Presented by Qualcomm Technologies
Traditionally, esports has been the domain of professional gamers, playing head-to-head on high-end liquid-cooled PCs and vying for prize pools of nearly $10 million. These tournaments currently attract 418 million mobile esports viewers globally, and by 2025 the number of global viewers will reach over 548 million.
But smartphones have broken down barriers to access, broadening the potential esports audience, says Kevin Rosenblatt, general manager, Mobile at ESL Gaming. Currently, 83.37% of the world’s population owns a smartphone; 2.5 billion of that population are mobile gamers who now have the chance to compete for some life-changing cash in the mobile esports arena.
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“We set out to change the trajectory of mobile esports by creating a very diverse and accessible program with a very low barrier to entry,” says Rosenblatt. “We aim to build fandom through a game-independent competitive mobile gaming product by creating the right environment for mobile esports to thrive in the long term.”
With this mission in mind, ESL Gaming has partnered with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to create the Snapdragon Pro Series – the world’s largest multi-genre mobile epsort ecosystem, with tournaments in North America, Europe, the Middle East, China, North Africa and Asia-Pacific culminating in a live Masters final. The series features 10 popular mobile game titles and a $2 million prize pool.
“A world where everyone can be someone”
ESL’s core mission, says Rosenblatt, is to create a level playing field, or a meritocracy in which every type of player across the world can test their abilities, regardless of where they live, socio-economic status or its origin – a world where everyone can be someone.
“That’s the big promise, I think, of esports and these connected experiences,” he says. “From a competitive perspective, we personify that. From day one, everyone starts at the same place. And then from there, there are no more barriers. A player or a team can rise to the level of their own skills or ambitions.
One of the most important pieces of this puzzle is representation, which is why ESL has brought a wide range of talent into the program to reflect the players and communities they serve. The company turned to mobile games in the first place because of this diversity in the player base, and the goal is to normalize this for the long term.
The Snapdragon Pro series consists of Mobile Open, Mobile Challenge, and Mobile Masters, designed to create a unified “zero-to-hero story,” where a player goes from their couch to the big stage. Snapdragon Mobile Open is optimized for casual gamers but robust enough for seasoned competitors. The content aims to introduce the products and ecosystems to new fans.
From there, ambitious gamers can take it to the next level, the Mobile Challenge program, with longer weekly online streams and structured competition, as well as live regional finals. At the top is Mobile Masters, where the best players in the world can compete against each other. And for viewers and fans, there will be 3,000-5,000 hours of content to interact with around the world, as well as opportunities to connect at live events.
“As we execute on all of the above, we believe we’re going to create something of unprecedented scale,” says Rosenblatt. “It will reach a total addressable market of millions of gamers and fans.”
The ESL Gaming x Snapdragon Partnership
The partnership between ESL Gaming and Qualcomm brings together a 20+ year leader in mobile technology and a 20 year leader in esports, for a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment in the mobile gaming space. The two companies co-developed the series, from the underlying technology platform and tournament design, to ensuring players and teams are connected to the best mobile gaming devices.
“We design the features that deliver seamless mobile gaming experiences no matter where you are in the world,” says Matt Grossman, Gaming and Esports Product Marketer at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The Snapdragon Pro series exemplifies what our vision for mobile gaming is all about – bringing the excitement of competitive gameplay into the pockets of gamers everywhere.
Snapdragon Elite Gaming is the next level feature set in Qualcomm’s premium Snapdragon smartphones. It offers over 50 features overall, including better visuals with higher frame rate and resolution, lower latency on touch input, and sound crisp enough for full immersion and awareness of the battlefield.
It also offers minimal latency in WiFi and cellular connections, as even the smallest moment of lag can mean the difference between winning or losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Mobile gaming phones powered by Snapdragon Elite Gaming are also ambitious, because as new gamers get better, they start investing in the tools they need to keep getting better, whether they’re competing or no, simply because more powerful phones mean more immersive games.
“Snapdragon is the heart of so many great experiences that are powered globally and the heart of our program,” says Rosenblatt. “Through Open, Challenge and Masters, they are really the driving force.”
“We are excited to work with ESL on this joint venture,” adds Grossman. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see Snapdragon technology being the engine that helps increase participation and engagement in esports, alongside the positive impact we’ve had on the mobile gaming community.”
Fans interested in participating can head to SnapdragonProSeries.com now to learn more about Season 2, as well as to register and participate in upcoming Open tournaments. To follow the action, head over to Snapdragon Pro Series on Youtube or Tic.
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