Innovation in esports: The drive to engage audiences in the ‘new normal’

In this unprecedented period, esports companies are trying to engage their fan base and grow their community more than ever.

Photo provided by Esports BAR

This article is proudly sponsored by Esports BAR.

The one constant in esports is bringing together the best players for each competitive scene and having them battle it out to see who truly stands atop the mountain in their respective games. But 2020 has forced the entire esports scene to pivot away from usual LAN events and back into the online space where most players originally thrived. 

Every title from League of Legends to Rocket League went totally online, completely changing the competitive calendar to fit the new landscape and give the tournament organizers, hosts, and teams enough time to prepare for what’s become the new normal. 

These last six months dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic have forced the esports industry to innovate at a rapid pace, setting new standards for how tournament broadcasts are run away from the typical LAN format. In a way, the industry is getting back to its roots. 

“We can’t start a discussion on the esports industry without bringing up the subject of innovation,” Esports BAR head of content and marketing Debora Atala said. “It’s intrinsic to the way the industry was created, and you can see that through the development of the games, the way that fans are engaging and how the industry has responded to the current crisis.”

Production teams had to up their games, finding new ways to integrate hosts, analysts, and players into the broadcasts without the usual access of everyone being in the same physical space. Broadcast services like became invaluable because they allow for cloud-based, video production with livestream integration. 

“In this unprecedented period we’re going through, esports companies are trying to engage their fan base and grow their community more than ever,” Esports BAR director Arnaud Verlhac said. “I believe that innovation like cloud computing to edit, mix, and distribute content to multiple digital outlets like streaming services and social media networks is a key to success.”

This year, Esports BAR+ Americas is focusing on providing insights into the current esports landscape and how to be the most productive esports online business event. With panels full of esports leaders talking on topics ranging from monetization, innovation, investments, and audience adaptation, there will be a lot of valuable information about the continued growth within the industry. 

Image via Esports BAR

After months of trial and error, it seems like esports has reached what feels like a new normal. But that doesn’t mean evolving creative visions and further innovation won’t keep pushing the industry forward. 

“In truth, esports hasn’t found it anywhere near as hard as other entertainment industries,” GINX Esports TV marketing and creative director Solenne Lagrange said. “It adapted very quickly and managed to deliver live performances, even if remote. Now, the pandemic has catapulted esports into the mainstream and the challenge will be to capitalize on this surge of popularity (among media networks, brands, etc.) to create a different future for itself once normality resumes.”

You can join dozens of industry leaders like Blast TV CEO Robbie Douek, Esports Charts founder Ivan Danishevsky, and even outside influencers like skateboarding legend Tony Hawk for four days of esports conferences. The event starts on Sept. 22. You can find more information and register for the event on the official Esports BAR website

And for more industry insights, you can visit the Esports BAR blog for detailed posts on innovation, media, and investment within the world of esports.