Linda Hassan on why esports matters to pizza maker Domino’s

The esports phenomenon has evolved a great deal over time. From being targeted towards a niche market, esports has entered the mainstream, so much so, the industry is recognised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. With more than 100 million players globally, it’s hard not to notice the presence of this massive industry. This presents a new platform for brands, game-related or not, to tap into the billion-dollar industry and support its expansion in markets such as Malaysia.

Similar to traditional sports, there are many opportunities in the esports industry that can be explored by the government, private sectors as well as brands. Professional esports tournaments and leagues are becoming more popular and attracting massive audiences. Many factors come into play in terms of its attractiveness – the games, the players and the constant evolving nature of the esports segment.

The audiences and fans of any sport admire a champion’s tenacity, determination and focus that makes them the stars of their sport. In line with this, an esports programme specially catered to those who are interested and strongly passionate in being a part of this evolving industry is indeed what is needed.

While the idea behind the programme is to nurture and sharpen their talent and skills set, this should not be limited to just players, but to look at the entire ecosystem of the esports world. In addition to being a player, the important roles that take place behind the scenes play a significant part in the development of the industry. Having said this, there is a lot of hard work that goes behind setting up a successful league or tournament which is not being recognised by the public. From the development of the game to technical logistics and live-streaming, it requires a lot of effort in keeping these parts aligned.

For Domino’s, particularly, we strongly believe in the vast array of opportunities the industry offers,  specially in the talent development area. There is much potential that Malaysians can delve into to ensure they are given the opportunity to flourish and grow. We embarked on an engagement initiative with the who’s who in the local esports scene to gain a better understanding of what they see as a need to propel esports forward. Guidance and mentorship were among the key factors that were discussed in shaping and fine-tuning the skills the players may have to help them soar and become stars in the esports arena.

The many different aspects in the esports industry offer many different job opportunities. It truly demonstrates the evolution of job opportunities over time. One does not have to be a professional gamer to score a job within esports as there are many jobs that are equally as exciting and challenging. These jobs range from being a gamer, to a streamer, to a shout-caster, to a game developer and other technical expertise.

Ultimately, there are endless possibilities in the esports scene for the government, brands and private sector as well as Malaysians to delve into. There is a place for everyone in this industry and with many initiatives and events taking place in Malaysia, it is undeniable that in a few years’ time, our esports scene is set for a bright future ahead. The dream is to cheer for our players on a global esports stage.

The writer is Domino's Pizza's senior VP of marketing, Linda Hassan. The article first appeared in Marketing’s April print edition.