THE SPORTS ENTREPRENEURS
Chris Smith, a true Gaming/Esports expert turned Entrepreneur based in Australia. We are going BIG into Esports & Gaming, learning from Chris’s background and then a deep analysis into the difference between Esports and traditional sports, including detailed discussions on numbers and revenues for Gamers and Influencers.
- Early days, pathway into the industry, turning his passion into a career, started as a player in a top four team in Australia (playing Battlefield, CSGO)
- Commentating on games, promoting LAN Parties – connecting into the industry through various roles, learning the different parts of the industry
- Thermaltake Australia – Marketing & Esports Community Manager
- CCC (Chris Creative Collective) – first taste of entrepreneurship – online marketing, events, websites and other services
- EGAA (Esports Games Association Australia) – board member & PR/Communication
- BIG Esports – esports, gaming and influencer business – including his own Podcast – operate like a “VC growth company”
- Difference between Gaming and Esports (US$ 150 billion vs US$ 1 billion) – all about reaching GenZ
- Australian Gaming/Esports landscape – about 10% of the US market, similar games and dynamics as the US (LOL, CSGO, FIFA, etc)
- Comparing Esports and Sports ecosystem
- No clear career path for Esports players compared to traditional sports yet
- League structures (Closed vs Open Leagues) – Overwatch World League – Franchise League (US$ 30 mil entry ticket)
- Esports teams vs Pro Sports teams – 70% revenue from sponsorship, prize pool going mostly to players, LCS/LOL player starting salary US$ 300k
- Many Teams operate more like an “agency”, from content creation, events, licensing, etc
- Owners and creators of content are the big winners – FaZe Clan great example
- Changing Meta (Most Effective Tactics Available), changing the rules of engagement in a game – pros and cons
- Influencers & Gamers – Gaming is the interface – top Esports athletes are often influencers but also plenty of influencers who are not Pro-gamers
- Monetization – gifting, donation, subscription, advertising, sponsorship dollars
- All about accessibility – building a strong community big or small & creating entertainment
- Lots of examples of what influencers can generate
- Revenue splits – Apple/Google – 30% cut of every dollar – Epic/Fortnite is battling it
- Platforms: Twitch, Steam, Discord, YouTube Gaming, etc – places to find GenZ
- Examples of cross-fertilization and new forms of partnerships between Movies, Music, Sports IP and Gaming companies
With twelve years’ experience in gaming, esports & technology, Chris Smith is the founder & director of BIG Esports (www.bigesports.gg) – Servicing the industry through bringing new ideas and revenue lines through the door by partnering with traditional companies, sports and influencers.
Chris’ experience is wide-ranging, coming from his history in semi-professional play, community & national event coordination, game commentary, community management, business development, consultancy and PR & marketing across esports, gaming, influencers and enthusiast technology.
A major focus of present is sports celebrities becoming gamers, LinkedIn content and new revenue-generating business ideas for gaming. Past & present clients include: Fox Sports, Gemba, HOYTS Cinemas, JBHIFI, NVIDIA, ASUS, Intel, AMD.