Navigating Opportunity in the Esports Universe

Posted by Victor Z Glenn • Mar 1, 2024 8:30:00 AM

Esports, and the larger gaming universe are trying to understand and shift strategies as gaming and esports participation falter in a post covid world.  ESL/Faceit Group's recent announcement of layoffs reflects the industry's complex realities, where ambitious expansion plans lose steam amid resource constriction – platform consolidation, players having less time, and shifting business landscape. Despite aspirations to create the ultimate platform for competitive gaming, the company faced the harsh reality of market shrinkage. This cautionary tale serves as a reminder for ensuring alignment between ambitions and operational capabilities.

In a more positive light, despite initial declines post-COVID, Ubisoft's strategic partnership with esports company Blast created a bona fide success with the "Rainbow Six" esports event. The recent “Six Invitational” witnessed unprecedented viewership, signaling a resurgence in interest and engagement. As Ubisoft and Blast continue to cultivate the "Rainbow Six" community, opportunities for digital advertisers begin to stabilize. The gradual increase in advertiser participation, from a handful to seven major sponsors at the “Six Invitational 2024,” underscores the growing appeal of esports as a lucrative marketing platform.

Furthermore, done well, the esports realm proves it can captivate audiences and stakeholders alike. Events like the Esports winter state championship in Wisconsin underscore the widespread appeal and potential of competitive gaming. Beyond mere entertainment, esports competitions offer students opportunities for scholarships and real-life experiences, challenging misconceptions and highlighting the multifaceted nature of gaming. As the esports industry evolves, digital advertisers and ad-tech firms have a unique opportunity to navigate brand safety considerations and capitalize on the expansive reach and engagement offered by esports platforms. By fostering authentic connections and inclusive experiences, advertisers can harness the power of esports to forge meaningful connections with diverse audiences, driving brand visibility and engagement in the digital age. 

Topics: Brand Safety, Knowing Your Partners, Brand Suitability, education, gaming, esports, mobile gaming, advergames, innovation