Connect with us
European Gaming Congress 2024

iGaming Industry

Is “Region-Locking” Really The Best Path Forward For Professional eSports?

Published

on

Is ‘Region-Locking’ Really The Best Path Forward For Professional Esports?

While eSports has become an increasingly global affair, a looming debate over the mandate to “region-lock” teams continues to raise the question of whether this practice still belongs in the modern era.

 

Region-locking has created some controversy — appearing in many forms across multiple eSport titles. To League of Legends Championship Series participants, it means restricting the regional movement of players between teams.

In the Halo Championship Series, we recently saw NA players being denied access to HCS London. This was an event exclusive to only European teams, a first for the 17-year old competitive Halo franchise.

Why region-lock for esports?

Advertisement
Stake.com

Region-locking was first introduced in Blizzard’s StarCraft 2 World Championship Series. Players needed to be legal residents of a country in the qualifying region to participate in the WCS.

The largely Korean-dominated-scene first prompted the concept of region-locking as a way to avoid predictable tournament results against the all-Korean teams and an attempt to lessen the occurrence of seemingly stale events.

Other regions had begun tapping into Korean talent pools and importing their players, essentially uncoupling teams from their local flavor. In fear of harming local followings, other leagues allow a limited amount of ‘imports’ to be drafted. This attempts to avoid teams converting to entirely culturally foreign rosters.

Building local pro-gaming scenes

Regional restrictions are seen as a way to build upon local gaming communities by leveling contests when competing locally.

Advertisement
Stake.com

Fan engagement is a critical part of this conversation. Why? Esports has the advantage of a relatively small barrier between fans and the players. Fans have the ability to watch their favorite players practice and scrimmage while also communicating through Twitch.

Importing foreign players with a significant language barrier is essentially creating a barrier for the primarily English-speaking fan base.

 

Improving fandom and making eSports generational

Advocates of regional restrictions sustain a focal point revolving around the development of a sustainable ecosystem for pro-gaming leagues.

Advertisement
Stake.com

Many believe facilitating a healthy global system is the key to maintaining a generational fandom.

The way you do that is by creating narratives and story-lines of players that people want to follow,” Immortals CEO Noah Whinston said during a round-table discussion on region-locking. Whinston added to his argument by insisting that players who share similar cultural backgrounds would be more approachable and personable to fans.

In theory, enlisting casual fans to follow esports could be unaccommodating if a sizable cultural disconnect between the spectators and the players flares up. Region-locking could promote the health of esports holistically. But the argument against the restriction focuses more on the competition itself.

Improving regional skill

In esports, we see fascinating skill gaps between specific regions closely resembling the same abstraction in traditional sports. Just as Europeans remain well ahead of North America in soccer, Korean digital athletes are chiefly more skilled than the rest of their international competition in StarCraft.

Advertisement
Stake.com

StarCraft is not on an island either. We see similar differences in technical savviness across the varying regions in other games, such as League of Legends.

Although Koreans dominate a majority of League’s landscape as well, Europe has also been able to produce very capable mid-laners. In Halo, we see a pro-league commanded by NA players with consistent and unchallenging victories against the European squads.

With such pronounced supremacy in esport titles, wanting to know what characteristics allow a region to easily trump another is a common inquiry.

Infrastructure facilitating artistry

One of most common references for Korean players sustaining an extensive distance ahead of their international competition was that the existing infrastructure in Korea was so sophisticated that it produced and facilitated an ultimate competition. The advanced competition offered in Korea was available only to Korean players or those that took the leap of relocating to Korea to train, creating a sizable skill difference in international bouts.

Advertisement
Stake.com

In the case of the 17-year old Halo franchise, its competitive roots came in North America. That happened independently at first, and finally legitimized early on by Major League Gaming. The organized structure that MLG brought to Halo’s competitive scene encouraged and provided the top players the opportunity to significantly improve their skill sets.

An elevated contest of Halo in North America fostered professional players to play at a higher level. This movement allowed the players to compete in the MLG Pro Circuit — granting a heavy advantage when challenging other teams that lacked the same top-tier exposure.

The post Is “Region-Locking” Really The Best Path Forward For Professional eSports? appeared first on Eastern European Gaming – News – Interviews – Legal Market Updates – Premium Reports – Events – Directory.


Source: EEGaming.

Advertisement
Stake.com

4Play

Fast Track Enters into Partnership with 4Play

Published

on

fast-track-enters-into-partnership-with-4play

 

Fast Track, the leading player engagement platform built specifically for the iGaming industry, has partnered with 4Play, a dynamic and innovative gaming operator renowned for its exceptional player experiences in both casino and sports betting.

