It has been a rather productive first quarter for Esports Mogul (ASX: ESH), an eSports company that wants to commercialise gaming as a spectator sport.
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.
One of the most rapidly emergent components of gaming is eSports. As a newly born market niche in the 1990s, eSports has quickly become one of the fastest growing industries in the world.
Last month, Esports Mogul 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.
At the time, the company said the partnership a novel way to drive user acquisition and could reap rewards for both parties by delivering a unique user experience.
As part of its overarching strategy (and also the means by which Esports Mogul intends to corner the eSports market) is its proprietary gaming platform, Mogul Arena.
The platform now boasts an all-time high number of over 300,000 users with signup rates growing at a blistering pace. So much so, that a Latin American launch is now on the horizon courtesy of a deal with Axeso5.
Axeso5 became Esports Mogul’s official partner for Mogul Arena.
The move is aimed at further expanding its user base and monetising its range of gaming-related services in Latin America – a region with around 600 million people and a rapidly growing gaming population.
In partnership with Axeso5 as one of Latin America’s largest online video game publishers, Mogul Arena will be rolled out into Axeso5’s network of over 7,000 cybercafes and marketed to its own registered user base of over 14 million active gamers.
In a market update, Esports Mogul said it plans on releasing two language updates (Portuguese and Spanish) as part of an “extensive localised language strategy plan for 2018.”
The Latin American gaming market is a large and worthwhile enterprise given its size and growing scope. As a region, industry analysts value Latin America at around $4.4 billion per year in 2017 with an annual growth rate of 13.9%, which currently accounts for 4.1% of the total global gaming market.
Esports Elite innovation
Esports Mogul’s latest feature update is Esports Elite, an interactive addition to its core platform which allows eSports participants and fans to participate in gaming events being held on Mogul Sports.
Esports Elite users can speculate on the outcome of events using zSilver, a “virtual loyalty credit system” that serves as a means of exchange and voting collateral for participants.
zSilver has been introduced in partnership with Razer, a US-based lifestyle brand for gamers, as a means of monetising the growing interest in eSports from both professional full-time gamers and spectators watching gamers compete.
Since the launch of Esports Elite, hundreds of thousands of votes have been cast, with an average of 14,000 votes per day.
This interactive new feature is in line with a global growth strategy that aims to capitalise on not only active gamers, but also, “an audience who enjoy watching eSports rather than playing themselves”, best highlighted by widely popular services such as Twitch TV.
The strong uptake of online gaming and gaming as a dedicated full-time profession in recent years has been fuelled by US-based entities such as Twitch TV and Steam, offering gamers the opportunity to play games not only with unprecedented interactivity but also the ability to record and broadcast their activities to millions of viewers around the world.
Last but not least, Esports Mogul launched a new news service last week, intended to keep fans abreast of all the major developments in gaming and eSports.