Esports On The Rise: Carlos Rodriguez + Fabian Hllsten
Welcome to Corona Virus Sports. This is with manager today. The world of e sports I'll be talking to Colorado he as CEO and founder of G. Two E. Sports which is a huge successful brand and team in the world of gaming. We'll also be chatting with Fabio Halston Professional Gamer. Who knows too well? The culture of Video Games and what they represent. The effects of cove in nineteen on the world of sports has caused major economic downfall forcing layoffs and see of financial uncertainty. But there's one sector that has not only survived the downturn it has continued to grow because of it video gaming video game sales have been soaring. Millions of people have been following social distancing and quarantine guidelines and turning to other ways for entertainment Nintendo for example the Japanese giant sold. Its latest of its animal crossing franchise to more than one point eight million copies in. Its first three days in Japan according to the gaming publication Famitsu here in the US. Bryson stated a video games usage during peak hours. Went up more than seventy five percent since quarantine rules came into place while video streaming increased by twelve percent with numbers climbing obviously when it comes to marketing and production revenue. This is no time to take joy out of what comes out of covert nineteen but the facts remain the world of video gaming and East sports continues to thrive wanted to dive deeper and talk to people who not only understand his world better than your regular player but also help us see what the future holds for this intriguing world of e sports joining me now is GonNa Larrea's founder and CEO of G. Two E. Sports one of the biggest organizations teams in the world of East Sports Carlos. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you so much for having me. He pressure it's a pleasure simultaneously hip and you'll about. We will do this. In English for the sake of our audience gutters. Obviously there's nothing in Cova nineteen on the polemic that calls for means to celebrate as many businesses are struggling but video gaming is going through a unique situation. Can you explain to us the state of video gaming and East sports during the pandemic? Yes so you know as you said is it? Is You know when when a catastrophe like this happens is never f a good thing when people are struggling to directly look the silver linings but You know some time has passed. I think is good to start sort of looking at what things are going well and yes definitely video games in east sports in particular are going through relatively good time For for many reasons one of them being there is just more people with more free time in east. Portman gaming are fantastic. Sort of get away for these people to spend our entertain them themselves in and then number two because people that have never come across gaming eastport now as a result of having that increased amount of time at home in the decreased. Amount of time you know having to find ways to entertain themselves the Italy. Then they don't officer they're exposed to game in any sport in office setting we have more potential people interested in it so it it. It's definitely not a good thing in terms of Of course many business going belly up Of course revenue decrease in for an you know within a number of of organization teams and competitors of ours are struggling already but they look look at the numbers. And you see that people are watching more streams. People are what you more videos be more social medium being actually more engaged with us. Yeah let's let's stick to that Part that you just said numbers I mean. I'm reading things. Like even as high as seventy five percent video gaming is happening right now. Has a sports found a way? Do you think also to appeal to new fans who perhaps never even cold themselves gamers. Is that a major part of the audience right now. Well I feel like if you ask me what do you think is the retention rate of all these people that have never gained before in are now exposed to gaming the retention rate of these people. I think he's not a very low. And the reason is because gaming and eastport in particular have been growing within certain dynamics that US those that have grown playing games on watching people play games understand and are used to you. Know New game comes out and that game will be changing over two weeks in order to remain fresh in order not to lose its player base right. That's unheard of in traditional sports. Like you know. People lost their crap when soccer installed a the Var to verify whether something was off side. Or where goal was legal or not you know allowed or not in any sports that is normal phenomena like things like this happen all the time so where we grow up or embracing change. We grow up seen teams like ours. Having to constantly games die new games. Come a new you have to shift budget. You have to be very agile. You know kind of like Zodiac as opposed to a transatlantic and those are things that that people that are not to that find shocking right because you have to keep track of all the changes that have been happening in the game specifically etcetera. Otherwise you just lose. You know you lose interest in it for our audience who may not know this. Give us a little background. Just how big is the world of sports right now? We're talking about approximately two gamers