The Importance of Having a Website for an eSports Team
eSports is currently one of the fastest and biggest growing online market today. Livewire recent report showing that up until a few years ago the top 10 of the eSports companies were paying out around $71 million prizes, which is a figure that has been exponentially increasing every year. The same report also concluded the interest of huge companies like Coca Cola, NBA, ESPN and many other, in this market. Other than having a huge potential in terms of money making in this industry, due to the relatively younger age of its consumers the companies here get a better opportunity and chance of introducing an original and new idea which can help keep them big.
As for the introduction of WordPress gaming themes, they basically are video games, the only difference here is that it is treated as professional sports by the participants, the players can also make huge sums of money through this and because of the huge fan following these sports have they are also able to gain massive sponsorship deals. Arenas in which these are played are often sold out and there is a large number of tournament payouts as well. The players who are good at the sports also get a chance to compete in order to win big prizes, winning which is a very prized experience for the participants like in the case of any other sport, which can also be compared to winning the SuperBowl in US. Which makes eSports a huge deal for its players.
eSports websites make it way easier for the sports enthusiasts to play the tournaments, users also have the benefit of keeping a track of the games and tournaments they might be interested in. Popular eSports tournaments web pages also feature a wide variety of the popular eSports games and events. They also provide the opportunity of organizing their events to the players simultaneously covering multiple regions which broadens the opportunities given to the players. The popular gaming themes for tournament websites also work with mobile apps as well where the fans are able to track the statistics and the results of the sports making use of both the website and the app. These eSports tournaments also offer various levels of competition starting from the beginner level and going beyond.
Features to have on an eSports Website
The things that make an eSports website a success are providing the fans with a path to be able to connect with the organization which would be the one the fans want and prefer just like in the case of traditional sports. A few of the things that the websites can provide the fans with include the following:
Unlike in traditional sports, eSports team can have people from varying geographical regions and the fans also are from all over the world, players are one of the primary reasons a team gains a fan following. A lot of the organizations have teams that are participating in different games, by having the player profiles the organization can portray their teams ability and their players.
News and Updates
The delivery of the news, when it’s delivered and how it’s delivered holds significant importance since a lot of people get across things on web and to target them a good website needs to be search engine optimized which makes search engines like Google and Bing to search for these websites more easily. While Search Engine Optimization isn’t the only goal it’s still important to create your plan as to when you want your customer to approach you. However, most of the eSports websites do not include the basic SEO markup which means the website becomes harder for the search engine to locate.
Having a Merchandise
Like any other professional sports team, eSports athletes also have their designated jerseys etc. eSports fans do not usually spend as much money as the traditional sports fans, having a proper merchandise can be a main revenue generating stream for any eSports team. Having a proper platform where fans can place their orders for a team’s merchandise including clothing, jerseys, accessories, bands etc. and get it customised, is very important.
Fans want to have a place where they can talk about their favorite teams, like in the case of traditional sports. These are often hosted on subreddits but the problem with them is that the organization has no control over the content when they’re using a third party platform to host it. Having their own plugins these organizations can host in-house forums on their own websites and this also provides them with some control over it. The risk of the third party changing or bringing about new terms and conditions also gets reduced this way.
Teams are there to compete in tournaments, which are often times held online and are broadcasted on platforms like Twitch, other times these events are carried out in-person. Either way, it is important to let your fans know about the event details in order to gain their support.
Media and Advertising
People are often attracted or drawn towards content that includes videos and images are utilized more. Having third party hosted content can also prove to be beneficial for the organization. Where another source of revenue generation can be from sponsorship, which pay huge amounts to teams and in return they are advertised by the teams in front of their audience. You can view the sponsors on the teams’ outfits, their advertisements and websites. Some of the plugins allow you to place ads on your site that generate traffic for the sponsors which also satisfies your agreements with them.
In addition to providing content in the chronological form WordPress gives you the option of building static content. The limit on the number of pages you can create does not exist hence you can use tools like Beaver Builder and make aesthetically pleasing content for your website.
The ability to customize your website which matches your teams branding holds great importance. You can think out of the box and design something new but it has to be in line with your logo because if it isn’t the visitors wouldn’t get the same feeling and less likely to become die-hard fans. More interactive your brand image would be, the more likely you’ll gain a better fan following.
Room for Growth
As it has been explained above, the extensive list of functionalities an eSports organization could adopt for their website, the smaller organizations wouldn’t need these things right off the bat. This is where WordPress can come in hand and you can just add the basic features and launch your website. This can easily be improved as your audience grows and your revenue starts to flow in and you wouldn’t need to start everything from scratch, you can just revamp it. WordPress has been the powerhouse for more than around 30% of the top websites.
Involved Partied in eSports Landscape
The landscape for eSports apart from being complex is difficult to navigate as well at times. The major parties they have involved in the industry are:
To become a recognized eSports player, who knows all about gaming templates, isn’t something very simple. In order to rise in their ranks, players often focus and specialize in one specific game, and focus on developing their skills through extensive and competitive games. Some of them undergo extensive training of up to 14 hours per day and work on their quick reflexes and the ability to multitask. These talented players have two options they can pursue in their eSports career:
- Streaming: Gamers that are live streaming alongside playing the video games are known as ‘streamers’. This is commonly done while casual playing, and is extremely profitable as well, the streamers have to make a choice between live streaming or playing professionally which is risky in terms that they make less money through it which also depends if the streamer has the skill of playing professionally which isn’t always the case. Some of the streamers have a personality which fans find entertaining and who they’d want to follow and subscribe to, which helps them generate revenue streams. The most famous YouTube channel belongs to a video game streamer who goes by the name of ‘PewDiePie’. Through the channel he is able to earn a lot since viewers find him content entertaining and reportedly in 2015 he made about $7.4 million through it.
