With Amazon’s billion-dollar acquisition of video gameplay-streaming platform Twitch, competitive video gaming, often called “eSports”, has matured into a multi-billion industry. And today, we experienced this phenomenon firsthand at ESL One New York, ESL’s second major Dota 2 tournament this year, held at Madison Square Garden Theater .
For some, it might be hard to imagine that people would actually pay over $60 just to watch other people play video games. But as Twitch’s success has proven, there’s definitely a market today for speculating digital gameplay. Video game tournaments have been around long before streaming services like Twitch brought it into mainstream spotlight, but all that added attention certainly doesn’t hurt. In fact, around a thousand enthusiastic game-lovers filled up the spacious venue.
As brands follow where the audience goes, eSports might just become the next frontier for marketers to explore. With help from a plethora of sponsors such as T-Mobile, Pizza Hut, Mad Catz, reed pop, and of course, Twitch, today’s event is professionally organized and legitimately marketable.