Public funds are likely to flow into esports, in the view of Jan Pommer, director team and federation relations, ESL.
Speaking in a panel discussion at Webit in Sofia, he added that he was optimistic that this would happen when there are national esports competitions. In answering the question of whether esports can be made attractive on TV for hardcore esports fans.
Perry Smith director of content partnerships, Ginx, said that his company’s whole business model revolves round creating esports for TV. He also said that Ginx had moved from gaming to esports and does everything with the viewer in mind. On the other hand, Mihajlo Jovanovic- Dzaril, CEO, Fortuna E-Sports, was of the view that hardcore sports fans will always remain online. The question is how to convince the majority that are not hardcore, who could number up to 90% in a market of 100,000, to watch esports on TV.
Berk Uziyel, executive director, SPI International, said that a different dynamic exists in esports compared to other sports. While a certain governance is needed, the freedom typified by esports should still be emphasised.
Looking to the future, Jovanovic- Dzaril said that we will see standardisations introduced.
Uziyel, on the other hand, said that “new guys will have to embrace the new world”. In his view there is a huge upside to gaming, including esports, but other parts of gaming will also become important.
Interestingly, Pommer pointed out that esports fans are readily embracing sponsorship. Last month at at event in Birmingham, UK, 7,000 attendees starting chanting the name of the sponsor DHL.