Austrian esports leagues will go common ground in the future

Alliance between eSport Verband Österreich (ESVÖ), eBundeSliga and A1 eSports League Austria. Wide dimensions should be addressed:

With an e-sports alliance, ESVÖ, eBundeSliga and A1 want to set an example and cooperate even more closely in the future. The aim is to make e-sports in Austria even more well-known and to “put a roof on the subject,” said ESVÖ Chairman Stefan Baloh. There are currently around 50,000 registered e-sportsmen in Austria. Especially last year, many new arrives were added, according to an online press conference on Wednesday.

“There are opportunities to participate in tournaments in almost every game in Austria,” said Baloh, emphasizing that gaming would have helped many people in Austria just last year, when real meetings were hardly possible. According to him, the two biggest e-sports leagues — those of the Bundesliga and those of the A1 telecommunications group — are particularly important. “Together we managed to ensure that Austrian clubs have e-sportsmen under contract. These are things that we as an association would never have managed to do alone,” Baloh emphasized.

More and more players

A major objective of the new alliance is public relations. “Our credo is that we will be ready in a year that no one will have to explain what e-sports is anymore,” said A1 Marketing Director Marco Harfmann. His company’s league has around 15,000 players last year, with only 900 players at the start of 2017, and it is expected to be even more in the future. “It’s very important to us that the young talent has a chance to catch up with the pros,” he said. That’s why from this year, in addition to a professional league, there will also be an amateur league for amateur players.

“It’s about finding a way together, because e-sports is an important part of today’s society,” said Christian Ebenbauer, CEO of the Bundesliga. All the real clubs of the Bundesliga already have an eSports team, where many players have already become professionals. “The further development is enormous,” he emphasized and is very pleased with the “fusion of the real world with the virtual turf”.

Workshops for journalists and politicians

But individual amateur clubs, such as the five-league 1210 Vienna, are also part of the ESVÖ and want to participate in tournaments in the future. In order to introduce journalists, politicians and business operators to the subject of e-sports, the first workshops of the new alliance will be held at the end of February. Because the existing potential is to be exploited. “The entire gaming and e-sports worldwide generates more than the music and film industry,” said Harfmann.

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