Duncan McMonagle – DBLTAP – The esports content curators

Duncan McMonagle, Minute Media

Minute Media’s sports content model is centered on allowing fans to have their say. 90min for football and 12up for US sports are two sites that, in a short time, have become much loved sources by 75 million monthly users around the world. In the last year alone they doubled in size. Now Minute Media has entered esports with its latest platform; DBLTAP

DBLTAP will take a similar road to these two success stories with fan generated content the priority but, in time, it’ll offer more variety too, focusing on becoming the de facto destination for short-form video content to compliment the world esports streaming.

Having already established partnerships with major stakeholders in the scene, and having attracted over 3 million unique monthly visitors before its soft launch, it’s well on its way to mirroring the trajectory of Minute’s other sites.

We spoke to Duncan McMonagle, SVP Strategy and Partnerships at Minute Media, about where DBLTAP is going and its first foray into working with rights holders.  

Esports Insider: Who have you been working with to ensure the on-ground and backstage access?

Duncan: We’re an official media partner of ESL, DreamHack, Fnatic and we’ve a number of others lined up to announce shortly.

We know that there are lots of tournaments and streaming platforms all competing for people’s attention right now, so we see our focus on highlights, interviews, and original entertaining formats as complimentary. We decided to go with two of the biggest tournament providers in ESL and Dreamhack because they’re well recognised and, importantly, because they’re global. This makes them a perfect fit for our goals, our existing audience and the future of our platform.

“You don’t need to be a journalist to have a voice on DBLTAP, but what we do require is an informed opinion”

We focus on everything around the live. In the same way to what we’ve built with 90min and 12up we’re a platform for the fans. You don’t need to be a journalist to have a voice on DBLTAP, but what we do require is an informed opinion. With our coverage what we want is to give the next best experience to actually being at an event.

We’ll produce interviews with the coaches, players, the analysts that are there. Fans will be able to send in their questions on social channels. We’ll be showing what it’s like to say, spend time with the players during their down-time, or be in the practice room with them before they enter the stage. We’re focused on the narrative around the players and teams.

We believe that nobody else is offering on-ground coverage to this extent and we’ll be the first ones to provide it in multiple languages. It’s complimentary to what is already out there; it’ll bring the fans closer to esports and it’ll help to grow the wider industry too.

Esports Insider: What do you offer potential content creators?

Duncan: DBLTAP enables fans to create a variety of content; this could be line up widgets for a CS:GO team or guessing the NiP lineup and reviewing a match via polls and quizzes. Our content templates are live and, importantly, they’re interactive.

For a written piece, we’ll have all kinds of content embeds supported to drop and drag including  images, tweets, Youtube videos, Instagram content etc. to supplement it. You become the curator of all sources instead of being dependent on one. We provide contributors with a rich range of sources. Let’s say Fnatic have just won a match; we’ll give you video clips, we’ll have tweets to drop and drag and more.  This is how we can empower fans to create great content without them necessarily having to be an exceptional writer.

Esports Insider: You want to be a global platform, how will this work with esports and which will you cover?

Duncan: The ambition is to cover all of esports; every title, every genre and every tournament. And we want to do that globally. This means covering people’s points of views from different regions available and having localised content.

It’s not about having one piece of content translated into 10 or more different languages, it’s about having 15 different points of view all available on the same topic. That’s what we do with 90min and 12up, and that’s what we will provide on DBLTAP too.

“The ambition is to cover all of esports; every title, every genre and every tournament. And we want to do that globally”

In terms of the games we cover, there is an ongoing editorial optimisation about which to focus on. For the launch phase we’ve gone with the main titles but we know there are interesting titles emerging such as Overwatch and Rocket League and we’re considering these too.

Esports Insider: How has it gone so far and what are your plans for the rest of 2017?

Duncan: We launched initially in English language but there will be more. We’re already at 11 languages for 90min.

Before we’ve even formally launched we’re already at 3 million monthly uniques so there is a huge opportunity here. We know that there are audiences outside of the UK and the US that are consuming the content in English, but the point of differentiation for our platform is creating the locally focused content.

We will have ample video content and it’ll be our take on the highlights. Our USP as far as video is concerned is short form with content from the likes of ESL and our other partners combined with fan-centric, authentic content from people at the event. We’ll bring you the ‘Best Ofs’ with analysis, Match of the day for Millennials style.

We’ll potentially be partnering with streamers too as we grow the coverage and content. We want to create the home of esports news and we see the only way to do this is to providing regular, informed, authentic fan created content.