Events

Epic Esports Events CEO speaks at Mail.ru Group’s "Brands. Games. Esports: The Market Leaders’ Experience" conference

A conference held in Moscow was dedicated to the dynamic growth of the esports industry and the opportunities it provides for integrated brands. The conference was organized by Mail.Ru Group, one of Russia’s leading technology companies.

The conference was inaugurated by Mail.ru Group’s director of strategic product marketing, Yelena Grigoryan, who presented a Report on the Gaming Market: Numbers, Trends, and Audiences. Other participants included Nikolay Manelov (Otkritie Bank), Marina Mushkarenko (PepsiCo, Ad/Rush), Viktor Gribanov (Resolution), Alexey Ustyantsev (Mail.ru Group), and Stepan Shulga (StarLadder).

Maxim Maslov, CEO at Epic Esports Events, delivered a presentation titled, EPICENTER As an Example of Sponsor Integrations in an International Esports Tournament. Maxim spoke about the specifics of organizing EPICENTER, the largest annual esports tournament in Eastern Europe, including tournament production and the specifics of the event’s target audience. Epic Esports Events’ CEO used two case studies to showcase the potential for sponsoring brand integration into esports events, stressing the fact that large advertisers from FMCG and the financial sector are now entering esports.

Maxim Maslov, CEO, Epic Esports Events: “Endemic brands were the first to work with us; those are companies whose products are consumed by esports viewers: hardware, games, etc. As it went on, things began to change significantly. Once we tapped into truly large audiences and our reach was wide, we began to be approached by banks, giant international networks, and communications companies. The share of non-endemic brands is constantly increasing.

Maxim presented a Legendary case study, sharing his experience of promoting the Warcraft feature film. At 2016’s EPICENTER Dota 2 tournament, the movie was presented by its director, Duncan Jones, and actor Robert Kazinsky, who played the Orcish warlord Orgrim Doomhammer. It was a successful non-endemic partnership that directly hit its target audience, and resulted in greatly increased box office figures for the movie as it formed a positive attitude towards the premiere. In YOTA’s Mom, I’m a Gamer, tournament attendees were encouraged to “come out” as gamers. Using humor and irony, YOTA was able to approach an audience involved with esports and the digital world, and speak to that audience in its own language. The campaign was widely shared on social networks, greatly increasing brand recognition.

During his talk, Maxim Maslov announced the EPICENTER XL tournament, which has earned Major status as of this year (meaning support from Valve). EPICENTER XL will be held in Moscow’s VTB Ice Palace from April 27 to May 6. The tournament will have a $1,000,000 prize pool.