- Professional Playing: The ones who start playing at the professional level also compete in international tournaments with best teams from all around the world. They are also able to build a fan base for themselves and their teams during their journey. Successful eSports players can earn a six figure salary or even in millions at times. Most of these top players start early in the career at the ages of about 16 or 17 and often retire around the age of 24, which can of course vary in different cases, but it’s a common practice for eSports players to retire earlier than the average professional athletes. Often these retired players continue streaming, or start coaching teams, start their own teams either work for publishers or completely abandon this field.
Professional level players join various teams which are multiplayer as well, or in solo which are 1v1 games and compete for cash prizes. Each of these teams have expertise in some specific games and hence compete in that game, which include games like Dota, Counter Strike etc. The teams competing in these tournaments have millions of followers across different social media platforms, millions of fans watching these online, and many of them watching in house tournaments as well.
Leading eSports teams are recruited and become part of various organizations who have several teams which specialize in various video games but are operating under the same name just like in the case of colleges or universities having teams for various sports like cricket, basketball, football etc. which play under the same umbrella organization that is their college or university. Having organizations under which different teams are playing can come in handy since the scope would broaden and the organization can work on improving various teams side by side. Some games are 1v1 however, a lot of them are team based games and have teams competing against each other which can also help with a larger fan following than working with a single team. Having various high profile players playing under different teams can work out in the organizations favour, they’ll also be able to sign up with more sponsors which can provide additional revenue outside the cash prizes that teams win.
These eSports teams representing their organizations, which they’re a part of, compete in various video games playing their respective leagues which include regular seasons, playoffs, and world championships. Just as in traditional sports for football teams become a part of NBA and compete against one another, in eSports teams compete in video game leagues against each other. These league tournaments are also arranged by other big companies and the organizations take a part in them.
In early 2000s when these leagues were first launched dozens of their fans were drawn to them as of today, the eSport gaming themes are almost as large as the traditional sporting events. The number of audience have been exponentially increasing since 2016 while having a significant portion of audience who are online streaming. The largest audience has been recorded earlier this year which was held in Poland and attracted an audience of 173,000 in the stadium over two weekends. The prize money for these largest tournaments unsurprisingly is enormous, which in 2016 reached up to $93.3 million which was significantly larger than the one in 2010 which was $5.2 million. The International Dota 2 Championship was also able to pool in a prize money of $20.8 million in 2016 which in an amount that is the double of the payout of the Masters.
The games in eSports are considered to be a property of the game creator, who are collectively called the game ‘’publishers’’. The dynamics of these publishers in the eSports world is that they are the most powerful since they’re the ones creating these video games. Unlike in the case of traditional sports, in eSports the games are designed and created by certain publishers who have all the rights and authorities around these games while in traditional sports anyone, anywhere can play them without any restrictions. The publishers have a lot of ownership over their games which includes the rights to who can play their game, who can host the tournaments and a lot more. Publishers own the intellectual property of the game and this reality is well known among the other players, organizations and tournament organizers. The publishers have to be very mindful in terms of signing the contracts which can provide them with a huge revenue which happened with the Riot Games which were the publishers of League of Legends, when they were approached by various teams regarding new terms for broadcasting and other revenue sharing rights which they were unable to negotiate and later in June of the current year Riot Games announced the new possibilities they were now offering which has been further discussed.
Benefits of eSports
Research has shown that eSports provide more or less the same benefits as traditional sports excluding the physical exertion they involve. They require the same amount of teamwork, communication, strategy, and sportsmanship which players learn through participating in various events. The digital sports league further helps them develop various cognitive skills.
Cognitive & Social Development
- Improved hand-eye coordination
- Improved attention & visual acuity
- Improved basic visual processing and executive function
- Problem solving & strategy skill development
- More than 50 percent of parents report gaming having net positive effects for children
- Boosts self-confidence and player socialization
- 54% of gamers say gaming helps them connect with friends
As of today more than around 280 colleges offer scholarships based on eSports background, the programs they offer are similar to the traditional ones and often times operate through the college’s athletic department. The scholarships for the traditional sports are limited so leaning into eSports can prove beneficial for certain players and broaden the opportunities for them as well.
eSports players are seen to have higher levels of interest in science, technology, engineering and math subjects which can be seen in their GPAs, since they have hands on knowledge gained from eSports. This also helps them in engaging with other students.
Problem Solving Skills
Children who play eSports have stronger analytical skills as can be seen through research, they have better chances of delving into and solving complex problems and issues as compared to the ones who do not participate in these games.
Future Job Market
Playing video games can make students smarter and more employable across a wider spectrum of careers including medical field, engineering, aviation, remote flying, computer sciences, and etc.
eSports can boost children strategic thinking, teamwork, communication, leadership, performance skills and confidence building which they learn through the video games and teams they become a part of.
eSports is one of the leading industries today which makes it crucial for the handlers to have an interactive and engaging website which can help the users which includes the players, teams, organizations and their fans, to find out about the ongoing events and other activities. Subsequently eSports also have a lot of scope in the future and it shouldn’t be treated any less than the traditional sports and the players should be provided be provided with equal opportunities. Websites are the first point of contact between the consumer and the service provider and hence the importance of providing the users with an interface holds significant importance.