As strategic PR professionals, we’re constantly looking for opportunities to work with leading companies and game-changing industries and one such industry, esports, provides a perfect opportunity for us to do just that.
With live competitions filling massive arenas and awarding millions to esports athletes, tournaments becoming sports book fodder in Las Vegas and viewership outpacing professional sporting events, “esports” is at the precipice of a tipping point. In fact, analysts predict the worldwide esports economy will more than double in size by 2020, reaching a whopping $1.5 billion based on estimates from market research from Newzoo.
If the esports buzz hasn’t rattled you yet, you’re likely in the dark on what the term even means; we’d be glad to educate you! Esports is competitive video gaming, commonly among professional gamers, many of whom are professionally sponsored.
These esports athletes compete in popular games like Hearthstone, Dota 2, League of Legends and Super Smash Bros. They are young, maintain twitchy reflexes and train as rigorously as traditional athletes. They take on monikers like Th3RaT, Seagull and Armada, and reach celebrity status among their fans.
The hype is drawing investors like actress and recording artist Jennifer Lopez and former NBA player Rick Fox. It is clearly the time to get in on this exciting, skyrocketing industry.
And while the industry at large is elevating the status of competitive gaming’s elite, some newcomers to the space are working to bring the joys of esports to gamers of all skill levels, not just professionals. For example, an esports startup we work with called RumbleMonkey has created an online platform that enables gamers to compete head-to-head in Hearthstone for real money, from the comfort of their own home. RumbleMonkey’s mission is to enhance the gameplay experience with real-money play while also democratizing esports.
Another new addition to the esports space is the recently launched GG Expo, which is actually spearheaded by RumbleMonkey CEO Jacob Rapoport. GG Expo aims to be the first player-focused esports convention in the U.S. The event, which will be held annually in the Seattle area, will deliver three days of gameplay strategy sessions, panel discussions, esports contests and competitions.
From massive tournaments and player-focused conventions to startups looking to bring something new to the space, esports is serious business and others are taking notice. We recently helped secure coverage of RumbleMonkey and the GG Expo with noted tech journalist Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat.
“Our aspiration is to create something truly unique for the players,” Rapoport said. “GG Expo 2018 is where esports communities come together to share their appreciation for what they love. ‘GG’ is shorthand for ‘good game,’ something that’s immediately recognizable to players and fans of esports alike and highlights the community focused mission of GG Expo. It’s about creating the show fellow gamers and esports enthusiasts want to see.”
Esports has an exciting future ahead and we’re thrilled to be on the cusp of that tipping point. How will you get in the game?
RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm providing strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, public sector and healthcare markets.