Since the first event back in 2015, eSCon is all about connections, insight and discussion. This year, the conference took place at London’s Le Meridien Piccadilly and over the course of two days (5th-6th of April) tried to bring together eSports industry of the UK and greater Europe.
eSCOn Europe delivered their promise to provide a platform to discuss various eSports issues, including branding, regulation, betting, growth, integrity and sponsorship. Furthermore, it was a great networking opportunity for industry professionals.
The first day was all about branding, eSports expansion and regulation. Pieter van den Heuvel of Newzoo, Mathieu Lacrouts of Hurrah and Benoit Pagotto of Fnatic discussed the opportunities of sponsorship. Cory Allison of Rezli, Ellie Reed of M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment and James Dean of ESL spoke about healthy business growth and how to attract more women to eSports.
The second day of conference was dedicated to creating the ultimate eSports experience, building a brand in eSports and protecting professional players. Mortiz Maurer of Genius Sports, Adam Savinson of Betway Group and James Watson of Sportradar AG opened up the panel discussing about publishers and how important it became for them to understand more about gambling industry.
All of the speakers agreed that it’s crucial to have an eSports expert who would guide the way internally for operators. They emphasized the necessity to be on top of in-play issues. Watson said operators can’t just plug in eSports and let it run. Further, some huge bookmakers are making a big mistake treating eSports like a traditional sport. They will never see returns in this way. Watson used the example of Bet365 vs Betway. Bet365 is a huge operator but doesn’t spend much time on their eSports offering. In the meantime, a much smaller operator Betway has a successful, specialised eSports department and offering.
Maurer emphasised that eSports is a collection of games and it’s extremely important for operators to understand the fact that there are regional preferences before starting the business.
Further, it’s really important to realise that eSports fans are different from traditional sports fans. “People who love football won’t play football for 6 hours a day, but people who love DOTA will play DOTA for 6 hours a day”, Maurer said.