The gaming phenomenon has arrived to compete with traditional media, and eSports media company Esports Mogul Asia Pacific (ASX: ESH) is aiming to make commercial headway, as the niche market matures into a multibillion dollar industry.
Esports Mogul has struck a partnership with ORDER, an Oceania-based Pro League “eSports” team that competes at events around the world, for substantial prize money pools reaching into the millions of dollars.
Esports is an entirely new concept that has grown in popularity since the late 1990’s in parallel with the strong growth in internet connection speeds, computer sophistication and a mushrooming game development industry that now eclipses revenues generated by blockbuster Hollywood movies and popular music artists.
As a newly born market niche in the 1990’s, esports has quickly become one of the fastest growing industries in the world.
Industry figures estimate that there are currently 2.2 billion gamers across all platforms globally with the total video game market totalling US$116 billion in 2017.
Esports Mogul looks for ORDER in commerce
As the gaming and esports industries are beginning to mature, Esports Mogul and ORDER are aiming to collaborate to create a mutually beneficial and commercially viable relationship.
Through its global reach and strategic partnerships, Esports Mogul will support ORDER in gaining global recognition.
Esports Mogul says that not only is the ORDER partnership a novel way to drive user acquisition, but the deal is also expected to “reap rewards for both parties” and will “deliver a unique user experience”.
ORDER is a professional esports team based in Melbourne. The elite gaming crew has won several high-profile events to become one of Australia’s strongest eSports teams, leading the field in popular games such as ‘Counterstrike Global Offensive’ and ‘League of Legends’.
ORDER currently has a large online following and has amassed millions of self-admitted “fans” that regularly view their performances at tournaments and participate in gaming communities online.
ORDER will potentially achieve a world first later this year when it becomes the first sporting organisation in the world to undertake an equity crowdfunding project.
Through crowdfunding platform Birchal, ORDER is expected to make its official crowdfunding offer on 17 March 2018, offering investors the opportunity to “buy a piece of their team” by participating in the crowdfunding project.
Despite being a relatively “fresh face” in the Pro League, ORDER’s team now comprises several elite gamers that compete on a regular basis for prizes in the millions of dollars.
Initially, Esports Mogul and ORDER will collaborate by offering existing Esports Mogul users the opportunity to play against ORDER via its proprietary tournament platform, Mogul Arena.
It is the equivalent of the Richmond Tigers offering 18 fans the opportunity to form a team and play against them at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Esports events often attract more than 20,000 people who physically attend the event, in addition to millions who watch the event online. The event is also recorded and can be offered to viewers later through video on demand (VOD) or streaming services.
Prize money for the largest eSports events has ballooned in recent years. In 2011 and 2012, one of the most active tournament organisers, Valve, paid out US$1.6 million in prize money for its most popular eSports tournament.
The prize money pool has climbed year after year to the extent that last year’s International 7 event offered a total prize pool of US$24.6 million and netting the eventual winners (Team Liquid) US$10.8 million in prize money.
Esports Mogul expects to leverage ORDER’s popularity and huge appeal amongst esports fans to further its own market position and grow its revenues in various areas of its business.
“Esports Mogul is proud to partner with such an entrepreneurial team of esports professionals. We expect this ongoing relationship to not only be an exciting opportunity for our users but just the start of many innovative esports ideas we’ll work on with groups like ORDER,” said Gernot Abl, Managing Director of Esports Mogul.
ORDER’s owner Gerard Murphy said that “We can leverage both companies’ fans and followers to create an inclusive, all-round esports community. As indicated by our equity crowdfunding project, ORDER is committed to working with the community and this partnership fits perfectly with this strategy,” he said.