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How E-Sports Influencers Are Changing the Game

Ever wondered why the world of eSports is growing so quickly? The eSports industry revenue has grown from $130 million in 2012 to $465 million in 2017, according to grin.co. This year, the industry was expected to be worth almost $1.5 billion in 2020. At a time when professional gamers and e-sports influencers are rising in popularity and creating lucrative content; and, when brands and advertisers are pouring in millions of dollars into the eSports industry: one thing is clear — eSports is here to stay.

If you’re considering entering the competitive video gaming arena, now is as good a time as any. The releases of the new PS5 and Xbox will bring new games to the forefront and enrich the eSports gaming experience as it continues to grow. Below, we’ll talk you through some tips for both creating gaming content and how you can use eSports to boost your brand. But first, we’ll look at how eSports has evolved over the years.

What This eSport Thing All About?

What is it? Competitive video gaming. Most of these games are played as teams. Leagues or tournaments, usually region-specific, are held throughout the year, and it usually ends with one final event. What started between as a tournament between amateur players has grown to thousands of co-ordinated, competitive tournaments featuring world-class professional players. As the player count has increased, so has the prize money over the years. One event in 2016 had a total prize-winning pot of $20 million. Most of the top eSports players now earn seven-figure paydays and have signed deals with major brands.

Brands & eSports Advertising on the Rise

According to a recent report from Newzoo, the number of consumers worldwide that are aware of eSports will surpass one billion this year, up 36 per cent compared to last year. That in turn has led to increased coverage from mainstream media and broadcasters. Turner Broadcasting, for example, now host its own leagues, undoubtedly with the goal to pull the younger viewers back to TV. At the same time, ESL Gaming is launching a 24/7 eSports channel in Nordic and Baltic countries. Others include: the BBC, Yahoo and Fox Sports.

It’s also raised the eyebrows of companies looking to advertising as they attempt to capitalize on its massive audience. According to Nielsen’s Esports Playbook for Brands, the industry’s heavy reliance on sponsorship presents companies with ways to build relationships with players and fans. Platforms such as Twitch, a live streaming platform, allows brands to connect directly with their audience.

In 2018, Nielsen found that non-gaming-related brands sponsoring eSports increased their revenue year over year and that 90 per cent of U.S. eSports fans on Twitch can name at least one non-gaming-related sponsor in eSports. Some key brands that are partnered with eSports leagues include: PepsiCo. (Mountain Dew), Nike, Coca-Cola, BMW, Nissan, Adidas and Red Bull.

Tips for Gamers & eSports Influencers

When it comes to eSports marketing, engaging with your audience’s passion for gaming and imagination is a must. Influencers have a tremendous impact in world of eSports. Even micro-influencers with a limited number of followers, but those who understand this world, can engage the audience effectively. If you’re looking to get into eSports so you can put your gaming skills to good use, consider some of these steps:

Dedicate Yourself

This is your life now. Professional eSports players spend up to 12 hours a day practicing or playing games with their teams. It won’t play the bills right away and it’s a hard road to profits but if you love video games and understand the gaming world, you’ll find your way.

Make Connections

As mentioned above, creating a connection with your audience is key to growing your overall brand. It’s also critical to recruit major brands to your platform. Talent can only get you so far. The best way to become a pro gamer is to join an already existing team and to do that, you’ll need to make connections with other gamers online.

Pick the Right Game

Everyone has a favourite game. Know yours and join a team that loves it as well. You never want to play a game that you hate. Your love for the game and all of its nuances must show on the screen to get an audience to follow you on platforms like Twitch. Just make sure it’s a game on a major eSports tour.

Perseverance

It might not be easy but you can’t give up. Truth is, gaming is stressful but if you’re building a loyal following, you have to stick it through. Most pros have gotten to where they are now is because of their dedication and perseverance that they put into their work. Win or lose — like a professional athlete — you have to keep going.

Practice Makes Perfect

To get good at anything, it takes practice. Repetition is the father of learning so if you want to become a million-dollar eSports gamer, you need to put in the time. The top eSports players devote up to 12 hours a day so make sure you’re keeping up with your competition.

Change the Game

These tips will certainly help you on your way to becoming a professional gamer, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll find success right away. If you think you’re up to the challenge and you want to make a life in eSports, you have to be prepared for the practice, dedication, struggles, perseverance, fame, glory and rewards that come with it.

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