around the world. Probably half a billion dollars just in terms of overall revenue going around with growing approximately twelve percent year over year knob Ridge La- we're talking about big numbers here and what interesting about these numbers is not that they are beak today. Relative to traditional sports is the tendencies that Trent is the fact. That doesn't matter what happens. Gaming will keep growing relative to the rest the other every other form of entertainment wise because people have more and better access technology to Norway's cheaper everyday Internet and connectivities cheaper and better every day and people you know games are the most red ocean business I can think of in terms of every single publisher is fighting against each other in order to have the winning title which means that every single day you have incredibly talented developed developers coming up with insane games and that keeps happening all the time. There's not a single basketball. That stays there forever. No you don't if you don't step up your out which means that the industry using a constant state of upgrading itself each forcing gaming in particular. It doesn't matter whether you're giving your phone on your ps four On Your PC xbox ipod VR ar doesn't matter is video games and video begin competition and there will always data will always exist to capacity numbers. Keep growing up and And and not nothing tells me that the trend is going any other direction aborts. Well I mean the evidence is right now during a pandemic where it doesn't matter Video game and is still as you said going up. Talk to us a little bit about g to sports Your Organization your team Talk about it a little bit. I know some of the things you have been doing during the pandemic sure. Well we are as any sports organization. Right I lance many people would automatically competitors with. I don't know. La Lakers something like that but in reality what we are. A media company focused on video games so kind of more like a combination of Netflix. Meets these name midst L. Acres Right? Yes we do have teams that compete and succeed competitively. And there's a big part of our business we have but the but then we have a lot of creators and entertainers. That are not necessarily the best in the world at the game. They're just funny entertaining. There's a lot of content of social media and distribution and there's a lot of communication with defense in person online so there's a lot of lot of aspects that makes us so clearly a media company with one very very strong thing which is the brand g tweets portrayed in all our brands that we own like making the squad which is a reality show sort of talent show for entertainers gaming and and and and whatever may come in the future right so One of the things that I think differentiates us from the rest is that we see our job. The same way Gladiator that likes his job would see his job. Yeah he has to Wayne because losing might get him killed but he loses. He wants to be entertaining enough so that the people are wanting a life and the disease are never does like. Did you know with the finger down? Point down the fingers so so that he dies And so that's pretty much is right out brands very playful or brownies. You know where very self deprecating would always roasted. Everybody else like we're about is a video game is fun and then to yourselves. You know and is working. It is working what the other part that I'm interested in some of the things that you have been doing to help others teen talked to us a little bit about that. Yeah we are doing. We're putting together Sort of content format with with Illegal in In football with before we did it with NBA Two K. Where we stream you know we get sort of the best player of each of each of which team to play sort a tournament and actually Real Madrid up into win. Yeah Yeah Yeah well. I formerly relative fence so that that was good so Barcelona fans won't be happy about that and so so we need to entertain the people any had a lot of people had 'em hundred seventy five thousand grab yours. We raised one hundred and fifty thousand one hundred sixty thousand dollars I can. I can remember exciting. You know we're working with partners for example secret lab We're we're we're donating Fifty thousand mosques for frontline works in the US for coffee. Nineteen sort of Initiatives in general. We just for us what. We are our role in these world release. There's just so much shit out there. There's so much bad news. There's so much negativity everywhere everywhere you go. You know exactly where to Negative Nativity if you follow us whether as twitter instagram youtube twitch whatever it is you know a tick tock whatever it is you know you're in for laughs you know that you know whatever we're not gonNA put out is not going to be an eam always gonNA BE NEGATIVE GONNA. GonNa Thrive and try to be funny generally funny and and try to make your day one percent better. That's our goal and our job and find seem to like it so far. They do they do. That's probably why you said it was net flicks Disney and the La Lakers. Though I live Freddie merger I probably would have at the ninety s bulls. But we'll we'll move on The other part that I really wanted to break down was also about video streaming right pete. He'll also logging on and watching Specific advance etc to you mentioned twitch course a major part of the gaming industry talk to us a