The New Revolution That Surprises Argentina

Saturday at noon. Liberator at 7400 is a sea of ​​people waiting to enter the mythical Sanitary Works. The surrounding streets are populated with young people who are preparing to enjoy a historic show, on the stage that was able to receive world-class stars, as well as famous local artists of the caliber of Soda Stereo. However, the show – which sold out more than 1,500 locations – it is very different: the final of the Master Flow League of League of Legends (LoL), one of the most popular video games in the world, between 9z Team and Isurus Gaming. From their homes, another 21,000 people will enjoy the event on Twitch (the main streaming platform) and another 4,500 from the dedicated Flow channel. To take dimension of this phenomenon, the LoL world final was held at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France, a stadium with a capacity of 20,000 spectators. But that has not been the most shocking fact: it was broadcast in 16 languages ​​and reached a peak of 44 million viewers in real time. In addition, the tournament delivered more than 6.5 million dollars in prizes among the participating teams. In a business that already impresses its own and others, electronic sports (also called eSports) gave a new character show on Argentine soil during 2019 not only for this final, but for the success of Thiago “King” Lapp, a 13-year-old teenager who ranked among the top five in the Fornite World Cup (a game that brings together more than 250 million players worldwide) and that pocketed $ 900,000 for its excellent performance. This industry was able to consolidate globally based on live broadcasts with hundreds of thousands of real-time viewers, charismatic “casters” (responsible for transmitting and recounting the meetings), multi-million dollar awards and professional players who “24-7” are dedicated to improving their techniques to compete in the world elite leagues. Even, there are cases of “passes” similar to those of football: Ninja , the most popular streamer (users who broadcast their own games) on the planet stopped using Twitch (the current online number 1 streaming platform, owned by Amazon), to switch to Mixer, created by Microsoft. This change will report to the gamer an income of US $ 30 million annually, higher than the contract currently held by Lionel Messi in Barcelona. This is not an isolated phenomenon: streamers with a high flow of followers are receiving, on average, revenues of up to $ 10 million annually, while other smaller players get $ 1 million annually. These numbers acquire even greater dimension if one takes into account that, for the most part, they are minors. With such an attractive cocktail, it was a matter of time before large companies began to take part. “There are all the condiments, just need to mix them well,” says Nicolás Crespo, president of the Association of Electronic Sports and Video Games of Argentina (DEVA), to iProUP. New audiences in Argentina, the company that “took the post” in the development of this Industry has been Telecom. “Until 2019, there was no professional league in the country that could leverage the growth of the sector. That’s why we decided it was a great opportunity to get involved in its genesis to support and boost its development,” they explain from the firm to iProUP. launched a comprehensive strategy: it associated the content of electronic sports with its Flow entertainment platform, integrating itself as a vertical to complement the customer experience, which can now consume these contents 24 hours a day. To this plan, the company added to be main sponsor of the first professional eSports league in Argentina dedicated to LoL, under the name Master Flow League, together with the Professional Video Games League (LVP) of the Spanish group Mediapro. Likewise, Telecom closed an agreement with the Football Super League to be the main sponsor of the “eSuperliga”, a national tournament of the FIFA 20 video game that brings together the first division teams. Today the clubs see in the game a powerful tool to add and Loyalty fans, a trend adopted by the major leagues in the world. Even in other sports, such as the NBA and the NFL, virtual counterparts have been created that grow year after year in followers and advertisers. Read more “Although in this field Telecom had been promoting for several years different initiatives on gaming in its mobile service , highly valued by its customers, we evolved our proposal towards eSports, giving relevance to the experience of the content itself, “they add from the company. Meanwhile, Mediapro arrived in Latin America in 2017 to develop the sector and found in telco A fundamental ally. “Telecom wanted to reach a young audience with its content and video games go hand in hand with that. From the good results, by 2020 we project three new professional leagues in the country,” explains Juan Diego Garcia, LVP country manager. Regarding the teams that participate in the different competitions that are currently active in Argentina, the executive points out: “They understood that they can be part and reach a new audience.” In addition, “more and more investment is being made, especially the technology companies that need to position themselves in these large audiences. Thus, in Argentina, professional development begins.” On the other side of the telco scene, Movistar launched a dedicated 24×7 channel to the eSports, available for free to all of its broadband and mobile customers through its Play service. In mid-2019, they also partnered with Mediapro to enrich the offer with more productions from the world’s most important leagues. “Important casters and commentators were added that add analysis, experiences and knowledge through new formats,” they explain from Movistar. The objective is to professionalize its transmissions and bring them closer to those of traditional sports. Movistar eSports also has an agreement with the ACTC since last year and issues the Sim Racing competition, virtual equivalent to the traditional TC, which this year could add some category more than those that make up the national automobile calendar. “The project is a deep approach to the world of videogames. When we have a specific gaming product, we will have already driven the sector. Without doubt it is an excellent business opportunity,” they highlight from Movistar.A boiling sector Within this growing sector, an innovative model was born in Argentina that accompanies it: Peek Studios, the first local online videogame oriented channel. Created by Tomás Chernoff and Nicolás Brandoni, two young entrepreneurs, aims to have a platform to professionalize streamers (users who transmit games) and give greater importance to the gamer world, mixing personalities of traditional media, influencers and current figures. “We broadcast all day, live from 16 to 2 and from then on we repeat the schedule of the day. In addition, we have a live chat where users can interact with drivers and guests in real time,” explains Brandoni, one from its creators.The use of the platform is free, except for a subscription to unlock emojis. “We do not want to go to the commercial side in what is selling to the consumer, but to go more to the side of the sale to companies. If we could, we would give users all the options for free interaction,” he says. conception, the idea was to professionalize the production format (with sound producers, illuminators, producers, among other roles of traditional television) and leave the “informality” of home streaming. While technology companies are very close to the segment, Matías Estrín, commercial manager of Peek, assures iProUP: “There are many unnatural brands in the segment, such as banks, automotive, insurance, prepaid, airlines, among others, that are disbursing more and more money, attracted by a young audience. that for the brands, the potential of eSports is enormous. Many see it as the football of the 21st century, due to the exponential growth of the business in the last five years. Even channels such as TyC Sports, Fox Sp orts and ESPN already have exclusive programs dedicated to this modality. In this tuning, the president of DEVA ensures that the market has great potential, although he warns that there is still a way to go. The firm was born three years ago to develop models in the field of education and in the organization of skills for thousands of people, in addition to working to boost high-level skills. “A very strong educational work is needed in the different professions that involve the industry. We want to grow together with the different actors from teams to sponsors and investors and that is why we generate work models to position Argentina as a reference in Latin America, “Crespo concludes.