Benoit Pagotto: Brands must put their feet in the water

Benoit Pagotto: Brands must put their feet in the water

In this interview with’s Becky Liggero, Benoit Pagotto of Fnatic explains why only a few brands are jumping into eSports despite its popularity.

No one can’t deny the popularity of eSports nowadays.

An IHS study showed that the total number of hours spent watching eSports events has climbed 19 percent in 2016 globally, already surpassing the 6 billion mark posted in the previous year.

The skill-based activity is also being considered as a medal event for the 2024 Olympics Games, especially now that The Olympics faced its first ratings slip in more than a decade at the 2016 Rio Games. The committee are hoping that eSports will attract more millennials to embrace the Olympics.

But despite its popularity, popular brands aren’t jumping into the eSports craze like what they have done in every sporting events.

Benoit Pagotto of Fnatic said that brands haven’t taken advantage of eSports popularity because it takes them time for them to step into anything new. Pagotto explained that most of the brands have to determine where they are going to spend their money for advertising. Most of them, according to Pagotto, goes to the usual form of mass media, including social media platforms.

Pagotto likened eSports to the early days of Twitter and Facebook when the two most popular social media platforms were still in their infancy.

“Just like the early days of Twitter and Facebook, most of them are slow to consider them as a main media for them,” Pagotto told “Now you see a shift on the media spent – that is being more and more toward digital advertising. Such big companies with a lot of decision makers and they have a set of budget. It takes time for anyone to do something new.”

The Fnatic executive, however, believes that eSports in time will become an advertising juggernaut, wherein teams will soon attract big brands for sponsorship. The brands, according to Pagotto, will be drawn by the sheer number of millennials supporting the game.

In Fnatic alone, Pagotto pointed out that their community has more than 2.5 million fans. Most of these fans belong to a much younger demographic.

“I think the most exciting thing for brands is actually get into it and put their feet in the water and see where it takes because for me, it is a must for them. They are all going to be part of the eSports team one day and another,” he said. “For our brand, it is an amazing opportunity to connect with our younger audience, super passionate, and to show them that they care for that passion and help bring it to the next level.”