eSports is one of those terms online gambling professionals are now used to hearing on a regular basis and we are fully aware of its growth around the world. iGaming operators and affiliates are still trying to figure out exactly how to harness the rising popularity of this sector and as a result regulators are taking notice as well.
When we hear about eSports at gaming industry conferences, the speakers are always highlighting the importance of the gaming industry fully understanding the sector before integrating eSports into their offerings. In my opinion, the easiest way to do this is by attending eSports-specific conferences and making connections with informed enthusiasts.
Cory Allison is a rare female face in the eSports industry, also a professional who is working hard to grow and guide the eSports industry in a positive way. Allison is a supporter of the upcoming eSports Conference in London, taking place April 5th and 6th, an event CalvinAyre.com will also be covering.
A gamer since she was in her late teens, Allison eventually founded a company called “Rezli” with a mission to connect the entire gaming industry – gamers, game developers, organizations and educational institutions- all aiming to fuel the growing world of gaming and eSports. Think LinkedIn, but for the eSports industry specifically.
“I’m one of those lucky girls that was at the right place at the right time I think. Back in 2014 there was a group of gamers that started a little company that needed somebody to really run the back end- the operations part- and really dissect how we can grow”, Allison shared.
“I wanted to build an ecosystem that allowed gamers to really show off their skill sets and all the good things that are happening and all the good things that they are building in their everyday life to really be able to share that with the world and find their success”, she added.
What I love about Allison’s creation is her desire to “professionalize” the eSports industry and help it expand in a legitimate manner. By growing eSports in this way, it will be much easier for industries such as the online gambling industry to eventually jump on board and enjoy a new revenue stream.
“Our tagline is ‘Play. Connect. Succeed’. ‘Rezli’ is a shortened version of ‘Resume Link’ and we really want to help grow this ecosystem of gamers and developers and organizations and schools supporting some of these awesome majors and studies to help all of us grow up and professionalize this industry”, she said.
eSports is still in its infancy stage and there is so much excitement around it, two elements that make eSports such an attractive area to be focusing on. Tools like Rezli can help shift the focus from eSports pros to recreational gamers and other enthusiasts, therefore creating a healthy eco-system. The online gambling industry should already know this is an important element for growth, based on the success we’ve seen from Jonas Odman’s recreational model in the poker world.
With all of this in mind, Allison is a huge believer we’ll be seeing an absolute explosion in eSports over the next ten to twenty years.
“I think the opportunity is just tremendous and I do think we can all win together. The exciting part about this is its kind of mirroring gambling and poker, you name it, any other entertainment industry that has been growing in the last century, we are there. We are at the cusp of just blowing up, so in the next couple decades? That’s exactly what’s going to happen”, Allison shared.
Similar to what the online gambling industry went through in the early 2000s, back in its infancy stage, to keep everything in order eSports will require some sort of leadership.
“We need guidelines, we need more, not governing bodies per se, but some of the leaders to come together and just really see the opportunity to grow this industry properly, take care of our gamers, take care of the professional level gamers, really help them be successful so it can continue that growth, without it falling apart. I do think we have a lot of leaders in this space that are wanting that to happen for the longevity reasons, right?”, Allison pointed out.
“The future is technology, VR, AR coming into place. We could be talking in five years and saying ‘we’re in virtual world just playing games together’, who knows what’s going to happen?”, she added.
Disruptive technology such as VR and AR will undoubtedly change the face of eSports as we know it and we will also start to see eSports spreading far beyond historical hubs such as Asia and the US, thriving in places such as the UK.
“I think its really exciting. I think [London is] putting that stake in ground and saying, ‘we are the place where games are going to be and eSports is going to happen’. And I love that fact that this whole 10-day celebration of games is happening in April and that’s why I’m coming, because I just want so see and learn really how [London] is paving the way for us to growth this right”, said Allison.
While Allison herself is not involved with the online gambling industry specifically, she recognizes the opportunity eSports provides for gambling would like to encourage professionals to get on board now.
“I think this is it. This is the next big thing. I think if you’re smart enough to see that and you’re a forerunner for anything at all, then you’re in the right place at the right time and this is where you need to really take a good look at what it could be in the next decade and get in on it. Make sure that you don’t miss out on this opportunity”, she said.