Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Valencia, Spain to participate in an eSports conference with some of the top minds in eSports today. It was a huge thrill to meet many of the people who make the eSports experiences that we at Blizzard love so much. Our various partners and fans around the world are doing great things with StarCraft II, and I got a better understanding of how we could support the current and future business of eSports.
Here are a few common themes I noted, and thoroughly appreciated, at the conference:
- Everybody is working really hard.
Everyone from team owners to league organizers to players to casters to stage crew are extremely passionate about eSports, and they are doing everything they can to provide great content for the fans.
- There is a great deal of concern among eSports leaders about protecting the talent of players and casters.
The young men and women who are playing or casting on stage need to be nurtured and developed. The keys to a great eSports experience are the people who make it all possible.
- We need to break out.
If we want eSports to be more mainstream, we need to attract larger audiences and show advertisers and broadcasters evidence of our success.
The most important thing Blizzard can do to further its goals in eSports is to listen to our partners who work in eSports. We have to make sure that we support them to the best of our ability, and that we provide the games, the tools, and space to enable them to create this amazing entertainment experience that we all love.
The most important thing you can do is to support eSports. Encourage your friends to watch. Organize Barcraft events. There’s a great opportunity to do so this weekend, with the Blizzard World Championship Series Asia Finals starting in a few hours. Be supportive of the teams and organizers as they try new business models, new tournament formats, new venues, and new ideas. Get the word out. We can build this.
It was an excellent conference, and the organizers and attendees have my utmost respect and thanks.
Also, I met White-Ra again. That was cool.