Why Amazon 'can dominate mobile esports'

Why Amazon 'can dominate mobile esports'

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron

With the rapid growth of esports in the past two years, one segment of it which remains significantly less busy than others is mobile.

This is surprising given the amount of consumers that can be reached via competitive gaming on mobile devices. This looks set to change soon however, as two Amazon executives outlined their plans for the company’s expanded invasion of mobile esports at a Naruscope conference in Vegas last week.

Brian Hong, head of esports marketing and partnership at Amazon Appstore, and Jeff Liboon, head of mobile esports media and content at Amazon, discussed mobile esports in a focused panel at the two day event at SLS with Liboon commenting: “Why mobile? We haven’t seen it mature to the same extent as others quite yet and at Amazon we are well placed to dominate mobile esports specifically.”

Amazon has dipped its toe into mobile esports this year; the Amazon App Store sponsored a Vainglory tournament which kicked off its latest season in June. The company’s acquisition of Twitch also stands it in exceptionally good stead for further moves in esports, it was thanks to this that the company established a partnership with Rocket League developer Psyonix.

Earlier this year Nick Allen, the Director of Esports Operations at Twitch who also spoke at the conference, said: “Mobile devices make up 35% of Twitch’s viewership. Vainglory’s popularity on Twitch has skyrocketed. With 150 million minutes viewed, it was the fastest growing mobile game on Twitch in 2015.”

Discussing their plans in more detail Hong stated: “What we’ll see going forward is more streaming of casual games. We want to tap into this and enhance and increase our influencer program and reach. Into 2017, there will be more and more people playing casual games competitively.”

Hong also explained how Amazon plan to look to deliver more value to their customers, and offer benefits, in addition to Amazon coins, through their games which apply outside the app store.

Of course Amazon aren’t the only big company facilitating mobile esports. One of those occupying the lion’s share of the market currently is Skillz, who revealed recently that it has given out $50m in prizes since 2012. What Skillz will have to say, and what it will do, about Amazon’s plans remains to be seen.

Totally Gaming says: There is clearly space for more companies to enter mobile esports and create new tournaments and new games in the space. With Twitch and the app store however, Amazon is undoubtedly well placed to become the market leader.

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