The Esports Gold Mine

Patrik Sättermon

Whatever happens, we will only strengthen our brand and show that whatever we have done, whatever we have built in esports, it has value.

At Fnatic, we have always benefited from being successful across a number of titles, migrating our brand pedigree from title to title.

Fnatic has been a part of the esports ecosystem for a long time now and we realise there is endless potential for the industry. It has the ability to connect the world and become a world sport that involves everyone.

At the current rate of industry growth, combined with technological advancements, there is the potential for a gaming playerbase that matches that of the global population.

Everyone is welcome under the umbrella of esports, which is very exciting and presents a host of opportunities.

But, of course, we’re not the only ones to have realised this.

The influx of investors into esports derives from the fact that the esports industry as a whole has received a significant amount of acknowledgement from government bodies, the mainstream media and the general audience, all of which has contributed to a range of new business opportunities.

What we’re seeing now is the domino effect: one organisation sees their competitor coming into the space and in turn realises the potential to reach a young demographic.

There’s an opportunistic mindset behind it. Esports is framed as a gold mine to grab short term, but this is far from the reality.

From a business standpoint, for traditional sports, it’s getting harder to sell tickets. People want to consume sports in new ways, everything is digital and that’s something that, within the esports industry, we have been the masters of, or even the creators of, so far as a phenomenon like Twitch is concerned.

At Fnatic, it motivates us further to build upon the platform that we’ve created.

We realise it comes with challenges, especially considering that these guys have an arsenal of capital, recognition and experts behind them, and compared to them, we’re still small Fnatic.

Yet, in truth, we reacted very positively to the influx of investors and traditional sports clubs into the esports space. It shows a value in what we’re doing, a sense of validation in the passion and the talent of the players. 

The reputation and the expertise that we have at Fnatic means that we can adapt and continue to thrive, but for smaller teams, esports has become a very tough industry to survive in – not just from a financial standpoint, but also as a brand looking to compete for a fanbase.

I feel empathetic towards smaller esports organisations that might feel intimidated by bigger entities and external capital sources.

There’s certainly a side of the industry that looks negatively at sports clubs or venture capitalists – that until this point have offered nothing to esports – entering the industry at a point where esports is capable of filling up stadiums. It’s only now that they want to participate and be a part of the space, instead of building it up from the start.

I personally don’t think we should view this with pessimism, rather we should perceive this influx of investors as a catalyst that can take esports to the next level.

I believe that competition is something great, and if we can learn from it, if we can be challenged by it, that’s going to be beneficial for us in the long run. 

We will never surrender from our goal, and that is to build the best platform for all aspiring esports players out there, to realise their dreams – both as professional players, but also to work professionally within well-structured organisations.

I’m proud to say that it’s a vision I’ve been able to realise myself, first as a player and now as a Chief Gaming Officer and co-owner of Fnatic.

There might be some concerns and an element of friction with new entities entering the space and trying to bite out a chunk of it, but that should just serve as a sense of pride for esports organisations everywhere, that we have built the industry up to this point.

We’re not turning a blind eye to it, but in general, we welcome it. We will establish Fnatic as a part of this blossoming industry and as a leading figure for centuries to come.

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