Posted in NEWS
February 13, 2021

Opinion: Every Esports Org Needs an Anime Tie-In

Opinion: Every Esports Org Needs an Anime Tie-In

It’s been a busy week in esports news, but perhaps the most important announcement came from Team Liquid with the announcement of its Naruto Shippuden apparel collaboration. At the time of writing, the initial announcement video has over 7K retweets, and more than 28K likes on Twitter; exceptional engagement figures for an esports announcement.

For comparison, the LA Thieves player kit announcement video is sitting at just 267 retweets and 3.2K likes. The esports community was clearly hyped for Team Liquid’s new merchandise, and it highlights an important point for both teams and marketers to understand: esports fans really love anime.

Whether it’s the LEC’s weekly podcast, a tier list on a livestream, or a reaction video from a popular player or commentator, Japan’s animated television tradition has become interwoven with esports culture in much the same way the community has embraced Korean pop music. Each week, you’ll see esports Twitter ignite with reactions to the latest Attack on Titan episode. Anime is a prime source of meme material for esports accounts. In short, esports is a globally interconnected entertainment fandom, and the pop culture consumed by this fandom reflects that fact. 

Anime also just happens to be a growing global phenomenon in the broader zeitgeist (one of the highest-grossing films of 2020 was the Demon Slayer movie that was literally just a season of the show crunched into a film’s run-time).

Just as Riot has recognized and capitalized on the community’s affinity for K-pop through its in-game music group K/DA, esports organizations have an opportunity to drive engagement and merchandise sales through actively embracing the community’s love for anime. There is enough content out there for every major esports organization to collaborate with a different show and still only tap into things with mass cultural appeal. Plus, I’d really like to own a Cloud9 x One Piece shirt.

Credit: Team Liquid

We talk constantly in the esports business about the need for authenticity when trying to engage consumers, so much so that it has already become a meme among marketers and sponsorship sales folks. Even so, the point remains true — engaging the esports audience in an authentic way that makes your brand part of the culture pays dividends compared to a clunky logo slap or out-of-touch activation.

There are a number of major team brands that are in desperate need of a hype injection to boost their brand. Bringing another popular anime directly into the esports space through a unique collaboration could be just the answer these teams are looking for.

Published at Fri, 12 Feb 2021 19:14:39 +0000

LOUD Free Fire Player Breaks Audience Record for Portuguese Streaming on Twitch

With more than half a million simultaneous viewers, Gabriel “bak” Lessa, a streamer for the Brazilian esports organization LOUD, broke the record of the biggest Portuguese-language stream on Twitch on Thursday, Feb. 11. Lessa reached the landmark of 511K viewers by playing Garena’s battle royale Free Fire on a fundraising show match for charity.

The event, called “4×4 Bak of Free Fire,” also counted on players from paiN Gaming, another big Brazilian esports organization. The record previously belonged to Alexandre “Gaules” Borba, a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive streamer on Twitch which reached more than 393k viewers in June 2020. 

LOUD is one of the most popular organizations in Brazil and is getting used to breaking records, being the first esports team in the world to reach 1B views on YouTube relying on content related to gaming lifestyle mainly focused on the Free Fire audience. Recently, LOUD has also secured a spot on the Brazilian League of Legends Championship (CBLOL) and entered the League of Legends scene.

Published at Fri, 12 Feb 2021 17:40:13 +0000

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