September 4th, 2012
Author: Grant ‘Ava’ Hill
A talk with Communications Director of Team Dignitas Fredrik ‘NewmaN’ Reinius about recent eSports events and the future.
Hello NewmaN, how are you today?
NewmaN: Hello, I’m good, weather here in Sweden is great and I’m just about to leave for a short vacation so it could be worse.
eSports is undoubtedly growing with events becoming televised more often, what is your opinion about the massive expansion of the audience?
NewmaN: It’s great, expanding our audience is the single most important thing we need to achieve if we want eSports to grow. It’s not just expanding in streaming figures but the general feeling I get is that more and more people are aware of eSports and a bigger percentage of casual players are inclined to watch pro players play. Which is great.
Has this growth affected you personally?
NewmaN: Probably not personally, except for being more recognised at events I guess. For Dignitas though, it's been great. A bigger audience give us the possibility of acquiring more sponsors and bigger deals which benefits the entire team and in the end all of eSports.
How do you feel this increase in fans has been for Team Dignitas as an organisation?
NewmaN: Getting more fans is vital for an eSports organisation, so this expansion of the audience has definitely grown ours and others fanbases which is great. Bigger audiences lead to more fans which in turn lead to more merchandising opportunities and bigger income for teams and players. Obviously there are also downsides, we spend a lot more time admining our website, social channels, etc., but all in all it is great.
Another notable point is the increasing success of foreigners in tournaments across the board, it isn't just Koreans winning everything. Do you feel we are getting to the stage where foreigners can really outplay Koreans?
NewmaN: We have always had international players that have been able to outplay Koreans. These days it seems like it has been getting a bit more regular though with groups of really good, but unknown EU players that can really play with the best.
I think it proves that you don’t need to sit in a cramped apartment in a suburb in Seoul to be good at the game, and that's good. I generally don’t believe in that model at all.
If you have the discipline and willpower to be the best it doesnt matter where you live. Yes, it might be easier/quicker to improve in Korea, but I think you can go just as far in Europe, but perhaps not so much in NA.
The GD show, which you appear on regularly claims to be a 'no fluff' show, a term which other people are also claiming. Do you feel a completely honest, to the point show is what is needed?
NewmaN: I don’t think any show can be completely honest, most people on these shows work for companies in eSports and can’t talk about anything and everything. I do think it is needed that we have a couple of different shows that cover the bigger topics from week to week and from different perspectives.
How do you feel Dreamhack and MLG went and is there anything that stands out as good business practice?
NewmaN: They are very different events, I think both did really well in their own ways and both keep improving, so it’s great. Both organisers are looking for more ways of increasing income and will probably take different directions on that so we’ll have an interesting future in eSports. The best business decisions they can make is to look at where they can grow their audience the most, but also stay true to their roots. For example, if Dreamhack goes too far in the direction of eSports and forgets their regular/casual visitors that could be dangerous.
Finally, what does the future hold for you NewmaN and your role within Team Dignitas?
NewmaN: We are always looking to expand our business and our reach so that is something we are always working on. We’ve got some really interesting plans for the future that could really change the way people look at esports.
Any one you would like to mention and thank?
NewmaN: Of course Alienware for their support and this fantastic site and of course Intel, Antec, Creative, Scan, QPad, Western Digital, Twitch, iiyama, Killer, Initial Games, Mutliplay and Gamerbase.