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Marketing Featured APAC

dentsu SG remains lead agency of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing GT Cup Asia

Singapore – Continuing in its quest towards expanding its gaming & e-sports offerings, media and digital marketing communications company dentsu in Singapore remains the lead agency of the virtual motorsport competition TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) GT Cup Asia, now on its second consecutive year.

In partnership with automotive brand Toyota Motor Asia-Pacific and e-sports company ONE Esports, the TGR GT Cup Asia 2021 is the first recurring annual e-motorsports tournament that dentsu is launching from Singapore connecting racing and esport fans and gamers across seven Asian markets through a virtual studio, and hosted through the Japanese racing simulation game Gran Turismo.

Through its agency role, dentsu Singapore will deliver the finals of the regional esports tournament taking place on 16 October 2021, which will see 21 racers connecting from India, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Furthermore, the virtual races will be made possible through a server in Tokyo, Japan, working in sync with a virtual broadcast studio in Malaysia. Fans can expect a racing experience just as in any professional motorsports competition. Hosted by race coach and commentator, Alex Yoong, the fan experience will be further enhanced by an exciting pre-show as well as detailed race analysis and commentaries.

Prema Techinamurthi, senior business director for creative group at dentsu Singapore, commented that they are proud to once again partner with Toyota and ONE Esports to achieve never-before experiences in this year’s regional tournament.

“Our team was single-mindedly focused on elevating a brand experience that thoughtfully integrates a virtual racing and viewing platform like no other with inclusive opportunities to engage with and celebrate local communities. We are grateful for the unwavering trust and partnership from Toyota and ONE Esports in bringing this to life,” Techinamurthi stated.

As part of the tournament proper, Asia’s first race car livery design activation led by dentsu has unveiled custom culture-diverse race car designs by renowned local artists from seven participating markets who have taken their own flavor and flair of their local culture based on fan suggestions.

Dentsu said that it remains steadfast in expanding its gaming and esports offering as a key growth pillar, with a portfolio that includes work with Moonton and other international gaming publishers. More recently, dentsu has launched ‘dentsu gaming’, an integrated solution which brings together the extensive gaming heritage and expertise of the dentsu Japan network, with the global scale and specialist capabilities within dentsu international.

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Marketing Featured APAC

In-game ad Anzu launches offering for top gaming platform Roblox

Israel – Global in-game ad solution Anzu.io has unveiled its new Roblox offering, where Anzu’s viewable impressions, brand safety, and detailed campaign reporting will be available to advertisers running in-game campaigns within Roblox.

Roblox is a global metaverse where millions of players gather to create, share, and play games in immersive worlds. Anzu finds that majority of Roblox’s users are under 16 of age and believes the partnership presents advertisers with a unique opportunity to connect with this elusive cohort.

“The game-changing move brings Anzu’s tech to Gen Z’s most popular platform, opening its 202 million monthly active users to brands and agencies globally via scalable in-game ads,” said the company in a press statement.

According to Anzu, in Q3 of 2020, Roblox racked up over 8.71 billion hours of engagement with users spending more time on the platform than on Tiktok, YouTube and Instagram combined.

Anzu, which already works with leading games companies, including Ubisoft, Amanotes, and Lion Castle Entertainment, to run in-game ads said that it aims to bring its learnings and success to the Roblox platform.

Michael Sligh, the creator of one of Roblox’s biggest games of all time ‘Work at a Pizza Place’, said, “We look forward to seeing real-world brand ads appear within our games as players will be able to experience them just like they do in the real world, adding a sense of realism to our gameplay. They will also provide us with an additional revenue stream without taking anything away from how players experience games, allowing us to spend more time improving them and building out new ones that the Roblox community can fall in love with.”

Itamar Benedy, CEO and co-founder of Anzu, said, “Today marks an important milestone on our road to building the cross-platform advertising solution that reaches players no matter where they are or what they are playing on.”

Benedy adds, “We are thrilled by the interest and uptake we have already seen from both Roblox’s developers and some of the world’s leading brands and agencies which are excited to be part of Roblox’s vision of becoming a true Metaverse, representing the future of how people learn, play, work, consume entertainment, try on and shop fashion, and interact with brands. This aligns with our belief that gaming is becoming a one-stop-shop where people are increasingly spending much of their digital lives — cementing the fact that gaming is a crucial channel that advertisers can no longer afford to ignore.”

