Hong Kong recently hosted its first EMF Festival: Esports Music Festival, tilted, “Return of the Legends”.
Originally the festival was to be held at Hong Kong’s West Kowloon District. But due to last minute complications, the festival was moved to the Hong Kong Colosseum.
Despite the last minute changes, the organisers must be commended in putting together a very impressive spectacle. What really determines if these live-event tournaments are successful are: the turn out of the fans; the quality of the players they can attract.
The Rise of E-Sports
It is undeniable that the popularity of E-sports is on the Rise. The skill level of players are being increasingly rewarded with large fan bases, lucrative sponsorship deals and professional contracts.
In turn, so these large fan bases have caused Esports tournaments to attract large audiences. Those who are unable to attend live, just watch the games online and the number of views these matches get are truly impressive.
Here is a look at the League of Legends stats from their 2016 World Championship Tournament:
With such impressive numbers, it is no wonder that governments are willing to invest in E-sports players and organizations as well as venues for tournaments. In Asia, the countries most notable are China, Korea and Taiwan.
Is Hong Kong now recognizing the viability of a career in E-sports for its young gamers?
Making it a Music Festival
It seems that the organizers were either being smart or were just not confident that having a large scale event just for gaming was going to work. So they combined their event with live music performances and turned the event into a hybrid music festival.
Building a Fan Base
Although the turn out may not have been there for this event. Hong Kong and the event’s organisers are still on the right path. E=sports is only going to continue to grow. If they are to attract larger crowds, they need more tournaments. These will help to improve the standards of the players by giving them tournament experience; but they will also allow the fan base to grow as fans will be able to share in the those experiences.
The invitational team from China dominated the tournament. Of course, during these early phases of such events, it will always be a challenge inviting teams that are balanced skill wise.
But more tournaments, more opportunities for young gamers to make a name for themselves – this is definitely the way to go.
Culture towards gaming
Hong Kong, like some other countries around the world, still have not seen the viability in gaming as a career. This is largely due to the cultural stigma around gaming: that playing games is a waste of time, in that if you can’t make a living from it, it isn’t worth pursuing.
Tournaments like these help to shift cultural perspectives. The more tournaments, the more fans; more fans means more sponsors; the more sponsors, the more money.
Did you attend the EMF Fesival? Let us know your thoughts.