Opinion | The state of esports today and what needs to change – SportsPro – SportsPro Media

Opinion | The state of esports today and what needs to change – SportsPro – SportsPro Media

Covid, capital, cheating and convergence were top of mind for the attendees at a closed-door esports roundtable recently hosted by Omdia.

The roundtable, sponsored by Verimatrix and titled ‘Leveling the playing field – the critical role of security in esports’, brought together experts representing the breadth of the esports industry – teams, events, networks, publishing, broadcasting, associations, and threat intelligence platforms.

In a lively debate the participants brought their expertise to a wide range of subjects including the current state of esports, how the revenue model is structured, how comparisons between esports and traditional sports stack up, and the risks that currently face the industry.

Unsurprisingly, the global pandemic was a major topic for all attendees. Engagement with esports has, understandably, increased during lockdowns, but as to whether that had also increased monetisation was very much dependent on where in the industry each player was positioned.

For the events specialist, online-only events meant they needed to find efficiencies and provide value digitally to sponsors. The challenge now is being to apply those learned efficiencies to the physical environment as those kind of events return.

However, for the publishers who saw an increased audience during lockdown, the issue was how to retain engagement with new formats and other innovation.

A topic that consistently arose was what esports could learn – such as monetisation models in real life sports – from other industries. But interestingly, the representative from the broadcaster flipped this by asking what traditional sports could take from the esports world for their customers.