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  • Writer's pictureAlli Mckenna

"E-Sports is Dying."​ - But It Doesn't Have To Be.



“Esports is dying.”


This phrase has been a hot topic over the last few months. Between massive waves of layoffs in gaming companies big and small (which unfortunately affected yours truly), the uncertainty around the esports industry emanates.


So, what does this mean for the gaming industry and those in it?


No cheat codes needed, it’s evolution. There are numerous factors that have led to the recent consequences on esports and gaming organizations/companies, but the need to evolve is an issue across many.


Gaming has passed through decades of advancements and evolutions, and the last 15 years have been a game changer for the industry. Competitive scenes like CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota 2, and Super Smash Bros changed the way we treated gaming, turning a once after school hobby into a competitive outlet and lucrative business model.


More recently, VALORANT has taken the esports scene by storm, quickly becoming one of the hottest titles in competitive gaming. A key factor to its success: CONTENT. Content creation is the biggest single difference between the emergence of esports and where it stands today.


What do I mean by “content”, because the term is such a blanket for so many different areas. When I discuss content in this context, I’m contemplating how we can convert Twitch, YouTube, and TikTok viewers to esports fans. How do we bridge the gap between gaming-adjacent content and competitive esports?


One of the best examples of the influence content creators have using esports-adjacent business models is the YouTube streamer Ludwig Ahgren and his company Mogul Moves. Ahgren has used his platform and audience as a stage to create events that nurture and expand the esports industry, connecting those who may be more casual gaming-adjacent content connoisseurs to the competitive side of gaming.


Here’s some examples of kick-ass events that Ahgren has brought to life within the last 3 months:


➡️ Chess Boxing/Smash Boxing: Ahgren took this already existing competitive sport and presented it to his audience, while also giving it an esports spin by incorporating Super Smash Bros Melee boxing events into the mix with some of the biggest names in the content creation, esports, and chess/chess boxing scenes. This event broke his record for highest peak concurrent viewership at 317,000 and had an average concurrent viewership of 220,000.


➡️ Scuffed World Tour: This event hosted the biggest names in competitive Super Smash Bros (SSB) Ultimate and Melee, including players and commentators, mere weeks after the Smash World Tour was controversially canceled. This was the second SSB invitational that Ahgren had hosted, and garnered sponsorships from brands such as Juvee and Top of the Morning Coffee (both of which are gaming creator-built brands 👀).


➡️ Ludwig x Tarik VALORANT Invitational: Ahgren and Tarik Celik, an ex-CS:GO professional and one of the biggest names in VALORANT content creation, organized and hosted this 2-day streamed tournament. They welcomed professional VALORANT teams, commentators, and analysts. This event consisted of a professional bracket along with a showmatch between teams of creators/friends with the two hosts as the team captains.


These are only a few examples of the strides Ahgren has made in connecting gaming content viewers to the competitive world of esports. These efforts should absolutely be on the radars of conventional gaming organizations and companies as these types of ideas will lead them to their next necessary evolution and give way to the expansion of the industry as a whole. Ahgren has recently announced that he is now Co-Owner of Moist Esports alongside gaming creator and Moist founder, Cr1TiKaL. He has already expanded the org’s scope by signing a VALORANT team named Moist Moguls, and it will be interesting to see how the organization develops in the near future with Ahgren on the team.


Converting content connoisseurs to competitive esports fans is difficult, but not impossible. In a content-driven market, esports organizations must evolve at a fast pace, utilize the content that viewers want to see already, and show them why they want to see more.


TLDR: Esports isn’t dying, but the industry is sink or swim. Without evolving into a creator/content-driven business model, some organizations may continue to suffer. Ludwig Ahgren’s content is one of the prime examples of bridging the gap between gaming content consumers and esports enthusiasts, which should be a primary goal of businesses in the esports industry.


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