Gamergy – Major Esport Event in Spain
Gamergy, which will be held from June 21 to 23, will bring together the leading experts in online competitions. It is one of the businesses that is rising at the moment. The eSports (leagues and online videogames competitions) moved around 800 million euros in the world and are expected to reach 1,445 million in 2021, according to a report by the Newzoo consultancy. Gamergy, organized together with the Professional Videogames League (LVP), of the Mediapro e Ifema Group, opens its tenth edition from June 21 to 23 on 33,000 square meters of surface with 700 gaming stalls. The amount they expect to distribute in prizes exceeds 100,000 euros.
“The eSports are a parallel universe that has hooked, above all, the digital natives. There is a great generational leap especially in those who enjoy and consume it and those who manage it and those in the business, but there are more and more sectors and industries investing here, although there is still a place to grow commercially” says Álvaro Argüelles, commercial director of the LVP. In fact, it is expected that “when the market matures, the money will come in through the sale of retransmission rights, as with other sectors.”
According to him, “first there were more brands of peripherals and machines, but when the telecommunications platforms, Movistar, Orange and Vodafone entered, without which the eSports cannot function, aware that the audiences kept growing and could prescribe the products, aroused even more interest.” 10% of the business model is based on brand sponsorship and 90% on advertising.
In the event there will be two scenarios that will run parallel to the more than 50,000 participants, including public, professional and amateur players, who are 80% young people from 20 to 24 years. There will be great global competitions – “like the Champions League”, explains Argüelles – “and local leagues. Mediapro bought the league and has invested a lot, and it is based on taking risks and investment that this is professionalized”, explains Jorge Schnura, co-founder and president of the Mad Lions club, that is participating in the national semifinals of one of the tournaments and in the league.
“There are many fairs where video games are taught, but this is the one focused not only on testing them, but on competing with fans, who can meet players, who sign autographs and where brands can interact with their customers”, says Schnura.
The eSports Arrive at the Asian Games Wrapped in Controversy
For the first time in its history, the Asian Games, which are held every four years and are the continental equivalent of the Olympic Games, will host a parallel electronic sports competition to be played between August 26 and September 1.
Participants will fight for the pride of their respective countries in the six titles chosen, including the popular computer game League of Legends, the Chinese giant Tencent, or StarCraft II, of the American company Activision Blizzard. These games are the biggest demonstration to date of esports in the Olympic field and could be a successful first test to be included as a discipline in Paris 2024.
The confluence between the values of the sport, with national bases and a non-profit spirit, with videogame competitions, controlled by a company worldwide, raise the eyebrows of the skeptics and the voices of the most critical, who sees this a maneuver solely focused on raising audience ratings and adding more sponsors to the event organization.
“The International Olympic Committee is interested in eSports because it is an opportunity to attract a demographic profile that seems to be less interested in the Olympic Games than in the past decades,” says Sergio Mesonero, head of the strategy for the Professional Video Games League. “But there are hardly salvageable difficulties, which even they have made explicit as the lack of an independent regulatory body.”
Unlike Basketball or Athletics, video games are controlled by companies and the competition will always depend on the terms it imposes within its aspirations and business plans. “The IOC needs to establish the rules of the game for each discipline, but why would a video game studio want to lose control over its product?” Mesonero questions.
In addition, the cultural and work differences between sport and video game competitions are huge, opposite poles united by the competitive spirit, starting with a clear cultural and gender bias.
“None of the teams participating in the Asian Games has included a woman, when the objective of the IOC is to be a joint competition, and hence the female disciplines were created in the first instance,” says Mesonero. “Does it make sense to create the gender division in activities that are not dominated by physical capacity?
Nor is the selection of video games in which they will compete be exempt from controversy. The organizers of the Asian Games have diffusely explained the reason for their decision based on “their vision promoting integrity, ethics and fair play “that they promote.” The titles chosen clearly opted for Asian companies, favoring League of Legends from Tencent instead of Dota 2 from the American studio Valve, or Pro Evolution Soccer by Konami instead of the FIFA of Electronic Arts.
The gap between two similar titles can be made much larger if parallel video game competitions held at Olympic events continue to favor one of them. Although there could be a direct benefit for the companies that own each title, neither Tencent nor Activision have made a great promotion of their presence in the Asian Games either because of the anecdotal inclusion or because of the hypothetical loss of control over it who point out experts in the sector as Innkeeper.
The eSports is a business that generates thousands of dollars from the direct benefits from the sale of digital goods, live broadcasts and sponsorship teams. Goldman Sachs determined that they were a business of 500 million dollars in 2016 and expects the market to grow 22% annually until it becomes an opportunity of more than one billion dollars. Instead, the Olympic Games audiences continue to fall for each edition, and the young audience is presumably one of the keys to attract or recover.
“The interest of the IOC is higher for eSports than that of the video game industry for the Olympic Games,” concludes Mesonero. The esports have nothing to gain, they have carved the way in a certain way and without external help; they have aroused interest among young people for themselves. There are clear bridges between both worlds, but the total integration between worlds still so different may not make sense.”