Stephen Ellis walks Mark Register through the consolidations occurring in Esports and why fragmentation is good right now:
Mark Register – So right now the Esports world is consolidating. Where do you see this ending up is it just gonna be one big umbrella of everything or are will we have different silos of different companies?
Stephen Ellis – So the whole industry is consolidating, I think is very much a necessary step. Who’s in charge of consolidation, what entities should be the ones consolidating is up for debate.
Could a large networking company such as ESPN or Fox come in and just say “hey we’re going to drop one billion dollars on this and own the entire ecosystem” very much possible/ I don’t know if it’s gonna happen but it’s possible.
I don’t think it should be in pocketed silos, I do think consolidation is better in the long run.
I think there’s an intermediate phase. I don’t think we should rush to fully consolidate the entire industry, it would be harmful. We saw an instance of that where there were rumors of Vulcun spearheading a partnership with Twitch to make an exclusive Counter Strike tournament league…the backlash they received from the community was very significant. The community isn’t always right or knows what’s the best thing but I believe the industry should move towards consolidation but there is a need for some fragmentation right now while we’re still growing.
The backbone of the industry is still extremely fragile and we need of that fragmentation to help support the pockets around the industry and because you look at ESL for example, they’re a great company and Ralf, Jens, and Craig Levine those guys are doing good work but that company grew very quickly and is the premier tournament organizer around the world…they have a lot to do.
They have to take care of North America, Europe, and Asia…that’s a lot for a company to grow so quickly and now MLG is somewhat being taken out of that equation with acquisition by Blizzard maybe they’re still gonna do some stuff we don’t really know yet.
And now ESL is left to fill that vacuum…that’s a lot of responsibility to take on North America and still do a lot of Asia and Europe. So there’s going to be a need for your Gfinity’s or your DreamHacks, your StarLadder tournaments around the world, until the industry catches up.