Prior to this weekend’s championship finals of the second season of ELEAGUE we had a chat with VP and General Manager Christina Alejandre to talk over the latest season, Mr.T, Overwatch and plans for season three.
ESI: So the finals weekend of season two is upon us. Could you summarise how ELEAGUE has expanded in season two, and whether the viewing figures have met your expectations? The new tournament format seemed to go down well…
Christina: We started Season 02 with Open Qualifiers, allowing for more teams to have the opportunity to participate in ELEAGUE. Our new format has allowed for higher stakes for every match and the response from the community has been very positive. We’re seeing strong levels of engagement with our content across all platforms including a 26% increase in viewership on TBS this season.
ESI: We’ve seen some well constructed marketing campaigns around ELEAGUE this year…the Arby’s ads for instance proved popular. Some however were not so well delivered such as the one by Buffalo Wild Wings. Why do you think the former resonated so well with fans?
Christina: We’ve been very pleased with the response from advertisers, including a growing number of non-endemic sponsors throughout ELEAGUE’s first year. We’ve worked closely with all of our partners to create authentic brand experiences and we continue to be flexible in our advertising models and future programming to deliver the best results for all involved.
Arby’s was very successful in developing creative that was authentic to this community and it’s been incredibly well received.
ESI: With certain teams not performing too well in S2 are there plans afoot to include offline qualifiers, or another method, to attempt to ensure that all teams are competitive in future seasons?
Christina: We made an adjustment this year with the addition of an Open Qualifier that created a more even playing field for all teams. While there were some upsets, the teams that advanced to the Group Stage all earned their spots. We’re very pleased with the highly competitive field we have entering the playoffs including our defending champion Virtus.pro.
We’re seeing strong levels of engagement with our content across all platforms including a 26% increase in viewership on TBS this season.
ESI: What should we expect from the partnership with Snickers? Will Mr.T be featuring in season 3?
Christina: Ha, I ‘pity the fool’ that has to go up against Mr. T! Kidding aside, we’ve been thrilled to have Snickers and all of our brand partners on board for Season 02. While it’s premature to discuss sponsors for Season 03, we are actively engaged in conversation with both existing and new advertisers as we look to further grow our esports portfolio in 2017.
ESI: Any new forms of content we can get excited about for season 3?
Christina: It’s a bit early to share any details about Season 03 right now, but it’s safe to say we will continue to focus on delivering high quality content and a best in class experience for teams, players, fans and all of our business partners. We’re also counting down with great enthusiasm to our first-ever ELEAGUE Major in January. Can’t wait!
ESI: You’ve dabbled in it this year…can you confirm or deny whether Overwatch will be introduced properly in the next season or two?
Christina: We had a successful first foray with the Overwatch Open and a great experience working with Blizzard. We’re looking forward to having continued dialogue with them to pursue additional opportunities in the future.
The semi-finals of season 02 of ELEAGUE will see Astralis take on SK Gaming, and Virtus.Pro face off against FaZe Clan. Both are tonight. You can check the remaining schedule in full here.