Azubu’s Ian Sharpe makes a big step to show his words of last year weren’t just corporate talk, with a 2 year partnership with ESL.
ESL, The Electronic Sports League from Cologne in Germany has announced that it will be entering into a two year partnership with eSports broadcasting website Azubu.
By going into partnership with ESL, Azubu has gained access to some exclusive coverage of events by ESL and this gives them some chance to compete against the other popular competitors in the industry, namely, YouTube and Twitch.
The announcement, that in typical media style was sensationalized across a number of media outlets, when looked at in more detail reveals it is a NON-EXCLUSIVE deal, meaning that ESL will still be able to stream with competitors of Azubu however, but that Azubu will have some rights to some exclusive events and or interviews.
Azubu CEO Ian Sharpe last year was quite outspoken about Azubu’s place in the market and how it had to start making moves to compete with its big rivals.
Speaking about Azubu he said they had to stretch and fight “Above their weight,” in order to compete with the big names.
In Europe and America Twitch dominates the streaming world, and whilst Azubu has a strong presence in the Korean market, Azubu had to begin to make advances in the European or American market.
This deal with ESL is certainly a step in the right direction, and with announcements like their partnership with CLG in America, hopefully they can begin to grow their presence in the Western world.
They have discussed that the thing they feel that differentiates them from the other broadcasting platforms is that they want to work with broadcaster. They want to help streamers make better content, give them more options and allow them to make careers through streaming.
In addition to helping out the content creators themselves, Azubu is known to be working with sponsors, having recognized that some investors are seeing little to no tangible returns from sponsorship or investment in other platforms.
‘They get disappointed because a logo on a shirt and burnt-in overlay doesn’t amount to a tangible return on that campaign. There’s nothing measurable, there’s no direct attributable sales and so they think ‘Oh, we’ve been involved with eSports but there’s nothing there’ said Ian Sharpe.
This is a worrying trend in itself. For eSports to get the financial support from backers and sponsors, tangible, measurable success on their financial input needs to be seen, else big name brands will never get on board with the world of eSports.
Hopefully this step into the European scene will allow Azubu to make good on their words of representing more than just the large developers and be a supporter of the “individual who wants to make a living from the game.”
“eSports is being contorted…(by current corporation strongholds) it’s not real. And it should be because these are people’s careers and livelihoods.”
Lets hope this sentiment is remembered by Azubu as they begin their 2 year deal with one of the large Corporate Strongholds they were so worried about.