Anzu believes that its dedication to child safety is a huge pull for advertisers. The Roblox platform is fully GDPR compliant and a member of the kidSAFE Seal Program, which has been approved by the Federal Trade Commission as an authorized safe harbor under COPPA.

Anzu has already signed partnerships with many popular Roblox creators, bringing in-game advertising to games, including Work at a Pizza Place, Speed Run 4, Wacky Wizards, and Fashion Famous. Anzu also shared that is in talks with a growing number of developers who are excited at the idea of having real-world brands appear within their games on the platform. 

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Galaxy Racer appoints Romeo Misao as head of marketing for India, South Asia

Dubai, UAE – Galaxy Racer (GXR), one of the fast-growing esports, gaming, and lifestyle organizations headquartered in Dubai, has announced the appointment of Romeo Misao as the head of marketing for India and South Asia. The announcement follows the organization’s spate of new hires globally including the recent signing of Galaxy Racer’s Chief Marketing Officer Allan Phang. 

For the new role, Misao will be leading the regional marketing initiatives for both GXR and Nigma Galaxy, the competitive esports division of GXR, and will have his focus on the company’s aggressive expansion plans across India and the South Asia region.

Misao was previously the first esports hire in India for Free Fire, the award-winning mobile Battle Royale game by the leading game’s publisher, Garena. He led and executed esports initiatives for Free Fire in India and Bangladesh as their esports project manager. 

He also spearheaded and launched the leading premium esports IPs in India that went on to be record-breaking such as the Free Fire India Championship Fall 2020 with 300,000 concurrent viewership and the Free Fire World Series, Singapore 2021 with 1.9 million concurrent viewership on local Hindi language streams.

Misao has also worked for award-winning brand BenQ-Zowie, where he drove gaming and esports projects and contributed to the success of the brand’s ranking as the top gaming monitor. 

Galaxy Racer, which was founded in 2019, currently has over 100 content creators across Middle East North Africa (MENA), and Southeast Asia (SEA). Nigma Galaxy, the merger between Team Nigma, champions of The International 7 Dota 2, and Galaxy Racer, will be leading the competitive esports team division with an impressive roster of twelve esports teams in Dota 2, League of Legends, CS:GO, and Fortnite, as well as PUBG Mobile, BGMI and Free Fire, with over 60 male and female esports athletes from over 20 countries.

CMO Phang commented, “Romeo’s vast marketing experience and deep knowledge of the Indian esports industry is vital as part of our strategic initiatives for India. His work is exceptional and I am looking forward to working together with him. As Galaxy Racer pushes forward with our aggressive expansion plans, having a leader of his caliber is important to spearhead our marketing campaigns. We look forward to having Romeo onboard with us. Welcome to our galaxy!”

Meanwhile, newly appointed Misao said, “I am excited to be working at Galaxy Racer, one of the fastest-growing esports, gaming, and lifestyle organizations globally. I look forward to working with Allan and my fellow colleagues as we look to partner with brands who are interested in targeting Gen Z and Millennials. I cannot wait to unleash the awesome marketing initiatives I have in store for the Indian market and to put Galaxy Racer, Nigma Galaxy, and India on the world map in the global esports industry.”

Galaxy Racer aims to create a 360-degree esports, gaming, content, and lifestyle brand. Its group company, Riva Technology and Entertainment (RTE), have secured a streak of acquisitions, partnerships, and brand licensing deals including the iconic comic book series publisher Dark Horse Comics, with RTE producing multiple mobile games based on the massively successful The Umbrella Academy comic books and Netflix series.

Alongside Misao, Galaxy Racer has also recently appointed Danny Lopez as chief content officer, who was formerly the director of brand and content at Guild Esports, an esports team co-owned by David Beckham.

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Technology Featured Global

Anzu, HUMAN team up for safeguarding in-game ad spaces

Tel Aviv, Israel – Global in-game advertising platform Anzu and cybersecurity company HUMAN, formerly White Ops, have announced a new partnership, with the objective of safeguarding the in-game advertising space by detecting invalid traffic (IVT), general invalid traffic (GIVT), and sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) among Anzu’s programmatic gaming inventory across mobile and PC.

By leveraging HUMAN’s pre-bid and post-bid solutions, MediaGuard, Anzu ensures that campaigns run across its inventory retain low fraud levels, allowing them to continue to harbor a safe space where both advertisers and publishers can feel confident working together to effectively reach gamers around the world.

