Tricked Esports is an esports organization born in 2012 with the aim to innovate the scene from within. Drawn together by a combination of dreams, hard work and skill we incorporate several leading players from past gaming scenes, scout new ones and unite them under one main brand.
Our vision goes beyond being an ordinary team, maintaining our professional core Tricked is always looking to do more for the community, guiding our players and fans as we break down the walls around competitive gaming to bring our passion and entertainment future to everyone.
Built from a team of industry veterans, our management has watched the scene transform from a pipe-dream of minor events into the arena filling multimillion-dollar behemoth we see today, and as the core elements of electronic sports stabilise and the scene begins to fully establishes itself, we're already focused on making it even bigger.
On the traditional front, we believe in an engaging social community on all levels of competitive gaming backed by a solid foundation of professionalism. Tricked actively works through social media and on well known video streaming platforms, but also alongside journalists in newspapers, digital and broadcast media.
Looking to the future we are already heavily involved in developing the next step for esports, nurturing the skills of upcoming players through our work in the education sector, notably establishing one of the world's first comprehensive esports learning programs in our home country of Denmark, working with Campus Vejle in addition to maintaining a status as one of the worlds best talent scouts.
Esports, the simple abbreviation for Electronic sports, is defined as a form of sports where the primary aspects of the sport are facilitated by the competitive playing of computer games.
Similar to traditional athletics, there are a significant number of events throughout each year in which competitors play, often in front of huge audiences, in an attempt to win prize money. Currently, the most famous events and competition organisers are Dreamhack, LCS, Electronic Sports League (ESL), Major League Gaming, Electronic Sports World Cup, QuakeCon and BlizzCon.
To compete among the top, players have to perform extremely well, requiring a large amount of dedication and practice. Much like in traditional sports, getting to the top and staying there is not as easy as it sounds; and as higher level tournaments now offer prizes in the millions of dollars, competition is growing increasingly fierce.
The bedrock of competitive gaming revolves around individuals honing their skills and playing against each other either over the internet or through connecting devices locally.
Across the world players can play online games, competing with each other through an internet connection. These matches are commonly watched live with commentary via video streaming websites such as Twitch.tv and it’s competitors. For higher profile events, players and fans typically gather in arenas or stadiums, allowing thousands of people to watch the games and be part of the action. Casual attendees and competitors alike will often take their own computer or rent one at the venue, connecting them up to play in what is referred to as a "LAN Party" defined in the following paragraphs:
As talented players find themselves outgrowing casual sessions in automated matchmaking, they start to naturally progress towards a team of one kind or another. There are several different levels from those starting out with a group of friends to salaried professional players representing dedicated organisations. Some examples of the different scales of team are as follows:
Most, if not all teams, utilise external elements such as voice communication programs, calendars and forums/message boards to organise themselves inside and outside of the game. The full mechanics of an esports team are intricately detailed, sparking full studies and thesis to be written on them, but for most players it all starts by performing well and searching for the next step.
Without experiencing the thrill of it all, it's easy to stay confused and ask 'why would people put so much effort into playing computer games?' The easiest answer would be possibility for fame and fortune, with the exponential rise in viewers, attendees and prize pools it’s proven to be a major draw to the scene. The consistently huge crowds have also helped to get a variety of companies involved who seek to put their products in front of potential buyers. Speaking in raw numbers for a moment the stats below help to put it all in perspective:
Dota 2’s The International 2015 prizepool: $18,500,000.
League of legends world championship final: 36 million unique viewers.
Top team’s player salaries reported to be around $9,000 per month.
March 2010: software sales in the video game segment grew 10% on the previous year with $875 million in sales
Bureau of Labor in the United States estimates: careers in software development by 2018 will rise by 29%
Much akin to the traditional sporting scene, industry giants such as Coca-Cola, Red Bull and even Mercedes find themselves increasingly involved in the games; providing anything from products to entire stadiums to engage with fans. Thankfully the ambition of most players extends even further than the numbers making the draw to the genre not quite so simple.
It's almost impossible to surmise the motivations for so many different people from such varied walks of life, for some it's an opportunity that fell into place thanks to passion and ability, for others the chance to escape the cycle of family business, others still are drawn to the adrenaline rush of the games and the crowds.
Critically acclaimed documentary 'Free to Play' released in 2014 partially answers the difficult question of motivations, focussing on three professional players showcasing their backgrounds and motivations in what Lisanne Pajor and James Swirsky called “a film about heart, passion and what drives us.”
(Video 2 - 'Free to play' via Free to play/Valve featuring players Clinton Loomis, Danil Ishutin and Benedict Lim. © Valve Software)
To spoil the video’s ending, Ukrainian team Natus Vincere won the tournament, taking home a million dollars and remaining one of the most well established teams to this day. Over the next four years things have continued to expand with the same tournament offering a prize pool of $18,500,000 and promising to grow even bigger as time goes on. Certainly for Danil Ishutin, the young boy from Ukraine, Electronic sports have already gone beyond his wildest dreams.
Esports is one of the fastest growing markets of the 21st century and has already succeeded in gathering numbers rivalling well-established traditional sports. Despite the market still being in its infancy, it has grown from a niche industry to a huge commercial sector. Based on SuperData’s research, eSports generated $748 million in 2015; with a leading $321 million generated in Asia. Growth is expected to continue to increase with a projected market value of $1 billion by 2017 and $1.9 billion by 2018.
Total sports and esports market values may still be leagues apart, but when comparing it to the entire games industry the numbers become much closer. Valued at $124 billion, the sports industry is no longer out of reach of the total global games market, expected to be worth $107 billion by 2017. Once everything is taken into account, comparing sports with computer games is starting to produce remarkably close results.
Perhaps more interesting than the immediately quantifiable revenue of this market is it’s raw potential. According to NewZoo’s data, eSports competitions in 2014 were seen by a total of almost 200 million unique viewers, with 43% being frequent spectators, declared as “enthusiasts”. In another comparison between sports and computer games, people who declared to actively participate in at least one sport total 1.6 billion (of a total 2.2 billion surveyed with an interest in sport). The wider audience currently belongs to the videogames market, just shy of 1.7 billion in 2014.
NewZoo’s report also offers us a more in depth comparison in terms of viewerbase; esports current 89 million “enthusiasts” put the industry hot on the heels of ice hockey. Experts project that by 2017 this number will increase to 145 million, putting us in direct competition with the number of American football fans.
Breaking down the stats on the fans themselves, the average individual is age 21-35 making up 60% of the total audience. A total of 43% of the audience belong to the ‘male millenial’ group and contrary to expectations, “enthusiasts” are more likely than the average gamer to be married, 52% versus 39%. Based on the US data, enthusiasts are also more likely than other fans to work in full time employment, 71% versus 50% with most earning in the ‘high’ income bracket, 30% versus 22% of the total population. The enthusiasts are also more likely than other gamers to spend on the latest hardware and devices including computer peripherals; for example, 29% of eSports viewers have a headset budget over $100 versus 13% of all gamers.
Finally, on the topic of monetisation, the average return from an esports fan is still relatively low, only 2.2$/year vs 56$/year across all sports. These figures suggest that it’s still an industry with plenty of potential. Research indicates that by estimating a conservative 3$/year growth, the esport market could generate an additional $500 million in 2017 and $1 billion in 2020. As more brands get involved in this sector and look to capitalise on the quality of the target audience, it is proving to be a very realistic scenario.