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Why Vodafone Hosted A Video Game Tournament

Why Vodafone Hosted A Video Game Tournament
Participants during Vodafone’s 24th birthday gaming challenge. The mobile giant is planning to host more competitive gaming tournaments in the near future. Photo: Vodafone Fiji
July 30
13:10 2018

Globally, businesses have started to capitalise on the million dollar competitive gaming industry.

Several international forecasters predict the industry is on course to exceed the US$100 billion (FJ$209.89bn) mark in annual revenues in the coming years.

Global brands such as Intel, Coca-Cola and Airbus are sponsoring global competitions that bring together professional eSports players from across the world.

In Fiji, a top company has taken notice of the industry’s potential.

As part of its 24th birthday celebrations, Vodafone Fiji Limited held a gaming competition that ran over a few weeks.

Dubbed the Vodafone 24th Birthday Gaming Challenge, it attracted sixteen players from across the country.

The players competed for lucrative prizes on Sony’s Playsation 4 playing the hugely popular soccer game, FIFA 18.

“We have realised that we have a handful but strong gaming community within our customer base,” said Vodafone’s manager product development and digital services Rizvi Amith.

“We wanted to give them an opportunity to take their gaming skills into competition mode.

“The event is a Vodafone initiative to give our gamers an opportunity for a challenge to show their gaming skills in the competition and win fantastic prizes.

“Entries were open to all our gamers based in Fiji and we did get participants from the Western Division as well.”

Organisers of the upcoming 2024 Olympics have suggested that competitive gaming may be included in the tournament, with FIFA 18 being a top contender.

This is confirmation that along with playing video games, players enjoy watching their favourite teams compete at the highest level.

According to the Financial Times, 11.1bn videos were streamed in China in 2016 and about 2.17bn in North America.

Fiji’s gaming community largely consists of casual players who play at home or sometimes meet at gaming shops to compete in popular games such as FIFA 18, League of Legends and Counter Strike.

Organised competitive gaming with prizes up for grabs is rare.

But a large company backing a proper competition with rules and a structure might just provide the spark for more local tournaments to surface.

“With the increment in professional eSports channels, there is bound to be an uptake in the country soon,” Mr Amith said.

“Definitely, there are already some enthusiastic gamers that have latched on to the trend.”

The mobile giant is planning more competitions in the future.

Don’t expect a tournament with millions of dollars going to the winner happening any time soon in Fiji; like the popular League of Legends world championship that sees the champions walk away with US$1 million (FJ$2.1m).

But businesses have already begun seeing commercial opportunities and potential for the growth of an eSports market in Fiji

“We are keen on initiating more gaming competitions as such soon,” Mr Amith said.

“eSports is not far behind with the growing appetite of customers for mobile innovation and explosion of data and smart devices here in Fiji, given that it is a huge following internationally.

“We have a lot of customers that are ardent gamers and we had a clear indication that we will get a lot of interests towards the competitions.”

The advent of 5G mobile technology will also create more opportunities for businesses to strike content and distributions deals, analysts say,

“The entire telecommunications industry is headed for new and innovative models,” Mr Amith said.

“eCommerce and mCommerce are no longer the thing of the past and Vodafone is proud of the part we have played in introducing these in the Fijian market.




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