Two and a half billion people worldwide refer to themselves as “gamers.” Esports is bigger than ever around the world, but, like any other industry, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the game. Or did it? The number of people playing and watching video games has increased massively since the global lockdown began. Twitch has seen record engagement, increasing their audience size by a third in March alone, while Verizon reported an increase in gaming traffic during peak hours by 75%. And with the lack of professional sports, more people than ever before are turning to esports for their competitive fix. And for brands, the esports proposition is brighter than ever. The head of BMW Brand Experience Shows & Events recently said “In the long-term esports will be our biggest footprint,” adding that esports will eventually eclipse spending on sports such as motorsports and golf. “The younger generation, being born digital first, doesn’t really care about TV or traditional advertising. Esports is our tool to reach them.” So what does this all mean for the global industry?
Walter Wang Jr., Head of Operations at Team SoloMid (TSM) and an Advisory Board member of the Asia Society Southern California Center, will discuss with Emily Krol, Gaming Strategic Marketing Manager at Lenovo, the state of the industry today, how it is handling the global pandemic, and what they see for the future. Miles Yim, Communication Strategist at The Story Mob, will moderate.