Category Archives for "esports"

Were Konami’s New Exclusivity Tactics Enough to Win the Soccer Sales War?

Every year, FIFA and PES – now known as eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 – go head-to-head to win over one of the largest demographics of gamers in the world: soccer fans. It’s the biggest sport in the world, so whichever developer can relay the sport in the most realistic and entertaining way would become a goliath of the gaming industry.

Soccer fans will buy either game annually, and in recent years, Konami’s PES has been said to be closing in on EA Sports’ FIFA over the last few years. This year, however, there appeared to be disappointments on both sides of the trenches. As shown in this comparison, both FIFA 20 and PES 20 took a step back.

 However, the story has always been about whether or not PES can win over FIFA fans, and with their hard-nosed tactics of exclusivity hitting FIFA hard this year, did the Konami product succeed in taking over EA Sports’ soccer title?

PES taking teams from FIFA

One of the major selling-points of FIFA over PES has been its licensing. In the past, FIFA has owned pretty much every license to show team names, badges, players, and leagues – becoming even more powerful by taking the UEFA Champions League licensing from PES a couple of editions back. Now, however, PES has decided that if they can’t beat them, join them, landing club exclusivity deals of their own.

Having the right licensed clubs can win over droves of fans, and eFootball PES 2020 has a fine selection, including Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Arsenal, and Schalke 04 among others. But the real win for the Konami game was landing incredibly popular clubs from around the world, including the one that employees the star who many see as the best in the world.

FIFA 20 isn’t allowed to use the team names, symbols, or equipment of Argentina’s biggest clubs, River Plate and Boca Juniors, or Italian giants Juventus. This will undoubtedly help to sway the huge fanbases of the massive soccer clubs – especially as they are so dominant in their soccer-mad nations.

PES landing these exclusive licenses was a big win, especially as they all set for further greatness this season. Boca Juniors and River Plate are, once again, battling for the Argentine Primera, and the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Juventus are favorites to win Series A in the sports betting and are +1100 to win the Champions League. As these teams assert their dominance and put in bigger and better performances throughout the season, more fans will want to play as the teams in-game – a privilege that only PES can fully provide.

Was it enough?

Looking back on previous editions, multiple reviewers have noted that PES games had the more lifelike gameplay and sometimes even better graphics, but it’s never led to them overcoming FIFA. EA Sports pumps far too much money into advertising and overall licensing that when people think of a soccer game, their minds automatically turn to FIFA.

PES captured some crucial exclusive licenses, but FIFA boasts far more. Konami’s eFootball PES 2020 launched before FIFA 20 this year, but as soon as the EA Sports title was released, PES was knocked down from fourth to seventh in the combined digital and retail sales rankings. Then, at the start of November, FIFA 20 announced that it had reached 10 million players across all platforms.

Pro Evolution Soccer certainly has its fans, and it may have even been able to close the gap on FIFA this year, but there’s no denying that FIFA is still winning the soccer video game sales war.

E-Sports

The Most Successful E-sports Teams

The world of e-sports has come to stay. The innovations that are happening in the sphere of technology have deepened the meaning and significance of such sports. The industry is growing in popularity and worth. It is running so fast in the bid to catch up with other types of sports activities in the amount of money involved in tournaments and competitions. Within the last few years, nobody would have expected the professional e-sports teams to get to the level they are today. But they have beaten all odds and now have a place in the world sports scene. A look at the outcome of tournaments, the sponsorships, the number of fans and viewership, and the volume of social media following, reveals that some teams are bigger than others.

Fnatic

This is a London based e-sports teams that have been in existence since 2014. One could say that it is one of the biggest of them all, and in essence, one of the most popular and richest. It has a fan spread that cuts across the whole world and have been doing so well in tournaments in the past years.  It is estimated that the group is worth more than $42 million, and one of their major strengths involve well packaged merchandising and marketing. The pioneer edition of the League of Legends tournament was picked by them. In the social media, they are followed by more than 2 million fans. Their teams are involved in League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Dota 2, CSGO, and Overwatch.

