Mazer Gaming has erupted as a powerhouse in the esports space, providing leading teams, tournaments, and content beloved by many. As esports evolves and moves into the mobile space in addition to traditional gaming devices, they looked to partner in the mobile advertising and marketing space who “got it” and understood where esports was going and the opportunity it provides brands to reach a broad swathe of engaged consumers.
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We caught up with our friends at Mazer Gaming to learn more about what they offer, their outlook on the future of esports, and their growth over the past years. Sam Kijak, Mazer’s CEO and Founder, answered our questions! Get to know them better!
How did Mazer Gaming get started?
Mazer Gaming was founded in 2014. We started off as a content creation group creating videos and montages on Call of Duty and eventually got into esports in 2016. Since then, we have competed in a huge variety of game titles such as Gears of War, Super Smash Bros, Pokemon Go, Halo, CS:GO, and much more.
Why did you decide to work with AdColony?
AdColony was a part of our dive into the mobile esports setting. After getting into games such as Pokemon Go and Brawl Stars, we wanted to be one of the leading forces in the industry. While we still have a lot to achieve, we have assembled one of the best Pokemon Go rosters in the world, and were featured at events such as Twitch Rivals this October.
How does esports operate in the mobile world?
Esports with mobile gaming is extremely new but operates very similarly to traditional esports. With the rise of mobile games in the past decade, the opportunities are endless. Although Fortnite is not currently supported on mobile anymore, they were one of the key factors in showing us that these major competitive games online can be played on mobile. There are plenty of tournaments for mobile games such as Brawl Stars, Clash Royale, Pokemon Go, and much more.
What does mobile esports look like in the western world?
In the western world, there are plenty of tournaments being set up. The global pandemic has caused many issues for these games, but it has also provided many opportunities for games to prepare and grow online. For example, Pokemon Go was not necessarily tournament-ready before the pandemic, but now we are seeing events being announced for next year that look very promising.
Games and tournament organizers will continue to see the value that mobile esports brings going into next year in a variety of different countries and places.
With the best Pokemon Go team in the world, how has this team grown and evolved on mobile? What opportunities for brands and advertisers have come from this growth?
Mobile esports has shown us the ability for gaming to be as accessible as it has ever been. Outside of being able to watch your favorite streamer on Twitch from your phone, now you can play against them or play in tournaments right from your pocket. Brands and advertisers will never see a better opportunity than with mobile gaming and esports because people are playing more games and spending more time on their phones than ever.
What are esports influencers and how much influence do they have?
Esports influencers are professional players for any given title in the gaming world. Like any other athlete in the sports world, they carry a ton of influence and are extremely popular inside and outside of their gaming communities.
The most popular example in gaming history is the rise of Tyler Blevins, also known in-game as “Ninja.” At one point, he was the most popular streamer in the world, gaining millions of followers and subscribers. He was one of the turning points in the gaming industry that showed that streamers, players, and video game creators can be just as popular as any other celebrity in the world.
How are brands getting involved in esports and the wider gaming environment in general? What is the potential for brands working in gaming?
Brands are getting involved in esports now more than ever. This is because the audience and advertising opportunities are endless. They are able to target a brand new, tech-savvy generation of users that typically spend a lot of money, especially on their favorite streamers and players.
Brands are able to get their logo shown on jerseys, stream overlays, in-person events, billboards, banners, and even inside the actual games being played. There are few limitations to advertisements in the gaming world, which is why brands are flooding the space.
How has esports evolved since your creation in 2014?
Esports is completely different from how it was in 2014, and the big reason is the audience. Going back to when esports tournaments started appearing in the United States, the community was mainly the players and not so much the people watching the events. People would set up tournaments to play against each other and that was about it.
Now, tournaments are being set up because there are millions of people wanting to watch these players compete. Twitch was one of the major contributors to the growth of esports since 2014, growing audiences of esports events and player streams by hundreds of millions.
What types of audiences can brands expect to see with esports?
The esports industry is generally a half and half split of teenagers and adults under 40. These individuals are heavily invested in their favorite esports teams and players. Not only are they invested, but they are greatly influenced by these people. It is a lot different than a traditional sports team with the way the teams or players connect with an audience.
In the gaming world, there is a more personal feel to the connection with any given streamer due to the fact that there is more content consumed and more audience interaction. Esports consumers are more likely to support a brand that supports their favorite team, player, or streamer.
How do audiences respond to brand sponsorship in esports?
Going off of the previous point, audiences in esports are more accepting of sponsorships. As big as esports and gaming are, the community values companies that support the industry since it is still growing and becoming mainstream. Unlike traditional sports, there are hundreds of thousands of active esports teams and players competing in thousands of different games. When brands come in and support their favorite player, game, or community, they are more accepting and grateful, which in turn leads to a positive impact with sponsorships in esports.
Why do individuals and brands choose to work with Mazer?
Mazer Gaming is one of the more versatile esports organizations in the space. We have competed at high levels in various game titles over the years such as Call of Duty, Gears of War, Fortnite, and more. We are home to a huge content team on Twitch, which allows for dozens of Twitch partners with hundreds of thousands of followers.
We are also one of the few esports organizations actively involved in the crypto, blockchain, and NFT space, pushing out education and adoption through our company with a variety of partners. On top of all of that, we host our own esports events with prize pools almost every weekend in a bunch of different game titles. For brands, we check off a lot of boxes for them when searching out esports teams to work with.
What is the number one example of your teams/partnerships enabling brand success?
The number one example of our teams enabling brand success is through Twitch. We have a system in place that allows for us to add brand logos on a slideshow overlay on our players’ and streamers’ streams. At all times, their audience will be exposed to a brand without it interrupting their favorite stream. They are also exposed through the Twitch chat with messages and trackable links being sent to the chat every 10 minutes or so.
We have seen an insane amount of success with link clinks and millions of logo impressions, which shows that this is something the audience does not just mind but supports heavily.
Where do you see esports heading in the short term (2-3 years) and long term (5 years and longer)?
In the short term, I think that esports will continue to grow at the rate it is, if not more. What interests me more is the long term. Before the pandemic started, there were major pushes to bring esports to major cities with the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty League. This is something that long-term I think is inevitable. There are already plenty of arenas and tournament venues that exist, but I think you will see more stadiums built for leagues and teams in the long term as esports titles and organizations continue to grow.
What industry trend or development are you most excited about in the near term, and why?
I am extremely excited about the development of VR games and technology. Although they have not really hit the esports audience yet, I think in the near future there is going to be plenty of integration with games and content consumption.
How big is your team, and how would you describe them?
Mazer Gaming is a team of around 60 people, consisting of players, streamers, creators, and managers. I would describe our team as extremely connected and supportive. We all work together to achieve the same goal — bringing Mazer to the top of the esports world. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and has experience with different games, so there has always been plenty of opportunities to share experiences and work together on different projects and content.