by Charmaine N. Houck
• eSports rise in the events industry
Do you fully understand the term ‘eSports?’ I didn’t. It may conjure thoughts of electronic gambling or betting on races. But that isn’t the case. eSports pertains particularly to video games, taking the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, often between professional players.
Based on Statista’s findings, In 2015, worldwide revenues generated in the eSports market amounted to $325 million. At the pace of 40 % year-on-year growth, the market is expected to generate close to $1.5 billion in revenue by 2020. (www.MWMeet.com/MWMeSports)
To host an eSports event, planners require more modern amenities and upgraded WiFi. Once those have been acquired, hardware and equipment are the next necessities. Jamoul and his team patterned with local stores to provide the equipment needed. “Participation increased when people could fly in without bringing all their equipment along,” expressed Jamoul.
“Give the players what they want,” Jamoul tipped. An early registration commitment can make or break an event. Use feedback and make advances with each event to keep players excited about attending your events. These events have become more mainstream across the globe due to eSports having no gender barriers and strong communities built through online and tournament interactions.
Wichita's Midwest eSports is also currently preparing for the Wichita eSports Convention, February 2-4, 2018 but isn’t the only Midwest town hosting eSport events. Robert Morris University, in Chicago, IL, has multiple teams of student players competing in many different games; League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch just to name a few. And Columbia College, in Columbia, MO is gearing up for the 2018 Midwest Campus Clash and Gaming Expo where teams from Ohio State, University of Michigan, Robert Morris University, and Columbia College contend for a cash prize going to the League of Legends tournament winner. 2018 is the second year of this competition, with the inaugural MWCC championship going to Robert Morris University.
But why is this important today, or to you? Today is the start of the Overwatch League, a world-wide eSports tournament with teams hosted by major cities across the globe. At the moment, none of the teams are focused in the midwest, however, more and more small or qualifying events, like those created by Midwest eSports and Colombia College, are. As an event planner, you could see this type of program come your direction. Know that your A/V and WiFi capabilities are key to success, with live-streaming being a top viewing platform, making partnership with a knowledgeable A/V service a component to focus your budget on.
There will be more to come on this topic in 2018! Until then, Game On!