The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer

Chris Smith, “Gaming/Esports 101″

December 5, 2020

Chris Smith, a true Gaming/Esports expert turned Entrepreneur based in Australia. We are going BIG into Esports & Gaming, learning from Chris’s background and then a deep analysis into the difference between Esports and traditional sports, including detailed discussions on numbers and revenues for Gamers and Influencers.

 

Key Highlights

  1. Early days, pathway into the industry, turning his passion into a career, started as a player in a top four team in Australia (playing Battlefield, CSGO)  
  2. Commentating on games, promoting LAN Parties – connecting into the industry through various roles, learning the different parts of the industry
  3. Thermaltake Australia – Marketing & Esports Community Manager
  4. CCC (Chris Creative Collective) – first taste of entrepreneurship – online marketing, events, websites and other services
  5. EGAA (Esports Games Association Australia) – board member & PR/Communication
  6. BIG Esports – esports, gaming and influencer business – including his own Podcast – operate like a “VC growth company”
  7. Difference between Gaming and Esports (US$ 150 billion vs US$ 1 billion) - all about reaching GenZ  
  8. Australian Gaming/Esports landscape – about 10% of the US market, similar games and dynamics as the US (LOL, CSGO, FIFA, etc)
  9. Comparing Esports and Sports ecosystem
    • No clear career path for Esports players compared to traditional sports yet
    • League structures (Closed vs Open Leagues) – Overwatch World League - Franchise League (US$ 30 mil entry ticket)
    • Esports teams vs Pro Sports teams – 70% revenue from sponsorship, prize pool going mostly to players,  LCS/LOL player starting salary US$ 300k                                                             
      • Many Teams operate more like an “agency”, from content creation, events, licensing, etc
      • Owners and creators of content are the big winners – FaZe Clan great example  
    • Changing Meta (Most Effective Tactics Available), changing the rules of engagement in a game – pros and cons
    • Influencers & Gamers – Gaming is the interface – top Esports athletes are often influencers but also plenty of influencers who are not Pro-gamers
      • Monetization – gifting, donation, subscription, advertising, sponsorship dollars
      • All about accessibility – building a strong community big or small  & creating entertainment
      • Lots of examples of what influencers can generate
    • Revenue splits -  Apple/Google – 30% cut of every dollar – Epic/Fortnite is battling it
    • Platforms:  Twitch, Steam, Discord, YouTube Gaming, etc – places to find GenZ      
    • Examples of cross-fertilization and new forms of partnerships between Movies, Music, Sports IP and Gaming companies

 

About

With twelve years’ experience in gaming, esports & technology, Chris Smith is the founder & director of BIG Esports (www.bigesports.gg) – Servicing the industry through bringing new ideas and revenue lines through the door by partnering with traditional companies, sports and influencers.

Chris’ experience is wide-ranging, coming from his history in semi-professional play, community & national event coordination, game commentary, community management, business development, consultancy and PR & marketing across esports, gaming, influencers and enthusiast technology.

A major focus of present is sports celebrities becoming gamers, LinkedIn content and new revenue-generating business ideas for gaming. Past & present clients include: Fox Sports, Gemba, HOYTS Cinemas, JBHIFI, NVIDIA, ASUS, Intel, AMD.

 


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