Coming April 5-6, the 3rd eSCon Europe convention will take place in London. Why is this good to know?
eSCon Europe is part of The Global eSConference, a worldwide eSports conference. This conference unites all policy and decision makers in the world of esports and this is useful because the esports world is not a really big on (inter) communication and cooperation is a rare thing and that’s a shame because no cooperation means no progress.
Each party that has anything to do in esports will be represented. Think media (Twitch, Youtube, national television), organizations (MLG, Genius, NRG) but also the gambling institutions discussing gambling laws in various countries. For instance, in the US online gambling is strictly forbidden (unless under state controlled supervision). This law is circumvented by the option of gambling with website tokens (no money) that can be exchanged for e.g. Visa gift cards (money), clever right?
In spite of it being a business to business conference, it will be an interesting thing for the Dutch (National) Media to keep an eye on. Where the national sports network NOS refuses to broadcast esports because “Top sport, to our view, are top athletes who perform on the peak of their physical ability. Sitting behind a screen with a console does not fall within that performance.” (Mr. O. Duyvené de Wit, NOS communication advisor), Fox Sports only gives esports some coverage in off-peak hours with the only goal of having claimed the esports section in case it might get profitable. The BBC as well as Channel 4 being represented at the eSCon will hopefully change their rigid Dutch point of view.
Attention will also be paid to the fast growth of esports teams connected to traditional sports. Many clubs like Man City, West Ham, Schalke, Ajax, PSV, Heracles and AZ have attracted esports athletes to represent them in tournaments, but also the Philadelphia ’76ers who have bought a whole team (Team Dignitas) and traditional sports athletes like Shaquille O’Neal, Alex Rodriguez, Magic Johnson who bind themselves to esports organizations, can accelerate the acceptance of esports as a sport. This is a good thing as long as the present decision makers are still of the old generation that never grew up with e-games and have no idea what’s going on in the (new) world.
FOR THE GAMERS
Interesting for gamers are the deals that will be made by several parties concerning cross platform gaming. Sony, being the only one that is still hindering this inevitable change, will have to come on board too, which will be a major game changer for the gamer. Rocket League, more or less the founder of cross platform gaming, will share her vision on future cross platform gaming.
Especially interesting for the gamers ánd the casters is the development of the ECS, the Esports Championship Series. The ECS is the first and until today only league where as a team, you have the opportunity to be owner of the league as well. 10 North American and 10 European teams participate in the league. ECS’s vision: “Players and teams are the heart of the esports community and deserve the opportunity to reap the rewards of their hard work and dedication to grow esports into a mainstream phenomenon” (Michele Attisani, co-founder of FACEIT).
Where, as a player or team in an organization you basically have no rights and are being dumped when you’re over your peak, this league is different. As a player you work closely together with ECS in determining a general code of conduct concerning the treatment and remuneration of you as a player. Besides that, you get a say in the policy of rules, integrity, the wellbeing of the player, holidays (for real!) and the overall cooperation between ECS and its players. This is shockingly new and how it should be but unfortunately is not.
ECS, started by FACEIT and Twitch, will start her 2nd season in 2017 with Counter Strike and will only be streamed on Twitch.
But wait, there’s more!
Apart from ECS’ pro league they also have two other leagues: The Development League and the Community Caster Challenge. In the Development League, new talent gets a chance to show themselves and become a part of the Pro League. The Development League will start in 2017.
Thirdly, there’s the Community Caster Challenge. This Challenge offers 4 amateur casters the chance to cast at a pro league ECS tournament. Ambitioning a career as a caster? Keep your eye on the ECS website for the 2017 Challenge!
All-in all, many positive things will happen on the Business to Business where you, as a gamer, will benefit from the coming year and years to come. That’s why it’s good to know!