The growth of the esports industry is undeniable, both in terms of viewership and revenue. In 2020, the pandemic further changed what entertainment meant to consumers as the world remained cooped up in their homes.
According to KPMG, the biggest earning media sector in 2020 was gaming, with global video game revenue up 20% to US$180 billion.
While once thought of as intimate grass roots organisations built solely out of the passion and love for competitive gaming, today, stadiums are filled to the brink with fans. Players on top teams are often also traded and courted, resembling the likes of top athletes in the NBA or NFL. Aspirational, entertaining, and with a lower barrier to entry than traditional sports, the flourishing arena equalises the playing field for people from different walks of life.
With no signs of a slowdown, Twitch became one of the first companies to truly embrace this space for all of its potential. The company wanted to provide esports enthusiasts and fans with a home they could build themselves, where they could watch together and connect directly with their favourite personalities and each other. For gamers, esports is a pursuit, a validation, a pastime, and a passion. Twitch is where these gamers find like-minded people.
Today, Twitch is known for being the home of gaming and entertainment. Recently, it brought back its second edition of Ultimate Royale 2022 in Singapore last month for its exclusive clients and agency partners. With social distancing measures eased, the game was held for the first time in-person.
This year, players battled each other in the fighting game Brawlhalla. The event invited brands and agencies to experience live-streaming on Twitch first-hand as 10 teams entered the event, including media agencies and client partners, Twitch streamers, and its very own Twitch team.
With full cross-play across different gaming platforms (that is, consoles, PC and mobile) that were suitable for both online and offline events, Brawlhalla provided the perfect competitive backdrop for attendees to meet, network, and compete.
The multiple game modes available with match customisation were perfect for accurate tournament timing. In this two versus two gameplay, each player was able to select their own representative fighting character.
At the end of the day, Publicis Media’s Darrel Chia and Sean Chia came out on top as it successfully defended its championship title from last year, walking away with trophy prizes, and bragging rights. Over a five-hour stream duration, Twitch received 6,129 unique viewers and 10,119 live views.
“It was very exciting. There is a first time for everything, we were thinking of joining for fun, but did not expect the magnitude of the set-up to be a full-blown esports tournament,” the players from Publicis Media said. “We really enjoyed ourselves and will be back next year to defend the crown.”
Commenting on the Ultimate Royale 2022 event, Tara Crosby, head of sales, SEA, Twitch, said the event was a great way to maintain relationships.
“We rely heavily on strong partner relationships, and strive to conduct networking events year-on-year to maintain them. We want them to experience the power of gaming first-hand,” she said.
“It was really great to see the community in-person and having everyone on the stream interacting live on Twitch selecting the wild card, seeing everyone have fun and having the community together. Seeing not just our agencies, but our Twitch staff and streamers, it was a really wholesome experience.”
Twitch believes it is pushing the forefront of entertainment through its massive and highly engaged community of streamers and fans. Explaining further, Crosby shared that the audience Twitch draws is a hard-to-reach one as they consume nearly, if not all of their entertainment, online.
“If advertisers are trying to connect with this group, Twitch is where you find them. We also have a very high level of engagement with them,” she said. She added the company is seeing an “unprecedented surge” in its audience in terms of hours watched, as well as new streamers on Twitch.
The recent influx in organic non-gaming content, especially in music, entertainment and sports, will only show more brands that Twitch is a valuable and diverse option for marketing and advertising efforts, she added.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: How do you see brands and agencies pushing the maturity of the space?
Crosby: The future of Twitch’s relationship with brands is going to be incredibly exciting because the opportunity that live interactivity creates is endless. Brands are only just beginning to discover the impact of Twitch when it comes to innovative and engaging storytelling with this unique community.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: Esports communities are pretty tight-knit. What do brands need to remember when partnering up with organisers in the space?
Crosby: Esports is always evolving ... whereas in traditional sports, the three-point line has been there forever. It is more strategic, more immersive, and sometimes even more exciting.
In our Twitch Esports Deep Dive Study; “For the Love of the Game” that was published in October 2020, results showed that 74% of brands that were involved in esports came across as being innovative, and 93% of brands believed that getting involved in esports is important for esports to get bigger.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What tips do you have for brands to come across as authentic in the space?
Crosby: Firstly, embrace the community. A community does not form overnight: support the community and influencers by adding value to their experience. Be versatile – keep yourself updated with the latest trends, gadgets, gizmos and happenings. What’s hot today may not be in a few months’ time. Being willing and able to adapt is valuable.
Ultimately, brands have the opportunity to forge a genuine connection with a streamer and their community by being present on topics, products, experiences, and more, that resonate with the audience. Brands that do this and that provide real purpose and value will stand out and build lifetime value.
Crosby added that moving forward, it is unlikely this space is going to slow down. An influx of organic non-gaming content – from music and entertainment to sports and theatre to even education – has been noticeable in this space.
“At the end of the day, Twitch brings together people from around the world who share a variety of diverse interests, and there is really something for everyone,” she added.
If you are interested in finding out more about this explosive scene, catch Ultimate Royale Singapore event highlights here: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchultimateroyale.
This post was written in collaboration with Twitch Ads. For more information about advertising on Twitch, please visit http://twitchads.tv/.
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