The next frontier for marketing: Competitive video games

Valve’s The International Dota 2 tournament. (Credit: Colony of Gamers on Flickr)

Major competitive gaming events like Valve’s annual Dota 2 tournament grab headlines because of massive prize purses and blockbuster attendance, but a new Eventbrite survey reveals that they’re useful for marketing a game to a competitive audience.

Almost half of the eSports event attendees surveyed said that they bought new game content after attending an event, while 38 percent of them said that they bought goods or services from a brand that was used or showcased at the event. Those events are also good for inspiring people to up their game: 46 percent of the survey respondents said they attended to improve their game, and 25 percent of respondents said that they bought new gear to improve their playing experience.

Graphic - Play VS Watch

Those who do attend events are often among a game’s most hardcore fans: 67 percent of attendees play games for three hours or more every day, and 30 percent of those surveyed said that they play games for a whopping five or more hours every day.

There’s a huge opportunity for companies like Valve to expand their event offerings, too: 67 percent of those people surveyed want more events to attend, and 38 percent said that they would be willing to travel to another country or continent to attend an event. (That explains Valve’s decision to announce the schedule for The International seven months in advance).

A company that builds an inclusive community around eSports has a lot of room to grow, too. Eight two percent of attendees at the events are male, and 75 percent of attendees are between 18 and 35 years old. If a company like Valve can create a game that appeals beyond just the hardcore demographic, they could see an explosion of interest.

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