little bit about it and the rice and just how much has groans especially during the pandemic. Yes so what what what twitches. And it's funny because I actually before I was a pro. I am if I build you to his as the CEO founder. I was actually a professional player myself in I was to the largest streamer back then as well and then it was the largest one of the largest in twitch TV which is right now. Superbeets racial box van when streaming there for thirty thousand concurrent viewers. It wasn't as big right and I've seen all this change happening in front of me is just a matter of habits that people are growing up with different habits than before. When Youtube became such a big thing everybody was looking at Logan Poll. In all these very known pupae and people like that are super knowning youtube and that came out of nowhere as well that became so big. Thanks to all these habits from the people you know growing up now. Those habits are more and more becoming instead of watching static video content as much from Youtube. They're they're sort of slowly deviating towards life video content right and you know live streaming will become larger and larger as time goes by. But it'll never make a sort of video on demand. Which Youtube is absolutely there irrelevant. By any means just two different forms of entertainment the good thing twitch though and livestream in general is that the level of interaction with your community will just be always on order of magnitude better like. Dick an ask you imagine if Lebron James will be guest with a Gopro just just shooting threes in streaming for like thousands of people and people ask him questions and he answered them. Well this is what you have right now with video games in the BDO game athletes. These guys this community are big fans and these guys are idols for them so having the possibility of donating them five bucks and say hey. I love your work and then get a reaction from the streamer is invaluable for some people. Yeah I think the key that you said there is you just agree with to engage with the our community are really really insightful. Conversation Carlos early as CEO and founder of G to sports. Thank you so much for joining us. Thanks so much guys appreciate your work. We'll return after these short messages. Sports and scandals. What more could you ask for every week on? Hall of Shame. A new podcast. From crooked media folks sports host and comic Rachel Panetta and Comedy Writer. Reggina truck bomb take each other through some of the biggest scandals in sports history to discover the humanity behind the headlines from the thrill of Dhaka's No hitter to the agony of Rosie releases. Marathon lies they get to the bottom of what happened. Why these stories matter and how they're still relevant today you'll laugh you'll cry. You'll feel more invested in sports than you ever thought. Possible new episodes of Hall of shame. Come out every Monday. Subscribe on Apple podcasts. Spotify or wherever you your podcasts. It's one thing to understand the market. But what about a professional player? Someone who literally calls video gaming a career all over the world pro gamers just like athletes make a living from competing in these virtual worlds. They are part of a team playing in high stakes tournaments watched by thousands sometimes millions of people. How's the outbreak affected them? And what did they see in their own futures inside the world of sports joining us now is an Halston. Famine has been a pro players as two thousand sixteen. He's won three majors two of which are actually world championships. He's extremely popular in the gaming world. He's one of the winningest players in the rainbow. Six siege and you can find all his context specifically on Youtube Fob. Am thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having me. I'm really happy to be allowed to come on. No absolutely were so happy to have you. Let's let's get straight into. This is a show obviously about sports and the pandemic and many of our audience may not really be familiar with the world of of gaming. Talk to us a little bit about your background and the life of a professional game so I started fairly late being a professional player. I come from sports background like myself from before I started playing a sport called floor ball when I was twelve. I managed to get my way to the second highest league in Sweden. I injured my knee at eighteen and from there on I started playing a lot of computer games and I brought the same integrity that I had from sports. I mean you know how to play a team. You know how to be a character for your team your group and then I've just managed to take that over to sports. I think it's a very very similar sort of stuff with the same sort of metallic you need to best. You need to always push yourself and work hard and there isn't any shortcuts. We're not sitting around just playing video games now. We have specific practice when when we're doing stuff and we have specific purposes. We all these practices for example support players. Which will be using gadgets utility to help the so-called entrance which is the guy's going and I we have analysts rick coaches. We have obviously management's behind us. We have a lot of people working in an e sports team. This we have people that specifically look in in our game play and how we play and see what ten is we have. How is it easy to counter us in our place? What