The esports industry is no longer considered one that is emerging, but instead solidified with great potential for further growth. Recent estimates peg competitive gaming having an audience of roughly 320 million and there is at least one projection that has the industry being worth $1.5 billion by 2020.
With the industry valuation already significant and on the rise, imagine the value in owning the domain name esports.com. For Benjamin Föckersperger, it is reality. I spoke with the Chief Esports Officer and Co-Founder of esports.com about the prized URL possession among other topics in a recent interview that follows.
Heitner: When did you purchase esports.com and what made you think it would be a good investment?
Föckersperger: We've talked about acquiring the brand name and domain for a long time, and closed the purchase for seven figures around March. Out of legal requirements, we can't give you a more specific number. We expect the value of brand and company to be 5x or even 10x within a year.
Heitner: There are so many possible uses of such a valuable domain name. What types of services does the site currently provide? What are the various revenue creating opportunities you envision?
Föckersperger: Esports is $1 billion industry and expected to grow to $1.5 billion in 2020 according to research institutes Newzoo and Gardner. Why? Because it's so close to sports. To soccer, football or basketball. You have two teams, that need to outsmart each other. The only difference is that your weapon of choice is not a sports shoe from Nike or Adidas, but gaming gear from Logitech or Razer. Esports is already filling the biggest stadiums in the world - the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Madison Square Garden in New York. It's the fastest growing industry in the entertainment sector. We are already talking about 600 million esports fans.
We combine everything that's great about esports into one giant brand and platform: Kick-ass sports journalism, that gets our readers behind the scenes. Think about sports journalism. We visit the team houses, fly with them into their training camps, do interviews on the plane. The goal is to deliver more than just your usual tournament coverage, but get users close and personal to their celebrities.
Connecting players and fanbase is key for us. That's why we are building the Esports University where you can actually book coaching sessions with your favorite pro player to increase your skill, team play, movement, all these incremental parts that make games like especially DotA2 and League of Legends easy to learn, but hard to master. We take a cut; this is huge in terms of revenue opportunities. We will also offer gaming PCs, chairs and hardware with branding in our exclusive shop and have more premium features in our pipeline that users can pay for in ERT like selling VIP tickets to tournaments, meet and greets with the biggest celebrities in the scene included.
Heitner: Why are you joining the wave of sites that are raising money through an ICO? Why is it particularly a good fit for your offerings?
Föckersperger: What we do with our token economy can't be just done with Bitcoin. ERT has two main functions: the economy which decentralizes the value of the asset, and the raffle, where each millionth of an ERT (basically our own Satoshi) is a raffle ticket. The more you hold, the more benefits you have and the winner takes home a huge jackpot of ERT.
Heitner: Is there a reason you think cryptocurrency integration fits particularly well in the esports industry as a whole?
Föckersperger: There is a generational shift happening. from the Baby Boomers being the biggest spenders in retail and online to . . . in the next 3 years the Millenials taking over. These guys are MY age group. We grew up spending money online, gaming & esports. A mobile phone in our hands, the Internet and also crypto.
I have been into cryptocurrency since very early on and started diving deeper in 2012. And there are a lot of guys in this target group that are the same way. So yes, we think it is a great fit and we also help those guys to learn more about it since we give each of them a free mobile wallet which is a great start into the lucrative and exciting world of crypto.