Do eSports fit the traditional Sport ecosystem? Carlo De Marchis elaborates on possible scenarios

The rise of electronic sports (also known as eSports) has reached a new peak: the world’s fastest-growing sport is live video gaming. Major sports federations and organisations all over the world have started to look at this phenomenon with increasing interest: the NBA is dedicating more and more attention (and resources) to their NBA 2K League, whilst the NFL is appointing its first Head of eSports.


We are just a few days away from the most popular sports event, and deltatre‘s CPMO Carlo De marchis wrote some thoughts about this trending topic. Do eSports fit the traditional Sport ecosystem? If so, how? Here are some answers to these questions.

I may be wrong.

I may be biased.

It may not work.

But, sitting where I sit (traditional sports environment) and not being a hard gamer myself, but being always deeply curious about eSports and how it is impacting our business I developed opinions about it.

Bottom line: I imagine a near future in which each sport property takes in its own hands the eSport efforts of the game that relates to its sport

Examples: NFL and Madden, FIFA and FIFA 18, Formula One, NBA 2k,

To me this is the natural extension of what we know now and what we are used to.

So I am talking about sport federations and leagues owning a parallel tournament of their game and creating a connection between the real sport and the eSport one. Maybe hosting them in the same location.

  • Imagine the FIFA Interactive World Cup in Russia in June.
  • Imagine a mini-tournament defining two players for each team playing the eSport match simulation of all real matches.
  • Imagine the match simulation being played before the real match at the stadium on the main scoreboard
  • Imagine the video of the match simulation being shared on the sport property own & operated
  • Imagine creating shoulder content around the eSport match being made available to rights holders

This is already happening in some cases, but there is so much to improve there.

Why not?

  • eSport is a different ecosystem, no way a traditional sport federations can be part of it
  • The eSport audience may focus on non-sport games
  • The eSport audience may care more about the competition than the game itself
  • The eSport audience is using different platforms and different communities
  • One sport, one game is too limited
  • Sport federation may compete with the eSport version of the Sport and feel threatened by it for the young generations
  • At the moment the projected revenues of the sector are not great, I saw often an estimate around .5B USD which is peanuts compared the traditional sport market. That the media eSport part is still far from optimal monetization is clear but I would be careful to just dismissed it, as clearly huge audiences are there and the way those forecast are done maybe too much focused on traditional revenue sources like Sponsors and Media Rights while a new model may create new revenue sources.

So my recommendation is:

Who owns the Sport should own the eSport

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