The RSR Partners x HIVE Esports Business Conference features the presence of CEO of ESL America Yvette Martinez-Rea and Shizuka Suzuki, assistant vice president (AVP) of corporate sponsorships of AT&T Inc. During the conference, Martinez-Rea said that she was “excited because mobile game tournaments are much shorter”.

In Jun 2018, at the E3 gaming convention, AT&T joined hands with ESL to host an Arena of Valor competition. According to Suzuki, AT&T is looking for opportunities to get into eSports. She thinks that the partnership with ESL will help AT&T achieve its goal.

RSR Partners x HIVE Esports Business Conference

AT&T will fit the market

Despite many opinions to the contrary, Suzuki believes that AT&T will fit in to the industry perfectly. The best way to convince people is to have the actual gamers use what the company has to offer. AT&T is working on this by investing into eSports in a relevant way. Providing sponsors for mobile eSports competitions is one of the actions it has taken.

Beside that, AT&T also appears at several ESL-hosted events. For example, during ESL One Newyork in September, AT&T provided guests with portable chargers that they could use during the tournament.

While AT&T has sponsored many tradition sport events such as NCAA, PGA etc., gaming and eSports is a new area for it. Suzuki thinks this brings AT&T a new opportunity to get to an under-reached audience. This audience includes who aren't watching traditional sports and therefore are unaware of the brand.

While mobile eSports have been prospering in eastern markets such as India and China, in the west they are still quite underdeveloped. However, Suzuki says that AT&T is ready to make long term investments.

Mobile games are relevant in eSports

On the side of Martinez-Rea, she thinks the popularity and pervasiveness of mobile games make them very relevant in the eSports industry. Mobile games tend to be easier. Furrthermore, almost everyone has a mobile device these days. This means anyone can play these games if they want to. Mobile games are accessible to people of all genders and economic backgrounds. Of the same opinion, Suzuki remarks that not everyone can afford a gaming setup. On the other hand, most own a mobile phone. That makes mobile games “much easier to access”, says Suzuki.

While the viewership numbers of mobile eSports events are not going to be comparable with those of League of Legends or Counter Strike any time soon, the sheer ubiquity of mobile games means most everyone is a potential mobile eSport watcher or player. There are reasons to believe mobile eSports will be greatly popular in the future.