Jan. 31, 2017
BY Kate Laudrum
One of our staffers recently took a trip to cheer on their favourite esports teams at the Dota 2 Boston Major, and if parts of that sentence confuse you, you’re not alone. The growth of esports has happened largely under the radar. The truth is, when several thousand competitive gaming fans arrived in Boston for four days of spectating video games, the general public seemed politely baffled by their loud and enthusiastic presence. For those not into the scene, it’s surprising to learn that online viewership for tournaments like the Boston Major is in the tens of millions and that Twitch.tv, the top game streaming site, is the #4 most trafficked site on the web.
For marketers this means a whole new way of reaching an elusive audience. Esports fans are young, male, and increasingly cutting ties with traditional media —meanwhile they spent over 800 million hours watching their favourite players battle it out online last year. Compared to many mainstream sports, where sponsors put their mark on every second of a broadcast, esports remains largely untouched and full of possibilities. Savvy brands that take advantage of this new platform may be able to raise their DPS, APM and ROI all at once.