James Lampkin VP of Pro Gaming at ESL talks about Tournaments & Payment Evolution in Esports w/ Mark Register
Mark – Activision Blizzard MLG are making a lot of changes to tournament structure and the way players are making money. What are your thoughts on how they are restructuring their environment?
James – I think we’re going to go through a phase over the next 4 – 5 years where publishers and developers and the third parties are kind of going through and will continue to go through a phase of just rapid experimentation and figuring out what works and what doesn’t work.
There is a tendency for all of us to look at older models, traditional sports, traditional, traditional, traditional.
We’re sort of a hybrid.
This is a sports broadcast and we got Krewella here for a side show and then there’s all this other stuff going on at this event.
The payment side is going to be one that changes a lot, especially for Activision Blizzard you don’t know what the plan is 5 years from now, I’m sure they have a vision of how the players are going to operate in their own ecosystem.
I’m not sure what the third party ecosystem looks like for them.
Depending on what other games are in the ecosystem at the time and what other publishers are doing is really going to play a big impact.
Riot for example just announced a bunch of changes coming forward in the way players can be compensated and the way teams are going to be compensated.
Obviously some of that was from the pressure of the teams themselves.
As you see more publishers getting more savvy in how to develop really successful Esports and things start to become more competitive, there will start to become a little bit of a market of… which publishers treat their players and teams best?
I’m never really too concerned about a specific number or specific plan and rather just the way things are trending over the next few years.
It’s very interesting that they are adjusting their model to what was traditionally a Laissez-faire, let’s see what goes on in the market model… to now they’ve recognized the financial potential of Esports industry… they’re gonna get more aggressive in the market, not aggressive in a bad way but more aggressive in a “hey let’s figure this out, let’s test, let’s see what the opportunities are, and how to make our own successful Esports games, teams and players really successful.”