It is an expansive industry now, eSports that is, and we are witnessing in this timeline the influence of competitive gaming making headway with an audience making up millions in viewership, and a billion dollar revenue generating industry. Changes and operations in the esports industry are being carried out just like they do through team management, promotion, and coaching amongst others, and to highlight these operations in this episode is the Global Director of Esports, and European Director of Operations for Team Falcons, Mr. Grant Rousseau.
According to Grant, Team Falcons is the biggest eSports organization in the Middle East region, where he runs performance divisions in both the Middle East and Europe through performance structures such as making sure players are at their best to compete and win trophies. His specific role on the European side however, is mainly on operations: locations’ facilities, project management and communication systems, and other affiliated roles, hence the “long title” he has.
In setting up an esports team it is more of general procedures to consider operations – the number of players, contracts, legal, and others, but what is noteworthy with setting up an esports team is to have the performance perspective, and here what Grant advises is that you are to have a performance plan.
The plan should have answers to the questions around what games you may be entering and why, strategies to win the games, what staff and players you will need, and a plan on how to be the best. When these answers are found, then moving into the next step which is operations would not be a challenge because you know now what to do. Team longevity, legal, negotiations, staffing and players as part of the varying operational aspects are met with much ease.
With that being established, Grant also highlights the importance of monetization, where he talked about partnerships, and that can cover likely 60 to 70% of the team’s logistics. Merchandise as a traditional method also helps with monetizing the audience, as well as paid subscriptions through extra content created on teams’ websites.
Events also go a long way to helping generate revenue. With partnerships the options to consider are the endemic and non-endemic perspectives. The endemic being to target the gaming equipment or computer accessory companies, going in as a new team to have them help you get off the ground, and from there the non-endemic perspective can take off – what can the team do for the brand offering the sponsorship.
In creating an audience, thinking long term is key to ensuring longevity. The factors to consider will be identifying which region you are going for and why, as well as the audience demographics [gender, age, ethnicity], and then the marketing division can be developed from there, using the obvious tool: social media.
Activating the brand with tailored content through tweets, posts and clips will go a long way to attract the audiences you may be looking for. Yes it is about sports performances, but you are to consider the aspects leaning into entertainment as well. Why would people be interested in watching your content? Is the content going to be strictly performance based? Are there personalities within the team that are good at being on camera? Are you going to be a professional brand, or a comedic entertainment brand, or a mixture of both? These questions are what should be the basis for acquiring an audience.
“I think creating an audience is more of a basis. It's a follower versus a fan…”— Grant Rousseau, Global Director of Esports, and European Director of Operations
Events, facilities to accommodate audiences and teams for tournaments, and the cultural impact of esports are highlighted and broken down further in this episode, with climates and audience demographics influencing the esports scene in the Middle East and in Europe.
Esports has helped create jobs for lots of people. Interested in knowing about the business side of esports? Listen to the Gamers Change Lives Podcast! We get experienced guests from all around the world featuring.
Written By Jeffrey Osei-Agyeman