ELC Gaming unveils Big Betty, their new mobile eSports entertainment hub and home of the ESPORTS LEGENDS CUP.
What happens when you have a few innovative minds, a wealth of broadcast experience, an in-depth knowledge of poker, a fascination with eSports, and a bloody great big truck?
“When I first saw Late Night Poker on Channel 4 in 2002 I had a feeling that the game was going to be a hit.” Said WinMedia ‘Boss Man’ Ian Langstaff. “Over the past year or so when I looked at the viewership numbers on Twitch streams, I got that same feeling about eSports; and what stands out for me is a lack of traditional broadcasting options.”
The seed was sown.
How would it grow?
Jud Hannigan is the Senior VP for Allied eSports, a global eSports property with the goal of connecting eSports fans via a series of strategic brick and mortar venues around the world known as The Allied eSports Property Network. The venues would host the most riveting and rambunctious eSports battles in the world. To turn this vision into a reality, Hannigan and his partners created ELC Gaming; an Irish-based company founded to develop the ELC League. Allied eSports is the majority shareholder of ELC Gaming.
Both Hannigan and Langstaff have ties with the World Poker Tour (WPT). Langstaff’s company WinMedia is responsible for the WPT live stream content, and Hannigan was once the WPT’s Director of operations in China. The leading online gaming operator in China, Ourgame International, acquired the WPT in June 2015 for $35 million. Hannigan would take a position in Ourgame as VP of Overseas Operations.
“The experience we’ve built up in broadcasting poker content is one we believe will be an asset to the eSports industry. It’s applying the right mix of our broadcast wisdom with cutting-edge eSports knowledge that is going to make us a success.” Said Langstaff.
One day, over a cup of tea, pint of Guinness, or bacon and egg sandwich, Hannigan got talking to Langstaff about his search for strategic brick and mortar venues around Europe to host the ELC action when Langstaff had a eureka moment.
“I have an idea that will provide with you loads of venues.” Said Langstaff.
“What is it?” Asked Hannigan.
“I’m gonna build you a bloody big truck.”
The Bloody Big Truck
The idea to create a ‘bloody big truck’ to use as a mobile sporting broadcast epicentre was not a new one for Langstaff. He had first pitched the idea to broadcasters when the viewing figures of Darts were starting to rise. Langstaff offered the bait, but nobody bit. The idea was shelved, and then along came the rise of eSports.
Langstaff pitched the idea to Hannigan, and he loved it. The race was on to build the thing in time for Gamescom.
“The biggest challenge we had was time. The idea only came about several months ago, and we set an aggressive target to launch at Gamescom, and we are thrilled that we made it. There are improvements that we had in our sights which will be taking place after Gamescom, but she’s on the road, the audiences and Gamescom loved her, and it only continues to get better from here.” Said Langstaff.
And her name?
“We called her Big Betty,” said Langstaff.
Big Betty weighs 31 tonnes, has a 440 hp engine, is 21.5m long, and 5.2m in height. She is a beautiful monster equipped with a 12m screen on the roof, 6m outdoor display, and 14 other large viewing screens. She houses up to 24 gaming stations, has integrated broadcast and streaming options, concert stage lighting, a state of the art audio system, and a VIP rooftop lounge.
“Big Betty will be the home to the ESPORT LEGENDS CUP which is being planned for 2017.” Said Hannigan. “It will also be home to Allied eSports tournaments and Leagues in the future. Beyond that, she’s open for companies in the eSports industry to use at their events and those discussions are currently underway with interested parties.”
Big Betty has already been a big hit. She is more than a mobile eSports broadcasting platform; she is a star in her own right, and will be heading on tour in the fall.
September 30-October 2 and Holstenhallen in Neumunster, Germany is the first destination. From there she will whizz over to Poznan, Poland on October 21-23 for a Poznan Game Arena event. In total ELC Gaming is planning 4-5 tour stops the rest of the year and currently discussing with several companies who would like Big Betty at their events.
Not bad for a ‘bloody big truck.’