The organized multiplayer video game tournament or competition known as esports has come to stay, and have gained massive popularity within the last ten years. The entire world has woken up to the reality that esports is the current form of fun and entertainment. It is mainly because the Asian gaming market keeps growing thanks to the likes of Dota 2 and LoL, while gaming is also booming in the western world with CSGO and other FPS titles. This article on gaming startups will take you deeper into the trend, and startups that are driving the growth in the gaming industry.
It would be good to look at esports events side by side with regular sports events to come to terms with the size of esports and how popular it has grown. The League of Legends World Championship Finals in 2013 commanded a crowd of more than 15,000 fans at the 20,000 capacity Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. People who are neither gamer players nor fans would be surprised to see the massive increase in the number of people that show up at esports events.
To convince you about the trend with more concrete evidence, the Newzoo went ahead to capitalize on the number of hours spent by esports fans in watching games on Twitch and YouTube to determine its popularity. To this effect, they stated that the game with the most-watched hours is the MOBA League of Legends, and it has been watched for 240 million hours. The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive first-person shooter game, which stands in the second position, has racked up about 212 million hours watched. The game that comes third is the popular Dota 2, and the number of hours it has been watched is 180 million hours. On the fourth position is Overwatch at 96 million hours; the fifth is Hearthstone with 43 million hours, while Heroes of the Storm is sixth with 19.5 million hours. A look at this reveals a substantial and hugely publicized market sector.
While the esports sector soars in popularity, we have compiled a list of the ten best European startups that are making sure the fun gets to the teeming number of fans and players across the world.
1. RFRSH Entertainment
This company that focuses on media rights and esports is in collaboration with some of the established esports organs, the best teams in the esports sector, and some teams owned by esports players. It came to be in 2016, and their main job is to help firms that are venturing into the evolving and challenging esports sector with the marketing and commercial strategies to succeed. They mainly work on linking brands with new sponsors, helping them increase their fan reach and developing their brand with top-notch content and distinctive new media approach. Within the last four rounds, this Copenhagen domiciled firm got funding of up to $54.9 million.
2. DOJO madness
It is a big data company that was established in 2014, and they specialize in creating services and tools that assist gamers and their fans in mastering the rudiments of their favorite games. Their flagship apps are the Dumo Apps that are meant to coach people on the DOTA 2, Overwatch, and League of Legends. They have up to one million users, and they feed them with workable insights and individual guides. They also established a Software as a Service firm named Shadow.GG, which feeds pro teams with data analytics and visualizations, and a coaching marketplace called Leaguecoaching.gg not too long ago. Apart from SaaS, they also have a B2B data service where top-notch live in-game betting solutions are offered. This startup firm that is based in Berlin raised about $6 million for expansion last year, according to EU-startups. From its inception in 2014 till now, it has gotten funding of up to $12.8 million.
This Czech based firm is into esports analytics. The Prague based firm was launched in 2015, and its work is to deliver data content, live odds, and the analysis of games to gamers and other on-field professionals. They also service the fantasy leagues, media outlets, professional teams, and some betting companies with the data they generate. It is made up of industry professionals and data scientists, and their core mandate is in the esports sector. Their statistical and live scoring content in the esports market is the fastest, and they’ve partnered with the biggest tournaments in esports.
It is based in Denmark and was created to promote the Counter-Strike Esports Team. It’s been there since 2018, as established by Jacob Lund Kristensen, Frederik Byskov, alongside other counter-strike pro players. They have been assisting the team to remain within the 3rd best in the global ranking. They’ve succeeded in raising at least $25K from 2016.
This startup was created by Pwnwin GmbH, and it is a part of Twitch where in-game voting is possible. Voting correctly gives a bonus that adds one to the viewer’s streak, while voting incorrectly lands the player a malus, which removes health points from the player. The point is to arrive at the highest streak. Through this voting, viewers get more immersive and interactive with the game, increasing esports’ level of engagement. For now, this works on games like PUBG, LOL, Fortnite, with DOTA2 and CSGO in view. It’s a 2015 Austrian startup, and it has raised €330K.
It is designed to be the place where people can get every online esports media and news 24/7. Established in London in 2015, they’ve succeeded in attracting more than 3.6 million followers on Twitch and YouTube. Every month, they enjoy 30 million page views. They offer the news content in Spanish, German, French, and the English language. They also go ahead to explore the secret lives of the players and internet celebrities, in the bid to bring lifestyle and sports style together and create relationships between the fans and players. They’ve gotten up to €233k in funding.
It is a blockchain streaming platform that is not centralized. Here, fans will enjoy tools that will help them monetize and feature that will ginger more interaction. It is something that other streaming platforms do not have. It brings something new to the streaming community in esports, with its advanced streaming systems, and by capitalizing on the effectiveness of AI, blockchain, and other modern technologies. They have raised $2 million since the firm was established in 2017.
The work of this startup is to create partnerships between players and huge brands that need the players to represent them. They liaise with the best communication firms to source for the best sponsors for these players. Here, both the users of Twitch and pro players can go into financing agreements with these brands. That will help them participate in tournaments and learn more about gaming. These firms save players a considerable amount of money because they protect players from fraudsters, partner with them for long periods, and run their activities. It was established last year in Lille, France, and their funding comes from the fees ANC charges.
They are engaged in data marketing and have succeeded in creating a platform that assists esports advertisers to focus and maximize the reach and effectiveness of their media ads. The major works of their technology are to use multi-criteria queries to save audience data and segment them according to different compartments, individualize the ads based on the segments, throw in innovative visual ads in various formats, and monitor how these media campaigns function through their real-time board reporting and support. They’ve been here since 2017, and they hold the trophy for the RockTech Paris eSports startup.
10. Challenger Mode
It is a startup from Sweden. They created an esports platform that pushes players to come together to play the best console and PC games in the world, and also build some connections through communication. It was established in 2014, and the founder aimed to ensure that nonprofessional players can access the games whenever they feel like, the same way they do in traditional sports. They intend to achieve this through their gaming platform, which is meant to organize local and international, small, and large-scale competitions. They work with game developers, organizers, brands, and gamers to ensure that nonprofessional gamers can enjoy the most competitive esports exercises. Through the four rounds, they’ve succeeded in getting $9.7 million in funding.