Part of the inspiration between the partnership can be traced back to the fact that losses due to ad fraud are expected to continue to cost the industry billions of dollars each year, and sophisticated bots pose a significantly increasing threat to the gaming world.

For Itamar Benedy, co-founder and CEO at Anzu, he states that the company remains committed to making advertising in games better and putting ad quality at the heart of everything they do, adding that they aim at bringing in digital standards in-game and partnering with the industry leaders that advertisers know and trust.

“We continue to partner with the world’s brand safety, transparency, measurement, and data privacy leaders to ensure our clients can measure media value across channels and build their media strategy accordingly. This new partnership with HUMAN will take our commitment to create a brand-safe, fraud-free ecosystem to the next level,” Benedy stated.

Furthermore, said partnership ensures that customers and partners will be protected from emerging forms of in-game SIVT-background ad activity, hidden ads, misrepresentation/spoofing, measurement manipulation and more, while guaranteeing always-on filtering and measurement across the platform.

“Anzu ensures gamers can play without interruption while enabling brands to enter into a trusted marketplace that is native, creative and dynamically updateable. This forward-looking partnership with HUMAN will strengthen our ability to fight sophisticated cybercrime while ensuring a seamless user experience across the advanced in-game advertising platform,” says Tamer Hassan, co-founder and CEO at HUMAN.

HUMAN achieves the scale of ad verification through its continued expansion in cybersecurity, now offering a suite of products to protect the complete digital customer journey: BotGuard for Applications, BotGuard for Growth Marketing and MediaGuard. With new partners and enterprises now able to leverage one of its products, Human Verification Engine™, comes an even deeper understanding of the cybercrime landscape, enabling HUMAN to adapt continuously, staying ahead of adversaries and offering their clients collective protection against threat models they have yet to encounter.

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Main Feature Platforms Partners Southeast Asia

MARKETECH Spotlight: How a PH-made esports super app is bringing every stakeholder into one united esports community

Esports is growing exponentially and on a global scale. According to a report by Newzoo, in the Asia-Pacific alone, the revenue within the gaming market has reached US$84.3B in 2020, making the region the largest market in the world. 

In the Philippines, the number of games has now reached 43 million, and one esports platform in the country, KALARO, is on the mission to be at the forefront of the esports industry in the country and engage these players – and more. 

Launched in October 2020 for its close-beta testing, KALARO was launched by The-AsiaGroup.com Inc. as a fully integrated end-to-end esports digital platform. The application includes features like tournament management, one-on-one challenges, and team competitions as well as coaching, and buy-ins, among others.

Almost one year after, we touched base with its Founder & CEO Jun D. Lasco to get to know how much it has grown since its entry into the industry – the platform itself and its vision and mission – and ultimately, after delta and beta testing for the period, finally, the launch of its first public version 1.0.

Watch the full MARKETECH Spotlight episode on KALARO feat. KALARO’s Founder & CEO Jun D. Lasco

KALARO, the esports super app by the Filipino for the Filipino gamers

Before getting into KALARO’s sophistication as a tech platform, KALARO first and foremost has a mission at its heart, and that is to fulfill the needs of both esports enthusiasts and professionals in the country

Jun turns to a study similarly by Newzoo wherein 100,000 gamers across the globe were surveyed and discovered the three main motivations behind getting into esports: to unwind and relax, to engage in some form of competition, and interestingly, the social aspect of the game.

KALARO_esports_Newzoo

“More than providing a digital platform, one of our core missions and advocacies is being actively part in helping the youth in their mental health issues…and hopefully, KALARO will be one of the major platforms, social platforms, where they can engage socially, and compete, and be able to [have a sense of achievement], and unwind and have fun,” said Jun in the MARKETECH Spotlight interview

Today, KALARO is an esports super app with online tournament management integrated into its own video hub, brand integration, and social networking capabilities and with its very own e-wallet.

KALARO is the Filipino term for playmate, and true to its origins, the platform carries the mission of bringing out the world-class talent in every Filipino stakeholder in the industry which includes the caster, gamer or player, team, the tournament organizer, and brand-product creator, for them to discover and be discovered by others. 

“And again, we’d like to showcase KALARO as a world-class product and a product that all the stakeholders in the industry can really benefit from,” said Jun.

