'Retail must embrace e-sports'

Pro-gaming sector presents opportune sales prospects, says Razer, as it urges investment
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UK retailers need to develop an understanding of the e-sports market in order to make the most of the burgeoning sector, Razer has told PCR.

Drew Holt-Kentwell, associate manager for global e-sports at the peripherals vendor, said that while the UK is currently trailing behind other regions in its promotion of professional gaming events and talent, “the situation in the UK can and will change with the right support behind it”.

“Communities need to take a more active approach to getting out and promoting the scene as a whole,” he explained.

“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.”

Darren Roberts, director of UK sales for Razer, highlighted knowledge of major e-sports events and suitable gaming product ranges as key to successfully marketing to an e-sports audience.

“It is very important that retailers keep an eye on e-sports events and game launches,” he told PCR.

“It’s important that they 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 with e-sports titles skewed towards PC gamers, retailers should highlight the unique benefits of a custom-built or dedicated gaming rig, as opposed to a games console.

“PCs give users greater accessibility to consume content such as streams and interact with like-minded communities or social platforms,” he explained.

“There’s also a personal element to having your own PC that you can customise and refine with your own hands.

“Consoles don’t have that same resonance with the user.” “I’d advise companies to fully research the industry and its past before investing,” he concluded, “and to suggest long-term investment rather than lighthouse marketing, which tends to leave the industry worse off with inflated prices and no tangible loyalty.”

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