Razer has urged UK tech firms to consider long-term investment in e-sports, as the popularity of professional gaming snowballs.
Drew Holt-Kentwell, associate manager of global e-sports at Razer, told PCR that the collaboration of UK firms was vital to the growth of pro-gaming in the country, and would benefit the entire industry.
“Historically the UK has not had the talent pool other countries do, nor the calibre of tournament structure events like DreamHack or the Intel Extreme Masters have in order to draw bigger audiences and players,” he stated.
“To help, we’d urge other companies in and outside the industry to invest in e-sports for the long-term, so our combined efforts can create the foundation for improvement.
“The situation in the UK can – and will – change with the right support behind it, but communities need to take a more active approach to getting out and promoting the scene as a whole.”
Asked how retailers and resellers could get involved with the burgeoning sector, Holt-Kentwell said that the key to long-term success was developing an understanding of e-sports events, titles and communities before diving in.
“I’d advise companies to fully research the industry and its past before investing heavily,” he advised, “and to suggest long-term investment rather than any kind of lighthouse marketing, which tends to leave the industry worse off with inflated prices and no tangible loyalty.”
Darren Roberts, director of UK sales at Razer, agreed, telling PCR: “It is very important that retailers and etailers keep an eye on e-sports events and game launches.
“It’s important that etailers and retailers understand [the e-sports market] and are promoting and stocking products suited to the many different game types and events [available].”
Holt-Kentwell added that those willing to put in the effort and invest – for example, by sponsoring e-sports teams or players – could see their investment return tenfold.
“[Sponsoring professional gamers can provide] exactly the same benefits as a personal sponsorship of Christiano Ronaldo in soccer, or Kobe Bryant in basketball, would yield,” he said.
“Players are the bridge to the consumer, and some of them have hundreds of thousands of followers worldwide.
“There are infinitely more opportunities today for sponsors.
“All the numbers point to the continued growth of the e-sports industry moving forward, and we fully expect more companies to jump on board for a slice of the pie.”