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Guide to organising an esports event

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Esports is a form of competitive video gaming that is often organised by game publishers or third-party gaming leagues, and typically feature professional players who compete for prizes. As an industry, esports is identified by Toptal Finance to be on track to become a serious rival to the biggest traditional sports leagues in terms of marketing and advertising opportunities, ticket sales, licensing, sponsorships, as well as merchandising.

In an article written by Visual Capitalist on esports’ ascent into a multibillion dollar industry, it was noted that Eesports first began to gain mainstream attention in the late 90s (1997), when Red Annihilation, a Quake competitive event was launched. Since then, the competitive gaming industry grew by leaps and bounds, with the arrival of professional gaming leagues such as the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) and World Cyber Games (WCG). In terms of popularity, esports has continued on an upwards trajectory, with international tournaments being broadcast on television and online. The growth of esports has also been fuelled by the rise of live-streaming platforms such as Twitch, which allow gamers to share their gameplay with a wider audience.

Apart from its popularity, it too has the prize money at stake in various esports tournaments. According to Esports Earnings, a community-driven competitive gaming resource, Tthe largest esports tournament to date is The International, an annual event for the multiplayer online battle arena game Dota 2. The 2021 edition of The International had a prize pool of over US$40 million, making it the largest ever for an esports tournament. Such is esports’ immense popularity, it is now being recognised as a legitimate form of competitive gaming. 

Getting started as an esports organiser

As an esports organiser, you are responsible for making sure that your event runs smoothly, and that everyone involved has a great experience. To do this, you’ll need to be aware of the logistics involved in running a successful esports event. This includes planning for things like venue, equipment, and staff. You should also have a good understanding of the game or games being played, as well as the players who will be competing. By being prepared and organised, you can help make sure that everything goes off without a hitch. In this article, we share on how you can organise your own esports video game competition.

1. Understand the nature of your esports event

There are several different types of esports tournaments that organisers can choose from, each with its own set of rules and regulations. Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular tournament types:

  • Single Elimination: In a single elimination tournament, also known as a knockout tournament, players are eliminated from the event after losing a single match. 

  • Double Elimination: A double elimination tournament is similar to a single elimination tournament, except players who lose a match are not immediately eliminated from the event. Instead, they are relegated to a losers bracket where they will compete against other losing players. The winner of the losers bracket will then face the winner of the winners bracket in the final match.

  • Round Robin: A round robin tournament is a series of matches in which each player faces every other player in the event. The player with the most wins at the end of the tournament is declared the winner.

  • Team Tournaments: Many esports tournaments are played by teams instead of individual players. In a team tournament, each team will compete against every other team in the event. The team with the most wins at the end of the tournament is declared the winner.

Organisers should keep in mind that these are just a few of the many different types of esports tournaments. There are numerous other formats that can be used, and it ultimately comes down to what type of event the organisers want to run. With so many different options available, there is sure to be a tournament format that is perfect for any given event.

As for genres, here are some of the most commonly played esports tournament games:

  • Fighting Games

  • Racing Games

  • Sports Games

  • Digital Card Games

  • Shooter (first or third person)

  • Real-Time Strategy

  • Multiplayer Online Battle Arena

2. Logistical considerations

In terms of logistics, the event venue is the most important aspect of running an esports event. You’ll need to find a place that is big enough to accommodate all of the people who will be attending your event. Keep in mind that you’ll also need space for things like vendor booths, concession stands, and other activities. You’ll also need to make sure that the venue has good internet connectivity and adequate power if you plan on organising an event that would be broadcasted online.

Another very important aspect of running an esports event would be the equipment. You’ll need to make sure that you have enough gaming PCs, consoles, monitors, and other gear to accommodate all of the players and spectators. If you're running an outdoor event, you must also make sure that you have ample sheltered areas, generators, as well as other backup power sources in case of a power outage. 

Staff is another key ingredient in running a successful esports event. You’ll need to have enough people on hand to help with set-up, registration, and other tasks. You also need to ensure that you have people responsible for things like game administration, officiating, and broadcasting. And, of course, you need to have security staff on hand to keep everyone safe.

Finally, you’ll need to think about logistics like parking and transportation. Make sure that there is plenty of parking available for attendees, and that the venue is easy to get to by public transportation.

3. Take small steps

If you are just starting out, it would be prudent to organise a small scale esports competition rather than aim for the skies and organise one of the world’s biggest. Furthermore, with today’s expectations of a major esports tournament being comparable to that of a professional sports league, it is important to remember that not every competition has to be on such a grandiose scale. While it is easy to get caught up in the hype of organising a massive esports tournament, there are several reasons why starting small is the best way to go. For one, it is much easier to manage and execute a smaller tournament than it is a larger one. This is especially true if you are new to the world of esports and do not have a lot of experience in running these types of events. Another reason why new esports organisers should take small steps is because it allows them to build up their reputation slowly but surely. If you try to organise one of the biggest tournaments from the get-go and it does not go well, it will reflect badly on your reputation as an organiser. On the other hand, if you start small and gradually build up your tournament portfolio, you will be able to garner a much better reputation in the esports community. So, if you are new to organising esports tournaments, starting small and gradually working your way up would be advisable. This will give you the best chance at success and allow you to build a strong reputation.

Improve the quality of your esports tournament

As mentioned earlier, with esports continuing its upward trajectory in terms of popularity, organisations that plan to organise such events are primed for success in making it a business venture. However, it would be key that organisers engage the services of an experienced and a reliable logistics partner. By being prepared and organised, you can help make sure that the esports event you are planning to hold in New Zealand can and will be a success, with everyone having a great time.

DHL Express can give you a helping hand in this respect. Having been a pivotal partner of ESL gaming since 2018 through the providing of crucial logistics for their esports tournaments, DHL Express is here to support you in organising your own esports event. Open a DHL Express account today to start shipping gaming equipment to your esports venues quickly and efficiently with a reliable courier provider.