while highly skilled gamers participate for prizes in tournaments as Pro Esports players.
As with traditional sports, significant events are held and watched by people worldwide online. These events are being sponsored by big companies like Coca-Cola, Gillette, and KFC, which have invested in Esports like other sports clubs. Audiences have grown big enough nowadays to sell out on humongous events.
Esports nowadays have led to the rise of online platforms like YouTube or Twitch gaming. One must be wondering what Twitch is? It is one of the most well-known websites in the world. Ranking 26th and 13th in the USA, with over 404 million hours of content being streamed in the last year. It has created its celebrity ideal for GenZ’s looking for a relatable and accessible content creator.
These video games and Esports have successfully helped in maintaining the entertainment of a younger group of people. As these contents are freely available therefore the youngsters are more lead towards these platforms.
There are few fan engagement lessons that traditional sports can learn with the growth of these gaming or Esports:
Use the power of storytelling to add meaning for the fans.
For example, the release of the Blockbuster movie King Arthur, Warner Bros integrated itself into the live stream of Dreamhack Tours in France, aligning critical themes of the film with original and engaging content formats that resonated with the fans. Along with the live stream content, they also produced video content to interview the King of the match. The whole idea worked because it added value to the Esports event and its fans.
Find what truly motivates your fans:
There are some Esports that give colossal prize money. Now, these events will surely attract fans. Esports like Fortnite World Cup can go up to 30 million dollars in prizes, and it’s not only the incentive to participate. There are several other games like League of Legends, Overwatch and other games which offer several rewards to gamers just for playing the game. This also makes the players committed to the game by working towards a specific goal that some of the players will even watch the competitive play.
24/7 engagement in Esports competitions:
The international Esports platform does nothing but increases the addictiveness for the effective growth of online gaming. It’s like playing 24/7. These are platforms where people compete in online tournaments and win virtual coins. The players can later exchange these sponsor prizes in the online shop.
Know your fan base community:
A Swiss-based Esports agency observed that how important it is to understand your audience’s behaviour. After hearing that FIFA players were unhappy about the tournament system on their gaming platform GameTurnier, the Esports community decided to partner up with another company, StriveCloud, to create a better experience.
New Engagement Models
Unlike traditional sports, you can watch every Esports match on an online platform without any charge. Some organizers even arrange some program for their audience engagement. The Esports Championship Series organized by Faceit went as far as rewarding viewers on YouTube with ‘loot drops’. These loop drops are nothing but virtual points which players could exchange for tangible prizes, including gaming hardware, apparel and automobiles—this creates profit for both sides.
Move your fan base online:
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Belgian sports broadcaster Proximus and Belgian Football Pro League decided to partner with StriveCloud to win back dedicated viewers for the clubs using Esports. These allowed the fans to register with their favourite team in FIFA tournaments. Players could win points and prizes, and this could encourage them to play more and more matches. Gamers could compare their ranks with one another through social media around the country and the world. They can also socialize among those who might be from around the world.
Low cost and highly scalable:
Coca-Cola is one of the biggest sponsors of the Olympic Games and soccer worldwide. Recently, they have also started investing in Esports. Coca-Cola’s partnership with the game publisher Riot Games allowed them to do brand activations at its tournaments. They soon realized that Esport community supporters from all around the world are interested in these online games and tournament. What started as a small test has now emerged so enormous that they are also advertised in cinemas. It quickly became an extraordinary event with over 200 simultaneous viewing parties on screens across the entire world.
Strong sense of community empowers targeting possibilities:
Sense of community is extreme in the community audience. While young audience shows themselves more resistive towards the intrusive ads, they are more receptive to it than anyone can think. One can reach its target audience with a multichannel approach which allows for new and exciting ways to build awareness.
Fans value genuine brands that are immersed in the community:
Finding sponsors for this kind of sports is not just about promoting the brand name. For new fan generations, a logo on the gaming platform is not enough to be memorable. These young gamers and computer hardware consumers actually prefer when brands are immersed in the community. Credit card Company like MasterCard took a wise decision by sponsoring branded content gaming instead of disruptive advertising.
Find where your target audience lies:
After figuring out the target audience, it is time to find which channels are being used more often. Esports is a great platform to engage the younger generations. The market is rapidly growing and creating a wide range of opportunities for the branded contents and experiences.
Bringing your community to life:
During a Counter-Strike tournament in Denmark, McDonald’s had matched a line of street signs with the game items, proving the idea to be very innovative and effective. The signs rapidly spread around the Esports community and took a local activation global just through social media.