Releasing KALARO’s public version 1.0

So after a year since it was piloted, we asked, is KALARO now ready to launch its public version 1.0? 

Jun answers a firm yes. 

After beta- and delta- testing since October, and with now more than 7,800 gamers on the platform doing it on a nationwide scale, KALARO is ready for the next stage, officially launching its public version this September 2021 to start its journey towards its first one million users. 

“Yes, definitely, we’re ready to launch version 1.0. This is the first public release of version 1.0. of KALARO. [We’ve been] fine-tuning the application [since] October last year [up until] end of August [this year]. And we are now ready to package version 1.0 and release it starting September 18,” revealed Jun. 

KALARO's Public Version 1.0
KALARO’s Public Version 1.0 Signup Page

Jun said that the goal has always been about bringing a world-class app with a solid product-market-fit, which is why it took the company almost a year before it launched its public version.

Launching KALARO in October 2020 was far from an easy feat, where Jun revealed the challenges they had to go through before they launched the beta version in the middle of the pandemic. 

“The beta launch is very significant, because it was really challenging, working together in a virtual environment,” shared Jun. 

Right off the bat, the predicament that the KALARO team had to face was not being together physically and communicating while being from different parts of the country. Like the proverbial genius working in their garage, KALARO was developing and programming the platform in the night. 

Soon, following the beta launch, KALARO had 750 gamers to close-beta-test the platform, and from their feedback, the real fine-tuning began. And now here one year after, KALARO is growing from strength to strength. 

After the public version is launched this September, Jun reveals, “We will have a very aggressive set of activities and campaigns for the last quarter of this year, so that the market [of almost] 50 million gamers and our fans would realize the benefits and the value that make KALARO really enjoyable.”

The mission and vision of KALARO 

One year after its official foray into the esports scene, we touched base on how KALARO sees its role in the lives of gamers and Filipinos. 

At its core, KALARO was built to give every gamer an equal opportunity to learn, be discovered, and gain mastery, and most of all, to have fun and to also present opportunities to earn a living. But as a super app, KALARO isn’t now merely attending to the hunger for esports action but has moved to become so much more for its users. 

Jun summarizes KALARO’s mission in the three major areas: financial wellness, mental health, and most of all, national pride. 

Jun shared that the goal is to develop a platform that would serve gamers’ financial wellness because as Jun puts it when someone becomes a member of KALARO, the platform would want to provide a facility and features that will help people earn extra money. 

“That’s why we have our own e-wallet and are partnering with UnionBank [of the Philippines], and so on. Financial wellness is very important,” said Jun. 

With esports and social platforms cited as beneficial channels to manage mental health, this has become one of KALARO’s main advocacies. Jun says KALARO is like a Facebook for gamers

“KALARO being like the Facebook for gamers will allow gamers to really socialize, interact, [and] enjoy freedom in the games that they love,” said Jun. 

Above all, as a team in a country where there aren’t yet many tech innovations, putting the Philippines on the map will always be a mission. In fact, in April 2021, KALARO has begun to see its hard work and talent pay off, being named as one of the top 5 esports startups in Asia in the Esports X Business Asia Summit (EXB Asia Summit), held in Singapore.

KALARO represented the Philippines among a sea of companies from top tech innovator countries Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States. In addition to this, KALARO has also successfully secured a partnership with multinational technology company for gaming, Razer, in June 2021.

“As they say, when you create a product, or when you create a service, there has to be a deep meaning as to why you’re actually building it. And again, from October last year, we have received lots of feedback and lots of suggestions, and we adapted the product of KALARO to be able to really connect to the market, and [to meet] the needs and aspirations of the gamer,” said Jun. 

What’s next for KALARO? 

KALARO’s growth trajectory is obviously on a promising level, and so beyond the launch of the public version, begs the question, what else is on KALARO’s future plans? 

As an end-to-end esports platform, KALARO doesn’t only answer to gamers, taking a whole lot of other stakeholders within the community as the platform’s priority. Aside from the gamers, KALARO caters to streamers, casters, team managers and owners, league and tournament operators, and corporate brands. 

“Since KALARO is a super app, by design, each of these stakeholders has a special role and participation inside KALARO,” said Jun. 

He further shares that building an all-in-one platform has always been the objective especially in the Philippines and even in Southeast Asia as a whole where the market isn’t necessarily tech-savvy. 