Cloud9

This is another wonderful and very popular e-sports team. They have great teams in most of the e-sports games. with an estimated worth of $30 million, they play in the CSGO, Overwatch, Smash Bros, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Vainglory, and Call of Duty. They also have a selection of streamers. One amazing thing about the Cloud9 team is that they have succeeded in achieving all these within the shortest possible timeframe. They came to the scene only in 2013.

Team SoloMid

Ask any of the fans of the League of Legends about the Team SoloMid (aka TSM), and they will tell you a lot about them if they are really informed fans. This is a North America based e-sports team, and real e-sports betting tips are banking on them to take over the future. Some of the most loved and most popular players are on this team. They include the man named Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and his teammate Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng. Apart from the League of Legends where they are famous, their teams are also found in Vainglory teams, Hearthstone, CSGO and Super Smash Bros. They are worth around $27.4 million, and their fans are so die-in-the-wood that they can actually kill for them.

Evil Geniuses

When you talk about the trailblazers in the e-sports world, then you need to consider the Evil Geniuses. They came on board in 1999 and have built something awesome since then. Though established by Alexander Garfield as a Canadian counter strike team, they are based in the United States, and their net worth is estimated to be around $27.3 million. In 2015, Dota 2 tournament, their team came first and took home the $6m prize money. They came back in 2016 and took the third position – also going home with $2 million. They have a professional team for Halo, and their teams also play in the Street Fighter V and the StarCraft II.

The biggest upset in recent eSport raises a question on the format of tournaments.

Many fans watched in silence as SG Gaming, a relatively unknown Brazilian stack, knocked Team Secret off the 3000000$ price pool Kiev Major. Long will this match linger in our memories as one of the greatest upsets in the history of eSports.

This event sparked a fierce discussion in the eSport community regarding the single-elimination format of the tournament. No wonder, seeing that next round showed that while SG Gaming is a good team that can put up a fight, they are simply one level below other teams. Given a chance to climb the lower bracket, Secret would have had a good shot at changing the outcome of the entire tournament.

Supporters of the double-elimination format bring up a strong argument that if a tournament is to crown the current champions among all teams, independently of things between particular ones. Almost every team has their favorite scrimmage partners who know them like the backs of their hands. Skills showed in matches between such teams are not the accurate reflection of their power level because understanding your opponents style is important in all eSports. In such situations (ex. unlucky seeding), a better team, who would have stomped the tournament otherwise, might end up knocked out by their scrim partners.
It is also relevant in games where “cheese” tactics exist. A team or player may use a surprising strategy to win one match but still lose in the long run. Tournaments should reward masters, not one-trick ponies.
Not everyone agrees with that stance.
Some people say that tournaments should encourage these high-risk high-rewards plays as they are what allows us to see mesmerizing underdog stories. They point out that it is leagues’ and general rankings’ role to show the most consistent teams and tournaments are all about the feeling of the moment and glorious victories. In their opinion, a champion should withstand all obstacles and cheeses. Should a team overlook an issue, they shall pay the price. Like in war, there are no second chances. That’s a pretty good point when you consider the fact that it was Secret’s pride and cockiness that cost them a shot for 1000000$.

Apart from that, there’s an issue of time & money – tournaments played with double-elimination format take essentially double the time of single-elimination ones.
It may seem pretty good for the viewers for they wouldn’t just watch more games but also sometimes get a second chance to root for their beloved team as they would struggle to fight through the lower bracket, however, it is disastrous for organizers. It’s already common to see games dragging out for hours. Doubling that would mean either additional costs (and these events are already quite costly) or cutting down the number of teams. The latter means that while some may be happy to see their team for the second time, others may not get to see theirs at all (and that means fewer viewers, fewer tickets sold and smaller tournaments).

There is no straightforward answer to the question about the formats. The only thing we can be sure is that now Team Secret will think twice before underestimating their opponents.

What do you think about it? Should there be a standard format or should it be up to individual tournaments? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

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