Alienware launches first esports accessories with input from pro gamers

Dell-owned Alienware, known for its high-end PC gaming rigs, is looking to extend its brand into the competitive gaming market. The company recently launched its first-ever competitive gaming peripherals, which it built with feedback from more than 100 esports athletes, including members of esports org Team Liquid – with which Alienware has a 12-year partnership.

The Alienware Pro Wireless Mouse and Alienware Pro Wireless Keyboard retail for $149.99 and $199.99, respectively, and are highly customizable through the Alienware Command Center 6.1 software, which enables gamers to tweak game-specific profiles, themes, AlienFX lighting, and macros.

For gamers at a high level, any lag in-game can be the difference between winning and losing, so Alienware emphasized the response rate in its new mouse, which features a response rate of just 2.4ms when wireless and a mere 0.0125ms through a wired connection. The company boasted that this far exceeds the more typical rate of 1Khz seen in many other gaming mice on the market.

For its new keyboard, Alienware took a close look at input sensitivity. The Pro Wireless Keyboard uses mechanical switches and with 40g of actuation force, which Alienware claims is the ideal force needed for fast gaming inputs. The company also implemented multiple layers of silicon dampening to reduce echoing and vibration sounds from the “clacking” of keys when gaming.

While the esports industry has gone through a contraction over the last year, Alienware believes that the market correction may allow more opportunities for endemic brands. Teams had been laser-focused on attracting non-endemics like Coca-Cola or Verizon, but as some major global non-endemics (like BMW) have pulled away from the esports scene, Alienware sees rising interest in gaming-specific branding. “In a lot of ways, non-endemic partnerships are a legitimizing factor for those organizations,” Chris Saylor, director of global gaming campaigns at Alienware parent company Dell Technologies, told Digiday. “I’ll say this: We have no issues finding partnerships, finding people that would like to work with us within the endemic space.”

To that end, Alienware has made numerous deals at the collegiate level, investing in building esports and gaming lounges for the University of Texas at Austin, University of Colorado Boulder, and most recently Michigan State University.

While Alienware does have good brand recognition, and its mice are widely used among general PC gamers, when it comes to the competitive gaming market, the company will be up against top brands that have carved out loyal followings, including Logitech, Razer, and HyperX. According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, the PC gaming peripherals space is dominated by Logitech, with Razer making a strong showing as well. Working with orgs like Team Liquid and numerous colleges may help spread the word, but it’s going to take some work to convince pro gamers who have come to love their existing mice and keyboard setups to make a change.