Video gaming has come a long way in the last 15 years. No longer is it a pastime of the those locked away in their bedrooms. Now there is a whole world of video gamers playing with friends, and play against others online. eSports is competitive video game playing broadcast to a live audience. While live events and tournaments have long been a part of video game culture, broadband livestreaming has radically widened the audience. And the crowds are living online. For many brands, esports may feel like uncharted territory, but savvy marketers are taking advantage of the chance to reach such an engaged audience at scale. It's no surprise then that major brands like General Mills and agencies like Mindshare North America have noted the opportunities in esports. The esports audience is more complex than you might think—while over half of fans are millennials, 60 percent of esports fans are between the ages of 25 and 39, many are parents, and 38 percent are women. Competitive gaming involves mainly youngsters between the age of 18-28 who form teams in order to participate in tournaments.
The rise of video games as a spectator sport is unquestionably an exciting trend in the industry. Esports already is a viable marketing channel for big brands to target an extremely valuable and difficult-to-reach demographic—relatively affluent, young males. The problem is many big brands lack a basic understanding of the industry andstruggle to engage with the typical esports sponsorships. The most common game genres connected to eSports are RTS (Real Time Strategy), FPS (First Person Shooter), and MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games. The most popular games in 2017 are League of Legends (MOBA), Dota 2 (MOBA), Counter-Strike:GO (FPS), Hearthstone (Card) Overwatch (FPS) and Starcraft 2 (RTS).
Th size of the audience is also staggering. Twitch.tv, the leading eSports streaming site, accounts for more peak internet traffic than anyone except Google, Netflix, and Apple. Users of the site watch an average of 421.6 minutes per month, about 44% more than those who watch YouTube. "Gaming is a strong phenomenon that is only at the beginning of meeting its perspective. From a brand point of view, it is another very affinite channel, where very involved and loyal audience could be reached, which gives a brand undoubtedly a great advantage compare to other channels. Brands should think of it as a new media channel and use this moment. A great example of utilizing this opportunity is our client Coca-Cola and their involvement at the gaming event in Prague." says Peter Hacek, our PPC / SEM Manager.