IBC 2018: Focus turns to eSports

IBC 2018 will shine a spotlight on the growing world of eSports and the opportunities and challenges that it presents, looking at everything from media rights and sustainable commercial models to the technologies and services needed to support the rapid growth.

In 2017, the global eSports market was valued at $700 million, and it is forecast to increase to over $2 billion by 2023. While revenues for eSports events have largely come from sponsorship, advertising, ticket sales and merchandising, the fastest growing source of revenue is now media rights. eSports also engage a young demographic that is increasingly difficult for traditional broadcasters to reach.

To help visitors get to grips with the eSports landscape, IBC will be hosting a number of focused activities around the show.

In the conference, a session on Monday 17 September entitled ‘eSports: How MTG’s eSports brands are shaping a hyper-growth industry’, BBC Radio 1 gaming reporter Julia Hardy will chair an exclusive one-to-one with Arnd Benninghoff, the chief executive of eSports and gaming group MTG. They will examine how the industry is challenging the traditional sports sector for the elusive 18-25 demographic and discuss what the future holds for the best eSports partnerships, players and broadcasters.

Another session, also on Monday 17 September, called ‘ eSports world domination: How to engage a global audience’, looks at the huge popularity of watching eSport tournaments online and how it has become a global mass market.

A panel of leading eSports experts including Michiel Bakker, founding chief executive of GINX Esports TV, the world’s largest international eSports television channel; Christopher Mead, senior director of partnerships, EMEA at Twitch, a live streaming video platform and Tanya Laird, technology ambassador for ESL UK, the eSports organiser and production company, will reveal what broadcasters can learn from eSports, from engaging fans around the globe to capturing young male viewers, and making money.

For a practical look at eSports production, visitors should head to Hall 8 where the EVS stand 8.B90 will become a playground for live eSports competition, in partnership with ESL.

Two ESL One Championship players will compete live in a game of Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). While around them, demonstrations will show how ESL uses EVS technology for live switching, replay production and fast turnaround content output in order to output engaging live content to multiple online platforms.

Experiencing eSports leads to believing in the effect of eSports. Visitors will have the opportunity to take part in the IBC eSports Racing challenge on Stand B03 in the Outdoor Exhibition area, complete with a full ‘Project Cars 2’ simulator, allowing visitors, delegates and exhibitors to test their skills and compete for special prizes over the week.

“The success that eSports have experienced thus far is nothing short of phenomenal, and this is just the tip of the iceberg for this rapidly growing sector,” said Steve Connolly, director, IBC

“As eSports continue to build momentum, IBC will continue to work closely with these leading brands and experts to enable our industry to benefit from their thought leadership, as well as showcasing the full experience of eSports as a commercial and user phenomenon through cutting-edge technology and production techniques. We are looking forward to announcing further eSports initiatives for 2019 shortly.”

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