Jaap Visser #ESL about interaction with the target audience

When ESL was launched in 2000, it was no more than a gathering of gaming enthusiasts. Now the company runs events that fill stadiums and bring together millions of online viewers. ESL’s largest event draws around 48 million viewers and some 160,000 visitors.

“We present the players as heroes and give them a stage, online and offline.”
According to Jaap Visser (Managing director of ESL Benelux), eSports have become much more professional in recent years. Their popularity has also grown hugely, both offline and online. This is due mainly to the presentation of the players as heroes; they are given a platform not only offline but also online from which to make contact with their fans. Interaction with the target audience is very important. Take an eSports event, for example. This has become a complete experience. World-famous DJs like Hardwell perform, there will be an exhibition to look round, and companies like BMW will be present with a stand.

This success is due mainly to the combination with Twitch. ESL is the largest content provider for Twitch and reaches a huge audience. These days you can also find ESL on other platforms like YouTube. The challenge ESL is currently addressing is the expansion of eSports to the Netherlands. The fans already know how to find eSports in other countries like England and Germany, but don’t yet in the Netherlands.