Digitalized sport and we are stubborn!

04 October 2017 Read this article in Turkish

In recent years, we have a sector called e-sports that is rising rapidly in front of our eyes. While this sector is growing so actively, we are closing our eyes to these developments as countries and prefer to watch from afar. In fact, the reasons for this are very clear in Turkey. This is because it is very difficult to develop in a sector which has the word ‘game’ in it in countries which depend on traditional methods such as Turkey. Because no matter how great the market is, no matter how innovative the work is, our logic games cannot go out of the crowd.

As the e-sports name implies, it is sports that take place entirely on the digital platforms with rival teams fighting each other. Yes, you did not read that wrong. I'm talking about competitive games where players go to their computers and use their mouse and keyboards. It does not appeal to a lot of people when it is said, but I think that for one of these games, Dota 2, more than 20 million people will watch the last tournament finale and with a total of 21 million dollars collected in the prize pool. The figures may sound funny to many, but they are all true. I can even say something that will make you more surprised. In 2016, the e-sports market value was 463 million dollars. What did you say? They're just playing games, are they not?

Let's leave the figures for these market values ​​to one side and try to figure out exactly what e-sports is. To form a team of professional e-sports players, players are participating in tournaments and leagues along with their teams. These players have their own team houses. I'm talking about two-story luxury villas. The players are chosen 2-3 months before the tournament and they train continuously until the tournament time and prepare themselves for the tournament. If we also think that there are leagues that are going on continuously, the players spend a great part of their lives in this house with their teams. We can easily define what e-sports is and how players compete. In short, e-sports players, like footballers or basketball players, train and put a great deal of effort into their profession.

If we look at the world market spread, a large majority of the market is in Asia. Europe and America are following. According to this distribution, China and Korea have a $106 million portion of the $463 million market. Despite this, North America is still the largest host to tournaments and leagues. In fact, even this statistic is an indication of how sensitive America is to innovation and opportunities. America buys the market with its activities and marketing strategies instead of Asia, which makes up almost 30% of the whole market. So I do not want to link it to America, but it is enough to see why America is developed.

The e-sports' revenue model and market value are not limited to only tournaments and leagues. There are many other factors such as sponsorship agreements with big companies, revenues generated by sites that broadcast online games, gaming equipment presented to viewers and team goods. Even if it is not professional actors and professional acting, those who play these games can make money by showing their publications on the internet. This is dominated by the streaming site Twitch. It is my opinion that this industry's most successful initiative is now being followed closely by followers and events. They set the income model to receive commissions on the proceeds from publications they publish. This commission rate is 50%. Almost all of the publishers are using this platform even though it has a huge commission rate, because the idea of ​​another venture that could fill this opportunity in the sector has not yet been established in a healthy way.

According to our understanding of e-sports' size and opportunities, let us come to our country. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, in our country, one of the biggest reasons for ignoring this sector is the stigma of the word game. Now think about how funny it is that white-collar investors with so much money gather around a table and develop a project on a game! Consider the average older investors and entrepreneurs you know in our country. How many of them will look at this positively? It is very sad to say this, but unfortunately our country is the reality. If you are not participating in this idea and you have a few people who will take care of this sector in mind, yes, these people are already in this sector.


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