“You know, when we were conceptualizing KALARO, and we were going through the process of design thinking, focus group discussion, mind mapping, and so on, we really made sure that we will be able to build a holistic [and] an all-in-one solution for the esports industry. Especially here in Asia, or Southeast Asia, in particular, it could be very difficult for the stakeholders to be using say, five different applications just to be able to actively participate.” 

He adds, “And the major motivations for vendors and players to participate are all inside KALARO.” 

As a super app for esports, Jun shares the upcoming developments within the platform in line with its mission – and even more. 

For one, the platform has partnered with one of the leading banks in the country, UnionBank, to boost KALARO’s financial service offerings. More interestingly, Jun shared that on this front, it’s not a distant possibility that there would be a Visa card for KALARO soon and even an insurance offering. 

Still in line with its mission for financial inclusion, Jun also revealed that KALARO is looking into crypto- and blockchain-related features and services within the platform. Due to the growing interest of the younger generation in cryptocurrency, Jun says that KALARO is sure to leverage the power of cryptocurrency, where NFT and blockchain will be part of the roadmap. 

In terms of the social aspect, KALARO will be exploring live video and voice calling features in order to heighten the experience of playing together.

“So imagine if a student or a young person in the Philippines can play with his dad, or kuya (brother) somewhere abroad, and they can interact live or play together and do other things,” said Jun. 

Other than the fact that KALARO is disrupting tech in the Philippines, what is truly inspiring and makes KALARO the platform to be is above all, its advocacies to the stakeholders, who are mostly the younger generation.

“We really want to give all the chances in the world for every Pinoy and level the playing field. Even if you are not in the country’s major cities, we believe that there are huge hidden talents across the over 7,000 islands in the country,” said Jun. 

“When you join KALARO, you will have instant visibility even if you are 5,000 miles away from the nation’s capital. KALARO will give you that online presence and opportunity to be seen and participate,” added Jun.

Listen to the full conversation between MARKETECH APAC’s Regional Editor Shaina Teope and KALARO’s Founder & CEO Jun D. Lasco on Spotify:

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Main Feature Technology APAC

Why marketers will prioritize gametech

For generations, gaming has been a cherished pastime across cultures and geographies. It took on a new life with the advent of the console and the internet, becoming more accessible and affordable. We’re now experiencing the next surge in gaming with the industry nearly doubling over the last five years, largely due to a combination of increasing internet access and speed, the proliferation of 5G, and increasing sophistication in hardware and mobile devices. 

As the industry has grown, the technology underpinning gaming has become more powerful. The opportunity has evolved beyond the console, bringing many once fantasy science fiction stories to life, creating a flourishing gaming ecosystem. So as the pandemic forced everyone to stay indoors and find new ways to connect and stay entertained, the growth of gaming has accelerated exponentially beyond prediction.

Convergence of gaming and marketing

Fuelled by the maturity and innovation in marketing and advertising technology, coupled with advancements in machine learning, artificial intelligence, smart devices, and cloud computing, we are now witness to the convergence of gaming and marketing as an opportunity to the current market value of $175B USD this year. The landscape has changed and brands and marketers are looking for new and innovative ways to capitalize on the 3 billion global daily users. 

But the technology ecosystem hasn’t fully kept up with the exponential growth in gaming, nor has expertise evolved to provide clear, strategic entry points for brands to authentically connect in this new interactive universe. Leading MarTech and AdTech companies are now looking at the gaming universe, seeking to understand how they can capture and grow their piece of the virtual pie and get in on the next big wave of marketing and entertainment. 

The next generation of marketers and technologists are building a new landscape for gaming technology, so-called Gametech. New infographics reminiscent of the familiar Lumascape are now in circulation, highlighting the emergence of new businesses with relevant gaming technology dedicated to PC, console, or mobile devices. 

Overcoming gaming marketing hesitancy 

It has been referenced that brands and marketers are hesitant to invest their budgets in this arena. Claims range from tenuous means to measure campaign effectiveness, to not enough understanding about the medium, to let’s just throw some of my traditional media budget into a streaming platform and see what happens as a strategy. 

This stems from a knowledge gap for both marketers and their agencies, and that trusted advisors and genuine gaming specialists are a small group. Beyond the upskilling and education, there also remains a gap in the connection to audience and inventory marketplaces. 

