The Essentials for Staging Events for An eSports Audience
Gaming is transitioning into a new and exciting period which is seeing it develop into one of the fastest rising spectator sports being viewed today. Much like more traditional football and rugby, for example, an ever-growing audience of loyal e-Sports fans are banding together to support teams and players the world over and in the process, boosting the profile of this genre of entertainment.
In the grand scheme of things, “eSport” is a relatively new concept and due to its reliance on technology, can present challenges in planning, producing, mounting and managing the events it generates. So, what exactly does an events professional have to consider as essential when staging a tournament or competition for an eSports gaming crowd?
Live Streaming Capability
Rather than conventional television network coverage, eSports is all about live streaming. Games reach the screens of audiences via platforms such as Twitch, ensuring that viewers (and revenue-generators) are not region-locked or stuck behind a paywall. This is a really attractive concept for digital advertisers, who have a potentially limitless reach and therefore potential for a fantastic ROI on ad spend. Event organisers themselves can also work hand in hand with advertisers to control exactly what audiences see – both during the gaming and through strategic advertising – therefore being effective in building the eSports network.
However, event professionals will need to ensure that all servers used to handle the streaming are capable of taking the strain, and that the video capturing software and hardware streams HD video (and audio) seamlessly. Top of the line equipment and experienced users are therefore absolutely key to an eSports event’s success. (Also consider how captured footage can be repurposed by selling on to advertisers for trailers that generate buzz around future events in this growing industry).
Engage Your Audience
Just like any other spectator event, the enthusiasm, engagement and loyalty of your audience can be made or broken by the capability, knowledge and ability of the event commentator team. By making sure that your guiding voices have the spark required to draw in new online audiences and retain existing fans, you immediately increase your chances of staging a successful event that promises future opportunities for your events business with eSports brands.
This also goes for sponsorship. Many professional eSports teams and gamers are in partnerships with well-known sponsors and funding around your event has to align with and appeal to target audiences. Therefore when organising an event consider doing your research and approaching key brands that will elevate your eSports event profile, and working with them as part of event management roll out.
This won’t be a new concept to event professionals, but gaming events aren’t just about the gaming itself! Special effects, professional-grade lighting and spectacular audio is all essential in creating atmosphere amongst competitors and crowd of fans – with build ups often comprising stunning pyrotechnics, smoke machines and dancing spotlights. LED walls and projected HD video are also incredibly important, with their purpose of displaying up-to-the-minute stats, ads and a gameplay streams. Event professionals will here work with accomplished lighting, sound and audio teams to deliver an eSports tournament to remember.
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