eSports is becoming a dominant force in the world of spectator sports and entertainment in Singapore, and is currently a multi-million dollar industry for both game developers as well as the players.
Back in April, we caught up with local eSports startup Spout360 as they announced a new round of funding that will help fuel their ambitions to create an eSports ecosystem in Southeast Asia.
Today, they have once again made a massive announcement, so we’ll be breaking it down into five bite-sized portions.
1. Spout360 Just Acquired Alienware Arena
The headline news this time round to come out of Spout360 is definitely the startup’s acquisition of popular gaming venue Alienware Arena for an undisclosed amount.
Located in Lucky Chinatown, Alienware Arena is one Singapore’s (and the region’s) largest eSports centres spanning the entire third floor of the building offering not just the usual “LAN shop amenities” but also workshops, events, and competitions.
Alienware Arena is also fully equipped with 130 computers and 5 Playstations, allowing anyone to come in for their dose of popular games such as League of Legends (LoL), Dota, Fifa, Overwatch and WWE.
2. An Offline-To-Online Business Model Is Key
In their efforts to create a regional eSports ecosystem, even if they have the strong support of the younger generation of media consumers, it is still important for them to have an offline presence.
This is due to the fact that in Southeast Asia, the population still relies heavily on cash-based transactions.
Also with the Alienware Arena now in its books, Spout360 will have a defacto venue for events and tournaments for their users. Professional gamers too will have access to the space.
Teams working with SpoutAgency will be able to get a training area in Alienware Arena to call their own, where they will at the same time be in close proximity to brands that can potentially sponsor them.
Spout360 has also announced the impending launch of their very own payments platform. Called SpoutPay, the startup is expected to launch this new portal sometime in the third quarter of 2017.
SpoutPay will enable regular gamers to win free gaming credits just by using the Spout360 portal. Simply challenging friends through the SpoutFantasy leagues and making successful match predictions can net you those credits.
You will also be able to use your SpoutPay e-wallet offline at all Spout-partnered cafes in the region, like Alienware Arena. Through it, you will be able to purchase in advance LAN gaming hours, or food and beverages.
The team at Spout360 is currently working on getting more merchants on board before launch day so that users will be able to enjoy the best eSports experience they can get, while also getting access to exclusive activities and free gaming hours.
4. A New Generation Of eSports Entrepreneurs
For the founder of Alienware Arena Singapore, Ken Chong, the opportunity to work together with Spout360 seemed like an almost natural next step.
Impressed with how Spout360 is committed to elevate the gaming scene around Southeast Asia, he mentioned that it was important that a new breed of entrepreneurs preserve the gaming culture in the current modern-day society.
He also likened Spout to Singapore, being a “nexus for like-minded individuals” that helps to forge lifelong friendships through eSports, while also promoting the importance of teamwork – which he says is the fundamental to our harmonious and diverse country.
5. Elevating eSports To Olympic Proportions
They have a dream to have eSports as a viable career path that is sustainable to anyone, with the greater goal of having it recognised as an Olympic event and regional pastime.
And the first step starts with Alienware Arena.
Tournaments and training academies will be set up at the premises of the arena, starting with Fifa and League of Legends (LoL).
Teams can expect a stage of 2 dedicated areas loaded with gaming PCs, while the spectators area will be able to hold up to 50 audience members. Livestreaming infrastructure within the stage will also enable the action to be broadcasted live internationally as it happens.
On the side, Spout users will be able to meet their gaming heroes as the startup will let ‘Spouters’ have privileged access to popular eSports influencers within the industry.
Spout360 also shares that a Gaming TV Series is also in the works which ‘Spouters’ can have first dibs to, and it is part the startup’s efforts to bring their users more exclusive gaming content through partnerships in media and advertising.
6. There’s An Opening Promotion, Of Course
Lastly, what better way to celebrate this new milestone than to have a promotion for Alienware Arena members. For the month of June, Alienware Arena card holders will be able to enjoy a “Pay $20 for $30 credits” promotion of free $10 credits when they top up $20.
Signing up to become an Alienware Arena member is easy (like getting a Starbucks Rewards giftcard), just head down to the arena and get it at the counter. The arena also boasts one of the most affordable gaming rates in Singapore at just $2 per gaming hour.
Spout’s Chief Operating Officer, Niladri Dasgupta, explains that the Alienware Arena is able to have such low rates due to the startup’s “Google-esque business model of monetising from the corporates by leveraging on the scale of our Spout community”.
This is done through their proprietary ad-spend technology that lets companies “target a specific high-spending consumer segment and maximise their brand visibility with our increased online and offline traffic”.
This news is definitely something to look forward to for gamers and the larger eSports community in Singapore. While the industry is still taking steps in its growth here, CEO Daryl Teo is certain that Spout will be spearheading it.
“I am confident we will become the biggest millennial network in Southeast Asia within the next 12-18 months, and the majority of the region’s population is within the exact demographic we are targeting.” – Daryl Teo, Founder and CEO of Spout Entertainment Group