E-sports are a rapidly expanding market. In recent years they have grown to double digits, while forecasts for 2019 indicate that the market will exceed one billion dollars for the first time. This market has had a rapid expansion in the United States, Asia, and Europe, but Latin America has remained in second place.
In the region, Mexico is the market that generates more revenue in video games with $ 1.8 million, closely followed by Brazil with $ 1.6 million. Argentina, Chile, and Colombia follow these countries from afar.
The professionalization of e-sports has not yet come hand in hand with market growth. In Expansión, they calculate that less than 5% of gamers take this path, due to factors such as lack of visibility, opportunities, and relationships. However, those who are aware of the tournaments of each country or use online platforms have the opportunity to become this hobby in their profession.
Join the Mexican eSports team
In October 2019, the Mexican Federation of Esports (Femes) will organize different tournaments to choose the first national teams in games such as Fortnite, OverWatch, Clash Royale, The King of Fighters XIV, Samurai Shodown and League of Legends.
The first phase of the tournament will be through online qualifiers. The winners of this phase will be distributed a total of 96,000 pesos in each discipline of the event. The president of the Femes Ismael Silva explained that the total would allow each winner to take 6,000 pesos at the end of the competition.
For example, team games like League of Legends where five people participate, the winning teams will get 30,000 pesos. In Overwatch, where there are six members, the prize will be 36,000. In Fortnite, it will be 12,000 for the two people on the team, and in the other titles, the first and second place is rewarded, said the president of Femes, in an interview.
Thanks to the fact that more and more people, brands, and companies discover the potential of eSports, Femes can offer economic stimuli to players, according to Silva. The federation official said that it is not only about the development of a video game. The sponsorships support the process of an athlete, which involves training, a better space to play, and equipment to enhance their skills.
Without giving details of the companies interested in sponsoring eSports in Mexico, Silva said that “There are already companies in the technology, communications, construction and food industries that have approached FEMES to support this sports process.”
Samurai Shodown, OverWatch and Fortnite tournaments will be held on October 5 and 6 online. While the rest of the competitions will be held on October 12 and 13. So far there are 700 people enrolled in the tournament and 1,000 more are expected to register.
Registration for the Femes tournament is available on the federation page.
Silva said that with this first Mexican team, the country will be represented in Central American events, more regional championships, and also to participate in competitions, in countries where there is already a federation and hopes that there will soon be a representation in the Olympics.
“Before the Tokyo Olympics, there will be an Esports event organized by Intel to help link the sport. I do not doubt that in the future, it will be one of the most awarded medals to the country. It is expected that by the 2024 Olympics, it will be incorporated as an Olympic discipline,” he said.
It is necessary to be over 13 years old yo participate in this tournament of the Femes. For those younger gamers, the federation will open the first children’s league where the parents of the children must be involved in the process of training athletes.
Pro Play eSports: a startup to professionalize gamers
Juan Carlos Cortizo and Luis Ruiz created a startup whose main objective is to turn amateur gamers into professionals. This goal is intended to be achieved through a platform called Pro Play eSports.
The creators of the platform explain that Pro Play eSports “tries to empower millions of players and teams from an amateur level to the largest teams and professional institutions.”
From the platform, players from all over the world will be able to compete and have fun until they reach the skill of a professional. From there, Pro Play eSports will seek to give them exposure to find sponsors more easily.
As a Mexican company, Pro Play eSports has a peculiarity: they are the first Mexican and Latin American firm with a global presence since its launch. The platform integrates an international network of eSports Leagues and Tournaments with a presence in three regions: North America, Europe, and Latin America.
“We guarantee that if you play here, you will compete with players from all over the world,” he said in an interview with Expansión Cortizo. “We want to support you, and we want to see you grow as a professional player, that you find what you need to leave the amateur. We are a platform that will boost you.”
The platform is presented in English and Spanish. The regionalization of competitions depends on the type of game and the event, Cortizo said. For example, Fortnite has global events, while Rocket League organizes local events online. In the case of League of Legends, it is impossible to play competitively between certain regions because of the ping.
Ruiz stressed that the international presence of Pro Play eSports is its great differentiator, as it allows it to give exposure to gamers “with those who are outside, not just with those who are at the university next door.”
In an interview with VentureBeat, Cortizo said that if for several years there has been competition in video games, it is relatively new who are looking for a career in this area. 97% of gamers do it only for fun.
Pro Play eSports is free for everyone, although premium members will have access to international leagues and cash prizes for $ 3.99 per month.
Tournaments in Pro Play eSports
The platform has three types of tournaments:
- Pro Play eSports Arenas: Short tournaments every three months of more than 14 games. Free for everyone, but only premium members have access to cash prizes. Each tournament advances through stages aimed at the finals where the 16 highest players will face for $ 500. Each weekly tournament will have prizes of between $ 50 and $ 100 dollars.
- Pro Play eSports Leagues: Europa League, North America League, Latin America League. The three regions will compete in five titles to represent the best players in each discipline and compete in a world championship with the four best in each region.
- Pro Play eSports Grand Slam: Champions of each season will face each other to become the best. A Grand Slam event guarantees the end of season champions.
Evolution of sports?
The growing popularity of eSports points to a radical transformation of how we understand sports, although there is still a great stretch to be recognized as a sports activity.