E3 is a busy conference for a lot of the folks in the media. One of the pillars of this year’s show was in the development of the eSports community and having that play a critical role in the show. While last year’s fad may have been in virtual reality, this year felt much more about eSports. From Nintendo’s ARMS, Pokkén, and Splatoon Open Invitationals, the live eSports competition going on outside Microsoft Live, to the more locally-based Collegiate Star League at the South Hall, you couldn’t deny the eSports presence.
eSports is a rapidly expanding industry and means of consuming entertainment. From showings like the DotA 2 International to the League of Legends championships, never has gaming been demonstrated before in fully-packed stadium venues, keeping in mind that these venues are packed with players watching other professionals play on a screen. eSports went from small time prize fighting to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in prize money in just a few years.
It’s as such that, to my surprise, a company that I paid a small visit to during the show wasn’t grabbing as much attention as it should have been. That company is called EACL, which is called the eSports Amateur Competitors League. The company, founded by CEO Michael Reddick, has an intriguing goal of giving back to the gaming community. Funding the eSports community at EACL is done through investing and entrepreneurship, to groups that are willing to break beyond the norms. eSports communities are among some of the most passionate of communities, and EACL seeks to help those communities passionately fighting to make a name for themselves.
To break into the eSports community requires many hours of training and conditioning. EACL interested me because they genuinely want to help bring these amateur gamers into the spotlight. The mission rang clear because here at Gamer Professionals, I love to look for the diamonds in the rough when bringing on new staff. I’d ideally like to keep my staff as long as possible, but understand when it’s time to spread the wings a bit and move onto the greener pastures. However, for EACL to help bring in new gamers and turn them into professionals, the platform they’ve created is one called Woot!oop, where the goal is to retain their player base of developing gamers.
The best part is, EACL and Woot!oop aren’t catering exclusively to the gaming crowds. They are working towards developing lasting partnerships with investors, providing financial support and advertising, while also assisting non-profit organizations. When I was talking with Mr. Reddick at E3, he had described to me that the EACL was hosting various competitions and micro competitions, with a December loyalty tournament where a 2018 Audi S5 is the prize. This is all a part of the EACL’s strategy of social entrepreneurship.
It’s rare for me to be significantly impressed by a company’s offering, and what immediately resonated with me was the similarities in mission between EACL and this publication. For me to have come this far with the support of my past, present, and future staff, it’s a reminder that sometimes, there’s still hope for the little guy, the little guys who dream big enough to go where nobody else has. Like how EACL helps the amateur eSports players become professionals, I want to stay true to the name by developing the publication into a platform that can exist beyond gaming. EACL has a great future ahead of it, and it’s something that should definitely be watched as eSports continues to rise in the industry.