Gary Corcoran – Double R Quits – The time is Now for console esports

garycorcorandoublerquits
Gary Corcoran, Doulble R Quits

Gary Corcoran is the CEO and Founder of Double R Quits, a competitive gaming platform that allows players to compete in singles matches and tournaments, on their console of choice, ‘for cash and rewards’. 

Based in Dublin, Ireland it’s a big believer in console esports, and the idea of competitive gaming for all not just the gaming elite. We had a chat with Gary about his plans for Double R Quits and esports for the masses.

ESI: Can you tell us about your background and why you decided to launch Double R Quits?

Gary: It was over a year ago now that we started Double R Quits, after winning a Google Start-Up Event for the idea and concept of betting and competing in esports. Up until the start of the summer, before going full-time with Double R Quits, I was working as an Accountant for Bank of Ireland doing 9-5 for the Bank and 6pm-1am for Double R Quits. I was just trying to save and get the money together to fund the development for Double R Quits with my two co-founders Andrew and Ciaran.

I’ve always had a major passion for sport and gaming. While study for exams and working I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to do either. I’d have loved to have had competing in FIFA competitions and creating a YouTube channel as a career option for me, but seven years ago when I was deciding what to do in college, that wasn’t an option. So, when this opportunity came about I just couldn’t let it pass me by. The team and I have worked relentlessly to get things to where they are today and it’s certainly only the beginning of something great.

As you mentioned, Double R Quits’ aim is to encourage everyone interested in esports to participate. It’s not about being the best all the time, it’s about having fun and enjoying playing the games you love. We want to bring both the fun and competitive side of esports together. So, whatever a player’s preference is, we will have cups and competitions to suit their needs and ambitions.

ESI: How important to your business is ESL’s recent partnership with Playstation?

Gary: I think it’s great for console esports, with the two main players Microsoft and Sony embracing esports with open arms, albeit a little late. ESL has been making a lot of good partnerships over the last couple of weeks and they’re doing great things for the sport. After Microsoft announced their esports Arena feature, it was only a matter of time before Sony made their play to further embrace esports.

From a Double R Quits perspective, I think it’s good to see, as it will drive greater awareness and participation from console players into esports. FIFA 17 is the game to watch from me this year and Microsoft have made that all important deal with EA for the rights, so that’s one that Sony have missed out on.

But I’m looking forward to the next few months, console has lagged behind PC and now it’s time to close the gap. Nintendo have also come back to the fray with the Nintendo Switch, which they’ve clearly expressed in their release video, they want to make a play for eSports. So, it’s certainly an interesting time to be involved in console esports.

“FIFA 17 is the game to watch from me this year, and I think our three main titles will be; FIFA, Call of Duty and Rocket League.”

ESI: Are you hoping to replicate some of the success of mobile platform Skillz, which also promotes the idea of competitive gaming for everyone and announced last week that it has dished out prizes in excess of $50m since 2012?

Gary: We’re obviously quite different from Skillz in terms of our offering and strategy, but they’ve done some great things for mobile eSports. Mobile esports hasn’t taken off yet in a big way, when I say that, I just feel mobile esports will be much bigger in the future but not just yet. We see from the Nintendo Switch, it’s not just a console but also a mobile device, so that could be a game changer for me.

In terms of the philosophy that esports is for everyone, that’s exactly what we believe in at Double R Quits. I think more needs to be done to encourage players to compete, no matter what their skill level, whether that’s just for fun or to compete competitively. Newzoo released research showing that less than 10% of esports fans compete regularly in competitions online. In my opinion, that’s not because they don’t want to. It’s because the infrastructure and supports aren’t there to encourage players of all skill levels to have a go.

At Double R Quits we certainly want to change the philosophy that “only the elite should compete”, by encouraging as many fans and players as we can to have a go. It’s about having fun and adding to your gaming experience, it’s not about being the best all the time.

ESI: Which titles do you expect to be the most popular on the platform?

Gary: There’s some great games out there at the minute, but for us I think our three main titles will be; FIFA, Call of Duty and Rocket League.

EA have been doing some great things with FIFA 17. The partnerships, the sports teams getting involved, FIFA themselves announcing they want to get involved and most importantly, the FIFA community is as strong as ever. Players have a real passion for both the real and digital version of football. We’ve already seen from our users that FIFA is their favourite title, plus the rivalries and banter between players is great.

Activision have always pushed esports and Call of Duty has been the shining light for console in terms of esports to date. Last year it was probably the only console game that got into the top 10 for esports viewership on Twitch. Black Ops has had it’s day and it will be interesting to see what Infinite Warfare has in store. From what I’ve read and seen, it has been developed with esports very much at the forefront of Activision’s mind.

Rocket League is still quite early in its esports career, but it’s a fantastic game with a very engaged fan base. I think it’s unique that I find it just as fun playing single player, as I do with playing in teams. So, it has that flexibility for players to compete in both formats which is fantastic.

There’s plenty of games to choose from and at Double R Quits we offer a lot more than the three mentioned. But I think these three titles will be the biggest games for us over the next few months.

“Some say that sports titles have a disadvantage given some people believe the real-life comparison will never be replaced. I don’t see it as a disadvantage, I see it as both real and digital complimenting each other.”

ESI: The announcement of the e-Ligue 1, PSG’s entry, a lot is going on in FIFA’s competitive scene right now, what do you make of its potential?

Gary: I think EA have really stepped things up this year in terms of getting involved in and pushing esports with their main titles. I think this year in general has been a big year for esports and EA obviously realised that very quickly. EA really have got behind it and that’s why I think this year will be a big year for them.

As you mentioned we have recently seen that e-Ligue 1 will be a French FIFA league, which is fantastic. PSG timed the announcement of signing two new FIFA players perfectly. Rumour has it that Germany will be next with e-Bundesliga, with Wolfsburg being one of the first, if not the first, to sign a FIFA player to represent them. Two premier league clubs West Ham and Man City have already signed their own players. And most importantly, FIFA announced during the week that they were setting up a team to consider and set out their strategy for esports. I’m a massive football fan, a massive FIFA fan and I think it’s just a natural progression for fans who watch and play both football and FIFA.

Some say that sports titles have a disadvantage given some people believe the real-life comparison will never be replaced. I don’t see it as a disadvantage, I see it as both real and digital complimenting each other. Players are bringing their football passion into their gaming and it’s fantastic. If anything, I think EA have an advantage given this dynamic.