eSPORTconf Russia 2018: results of the main e-sports conference in Russia
On April 3, Moscow saw a meetup of specialists in the field of e-sports development: representatives of e-sports organizations, teams, developers, bookmakers, and entrepreneurs. They were brought together by eSPORTconf Russia 2018, the main conference in the Russian Federation dedicated to commercial development of e-sports.
Presentations of speakers mostly focused on topical issues of the Russian business integration with the e-sports market. Attendees listened to 12 unique field-specific lectures from leading experts in the field of e-sports.
Structure of e-sports league and legalization issues
The audience listened and asked questions to Ivan Voznyak, e-sports producer at Mail.Ru Group. He shared how a professional e-sports league was organized and which aspects of internal organization were worth attention, as well as told about the e-sports financing system. He mentioned the following monetization tools used by e-sports teams: prize money, tickets to the match, sponsorship income, advertising on public pages.
At the conference, legal aspects and legalization of sports disciplines were covered. Owner of Pravovaya Liniya LLC, expert in legal backing of gambling and lottery business Mariya Lepshikova spoke about this issue. In particular, she focused on the analysis of modern regulation framework and explained how e-sports could be considered as official sports competitions. Her colleague, lawyer at the international firm Baker McKenzie Denis Bushnev spoke about the status of e-sports players, migration problems that arise in practice, and ways of their solution.
E-sports and business
The key topic of the whole eSPORTconf Russia 2018 was the assessment of e-sports as a marketing tool in the digital era. Pavel Shapkin, co-founder of e-sports company UCC, delved into this issue during the panel discussion dedicated to business direction. He marked the growth of the global e-sports audience that reached 256 million people in 2016. The speaker also reported that according to forecasts of analytical agency NewZoo, the global volume of e-sports market would grow to $1.9 billion by 2019.
Andrei Mikheev, CEO at M19, discussed a no less important aspect of the development – collaboration of e-sports players with sponsors. He unveiled the secret of how M19 entered the market as an e-sports organization by buying League of Legends team from the global top 6. He also clarified nuances of communication with sponsors, explaining what actually interests them. Primarily, that is expert evaluation in the work with the audience of e-sports, including the development of e-sports B2C products.
Separate presentations were dedicated to development and promotion of e-sports brands. Experts in business development and analytics Gleb Baybaev from Zlodei.Team and Alexander Zotov from StarLadder focused their reports on this issue. They reviewed successful ideas for promotion, functional case studies and pitfalls of the field-specific work.
Alexander Zotov explained which tools incentivize viewers to pay attention to the product: thrill, engagement, possibility to learn, bonuses. Business analyst also provided figures that characterize the percentage of income from every type of activity in 2018 (according to the research conducted by analytical agency NewZoo):
- advertising – 19%;
- sponsorship – 40%;
- media rights – 18%;
- tickets and souvenirs – 11%;
- agreements with publishers – 13%.
Russian e-sports was assessed by Miroslava Valkevich, a journalist that analyzed the influence of gamers on the business environment, prospects of players in the labor market, and connection between the cryptocurrency fever and popularization of gaming. Here is how she explained the latter:
- gold inside games is a prototype of cryptocurrencies;
- this money can be converted in fiat;
- many game traders have become millionaires in real life.
Presentation was also given by the managing partner of the Digital Rights Center and expert in the IT law Sarkis Darbinyan that analyzed the connection between e-sports and crypto betting. Founder of Dnevnik.ru company Gabriel Levi gave a lecture on e-sports in education, specifically, the case study of Dnevnik.ru. A topical issue was touched in the report of Roman Alymov, the president of the Kaliningrad office of the Russian eSports Federation. He told which companies showed interest in the computer sport and why, to which projects they primarily paid attention. Dmitry Beseda, CEO at Blacklight Gaming agency, analyzed the case study of DOTA 2 middlers tournament titled #HELPFLOW.
Russian main conference on e-sports eSPORTconf Russia 2018 is a unique event that united everyone involved in this business and became a networking platform. Apart from presentations of reputable specialists, the event offered an exhibition area. EtherSport and BetConstruct became the exhibitors.
Conference organizer is the international company Smile-Expo, a leader in the field of organization of large-scale business events, having 12 years of experience. The company’s portfolio consists of more than 250 successfully held industry-specific exhibitions, conferences, and forums.
Smile-Expo thanks for collaboration the sponsors of the e-sports conference: esports.com and BetConstruct, as well as the general media partners of the event: GameGuru.ru, We Are Gamers, matchtv.ru, NBPrice.RU, Falcon eSports, Dma Game, OneTwo, and Sport Akadem Reklama.
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