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UK eSports needs investors, says Multiplay

Wednesday, 5th December 2012 21:27 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Craig Fletcher, head of local eSports league Multiplay, says the UK needs more sponsors to foster its wealth of local talent and compete with other territories.

Fletcher told MCV that the UK eSports scene is bigger than people believe; he said Multiplay has handed over £500,000 in prizes over the last decade, including £30,000 at its last event alone.

“The prize money in the UK is on par with standard events over in the States. There is a thriving scene here. It’s just not getting as much attention and certainly not as much sponsorship,” he said.

“We have found it quite difficult to convince people to invest in eSports, because it is not well-known.”

Fletcher believes now is the time for sponsors to throw some cash at eSports, because the UK scene is “at a very evolving point” with professional teams like Dignitas rising through the ranks.

“But eSports needs more investment and it needs more people to recognise the benefits of this and get on board,” he added.

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7 Comments

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  1. Brenna Hillier

    Updated to remove highly amusing typo.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Yoshi

    @1 Aww I must have missed that amusing typo the first time I read it…dammit

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Brenna Hillier

    @2 I am quite glad.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. GrimRita

    Having sponsored several events at various I-series, it’s all about demonstrating a return on that investment. At one company, we were spending close to 30K on prize money, merchandise, stands, transport etc, which is a lot of money when the return was so little.

    If these guys want to make this more mainstream, then location is key. Easy access by public transport will certainly go along way to increasing numbers because I remain convinced that more or less the same people attend every time.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Wizzo

    Hey GrimRita,

    Interested as to what the last i-series you attended was? Things have changed a lot since the early days.

    “more or less the same people attend every time”: That’s a common historic misconception I’ve heard from many people. Talking just about the “core BYOC” (those who bring their kit), the last time we ran the numbers there is about half of them that are the regulars and another half just coming for the first time. When you then add to this the thousands of day visitors we now get attending and the millions tuning into live coverage and websites, the reach is far more than just the few thousand resident gamers.

    All these developments amount to a real turning point in the UK. Would be happy to send you the marketing report from the last few events so you can see just how far things have come. We’d love to hear from you.

    Our new location in Telford is right smack in the middle of the UK next to Birmingham, just 5 mins off the M54, making it dead easy for people both North and South to join. Train links are great through Birmingham and two major airports are within 90 minutes. It’s making quite a difference to the attendance!

    #5 2 years ago
  6. silkvg247

    Wizzo? Get orf my gaming news site! IT’S MINE!

    I keep telling this lot they should come to our LANs cos they are awesome. But nooo.

    @GrimRita even I, as a mere I-series attendee, can see that the LAN is going from strength to strength. My first one a few years back there were like 1,000 at the summer LAN whereas the more recent summer one was well over 2,000.

    Also everyone I know gets hooked from the first visit and attends each one thereafter. So there’s definitely something there, something that can only grow if more peeps jump on board.

    From what I’ve seen, there’s a real gap right now for someone who’s willing to bring lots of “hands on” kit, and too many stands that just show shinies in glass cabinets. The best way to sell kit is to let people try it out.

    There’s also a gap for someone who’d be willing to actually run promotions at the LAN. There is a surprising lack of special offers, which is a missed marketing opportunity because people would impulse buy.

    It should also be noted that there’s a lot more than just gaming.. a collection of geeks gets up to many things, role playing, card games.. so much retail opportunity. I wish I were an owner of one of said card or rp companies, I’m sure I’d make a killing selling things at a small stand.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Yoshi

    GRIM wtf XD You talk rubbish. First the location of the iseries is perfect, it’s right in the middle of the UK and it’s very easy to get to.
    Now sure spending 30k for a stand, prize money etc is quite a lot but I’ll use Ocerclockers as an example. They have a stand and offer a deal that if you purchase items before 4pm it’ll be delivered to the iseries that same day. Providing such an offer is taking advantage of purchasing a stand as so many people buy items there because of the deal.
    Lastly, sure the iseries has regulars but it has a lot of first time attendants.

    I went to i44 and then the recent i47, both experiences different and you could really feel the improvement from just one year. Now don’t get me wrong things still need improving but it really is growing from strength to strength.

    #7 2 years ago