eSports in Mexico, more profitable than baseball
The electronic sports, or eSports, could not be of the general knowledge, however franchises like League of Legends, Player Unknown Underground or FIFA are names that resonate in a wide collective, because many of these games have years being the preferred of more than one generation and are responsible for this segment of the market represents in Mexico 1,400 million dollars, according to the consultant Newzoo.
This figure positions Mexico as the first country in the region where the consumption of video games remains in the crown and where the average annual growth has been 6.6% in the last five years. For this reason, and because of the opening of certain entertainment segments around video games, is that eSports are revolutionizing this industry at the local level, according to Han Park, founder of the consulting eSports Services LLC.
"We are facing a market that could grow up to 30% in the next five years and where investment from different entertainment companies could come through tournaments or around eSports cups. Mexico is a country where the video game culture grows and is loyal to this type of format," Park told Expansión.
If you take into account that one of the sports that is having the biggest boost in the country is baseball, because according to the executive the figure that will be allocated to their support will be 350 million pesos, the sport has not yet shown tangible gains as the eSports are having. The creation of the Office of the President for the Promotion and Development of Baseball (ProBeis) seeks to promote this sport, however, the income that can reach is less than 1.4 billion dollars generated by eSports.
"The penetration that eSports have is also focused on young people who in the future will be the consumer force of companies, betting on investing in them is one of the trends that companies are having at the regional level," predicted Park.
According to The Competitive Intelligence Unit, the number of Mexican gamers in the first quarter of 2017 reached 59.1 million players, 12% more than it represented in 2016 and where the most content of this type are consumed by players under 20 years, since 88% of players who prefer this format have between 15 and 20 years. Besides, 73% are between 21 and 35 years old and 40% are between 36 and 50 years old.
Newzoo also indicates that worldwide, the growth of eSports was 32%, while the film industry grew from 2018 to 2019 only 5%.
TV Azteca bets on video game tournaments and invests 5 million dollars
Mexican television giant TV Azteca is investing in Allied Esports Entertainment, a company that hopes to capitalize on the growing world of competitive video games.
Azteca has bought $ 5 million in shares in Black Ridge Acquisition, which will become Allied Esports following its pending acquisition of two nearby property brands: an agreement that is expected to close next month.
The goal of Allied is to operate in the field of electronic sports, distribute the content generated in those places and sell to viewers in a new platform of online tournaments that will be launched next year.
Controlled by Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas, Azteca will be both an investor and a strategic partner, combining its talent and massive audience with Allied's experience in sports. The two groups will create a 24-hour electronic sports channel in Mexico and help promote games throughout the region, initiatives aimed at a younger and more elusive demographic.
"In Latin America, traditional television is a really important part of content distribution," said Frank Ng, who will serve as executive director of Allied Esports. "It's a really important format, and TV Azteca is extremely strong in that, especially in sports."
Competitive videogames have an audience of more than 380 million people worldwide and are on track to become a billion-dollar industry this year, according to Newzoo research firm.
While much of that interest and money is concentrated in Asia and the United States, Mexico is among the 10 best in the world in sports enthusiasts, estimates Newzoo. The country has 58.6 million players, a number greater than the total population of South Korea and a sporting audience of 11.2 million.
This global growth has stimulated the demand to televise sports. In the United States alone, television networks from ESPN to TBS and CW broadcast sports content, be it live games or produced segments.
Azteca's flagship network carries the best games of the main soccer league in Mexico and the National Football League, which offers a series of potential opportunities to promote digital sports matches to fans of traditional sports.
Allied and Azteca joined earlier this year in an event called "Nation vs. Nation," which included US players battling Mexican players in a title called PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. The transmission of Azteca reached more than 2 million people.
Share the income
The two sides will share the revenue generated by their joint efforts, Ng said. He added that Allied intends to partner with more strategic investors once the acquisition is completed.
Salinas is not the only Mexican billionaire who has shown interest in the world of digital sports. Germán Larrea, who controls the mining company Grupo México SAB, has recently opened 13 stages called "The Place to Play" and plans to add 10 more before the end of the year. For these spaces, they were inspired by similar places in Las Vegas. In Mexico, these are located right next to one of Larrea's other businesses, movie theaters.
Black Ridge is a special-purpose acquisition company, an asset-free entity that raises money to finance a future purchase. Sponsored by Black Ridge Oil & Gas, it completed its initial public offering in October 2017, raising $ 138 million.
In December, Black Ridge announced that it was buying Allied Esports International, an electronic sports entertainment company, and WPT Enterprises, the creator of the World Poker Tour, both owned by Ourgame International Holdings, for approximately $ 150 million.
The new company, called Allied Esports Entertainment, will have a business value of approximately 214 million dollars and will be listed on the Nasdaq under the symbol AESE.
The agreement originated as a discussion about poker assets before expanding into a broader electronic sports agreement. As part of the investment, Azteca will receive access to the World Poker Tour video library to broadcast the previous seasons in Mexico, and the two will join in poker events.
For Riot Games, Mexico is a strategic market for esports in Latin America
The selection of Mexico as the home of one of the offices of Riot Games in Latin America, the other is in Chile, is due to the potential of its players and the market potential that the company sees in the country, according to Juan José Moreno, Director of Public Relations and Communications for Latin America at Riot Games.
Moreno, who spoke with El Economista about the presentation of the 2019 season of League of Legends, the main game of the production company, said that in the Mexican office, localization and business development tasks are carried out, among others. , at an international level, this office is strategic for the company.
