In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Becky Liggero, Matt Huxley of FIA Formula talks about how eSports can potentially synergize with traditional sports.
The ancient demarcation line that once divided traditional sports from eSports is slowly fading through time as series of purchases, investments, and coalitions pave the way for the synergy of the two sports.
Back in the day, traditional sports have dominated the television airwaves as it brings in an estimated $60 billion revenue each year. But eSports is quickly catching up on traditional sports. In 2016, eSports registered an estimated $892.8 million revenue and pundits are expecting it to grow even further to $1.1 billion in the next two years.
The commercial viability of eSports soon started attracting corporate sponsors and professional sports organizations alike to dip their fingers into competitive gaming. Football teams like FC Copenhagen, and football leagues like the Premier League and Bundesliga have all acquired respective eSports team to expand their audience reach.
Matt Huxley of FIA Formula E noted that the line between eSports and Traditional sports is starting to blur as the two disparate fields integrates each other. The reason behind this development, according to Huxley, is the fact that traditional sports are looking for ways to bring in newer audience.
Just recently, Huxley said FIA Formula E held an event in Las Vegas where they gathered all the big guys in the motorsports and let them play video games.
The rationale behind the event, according to Huxley, is for them to be able to change the way motorsports are consumed and to tell the people that the traditional sport is likewise an entertainment. He admits that bringing in new fans to the sports is becoming more of a struggle.
“So what we did was we went to Vegas and we took out twenty formerly professional drivers, we went online, and we found the fastest racers. We put all those guys in a big stage, and gave the fastest a million dollars,” Huxley told CalvinAyre.com. “It is the first time we’ve seen eSports and sports cross-over where two different disciplines were competing in very similar grounds.”
But this development is not just limited to motorsports alone, according to Huxley. He said that many football teams are already investing in the eSports community, albeit taking different approaches.
He pointed out that West Ham has chosen to put their money in eSports teams that are into football games. On the other hand, Huxley said that Paris Saint-Germain and FC Copenhagen have chosen a League of Legends team and Counter-Strike team, respectively.
“Teams like FC Copenhagen picking up North, it is an excellent acquisition. They are an emerging Danish team. It is a Danish football club. They have a strong local activation within the country there. On a global scale, going to these much larger events, we can think very highly without very high caliber of fans online,” Huxley said.