Azubu CEO on reforming eSports and taking down Twitch
"It becomes like an FPS where you're going room by room and trying to clear out the Twitch infestation."
- Azubu CEO, Ian Sharpe, on taking the fight to Twitch.
Recently, eSports broadcaster Azubu raised $59 million to help build out its brand and take on the world.
In this case "the world" is leading internet broadcaster Twitch, and in a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Azubu CEO, Ian Sharpe, explained how he plans on bringing down the streaming giant.
The first step on that journey, says Sharpe, is giving streamers the freedom and flexibility they need to make a living.
"We want to enable streamers to have a range of revenue streams at their disposal so that they can sustain themselves as entertainers and players in addition to the tournaments that we can open up streaming to something a bit more deep than a stream with some chat," says Sharpe.
The second step is allowing sponsors to become involved in broadcasting in a meaningful way. Right now, they aren't getting any real return on their investment, and that doesn't bode well for the future.
"[Sponsors] get disappointed because [...] there's nothing measurable, there's no direct attributable sales and so they think 'Oh, we've been involved with eSports but there's nothing there' and they retreat from that," Sharpe continues.
"That will perpetuate the cycle because unless this becomes a business it will remain a marketing component.
Although Sharpe has a clear idea of what it'll take to climb to the top, he's also well aware getting there won't be easy, with the CEO comparing the fight against Twitch to an industry-wide exorcism.
"It becomes like an FPS where you're going room by room and trying to clear out the Twitch infestation," explains Sharpe.
"Esports is being contorted right from birth. When you've got Google and Amazon and Riot and Valve - less Valve because they're letting it grow organically - but when it's being manufactured...
"There's something unholy [about that]- unholy is too strong but you know what I mean - it's not real. And it should be because these are people's careers and livelihoods."
Be sure to read the full interview over on GamesIndustry.biz.