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by on June 16, 2020
1st, there's this famous tweet
Smash is
5th in esports viewership (behind LoL, CS, Dota, & OW)
Arguably 1st in live attendance (smaller peaks but much more overall)
Probably top 3 in social engagement
Dead last in prizing
Dead last in sponsorships
Dead last in media rights
I read the comments and (up to last year), Smash Melee players still don't/didn't know why they don't/didn't get a lot of sponsorship support
PC esports have an actual business ecosystem. There are always more things to buy and sell. What do Smashers even buy? They don't buy monitors because they only play on out of production CRT TVs. They don't buy controllers because 99% of the community only trusts official Nintendo controllers. Their game controllers are restricted to just being game controllers. They're hardly even customizable
PC esports controllers are mice and keyboards. They have other uses beyond gaming. Typing this blog on my Razer green switch keyboard feels really good right now. And they have plenty of variety in components. If a customer doesn't like 1 type of switch used in his keyboard, for example, he can just buy another that uses different switches among the like 20+ different kinds of switches out there. New switch technology gets innovated every few years anyways. There'll always be new products. Same goes for monitors, mice, mouse pads, CPUs, GPUs, and headphones. Were there any other examples I didn't think of?
It's a mystery to Smashers why even top players sometimes don't have sponsors. Smash Melee can have all the viewership numbers it could dream of, but they're not customers. Smash-related products hardly even exist because they hardly even sell. But at least Sult is a modern game played on modern monitors, so at least there's a reason for monitor manufacturers to try to market to them
Regular fighting games have a bit better luck with sponsorships. There are some big name esports brands that make arcade stick controllers for them. They also tend to be a little bit wealthier too. However, using custom sticks with multi-platform PCBs is quite the standard in the fighting game community (FGC), which lessens their reason to invest more in that scene
The FGC's real economic ecosystem is everyone having interest in the same genre and buying and trying other games marketed towards them. Their game developers share a significantly overlapping pool of the same customers. At least they support each other. There'll always be more fighting games if they always keep buying them
PC gamers are the richest esports gamers because their barrier to entry is having a fancier gaming system. Mechanical keyboards often cost $100-$200. Good headphones are gonna cost at least maybe $75. Gaming monitors seem to be about $200. And they're fine affording all of that. PC gamers have the throwaway money sponsors are hoping for. And their games are also much more popular
Smash Melee players have a really strange obsession with openly wishing their top players would get paid more money. Why? I seriously don't understand. This has been a thing since the Melee MLG days. I've never seen Smashers/Meleers theory craft why sponsors should pay tournament winners more money. They never think of compelling reasons that would benefit the sponsors
Advertising is the entire point of sponsoring. So few of them on that Twitter thread understood why Smash/Melee gets so little money. They just begged and expected money
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