With the recent news about Capcom teaming up with the IGN Pro League (IPL), it seems fighting games will receive some much needed love from eSports. Now the question remains, “Will this partnership of injecting fighting games into eSports actually help fighting games?” The answer in my humble opinion is, “OMG YES!”
I know this topic has been brought up many times before within the Fighting Game Community (FGC), but I think now is a good time to really talk about how eSports will help fighting games. Some may disagree, but at least hear me out on the reasons I feel eSports is good for fighting games.
Expansion & Growth
One reason that eSports will help fighting games is how it helps expand and grow the current fighting game community both in new fans and new competitors. eSports will only add to what fighting games already have with even more events and even more support to help grow the community. To make things even better, eSports will also expand and grow in other areas like sponsors that could potential lead to more competitive fighting game players receiving sponsorship. Getting more involved with various eSports leagues only helps fighting games expand and grow going forward.
Another reason that eSports will help fighting games is by bringing more money into the community. Regardless if you play for the money or for the sheer passion of the game, money helps everything move forward. You see, when certain eSports leagues throw big events with fighting games as a segment to the overall major event, it opens up a wide variety of opportunities to the fighting game community. As that segment, big sponsors who already have a relationship with those major events will have greater access to a new consumer base who play fighting games. With that acess, they can use the robust advertisement platforms eSports have created to promote their products and services to fighting game consumers worldwide. In return, fighting game tournaments could see bigger payouts that retain competitive fighting game players longer who have been proven to retain fighting game fans as well drive fighting game sales. Neat huh?
One more good reason eSports will help fighting games is bigger and greater sponsors. As I’ve mentioned before, more sponsors help increase the growth of fighting games quiet a bit. eSports will be able to provide a good avenue for bigger sponsors who simply want to promote their products and services to video game fans of all kinds. Through eSports, those big sponsors will have great access to fighting game consumers than from what they had originally (which is likely none) with other fighting game organizers or organizations. With that, you will also see more competitive fighting game players being sponsored simply because they participate in eSports related fighting game tournaments. Thus, helping keep those competitive fighting game players doing what they do best–entertaining the world with their epic skillz.
Last but surely not the least, unification. eSports thrives because they embrace multiple renowned video game brands and popular video game genres. All the big hitters are under one roof sharing the same support from one another. Many fighting games by far have been the most reclusive due to how the fighting game community established itself over the many years. Popular brands like League of Legends and StarCraft will only help fighting game brands like Street Fighter because they are unified. Everything from the increased growth to the big sponsorships cross-pollinate each other with all the goodness that makes eSports a success.
eSports by far is a good thing for the fighting game scene. There are of course drawbacks to working with eSports. However, I think the pros greatly outweigh the cons. The IGN Pro League is very committed to making the relationship work having recruited current (not former) fighting game professionals like Mike Ross to sort of act as fighting game ambassadors to help things go down smoother with the community. Together–both eSports and Fighting Games–can help each other and make this new found relationship work well for the future of competitive video gaming.