SOUNDING OFF: Amarilis Semprún Zozaya – Are eSports the new sports genre for the 21st century?

unnamedMiami is getting its feet wet into this multibillion-dollar industry, with a new eSport team, according to Amarilis Semprún Zozaya, Principal at AZ Communications, Inc.

The combination of technology and sports is explosive. One just has to look at the legions of video game fanatics and the millions of dollars that they generate each year for this industry. Ant it keeps growing… Now more than ever, these so called cyber-athletes from different parts of the world connect online to participate in countless of tournaments and video game competitions.

Known as electronic sports (or eSports), competitive video gaming has been dominating the way 16 to 35 years old interact in the digital atmosphere, with tablets and mobile screens also capturing an important part of the pie. It has gained popularity so fast that many consider it as the new sports genre for the 21st century. eSports is the hottest topic in games and it already is into the mainstream.

From the United States, to Europe and Asia, thousands of events are held continuously in sold-out crowd packed arenas, which include a wide-range of game categories and competitions. From fighting games and Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) – such as DOTA 2, League of Legends, and Counter Strike – to sports simulators, life FIFA 17, professional players keep emerging from Latin America and other regions, to then be hired in the United States and Europe and endorsed by the big brands.  And, as the cash prizes get juicier more corporations and regular sports teams are following the money trail.

According to an analysis by NewZoo, a provider of market intelligence covering this industry, the global esports economy is estimated to grow by 41% to US$696 million in 2017, from US$493 million in 2016. “And the audience is expected to hit 385 million in 2017, made up of 191 million Esports Enthusiasts and a further 194 million Occasional Viewers”.

Some of the largest cities for gamers are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Long Beach, Sacramento (CA), Chicago (IL), Charlotte (NC), Atlanta (GA), Seattle (WA), Portland (OR), and jus recently Washington, DC. Miami now have the opportunity to claim a piece of that universe in the form of THE MIAMI FLAMINGOS – the only professional eSports team in South Florida.  Five young players that represent the diversity that characterizes this city.  They are experts on Counter Strikes having played professionally in Latin American since their adolescence.  They come from Argentina, Colombia and Chile, and as with all eSports players, they select very unconventional nicknames, which function as their gaming handle. Jonathan ‘JonYBoY’ Muñoz, Guillermo ‘guishorro’ Areco, and Matías ‘Tutehen’ Canale (AR), Juan Esteban ‘sickLy’ Valencia, (CO), and Cristian ‘Proxure’ Rojas (CH).

Gaming is hot; and we are certain that with the introduction of The Miami Flamingos, in no time we’ll see local television stations that want to capture this highly valuable audience, broadcasting this unique experience in a crow-packed arena full of neon flashing lights, with thousands of fans – some dressed up as their favorite character – and other tens of thousands people live streaming from everywhere.  Yes, competitive video gamine is flourishing, and Miami is ready to dip into it.

Amarilis Semprún Zozaya, Principal at AZ Communications, Inc., is a seasoned PR Specialist, Amarilis has been helping deliver successful communications campaigns at the client and agency levels, for the past 20 years in both, the US Hispanic/Anglo markets and Latin America. Considered by some as having “a golden touch for pitching the media”, Amarilis is truly passionate about PR and a “news junkie”, nowadays immersed into the eSports atmosphere. A native of Venezuela, she studied Modern Languages, and Translation and Interpretation Studies.