08 Sep An Introduction to the Esports Ecosystem
Unlike the majority of traditional sports leagues, esports companies wear multiple hats within the industry – simultaneously working as competition organisers, rights holders and content creators. A single organisation can be responsible for financing a tournament through brand partnerships, creating broadcasts around it, and distributing that content (sometimes exclusively) to streaming platforms.
This introduction to the esports ecosystem is no where near exhaustive, but should provide those totally unfamiliar with the industry an insight into its current framework and relationships between the different entities.
The “esports” themselves wouldn’t exist without developers/publishers, but those same companies also host and produce coverage for some of the scene’s largest competitions, such as Riot Game’s LCS or Valve’s Dota 2 International.
The publishers can also license their games out to external league organisers and streaming platforms. There is now an increasing incentive for any video game publisher to turn their new competitive title into an esport, with the benefits including extraordinary exposure both online and off, and cascading revenue that can be generated from competition-themed in-game content (the so-called “free-to-play” model).