Why sports goes to esports

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NHL

In his column on the Dynamo Kyiv Esports official website, marketer Leon The Alien has estimated the increased movement of sports towards esports.

“Esports finally ceases to be something underground and incomprehensible to standard sports fans. Instead of competing, the current technological revolution literally collides esports and sports, creating a new reality. The reality which has been hard to imagine even a year ago.

The most advanced planet’s sports leagues begin to acquire esports units that bring something new both to sports and esports.

At that, the traditional sports simulators draw special attention. FIFA, NBA, NFL, NHL—all these simulators have found their own place in the big sports market. Traditional sports closely watches the esports’ development, which right before our eyes ceases being an alternative, turning instead into its integral part.

‘My prediction is that esports will be as big as the NHL in five years,’ Ted Leonsis, the NHL (Washington Capitals) and NBA (Washington Wizards) clubs’ owner, who also became a co-owner of the Team Liquid esports organization, said in an interview with the YES Network.

In the case of the NHL esports tournament, Leonsis focuses on the tournament’s integrity, so that ‘to make sure it goes fluent the first time, so they can have a second time.’ That’s what Leonsis said in an interview with ESPN.

For the human brain reacts to the world around us very simply, creating some somatic markers. Marketers actually have only one time to create positive emotional markers in the consumers’ brains. If you screw your first time up, there will be serious problems with the second time.

It is only in the case of a successful first time, that you can during your second time, by lowering a bit the bar, get a chance for the third time. But the first impression is too significant to ignore it.

While esports, particularly in the form of sports simulators, does not require significant investment (a separate emphasis is on the one-on-one matches), but brings to sports clubs fresh emotions and enables their employees to develop in a new direction. This must be used.

The number of e-athletes in teams and the mode of play is a separate serious issue. ESPN shared information that the NHL, when approving the format of its own e-hockey league, had interviewed 40 of the most active e-hockey players. Most of them voted for the 3-on-3 and even 6-on-6 formats.

Nevertheless, the league still stopped on a one-on-one format. In fact, there is no reason why, because of the players’ opinion, the league should take on additional costs and risks. Chris Golier, the NHL’s vice president of business development, has also found other reasons for that decision.

‘[The League] wanted to have everyone play and be eligible. Finding 3-on-3 and 6-on-6 teams was too cumbersome,’ Chris Golier commented to ESPN.

At the same time, the NHL is interested in creating a fully functional e-hockey ecosystem. Already in the first test season, there will proceed separate work on developing e-hockey players’ personal brands. Only for this, one can applaud the NHL.

For American leagues, the creation of esports units pursues, in general, an important goal of extending their tentacles to Europe. Once again. And, perhaps, this time everything may really come out. The audience is sufficiently globalized and skeptical about the sports that is traditional for its region, and consequently is ready (and craves) for something cool and new.

Clear rules, that is, a low entry threshold, have a positive effect on this. While playing the NFL (American football simulator) requires certain understanding of the rules, FIFA and the NHL are intuitively understandable. Therefore, FIFA is popular even among professional American athletes in other sports.

Thus, the NHL’s decision to organize individual competitions in Europe with a finale in Stockholm is quite logical. In particular, after the MLS has provided fierce competition for the league in the domestic market (at least, within the figure limits, as their target audiences are extremely different).

And let’s face it: the market can accommodate many, especially if it is subjected to development. In this respect, the European market has enough room for growth, especially comparing it with the American one. Attempts to take advantage of this in football bump up against the regulators represented by FIFA and UEFA, which are slowing down with their socialist power the desire of individual investors and entrepreneurs to wake the sleepy European market up.”