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September 2021: Mainstage Gaming Newsletter

Mainstage Gaming Network publishes a monthly update to our community and we are eager to hear your feedback. Please email playnow@mainstagegn.com to share suggestions or request information and support@mainstagegn.com for support requests.

September 2021 Mainstage Newsletter Featured Image

Summary / TL;DR:
It has been a busy month at Mainstage Gaming Network. Our team is doing more to directly meet our community members since rebuilding our Discord and we are partnering with new esports organizations across the US. High school students now have more opportunities than just gaming in our leagues and our Twitch streams have gotten a much-needed revamp in production!

  1. High School Leagues: The data is in — we grew a lot from our first season and share some industry insights we’ve captured from our gamers.
  2. MCEA: Clemson vs. UNCC broke records on our Twitch account and we breakdown our secret sauce to running collegiate competition that makes Mainstage more exciting than the rest of the industry.
  3. Mainstage Gaming Community: Giveaways, AMAs, competitions and social/streaming overhauls!

High School League

As registration closed this month, we reviewed our performance from last year and want to highlight our growth:

Participating schools:

  • Season 1: 6 x high schools across 3 counties in South Carolina
  • Season 2: 19 x high schools across 14 counties in North & South Carolina

Student registrations:

  • Season 1: 101 x students registered for an average of 2.31 games
  • Season 2: 316 x students registered for an average of 2.36 games

More schools + more students + more games… we love it. And for the other data-nerds out there like us, we found the following quite interesting as well. Based on a sample size of 1,000 High School students:

  • Gen Z gamers are playing games on an average 3 different devices (2.911)
  • Mobile (1st), Xbox (2nd), and PC on Windows OS (3rd) devices lead all other devices
  • Online (remote) gaming events reached 100% interest post-pandemic as compared to ~90% before the pandemic. We understand 90% is still high but if you ever reach 100% interest in anything with a 1000+ sample size.. in the famous words of Van Wilder, we suggest you, “Write that down”
  • YouTube still blows Twitch out of the water for consuming Video Game Content (VGC). ~98% of Gen Z gamers that watch VGC online prefer YouTube compared to ~66% using Twitch. (Sorry Facebook Gaming. No, it’s not even close.) We believe this is due to the library/on-demand use of YouTube for tips & strategy guides — so, maybe it’s not that big of a gap since gamers COULD be using the tools in different ways.. but we still expected more Gen Z gamers using Twitch

If you like this type of data/insights in our posts, let us know. We love it and are constantly researching the market!

MCEA

MCEA and College Esports Logos

Collegiate esports kicked off on September 21st and the season will run through November 2021. Our first week of competition doubled our subscribers on Twitch reaching hundreds of live viewers and thousands of fans across our social accounts! We are thankful to boast established esports teams like 2x National Champions, Winthrop University of Rock Hill, SC alongside teams like Lees-McCrae of Banner Elk, NC who have just launched their first program.

From new fans to future sponsors, a question we have been hearing a lot this month:

“How do college esports work with the MCEA?”

Glad you asked — our coach-focused structure is a big part of what makes us unique and more entertaining for small and large esports rosters alike.

Divisions

First, we broke our colleges out into two separate groups simply named, “North Division” and “South Division.” Although we launched the first-ever season with only North Carolina and South Carolina colleges, the states do not determine the divisions, however, we did attempt to draw the lines between more northern schools and more southern schools as best as possible.

Game Titles and Rulesets

For many months, the Mainstage team met with college coaches, athletic directors and collegiate esport club presidents to decide which games to compete with and what rules to govern our competition. A multitude of concerns and ideas went into the equation such as; existing rosters, ease of building a roster, popularity, competition length, and new in-game maps/DLC/items. As a collective, we voted and decided on → Valorant, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Season and Scoring Structure

The MCEA season duration is 9-weeks consisting of 2-weeks of inter-divisional play, followed by 7-weeks of divisional play before entering into 5 seeded playoff brackets + championship bracket for the best teams in each title. Finally, there will be an overall team bracket featuring the school(s) that collected the most points during the season. Scoring is similar to traditional “group meet” sports like swimming, track and field, or wrestling. Teams will represent their schools for matches of certain titles, and the winner will receive a point for their team and their school. At the end of the regular season, the teams with the most points will move forward to the playoff and championship brackets. Winning teams and the school with the most points will be crowned game title or esports total champion!

Sponsorships and Promotions

We pride ourselves on putting our schools first and worked for weeks on a contract that allowed esports programs to earn revenue with us. Coach pay, program allocation and esports scholarship budgets are severely undervalued and we know every dollar and ounce of exposure helps the entire industry. We structured a simple contract in which we split every dollar we earn from sponsorships with MCEA teams. The revenue share % is tiered up to agreed-upon amounts decided by the MCEA and its teams. We have made it very enticing for schools to get in early and remain a part of the MCEA for the long term and we are excited to build strong financial support for the industry into our model.

MCEA Overall Scoreboard for North and South Division Teams

After two weeks of inter-divisional play, UNC Greensboro and Winthrop University lead the North Division while Clemson and Lander University lead the South. Now we move to divisional matches until the playoffs! Tune in during the week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and get notifications for our collegiate esports competition by following the Mainstage Twitch Account!

Mainstage Community

Lance, AKA “Wolffe” Has been hard at work growing our community. Through the end of the year, we’re planning:

  • Giveaways: gaming gear, game passes, swag, crypto, skins, DLC and more
  • Tournaments: play with and against the Mainstage community
  • Casting and Moderating: opportunities to hop on-stream with us for various esports matches

We also redesigned our social banners! This is the first step towards a fan-requested favorite: Mainstage Gaming Apparel! More on our brand and custom swag to come — follow us on our Social accounts (see below) or join our Discord to stay up to date on everything we are up to!

We are so thankful for our team! And we are still growing! Follow us on LinkedIn to see job opportunities. Most immediately, we are looking for Streamers and Competition Managers to work with organizations in different regions and support their gaming events and leagues.

Stay in Touch:

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