Natalia Larchenko told about eSports team management at eSPORTconf Ukraine
Natalia Larchenko, CS:GO team leader at Gambit eSports club, spoke within eSPORTconf Ukraine 2017. The speaker shared features of eSports organization management based on her own experience. We prepared a brief review of the presentation, including many interesting facts.
Main difficulties of eSports management in Ukraine
In her presentation, the speaker revealed a quite significant but rarely mentioned issue. She told about main difficulties faced by successful Ukrainian eSports organizations while looking for investors and sponsors.
Gambit Esports team, representing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive discipline, is included into top ten world leaders. The second eSports discipline in terms of popularity and the top place in the world ranking theoretically should open broad prospects for the club, but in practice, regional factors influence much more.
Natalia Larchenko told that, addressing to investors from large companies, they were accepted quite gladly but were sent to regional offices regarding financing issues. At the same time, regional representatives across the CIS countries are most frequently limited in budgets and can’t provide worthy support.
The easiest way for a successful eSports team to get large investments is to transfer the team in the USA. But fewer than all consider this option as reasonable. There is also another simple and, according to the practice of many CIS clubs, popular way: make players from well-funded regions to join your team.
The speaker stressed that investors offered them significant sums several times but only if the club accepted at least one Swede, American or others. Nevertheless, refusing your own talented players for money prospects means not only weakening the team but also losing organization’s credibility.
Special features of eSports market and audience
Even in America and Europe, only few big companies entering the eSports market realize benefits of this sector. Everyone has heard that the industry is young and very prospective, thus many people have hurried up with joining it in order not to miss their chance. According to the speaker, it looks like the situation previously happened with social media.
Those investing in eSports should understand that a significant part of the whole audience is aged approximately 14 years, i.e. not completely financially reliable. Natalia Larchenko believes that the most appropriate and conscious strategy for brands is to “buy audience loyalty for future” rather than to wait immediate results.
The speaker also mentioned other significant aspects:
- It is important not only to play well but also to sell it.
- Main approach of American teams is streaming.
- The CIS market is not yet ready for eSports education.
- Brands frequently take eSports form as advertising billboards.
- Players do not take non-disclosure agreements seriously.
- To secure your organization, you should separately sign an agreement with each eSports player.
- A minimum investment package in successful eSports team is 15-20 thousand dollars per month.
- Organizations do not consider tournaments as an income – around 80% of winnings are most commonly given to players.