February 26, 2021
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Esports have grown exponentially over the past few years in terms of both audience and bottom line as brands have found a way there to massively achieve their goals.
In 2020, the eSports audience between gamers and viewers reached nearly 500 million and the trend continues (it is expected to be close to 650 million by 2023).
Although the pandemic affected the industry by preventing live events from being held, activity didn't stop and online events took over esports. For example, the final of the League of Legends Worlds in 2020 was watched by a total of four million people worldwide.
The boom was so great that there were more than $ 947.1 million in profits in 2020, with the United States leading the world audiences and seeing volumes of growth rallies in Europe and Latin America.
Gamers and the esports sector are home to large communities, but most importantly, an engaged audience that brands can reach through influencer marketing.
Influencer in eSports
The growth and popularity of esports has also increased the popularity of influencers in this industry.
Infuencers are people who have a direct impact on their followers and we're not only talking about the great players that are around the world, but also about players with fewer followers (micro) but very well positioned in their niche.
For their part, brands see the potential to reach a broad and engaged audience and invest in esports marketing both directly (sponsorship and advertising) and indirectly (media rights and content licensing).
Esports influencers are another category within influencer marketing that is characterized by the fact that their audience is usually under 35 (Millennials and Generation Z).
It's also true that it's a very competitive discipline with a lot of games in different categories and it's really difficult to become an esports star, which the fans know. In eSports, as in the rest of digital marketing, influencers of all kinds who have followers who blindly trust what these influencers convey. This commitment to a brand means combining with values such as perseverance, competitiveness, fun and technological performance.
Esports grew in prominence with the success of streaming services like Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube, which resulted in gamers becoming increasingly popular thanks to the live streaming of their video games. Popular video game streamers are considered influencers, as are many well-known sports stars.
Twitch, today probably the most popular streaming platform with more than 15 million daily active users, was created to promote the world of esports and all types of live video game broadcasts . Although the main content is still related to the gaming environment, the creations have now been expanded to other topics such as music, art, or scientific and technological dissemination.
In my experience as an influencer marketing specialist, I've found that while the world of esports has its own rules, when campaigning with gamers on networks like Twitter, engagement triples and, not to mention Twitch, the that The level of persistence of viewers on a broadcast is typically almost twice that of YouTube, which is a great opportunity for brands to partner with these influencers.
What should brands do?
A brand doesn't have to be part of the esports industry to benefit from this growing sector. Brands can partner with eSports influencers with either individual players or teams.
Ideally, the brand will find a way to connect and ensure that their product will naturally suit the players.
Since this area is growing rapidly and its users are passionate, it is important to strategically research and plan collaborations in order to activate successful influencer campaigns.
It's important for the brand to find the influencers who share their values and who reach the audience they want to speak to.
Non-eSports brands like Coca Cola, Gillete, RedBull sponsor events like tournaments, teams or individual players, but there are also small or corporate brands that dress up players for a tournament.
Whether investing millions or supporting with t-shirts, there is room for everyone in the eSports universe, because We are all influencers.