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HTML5 Mobile Web Gaming Platforms
20
September 2017

Competitive Gaming / eSports for Casual Gamers

Competitive Gaming / eSports for Casual Gamers

At present there’s a lot of hype around eSports / Competitive Gaming, this is all fair and well, but the reality is this is a very select audience within a very large gaming market. The focus is essentially around the “hardcore” gamers, which is dominated by a male audience, primarily between the ages of 18 and 35 and playing PC or console based titles, that include: DOTA 2, Counter Strike and Gran Turismo and FIFA, to name a few. Gaming is a very generic term for a massive market, that consists of the aforementioned hardcore gamers, gamblers and one of the biggest segments being casual gamers, this is essentially where the GameZBoost platform is focused, but includes a focus on MMO (massively multiplayer online games) games that are browser or app based.

The GameZBoost platform has always had a tournaments focus, this has been enhanced over the past few months and is quickly becoming an eSports / Competitive Gaming platform for the masses of casual gamers. In the past 6 months MTN have sponsored close to R1,7 Million (US$150,000) in prize money for the MTN Play GameZBoost Challenges, this is a significant investment in the casual gaming space and is essentially carving out a new niche that ensures that casual gamers, for the first time, have an opportunity to compete and put their skills and passion for playing games to the test, with great rewards for those that are serious about competing in the mobile gaming sphere.

Overview of the core GameZBoost games platform features

The flexibility of the platform ensures that at the time that a site wishes to place emphasis on the tournaments, that the site layout can be switched from the standard view to the tournaments specific view, as per the below example. The power of the platform lies in that a single deployment is fully compatible across desktop, tablet and smartphone devices, with direct billing integration with mobile operator or payment providers API’s, via the provided GameZBoost billing API’s.

Screenshot of the GameZBoost Landing Page on MTN Play and The GameZBoost Site on MTN Play was switched to the Tournaments template, to ensure full visibility of the tournaments  A Look at the GameZBoost Tournament Specific Template - The Look and Feel can be changed on the fly

There’s no shortage of configuration options, when it comes to setting up a tournament on the GameZBoost tournaments platform, settings include:

  • Specific meta data, relating to the tournament
  • Configurable start date, time and end date and time, with specific time zone settings
  • Selection of specific games, that meet with the objectives of the promotion
  • Adding of tournament specific Terms and Conditions
  • Ring fencing access via, IP white listing, invitation only by selecting specific contestants and / or MSISDN’s that can access a tournament
  • Featuring a tournament, high visibility with a specific promo image
  • Auto Winner selection or Manual Audit, allowing the logs to be audited prior to confirming the winners
  • Additional access parameters, including:
    • only being accessible to contestants with an active subscription or having achieved a specific loyalty level
    • contestants need to qualify by achieving a minimum qualifying game score
    • contestants need to complete a survey to gain entry
    • X Game Credits to gain access to the tournament, Game Credit can be configured to form part of the prize pot, in the form of a progressive style jackpot
  • Prizes can be configured for the Top 3 positions, prizes can include products, vouchers, game credits, premium membership or app coins
  • A Lucky Draw loyalty campaign can be configured to encourage participation in the tournament and at the same time provide a secondary incentive for contestants to compete in a specific tournament
  • Included are a detailed Tournaments Info page and a dedicated YouTube Live Stream page, this includes the Live Stream Video, Live Leaderboard, Live Commentary and the Live High Scores Log, this is a great view to broadcast to external big screens

Snapshot of the Tournament configuration options:

Snapshot of the Tournament configuration options:

Game selection is vital, the game for the final live event needs to be:

  • Visually appealing and challenging
  • Strong story / theme to drive depth of play
  • Ensure it’s competitive and immersive
  • Foster audience participation and involvement
Game Selection is vital, the game for the final live event
Game Selection is vital, the game for the final live event

The GameZBoost tournaments platform caters for a number of tournament qualifying formats, these include:

  • Highest Score – contestants continually play during the tournament to achieve the highest possible score, the player with the highest score at the end of the tournament wins
  • Random Winner – all contestants that participate in the tournament are entered into a random draw for the winner to be selected for the tournament
  • Single Eliminator – qualifying contestants compete in the various pools in order to progress to the next round, the format is also know as “sudden death”, the contestants with the highest score in each pool progress to the next round, resulting in a final round with the top 2 contestants that compete for the overall win
The GameZBoost tournaments platform caters for a number of tournament qualifying formats

By far the most popular format for a tournament is to configure it as follows:

  • Setup either 4 or 8 qualifying rounds, these can either be set as a) highest score progresses b) contestants are randomly selected from the entries
    • Each qualifying round has prizes configured to drive engagement and competitiveness
    • Contestants need to have an active subscription to gain entry into the qualifying rounds
    • The qualifying rounds are played online, contestants make use of their own devices, data and network access
  • The final event is structured and configured as follows:
    • Tournament format is a single eliminator tournament, with either 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 or 512 contestants competing for the overall win. Each round typically runs for 15 to 20 minutes with a 20 minute break between rounds
    • By far the most popular format is to host a live event, contestants travel costs are covered to attend the final event
    • The organizers provide the devices, thus ensuring that no contestants have an advantage, and the network access for the event
    • The event is typically hosted at either a gaming trade show or at a location that has a live audience, thus promoting the brand and products and ensuring a great atmosphere for the event
    • Ensure that the relevant media and press are invited to cover the event
  • Ensuring audience participation, through the use of the following GameZBoost tournament features:
    • Live high score leaderboards
    • Live commentary, with audience engagement
    • Live high score activity logs
    • Live casting via the Facebook Live and YouTube Live platform – configure the relevant URL’s and start times
      • Most modern smartphones have fantastic cameras for streaming high quality live casts
      • Consider sourcing a gimbal, such as the DJI Osmo Mobile, this takes the quality of the video footage to the next level, the smoothness and stability give the stream a polished and professional feel.
      • It’s worth installing and paying for Wirecast Go, as it allows you to select pre-configured events on YouTube live and includes some great production features,  again upping the quality of the live streams
    • Broadcasting of the live features onto big screens, either via direct access to the website or via devices such as Google Chromecast
    • Commission the services of a MC to provide live audio commentary to the audience / supporters

Overview of the GameZBoost Live Events features:

Overview of the GameZBoost Live Events features:

The home page and YouTube Live view on the GameZBoost tournament platform:

The Live features of the GameZBoost tournament platform

These blog posts highlight how some of the past events were configured and more info on the solutions:

  • MTN GameZBoost Summer Challenge 2017 – Click Here
  • MTN GameZBoost Challenge – Click Here
  • The Single Eliminator Tournaments Solution – Click Here
  • The GameZBoost Tournaments Platform – Click Here

Photo’s from one of the live events, where the 8 finalists competed in a single eliminator tournament:

The Venue for the MTN GameZBoost Challenge Final

The Contestants Chill Zone during the MTN GameZBoost Challenge Final

The "Game Arena" for the MTN GameZBoost Challenge Final

The “Game Arena” for the MTN GameZBoost Challenge Final

Time to celebrate a great day of gaming

Time to celebrate at The Goliath Comedy Club, after a great day of gaming

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