Coronavirus, the Impact on Games and eSports – Plus Q&A With Super League Gaming
Q&A With Super League Gaming Chief Commercial Officer, Matt Edelman
Who is Super League Gaming, anyway? It is an eSports company that focused more on amateur eSports, describing themselves as the "world's premier platform for amateur gamers to experience their sport like the pros". Within their network are sixteen city clubs across the United States as well as several national and international tournaments, it's a company that is in a strong position to benefit from the current climate, as well as the general increased trend towards eSports.
Recently I was able to have a small question and answer session via email with Super League Gaming's Chief Commercial Officer, Matt Edelman:
Chris Wray: The spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has resulted in a number of lockdowns worldwide as well as the closure of other entertainment venues, from sports to cinemas. Do you think this could provide a boost to stay-at-home entertainment like Video Games?
Matt Edelman: Absolutely. There’s already evidence of this on a global scale through reports from telecom and broadband providers who are seeing major spikes in usage across their networks. We’re seeing it directly at Super League as well, with higher than normal levels of players accessing our online and social video offerings over the past week. We’re hitting all-time highs in some cases.
CW: Has the live attendance for your regional amateur clubs been postponed during the current outbreak or, if not, have you noticed a drop in attendance?
ME: As of one week ago, attendance within our worldwide network of gaming centers had not decreased, but that generally was before multiple countries mandated the closure of most public venues and also before a national emergency was declared in the U.S.. Our sense more broadly is that people would like to be able to congregate in smaller groups on a local level, in places they trust, with people they know. For gamers, hometown gaming centers, which are the primary physical locations where our Gaming Clubs are represented, provide that opportunity. That said, what’s most important right now is that people abide by the recommendations and of local, national and global health authorities.
CW: Have you noticed any change in the number of players and viewers during the current outbreak for yourselves at Super League Gaming?
We are seeing significant increases in levels of activity in our online gameplay platform for Minecraft players, Minehut.com, and peak levels of viewership across our Framerate branded social video channels on Instagram and Tik Tok and for our show on Snapchat Discover, Taking Shape.
CW: If so, will Super League Gaming potentially be expanding their operations, including new games to bring in more players?
ME: This is a difficult time for everyone, and particularly challenging for high school and college students, and their families, whose lives have gone from being highly structured to having almost no structure at all. We are looking at additional ways to provide the gamers in these age groups and beyond with more ways to stay connected with each other so they can rely upon the bonds and friendships they have developed through gaming. Our goal is for Super League to serve as a bright spot in their days.
CW: Will your streaming, Super League TV, also be expanding to possibly capture this increased audience?
ME: Thankfully our visualization platform and live streaming technology capabilities will enable us to continue broadcasting and producing content even while our teams transition to working remotely. We will be delivering our regular content offerings on an uninterrupted basis and are looking at opportunities to provide even more exciting programming to entertain our expanding audience.
CW: While the question could seem insensitive during the current climate, do you imagine there could be a boost to your revenue and stock (similar to the recent boost to Netflix) due to the fact that more people are at home and potentially using your service?
ME: Gaming is the largest category of entertainment and has proven to be fairly recession proof. Being in the gaming space, we likely will benefit from that reality. Key for Super League right now, and consistent with our ongoing mission, is helping our audience – and gamers at large – find positive ways to engage in their passion for play, especially at a time when positivity is so important.
CW: On a non-COVID-19 note, you have a channel on Twitch but are there any plans to expand to platforms like Mixer? Linking to COVID-19, would this happen in the near future to capitalise on the potential increased audience?
ME: We are always looking at opportunities to reach new viewers and utilize new platforms. We do not have any specific plans to share at the moment.
CW: Is there anything else you would like to add?
ME: We encourage everyone to follow available guidelines on how best to stay safe and help the world move through these trying times.
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