In the past decade, competitive online gaming and Esports have experienced a meteoric rise in popular culture and its economic value. Professional esports have long caught up to traditional sports when it comes to prize pools, sponsorships, and production quality, and transitioning your independently run esports events to large-scale competitions can be costly and very complex. But before we dive into how to expand in the esports world, let me paint a quick picture for you.
The gaming industry is growing rapidly with no signs of hitting pause. In 2021, the global eSports market was valued at just over 1.08 billion U.S. dollars, an almost 50 percent increase from the previous year. Industry projections forecast the Esports market is to be worth approximately $1.62 billion by 2024 with North America being one of the largest markets.
Esports tournaments are making a digital splash in the event industry. In fact, in recent years the League of Legends competition has drawn more viewers than the Super Bowl or NBA finals. Events during the last two years were affected due to the pandemic, but nevertheless, its scope is indicative of the growth, market value, and excitement surrounding the esports industry. Esports is so popular that Comcast is constructing a $50 million arena so fans can watch live, and a new US$500 million stadium breaking ground in Toronto, Ontario owned by Overactive Media.
Source: Sportspro Media
As the world returns to pre-pandemic conditions, the esports industry is moving in the same direction, with many large-scale esports events already booked for 2022. Hosting an esports tournament is a great way to enter a cutting-edge niche, boost business, connect with peers in the community and showcase the fast-paced skill and tactical gameplay. However, when it comes to reliable event planning, the gap is still wide open.
Esports events can last anywhere from a single afternoon to multiple days, and they rely heavily on tech. Venue sourcing is making or breaking for this event arena. Learn essential venue requirements for esports so your next event is gamer ready.
1. There is always room for more
Long gone are the days when teams of five players fought each other in the videogame frontier. The venue must be large enough to hold a big crowd. Some past Esports events have recorded audiences of over 100,000 people. Smaller venues can make players feel uncomfortable. No player wants disturbance from spectators or the audience during intense moments of play.
However, venues that are too big for an esports event can come with their own set of problems. Being too far from the live-action can lead to frustration and boredom in the audience, and they will opt to watch the tournament from home the next time. Planning and collaboration with an experienced event technology team can help avoid this.
Arlington, Texas has the largest Esports stadium in North America. With dedicated venues emerging or being built for esports, there are still many types of venues that can host various esports needs:
- Esports venues
- Movie complexes/theatres
- Convention centers
- Small venues
- Pro sports stadiums
- Shopping malls
Copyright laws apply to video games, as well as to other published works. Game developers and publishers have the right to approve or disapprove of the use of their games in public tournaments. Many publishers sell licenses to esports tournament organizers and third-party leagues as a source of revenue. The rising popularity of these events gives an opportunity to promote their games.
It’s imperative to contact the gaming company well in advance of your planned event, to ensure that you will have sufficient time to secure the necessary licenses and permissions for your particular event.
3. Event technology and support for gaming:
Esports events need massive amounts of electronic equipment and a robust power system. There can be hundreds of players or spectators using the power supply to charge their laptops or mobile phones at the same time. The facility must have power strips on every row to allow players to access the power supply. It is also necessary to have a backup plan in case of power outages.
In addition to having a strong power supply distribution and a backup plan, hiring ground staff like A/V personnel is also a good idea. The last thing you want is players or spectators struggling with technology or power connections during your event.
Event technology also plays an important role to foster a social experience. Large-scale video screens are required to support gameplay, and high-fidelity audio is necessary to hear the play-by-play and commentary. Adding custom fabricated scenery and set pieces that complement the game themes are another way to enhance the experience at your event.
4. Internet connection:
Most online multiplayer games are played in real-time with other real-life players, so high-speed broadband internet at the venue is critical. Hundreds of gamers will be playing in one place at one time, the internet connection must be strong enough to support all the digital action.
Slow connections frustrate players, and your spectators (including those on-site and streaming from home on Youtube or Twitch) can lose interest quickly, resulting in negative publicity for your event. The negative buzz serious gamers can generate if they can’t enjoy or stream their favorite competition can destroy an event.
Check out our Bandwidth Calculator on how to best plan for large scale gameplay: https://www.encore-can.com/bandwidth-calculator/
5. Tech-savvy staff:
Players of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros, can be found at various esports tournaments. Consider tech-savvy support staff to circulate and help attendees get connected, answer questions during the event, and troubleshoot issues.
You may also require additional event staff to direct players and spectators to proper areas, assist with check-in, keep times and scores, or assist with F&B sales. Hire a knowledgeable host or event production company to oversee the staff and ensure the event is a success. Destination management agencies are experts at transporting attendees by the hundreds or thousands when dealing with multiple venues. Dedicated esports venues have in-house staff, but for stand-alone sites, you will have to add temporary staff to the budget.
Our gaming and esports capabilities:
Encore is an event experience company, providing creative production, advanced technology, and staging solutions to help you deliver impactful experiences at your gaming and esports events. Our approach is to understand your goals and align our resources and solutions to ensure your event blends creativity and innovative technology for an inspiring fan and attendee experience.
We can support all aspects of events from planning through execution. Our highly trained staff delivers innovative solutions in support of events ranging from small tournaments to global championship events with thousands of attendees. As our customers look to deliver more dynamic and impactful esports events, the services we provide become increasingly critical to their planning process. Our services go beyond traditional technology to include cutting-edge solutions like creative event design, virtual events, internet connectivity, bandwidth management, overhead rigging, content development, digital services, 3-D mapping, exhibit services, and much more.
Plan Your Event
Through our services and technology, Encore will help you create the ultimate live, virtual or hybrid event. We are proud of our position as the trusted, exclusive on-site event provider of choice at more than 2,100 leading venues including sports and entertainment venues, casinos, hotels, resorts, and convention centers.