can we do to improve our individual style? As well as improve our team coordinated style. So you just mentioned about your team. I mean video gaming is such a huge community. Just how big is the gaming and e sports world I? It's massive. I mean the game that I play Rainbow. Succeed JR think last February. We will this February two months ago. We hit fifty million unique players on console and computer. So that's that's just one game and we don't even one of the biggest slumps we I would put about six or seven. There are games that are so much larger than ours. I mean you look at those aren't familiar whitten. Well I come from Sweden so Mike Countries and felt that big. You look at a football match and you'll have thirty thousand people in the arena watching the game and we went to Brazil two thousand eighteen. We might have to put in. I think it was seven or eight thousand people in the marina so you stats like the numbers might not be the same people that are there but online it's it's just massive anyone can use tune in twitch and you find the tournament and you can probably watch a tournament getting played right now. If you tune in there what what what would average audience be on twitch for a tournament would you say it really depends on? What sort of tournament is if it's a normal proudly game which is basically our league? We played every week twice a week. Depending on what the team G to us. We have been most successful team has pulled the big numbers and I would say on a normal match online. We would gather somewhere between twenty to thirty thousand viewers but if you go on a world championship will pull over a million on. That's all applause fight platforms to combined. That's just incredible numbers Obviously Corona virus there are many businesses that are going under. It's not a a happy time for many industries and you never really WanNa talk about you. Know How Great. Somebody's doing but video gaming continues on the rise Would you say that you are seeing that as a Gamer? I would say so. Definitely I mean right now. My job eastwards professional comes into being a streamer like I play. Video Games live so people can watch because we transfer windows just like in Rian Sports. I conscious go join another team whenever I want to. I have to wait into the transfer window opens and I would say there's an increasing viewership especially for individuals dreamers but also for the big tournaments and I mean Valerie just got released into the Beta stage which is completely brand new game and they have been pulling absurd numbers on on the live streaming streaming. So I would say east. Sports probably got a boost from the corona virus. But I mean I it's kind of you don't WanNa say it's good for someone because while the viruses and good for the world but for Eastport if you take that out of everything else eastport is doing good because of it quite a lot. Yeah absolutely would you say that You're seeing new people not just new gamers but new people being introduced to video gaming. I think so as well. Yeah I I can definitely see that Seeing us like a lot of sports now when they're not playing any matches at all pretty much anywhere in the world. I think that a lot of people will well they will try to find. Some sort of entertainment may be while online poker. Or if it's going to be sports it could be anything but people want to watch competition and I mean it may be difficult to get into those like really hard to understand games like doth or league of legends or even Rainbow Six. But some of these games like Rockin League where you drive a car and you play football with cars. That is fairly easy to get into an fairly easy to understand and I think a lot of people will become coming into sports for this. Do you find it Damian. Ironically that obviously were talking about the need for social distancing stain at home not physically interacting with others. Gamers actually are doing the opposite. I'm becoming more united more connected Because of what they're doing in the virtual gaming world. It's kind of hard on Gab. Because I'm obviously used to sitting at home playing video games. I work from home. I only go to tournaments every now and then when when they are and for me normal I sit at home and we'll talk to my friends via intimate than I will talk to my family being an well everyone in my work work life so for me. I'm used to it but it's it's funny. How all these people are coming in now and all of those people get into the same chatroom they all talk each other and I think it's a good thing that we have video games and e sports entertainment business because it just as you said it can bring people together in very hard situation Fabian. Halston thank you so much for joining us. You can follow him everywhere on social media by his channels. Thank you once again. Thank you very much for having me. It's ironic in a way that at times when we ask for social distancing video gaming is a sector that's actually connecting many of us from streaming to actually playing there is a community that strengthens from competing and digitally interacting as video games become more advanced and the user experience heightens the world of e sports. Even in the midst of a pandemic Kanani go one way up thanks to Colorado and Halston for joining me today. We'll continue these stories throughout the coronavirus crisis. 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