For the last two years, “The Clutch” pitch competition, sponsored by eSports Insider, has taken place to identify the top start-up companies across the eSports sector. In 2019, the winner was “G-Science” which monitors mental and physical health along with sleep and nutrition in eSports players to help them unlock their top potential. Their official mission statement according to their website is, “Empowering gamers to take control of their health and optimize performance.” Out of Belfast Ireland, G-Science provides player individual analysis, coaching consultations, performance assessments, and full team-based performance programs that last approximately twelve weeks, as well. The trajectory of this company is, obviously, expansive and full of partnership and investment opportunities – but it also holds a special place in opening up eSports to the world of sports health and holistic performance assessment which could have a major impact on the entire sphere for years to come.
This year, the winner of the August 2020 virtual competition was “Anzu.IO” which brings real-world brand advertising into video games and on-line gaming. Through immersive, programmatic ads, Anzu leverages a “3d ad verification system, brand-lift measurement, and fraud protection” to ensure that investors and advertisers get the most bang for their buck. Working on both sides of the game, Anzu provides new revenue streams and limitless ad potential for game makers while also developing highly-personalized users that are interactive, user-initiated, and un-intrusive. Their home office is in Berlin, Germany and they are backed by BITKRAFT eSports Ventures, WPP, the massive creative consultancy company, and Axel Springer Digital Ventures.
These two companies, respectively, point to a very promising future of transformational startups that will contribute and continue to build out eSports as autonomous from previously sporting business models and certainly grow and develop it outside of traditional entertainment models that constrain its ability to expand across industries and attract new fans and audiences.
If there’s a lesson here for those who are watching the eSports industry carefully, its that the title eSports is allergic to limitation. It can replicate traditional entertainment models from both film, commercial media, and sports and implement and capitalize off of them exponentially better than their predecessors. The sky is the limit for eSports companies – and now is the time to launch alongside them!