In 2020, esports is no longer a niche hobby, but a competitive business industry. Having been involved in esports since 2013, Viperio has seen the market evolve into a scene where those that lack innovation and a unique offering fall behind.
Managing Director for Viperio, Christopher Sword, strongly believes that fan engagement is an area in need of development, both at Viperio and in the wider industry.
“When team’s aren’t getting the successful results they once were, teams that lack a sophisticated fan engagement strategy risk losing their following.”
Esports teams, especially at a semi-professional & amateur level, can often suffer from inconsistent performances as player turnover is generally high due to shorter contracts. This means that the strength of a team can vary highly between seasons. You only have to look at Viperio’s UKEL results to see this in effect. Because of this, teams need to develop ways to attract fans when top performance isn’t an available selling point.
Christopher Sword believes that gamification is a strong, under-utilised way to get followers to interact.
“Gamification is used all the time in traditional sports. Fantasy leagues are one of the best examples.”
Christopher stated that moving into 2021, gamification is something he wishes to develop at Viperio. In a broadcast of Viperio All Access, Christopher Sword said that in an ideal world, development of a Viperio mobile app would be the best way to launch this, with features such as score predictions and fan rankings. He did also acknowledge that an application is costly, and that it may not be viable at the moment for Viperio.
Whatever happens, esports teams like Viperio need to focus on offering unique and innovative ways to connect with fans. Hopefully Viperio will be a disruptor in the near future.