Gfinity is a UK based eSports firm which, if you haven’t already, you’ll struggle not to hear about in 2015. In collaboration with Vue Cinemas it has established a dedicated eSports Arena, the UK’s first, and the initial Gfinity UK Championships are already underway. We caught up with Head of Partner Relations, Martin Wyatt, to discuss one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and Gfinity’s plans and ambitions for the UK and European market.
SBC: Hi Martin, thanks for talking to us. Following your recent major venue launch in the UK, what are Gfinity’s expectations and hopes for 2015?
Martin: Our expectations for 2015 are to establish the UK as a territory that should be taken seriously in eSports. The opening of the arena and continued development of Gfinity.net means that we are not only able to attract the world’s best playing talent to compete here, but we are also able to provide a platform for UK talent to develop and prosper in this industry.
SBC: Agreeing a deal with The Sun to become an Official Partner of the Gfinity Championship is a major boost, and is a clear indication of the anticipation of the continued growth of eSports. As Gfinity are the first to attempt to properly introduce the UK to eSports, could you tell us a little about the marketing approach you’ve taken to get word out there, and make it known?
Martin: The deal with News UK is a tremendous coup as it shows that we have a high quality offering that major businesses are keen to partner with. In terms of how we’ve marketed ourselves it’s fair to say that we haven’t really started yet.
We’ve largely marketed ourselves to date using social media and word of mouth. We engage our growing network of fans and the world class talent pool of players to help us promote what we do via their channels, and it’s worked tremendously well. This has to come through their advocacy though. We’ve built our reputation as the leading eSports company in the UK through our delivery. We ensure that high quality experiences for players, spectators, viewers and partners sit firmly at the core of our plan and the result of this is that they are happy to tell the world what a good job we’re doing.
Martin: The success of the Gfinity Arena to date has shown the potential that the UK has to grow with fans emerging up and down the country. I can’t give too much away at this stage, however we are an ambitious bunch and are always looking towards the next spectacular way to give the community what they want.
SBC: Neville Upton, Gfinity CEO, stated in March that Gfinity are currently handling 30,000 signups per month. Has this exceeded expectations?
Martin: It’s fair to say that we’re ahead of where we thought we’d be which of course makes us very happy indeed! We’re continually humbled by the growth and feedback we receive from the community. We focus on growing in the right way and engage with the community to ensure we’re on the pulse. Don’t forget that Gfinity was built by gamers for gamers so we will always put the communities at the heart of what we do.
SBC: Finally, what are the differences in taking on the UK and European markets in this field as opposed to those in Asia and the US. Do you believe the European market has the capacity to rival these markets in terms of numbers and popularity?
Martin: The UK is still lagging behind a little which is part of the reason we’re here. We’ve put a major stake in the ground in terms of giving the UK community the comfort that there’s a company in their corner that will push it all forward locally. We’ve established ourselves as the go to people in the UK, and our European footprint and fan base is growing rapidly, which we’re very excited about.
European eSports as a whole is experiencing huge growth as everyone knows and there are already examples of how the viewership in Europe is hitting staggering heights. Ours included.
So, in my opinion, it won’t be long before we’re on a par – and wouldn’t it be cool if the UK was the envy of the eSports world?