Launched in 2023, 4Play has rapidly gained recognition in the industry, primarily targeting the burgeoning Brazilian market. With a commitment to delivering unparalleled entertainment, 4Play offers its players a seamless experience in Portuguese, featuring popular gaming verticals such as casino and sports betting.

4Play’s decision to integrate Fast Track CRM comes as part of its strategic initiative to bolster player retention and streamline operations through advanced automation. Fast Track’s robust platform will enable 4Play to automate complex player journeys, ensuring each interaction is personalised and timely.

“We are excited to partner with Fast Track to elevate our player engagement strategies. Their innovative approach to CRM and their commitment to creating individualised player experiences align perfectly with our vision for 4Play. We look forward to leveraging their platform to enhance our player retention and operational efficiency,” Mateus Ihering, Chief Operating Officer of 4Play, said.

Advertisement
Stake.com

Fast Track’s CRM platform, recognised for its real-time data capabilities and comprehensive automation suite, will support 4Play in achieving its business goals. By automating player communications and optimising the registration journey, 4Play aims to significantly increase its number of depositors while maintaining a high level of engagement among its 148,000 monthly active users.

Simon Lidzén, Co-Founder and CEO of Fast Track, said: “We are delighted to welcome 4Play into the Fast Track family. Their innovative spirit and dedication to providing top-tier player experiences make them an ideal partner. Together, we will set new standards in player engagement and retention, ensuring that 4Play continues to thrive in the competitive iGaming landscape.”

Continue Reading

Andrés Tamayo

Pragmatic Play Enhances FullReto Partnership with Virtual Sports Addition

Published

on

pragmatic-play-enhances-fullreto-partnership-with-virtual-sports-addition

 

Pragmatic Play, a leading content supplier to the iGaming industry, has reinforced its commitment to Latin American expansion by strengthening its existing relationship with Colombian operator FullReto.

The latest agreement will see FullReto offer its players a broad selection of Pragmatic Play’s unique Virtual Sports titles, building on an already extensive offering of over 300 Slots and Live Casino games.

Fantastic League, Greyhound Racing, and the thrilling motor racing-themed Force 1 are among the games now available to FullReto customers as the operator looks to capitalise on the rapidly increasing popularity of Virtual Sports to consolidate its position as a leading platform in Colombia.

The multi-product partnership reaffirms Pragmatic Play’s intentions to expand its offering in the LatAm markets, with FullReto now offering a vast catalogue of Pragmatic’s award-winning games across three verticals.

Advertisement
Stake.com

Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “Pragmatic Play is delighted to reinforce its partnership with FullReto by providing its players with access to its renowned Virtual Sports games. The deal not only emphasises Pragmatic Play’s desire to provide Colombian players with an exciting online gaming experience, but also demonstrates the supplier’s dedication to furthering its Latin American expansion.”

Andrés Tamayo, General Manager at FullReto, said: “FullReto’s continued collaboration with Pragmatic Play highlights our main objective of supplying the optimal player experience. The addition of Pragmatic Play’s Virtual Sports offering, on top of its Slots and Live Casino games, will ensure FullReto players have access to hundreds of fan-favourite games across a variety of verticals.”

Continue Reading

Alonso Huiman

Pragmatic Play Launches Live Casino Offer at Atlantic City

Published

on

pragmatic-play-launches-live-casino-offer-at-atlantic-city

 

Pragmatic Play, a leading content supplier to the iGaming industry, has expanded its Live Casino footprint across Peru after going live with major local operator, Atlantic City.

The partnership sees Pragmatic Play’s full Live Casino portfolio integrated with the operator, enabling players in Peru to enjoy market-leading titles such as Blackjack, Roulette, and Baccarat from the supplier’s award-winning portfolio.

This latest agreement showcases Pragmatic Play’s plans for growth in LatAm, exhibiting an array of its verticals across multiple territories in recent months. It is the latest deal signed by Pragmatic Play with a Peruvian operator, following a comprehensive growth strategy in the country.

Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “Atlantic City is one of Peru’s most reputable operators and offers another opportunity to showcase the Pragmatic Play Live Casino portfolio in Peru. With an offering that will deliver exceptional gaming experiences to players, this partnership promises to cement Pragmatic Play’s position at the forefront of the Peruvian iGaming industry.”

Advertisement
Stake.com

Alonso Huiman, Chief of Online Casino at Atlantic City, said: “This landmark agreement with Pragmatic Play is a pivotal moment for us. Its vast selection of table and card games will resonate seamlessly with our player base and we are confident that this will propel our brand to new heights.”

Continue Reading

Trending