"The country where we have the most focus in the region in Mexico. Not only because of its population and its economy, but also because of the videogame market that it has. Mexico is very given to playing on the computer and that is why it is one of the markets where we have the highest growth," said Moreno, who added that since the company arrived in Latin America, the number of League of Legends players has doubled.
According to the Newzoo esports market analysis company, League of Legends is by far the most watched video game by users of Twitch, the preferred platform for gamers. During 2018, 274.7 million hours of video were seen related to the League of Legends esports facet.
During the presentation of the 2019 calendar for League of Legends, Riot Games announced that the Mid-Season Invitational tournament will take place in Vietnam and Taipei in 2019, two markets that also have a lot of growth for the company.
According to Moreno, the reason why the producer decided to hold this international tournament in these two countries, in which he sees certain similarities with Latin America, is that they have been competitive leagues for several years that are close to some of the strongest markets of the company in the world: China and South Korea.
Another factor of this decision is that these leagues have achieved sustainable growth, that is, that different brands and sponsors want to invest in esports in these regions. Something that is also happening in Latin America with the alliance between Riot Games and Movistar and the realization of the Liga Movistar Latin America, which will take place in Bogotá, Colombia, next April.
"We are a growing region in players and technology and that is the strong point of Riot Games in Latin America. What is needed an investment of more companies in the video game market," said Moreno.
According to Newzoo, the esports market worldwide reached a value of 906 million dollars in 2018. This represents a growth of 38% compared to 2017, with North America and China as the most relevant markets for the industry.
Cracken Esports, Mexican electronic sports platform
Cracken Esports presented its esports platform, where Mexican players can start their career as professionals in electronic sports. Being a kind of incubator where all kinds of games and profiles are welcome, this in order to strengthen Mexico's competitive scene and take it to the next level.
The players will have access to a place where they will demonstrate their skills as players. With the possibility of participating in tournaments and leagues, in order to raise their level. Those who participate will be part of a larger community; As Rodrigo Villalón, representative of the project, had already mentioned to us, it is a hybrid between competition hub and social network.
This is intended to cover all types of the genre for all types of players, from League of Legends to Brawl Stars; besides organizing tournaments and leagues, this when establishing necessary relations for the competitions win recognition at national and international level.
Plans of Cracken Esports
In the first year, its main objectives are focused on consolidating the esports community and strengthening its infrastructure in Mexico. It will also seek to promote fair play and generate the best possible environment for better performance in this field. After strengthening the esports community in Mexico, the next step will be Latin America.
There will be live broadcasts of the most important tournaments, in order to deliver quality content for all video game fans. Betting also on professionalization in this field.
Finally, they point out that they will establish contact with publishers, universities, sports organizations, teams and players, all within a sustainable ecosystem.
The Cracken Esports Beta
The trial phase of the platform will begin on April 30, currently, have more than 3 thousand subscribers waiting to participate. This testing phase will begin with tournaments of PUBG Mobile, Hearthstone, Overwatch and League of Legends, among others to be confirmed.
When the beta is finished, it will be released to the general public, players will be able to participate without restriction depending on the type of subscription; There will be free tickets, as Premium category.
The price of the subscription, as well as details of the first tournaments for the general public, will be revealed in the near future.
Subscriptions to the Cracken Esports Platform
Free subscription: Access to play within the Platform, Cracken Coins and participate in Tournaments with simple Prize Pools.
Premium subscription: Access to the Platform, plus Cracken Coins and participation in Tournaments with Prize Pools in cash or within our store.
Level up your team to VIP: Participation in exclusive tournaments with large Prize Pools in cash.
eSports in Mexico, the new trend in the country
League of Legends (LoL), the world's largest electronic sport, is a competitive online game that fuses speed, strategy, and role-playing, but why is it a sport? Juan José Moreno, also known as Riot Nebo gives the answer to this question.
"The players live under routines and concentrations like the athletes of other disciplines. They go through a lot of preparation and training that is a key part of the passion generated by the competitive League of Legends."
Currently, the Mexican Ali Bracamontes known as Seiya is the best pro player in the region with 11 titles won. The final of the Liga Movistar Isurus against R7 had more than 600 thousand spectators and although the eSports industry is relatively new in Latin America, each tournament leaves valuable lessons on how they have grown and where they are going.
"Electronic sports have a lot of potential in Mexico, it's a market that has been growing and winning fans year after year and we can appreciate that because of the number of people who follow each of the competitions that we do in the continent and that follow the Mexican teams or players," says Riot Nebo.
This is a very large community and as in almost everything, the Mexicans show that they are very passionate when it comes to a game and LoL has several players in an excellent competitive level, Riot Games is committed to improving the experience of the players more and more. players to promote the interaction and integration of the community in Mexico. The video game, the brand and its spokespeople know that the key to keeping doing things well is to give more opportunities and grow communities.
"Our intention is that players dedicate 100% to their lives as pro players and have no need to do another work activity, we will continue to give guarantees for this to be fulfilled and thus maintain their interest and awaken the new generations of eSports," commented Juan José Moreno.
League of Legends has more than 140 champions, each with specific voices and personalities. Riot works with different dubbing actors throughout the region to ensure that the game experience is amazing for everyone, while the localization team not only focuses on correctly translating the game but there are experts in the language and narrative of League of Legends who ensure that the translation correctly communicates the intention of each element that is added to the game.
League of Legends is a very easy game, Riot wants its products to be easy to understand and where the whole family is involved. Another of its objectives is to maintain a standard in design, gameplay, and visuals in all the champions, paying particular attention to the details so that it maintains the level of quality that is demanded. In 2018, the experience for the new player was reconstructed, seeking to make it easier to learn the game and for more users to reach the Summoner's Crevice.