Snack Week 2: Understanding the player and game dynamics

For the second entry of our snack series, the company has given us the run down on player and game dynamics in the eSports world and the key players we should watch out for.
To understand eSports – you need to understand the players that enjoy the sport and the dynamics of the game.  We have already discussed the meteoric rise of eSports.
In this article, we will run through the major teams, games and leagues as well as discuss why the audiences that play these games are different from those of other sports.
Major eSports Teams
The top eSports team is Team Liquid. This team started as a gaming community site and progressed from there.  They were the sponsored a Dutch StarCraft: Brood War team back in 2010, and then changed the games they played.
Their first professional players played Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty in 2010, and their first Dota2 player came on board in 2012.  They then decided to merge with Team Curse in 2015.  They have competed and won many tournaments over the years.  Their most prolific success was with The International 2017 where they won nearly $11 million.
Evil Geniuses who are also known as EG are based in San Francisco and was founded as a Canadian counter-strike team in 1999.  Sumail Hassan is their most successful player joining them in 2015.  A month after he came on board, the team scooped the Dota Asia Championships.  They have played in over 700 tournaments – and have won over $20 million.
This is just a couple of the top eSports teams; there are lots more to make this sport as competitive as it is.
Major Games and Leagues
In terms of the biggest games and leagues in the industry – based on earnings, the top 10 games were awarded more than $130 million in total prize money.
Dota 2 was awarded over $41 million in 2018, which is the most prize money any game has been awarded to date.  It has always been a significant focus in the eSports industry, although the Fortnite prize pool may take this over in 2019.
CS: GO is another big one that was awarded over $22 million in 2018.  The prize money for this game has seen an increase of around $3 million for 2 consecutive years.  Fortnite is a massive up and comer, and League of Legends, Overwatch Heroes of the Storm and others, are big hitters.
Why are eSports audiences are so different?
With football fans, they are usually a fan of football in general even if they have loyalties to a particular team.  No matter what team you support, there is often a common ground.  It’s quite different when it comes to eSports.  With the “Fandom” world that has been created it could mean that a Dota 2 fan, wouldn’t watch or care about a CS: GO tournament.
This means that a lot of work needs to go into really niche down and understand the audience before pushing ahead with your marketing plan before activating it.
If you are an affiliate that is pushing eSports betting, you need to analyse your visitors’ behaviour – figure out which games and tournaments your users are most interested in, and make sure you cater to that target audience. Tune into our next article to find out more about influencer marketing and finding your niche.
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