A new summit at rAge 2016 aims to educate brands about the burgeoning SA eSports scene.
The eSports Branding Summit, a partnership between rAge and Global Assembly Marketing eSports (GAMeS), will “explore opportunities esports presents to South African business and how it can capitalise on the eSports phenomenon”.
GAMeS cited worldwide figures for eSports, saying that the worldwide esports market will reach US$910-million in 2016. The organisation also pointed to The International 6 Dota 2 tournament, which had a record-breaking US$20.7-million prize pool.
“Despite these impressive figures, for many, eSports remains the biggest thing most people have never heard of,” says Mlondi Mashinini, GAMeS summit programme director, in a press release to Memeburn. “The goal of the summit will be to unpack the trends which are happening internationally as well as locally and expand brands’ horizons around the potential of eSports in an African context.”
SA eSports seem to be ignored by brands, the summit organisers claim
The organisation says that, until this year, esports was largely “an underground movement” in the country.
“While millions of gamers across the country buy games every month and fill up local servers every night competing against their online adversaries, for the most part, they have remained a market segment which is largely unidentified nor targeted by South African business,” Mashinini added.
In fact, the press release cited PwC benchmarks for the local gaming industry, which found the sector to be worth over R2.6-billion, and estimated that it would reach R3.6-billion by 2019.
Nevertheless, the situation is changing, and GAMeS said that cumulative prize money neared the R2-million mark this year. It also cited Supersport airing international tournaments as proof of the spotlight coming to the sector.
The actual summit will see eSports representatives, broadcasters and agencies discussing the “size, activities and audience” of the local scene. It will also look at the possibility of esports sitting alongside traditional sports/entertainment in household viewing.
Topics listed for the summit are: eSports as a global movement, the South African esports landscape, reaching a millenial generation and freemium models of reaching audience.
“eSports is growing at an unprecedented pace and the effectiveness of any attempt to reach an esports audience rests on a brand’s ability to deliver a relevant message to a largely millennial audience, which is fast moving away from traditional media platforms,” the GAMeS representative elaborated.