Marketers, publishers, and their agencies must be able to access and activate through their DSP and/or SSP of choice. The challenge for some of these platforms is they currently lack the right integrations to support features unique to gaming behaviors and buying methods. The technology must adapt to the intricacies and adopt features like new buying types in order to tap into the market and scale with programmatic. 

Combined forces driving game technology 

Modern marketing and advertising are powered by machine learning and real-time access to audience segments, creative and inventory via private or public marketplaces. For gaming, the way to gain traction and scale is by leveraging the maturity and speed of these existing technologies combined with dedicated operational support for the new interactive ecosystem. 

What the industry needs are businesses that aren’t focused on building the game itself, but genuinely understand how audiences engage with interactive formats and create opportunities that are true to the playing field without disruption. That means campaigns suited to the universe – or metaverse – in which the players reside, as well as in the form of ad monetization, measurement, and analytics to market analysis with a deeply rooted understanding of creativity fuelled growth. 

Gametech providers must support marketers to understand how best to approach gaming, supported by research and insights. Data solutions must be available to activate through leading data marketplaces, DSPs, and SSPs. The right strategy and access are not complete without real-time measurement tools to inform in-flight performance and campaign effectiveness. 

Industry legends from programmatic to traditional sports are combining learnings and the best of breed technology built for the fourth industrial revolution into the digital age. Platforms that can provide some or all of these solutions will carry brands into the next phase of Gametech and gaming marketing. 

Double down on the future of Gametech

Brands, publishers, agencies, and platforms should be paying attention to the opportunity powered by Gametech. Gaming is ingrained in our modern-day culture, across geographies, demographics, economics, psychographics, etc. – all you need is internet access or a mobile phone.

But with great access and power comes responsibility – and children are a part of the gaming community. Innovation in Gametech has brought to light increased safety measures. In-game advertising enables marketers to choose what they define as brand-safe environments, empowering parents to feel secure in the activities their children engage with online. 

Leveraging the power of data and insights combined with programmatic media buying methodologies, Gametech solutions enable addressability and harness the benefits of an increasingly sophisticated use of machine learning, smart software, and technology. 

With the gaming market nearly doubling over the last five years and forecasted to grow to $217.9 billion by 2023, more of the marketing pie is going to shift into gaming. And the gaming universe is just getting ramped up, with more opportunity to be uncovered at the convergence of gaming and commerce. Fashion companies, sports icons, and music stars alike are bursting into the metaverse offering everything from live concerts, runway fashion shows, merchandise and apparel, and more. 

Together, this presents a greenfield for creative innovation to connect the right brands and services to the right metaverse, game, or stream, with the right strategy, at the right time. 

Only Gametech expertise can take you there. Are you ready? 

This article is written by Indy Khabra, Co-Founder and CEO of Livewire.

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Platforms Featured APAC

The next phase of hypergrowth in esports

The gaming industry is going from strength to strength with continuous growth on a global scale. With investments of over $60 billion in the first half of 2021, it has already almost doubled the total amount in 2020. With innovation taking center stage, many will be looking towards further opportunities in commerce to secure future growth as the industry once again prepares to level up. 

Over the last 18 months, events quickly transformed how the global community communicated with friends, shopped, and interacted online. People of all ages were responsible for a spike in digital gaming activity in a world where we all became players. But global audiences are not just playing games; they are increasingly consuming more gaming-related content via live and recorded streams of games across multiple platforms.

As the world begins to open back up, interest in gaming and esports continues to dominate headlines. The arrival of 5G is creating more opportunities for esports companies to scale as mobile-first nations such as China and Southeast Asia continue to thrive with millions of new fans entering virtual arenas. But how can esports companies scale quickly enough to meet the demands of their audience? 

Have the right people

Gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries and market environments. But it’s people who drive the heart of every business in this space. The most successful esports companies attract the best talent and investors to help realize their vision. But, identifying and developing this talent and creating a working culture that empowers every individual to be the best version of themselves is the easy part. Then, just like in video games, it’s keeping the momentum going and grinding through tasks where many fail.

Every esports player knows that if you don’t selflessly help others, look out for your teammates, or work together, you won’t get very far. Video games have taught us that although you might move forward faster alone, you can achieve much more in a group. There is no room for egos in business either, and the right people by your side combined with a growth mindset will result in many successful joint missions where objectives and goals are achieved.

