Esports tournament platform Faceit, which recently received an infusion of capital thanks to a Savvy Gaming Group-backed $1.5 billion merger with global tournament organizer ESL Gaming, is investing in building out a more robust advertising platform.
The company aims to leverage its 24 million-strong playerbase, which it describes as highly engaged and “amazingly brand loyal,” to allow brands to more easily gain exposure to an esports audience that is often hard to reach through more conventional marketing methods.
As outlined on the Faceit website, the platform offers brands a variety of custom ad solutions through overlays, leaderboards, a shop page, and inline video that is not skippable. Importantly, none of these ads interrupt or distract from gaming sessions, and sounds are off by default in all creative. Faceit claims that its ads generate 1 billion impressions per month across 180 countries. The company has worked with numerous non-endemic giants, including Visa, Pizza Hut, Pepsi Co., ExpressVPN, Pinnacle, and others.
Additionally, Faceit is now ramping up a complementary consulting service offering to help brands connect with gamers in more authentic ways. “We can build fully branded gaming experiences,” Faceit commercial strategy lead Giulia Zecchini told Digiday. “We custom-made a Counter-Strike tournament for Red Bull, which is a two-on-two format, instead of five-on-five.”
While Faceit is used by esports professionals, much of the platform’s foundation is held up by grassroots esports, and this aspirational quality means that players are often more enthusiastic and engaged, which is good news for marketers. Moreover, according to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, esports viewers have more tolerance for advertising than the general US population. When watching content on smart TVs or CTV devices, over two-thirds of the general population states that it skips ads whenever possible, but that figure drops to 62% among esports viewers. Similarly, more than a third of esports viewers like ads that are interactive and don’t mind viewing long ads if they are relevant to their interests.