In our virtual, physical, and digital lives, everybody is faced with grinding through cumbersome work that at the time feels unrewarding. But you need to dig deep and pull together to unlock hypergrowth. There is a strong argument that convincing brave, driven, and entrepreneurial-minded people to join your winning tribe requires leadership, communication, teamwork, and negotiation skills learned through playing video games. Once again, it’s people and teams that learn from each other that create the magic, whether online or offline.

Pivoting until you find your path 

No start-up journey is clear-cut from the start, and nobody could have predicted that Zoom would be worth more than the world’s seven biggest airlines or that videogames would generate more revenue than movies and music combined. Elsewhere, many traditional companies are attempting to pivot to esports, which can be both a blessing and a curse. 

For example, large traditional sporting events realized that their global fanbase of millions could never fit inside a sporting arena. So how do they keep their fans engaged? NASCAR was one of the first to pivot to esports, with its iRacing series attracting one million viewers per event. As the lines between traditional sport and esports begin to get blurry, it can create tremendous opportunities and challenges in equal measure for the industry. 

It’s important to remember that YouTube would have become a video dating website without the pivot, and Instagram would have become a location-based game. In the same way that multiple lives in video games give you another chance to try a different approach, opportunities will always come your way on your mission to locate hypergrowth in your esports company

The universe will provide us with many opportunities to change and try something new. So, don’t waste these chances and always take advantage of the opportunities on the continuously evolving path that lies ahead. Most important of all, remember that the game is never over.

Explore the map

Don’t be afraid to go on side-missions if an exciting opportunity lands in front of you as long as you stay on track. By contrast, if you remain in the same place, you will quickly run low on resources or discover new ways to broaden your horizons.

By exploring one’s map, one can navigate unchartered digital waters to help design a plan. Blueprints involve finding esports teams with a strong community and solid foundation in each of the markets it operates in. With this foundation in place, they can be accelerated to become household names and compete among the region’s top teams. Additionally, partnering with brand ambassadors and content creators can take them to the next level with strategic partnerships, sponsorships, and content distribution across multiple channels. 

The gaming industry has come a long way since its days of being on the fringes of popular culture. However, both gaming and esports are right at the heart of mainstream entertainment. By bridging the gap between the gaming world and the brands challenged with creating awe-inspiring content, it is hoped that we can take engaging experiences for esports and gaming fans to the next level. 

One of the most significant growth opportunities in the industry is driving commerce by delivering physical and digital products. Having a clear game plan to navigate these challenging times has resulted in the hypergrowth of many industries, and gaming is no exception. But at the heart of everything is people. From every employee to every member of a gaming audience, it’s about how we all use technology to create powerful and authentic ways to connect with people. 

This article is written by Tim Roemer, COO of Ampverse.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Which is the most talked about esports game, team among Filipino fans on Twitter?

Manila, Philippines – As more and more gamers around the world come to Twitter to discuss all of the latest happenings and trends, Twitter Philippines has released its gaming and esports insights on how local gamers have leveled up their voices and excitement on the platform’s gaming scene in the first half of 2021.

According to the data collected, Filipino gamers went from 9th place in 2020 to 6th place this year, surpassing India, France, and the United Kingdom. The open-world game Genshin Impact has reigned the rankings as the most talked about game among Filipino gamers on Twitter. This was followed by shooter video game VALORANT, and virtual universe game Roblox landing in the third spot.

Meanwhile, video game Minecraft came out in the fourth spot, while Among Us, a multiplayer social deduction game, capped the top five.

Twitter has also recorded that Filipino gamers on the platform showed their support for their favorite teams and players and connected with the source themselves. The most talked about esports teams among Filipinos on Twitter are T1, Sentinels, OGesports, Team Secret, Cloud 9, FNATIC, G2esports, and 100 Thieves, as well as TNC Predator, and TSM, which ranked one to ten respectively.

“Even though the year is almost halfway over, there’s still plenty to look forward to in the second half of the year. Be sure to stay tuned for even more gaming events like Gamescom & The Game Awards, along with plenty of esports content from Call of Duty League, League of Legends Esports, Overwatch League, and the VALORANT Champions Tour, among others,” said Twitter.

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

GroupM’s tie-up with PH’s Tier One to make advertising more inclusive in esports

Manila, Philippines – Tier One Entertainment, Philippine-headquartered esports talent agency for SEA, has landed a major partnership with media investment company GroupM with an aim to make advertising more inclusive in the esports industry, specifically to open up esports and gaming content to more mainstream brands. 

GroupM owns some of the top agencies internationally, such as Mindshare, Mediacom, and Essence, and holds global FMCG brand accounts like P&G, Unilever, Nestle, and Colgate-Palmolive, and Pepsico. Through this partnership, both GroupM and Tier One look to lead the way in extending advertising opportunities to more brands, and not just those that are esports-dedicated. 

Despite its rise as a phenomenon, esports and gaming largely remain an endemic sponsor-dominated industry, especially in Southeast Asia. Tier One hopes that with GroupM’s considerable network and resources, they can work to change this and bring more eyes to the industry and their talents.

Tier One is the first and only esports and gaming company GroupM has partnered with in the Philippines, and with this, the company will be onboarded into GroupM’s content platform INCA which streamlines the selling and buying of Tier One’s commercial inventory.

When Tier One launched in the country, one of its core goals is to bridge the gap between gaming and mainstream. The company said that GroupM is the perfect partner to enable them to pursue that goal more actively than ever. 

“It’s been a long-term goal of Tier One Entertainment to partner with GroupM. We are glad to have reached a point wherein our backend team can experience working with the best and brightest in the advertising industry. We look forward to a productive and meaningful working relationship as we bring esports and gaming to the forefront of mainstream advertising,” said Joanne Llavore, CCO of Tier One Entertainment

Meanwhile, Laurent Goirand, head of digital at GroupM, commented, “Seeing the growing interest for e-sports in the Philippines, it is naturally becoming a new venue for our clients to reach out to new customers. With our partnership with Tier One, we are able to have access to premium content and a team of experts, which will be highly beneficial to our overall proposition. We are already starting to offer this new content to all our clients through INCA, our Content Performance solution.”

Tier One shared that the partnership comes at an opportune time, as it looks to expand to more countries in 2021 and in the future. GroupM is believed to be instrumental in mirroring the model of success that Tier One pioneered in the Philippines to other countries across the region, with the partnership expected to allow Tier One to scale up at an unprecedented rate.

Tier One’s CEO Tryke Gutierrez said, “While we have made great strides towards bringing gaming and esports to more mainstream audiences, the fact that a company like GroupM chose us as a partner is a real game-changer. This shows that the advertising industry is finally confident and believes in the power of esports in Southeast Asia.”

Categories
Platforms Featured South Asia

ATechnos launches gaming as a service platform for user and brand benefit

Haryana, India – India-based gaming content consulting and content distribution company ATechnos has recently launched its gaming as a service (GAAS) platform which aims to distribute gaming content for common users, and give brands an opportunity to gamify their brand campaigns.

The GAAS platform is called ‘GoGames.Run’ and offers a plethora of games for users of all ages, including augmented and virtual reality games with more realistic and intense action. To date, GoGames.Run has over 500 games across categories including action, arcade, casual, board, sports, mystery etc. In addition to this, many new games are added every month.

Apurv Modi, managing director and co-founder at ATechnos believes that cloud gaming is the future and is enabling a radical transformation in the media industry. He also added that they feel very proud that they are able to bring the next level of audience engagement on platforms that have seen massive growth amidst the pandemic.

“With the addition of instant gratifications, the integration can add tremendous value to any platform, whether they want to engage and retain the existing users or add new users. The integration also enables platforms to innovate and bring in revenue from advertisers. We are sure that GoGames.Run gaming platform will have a deep impact on audience consumption patterns,” Modi said.

In addition, ATechnos is also adding the following programs:

  • GoGames.Run Publisher Program can be integrated with the publisher portal in under 5 minutes time and can help publishers to increase user engagement on their portal with gamification.
  • GoGames.Run Developer Program allows any developer to develop their own games and launch on the GoGames.Run network and generate revenue.
  • GoGames.Run Gamification Program enables brands, OTTs, media companies, portals, and telecoms to quickly run various exciting campaigns around gaming which can result in increased user engagement and loyalty. Using ATechnos’ gamification programs, brands can generate huge shout in the market and increase their presence by manifold.

Rahul Jain, vice president for gaming at ATechnos, commented, “With GoGames.Run now available for all platforms including apps, websites, social media platforms and OTT, the window of opportunity for game developers also opens up. We understand the importance of direct-to-consumer access and being able to have a quick turnaround time for revenue generation. GoGames partnerships are truly a win-win-win situation for the platform, the developer, and us.”