ESI Digital Winter Partnership Spotlight: Deloitte

16 November 2020


A browse through Deloitte Insight’s online databases of reports yields a surprising amount of results while searching ‘esports’, with more than a dozen articles and insights written and translated into many languages, from Spanish to Japanese, from Italian to Dutch.

The firm’s involvement in esports stems back to 2015, based on a Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Prediction piece for 2016, with a nostalgically stylised ‘eSports’ in the title.

The first big esports report came in 2017 in German focusing on the European esports market with a sequel published the following year – since 2019, the report, now titled “Let’s Play!”, has been published in both German and English.

Deloitte Let's Play 2020 Esports Report
Credit: Deloitte

In August, the firm published their Let’s Play! 2020 report detailing industry growth trends and insights about the effects of the pandemic on the industry. The 52-page report reflects on leagues, teams, and events from 2019 with a wealth of other topics as well.

However, Deloitte doesn’t only focus on esports as a subject area. While looking at larger digital trends, esports considerations are made in other cross-sections of Deloitte’s expertise such as their investment banking divisions from Deloitte-US and the Cyber Risk Services sector.

In 2018, in cooperation with then-ESL Benelux, Deloitte was announced as a partner for the ESL Dutch Championships to be held during Bright Day, the biggest tech festival in the Netherlands – featuring both League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions.

This partnership, however, was aimed at accessing a younger, technically savvy audience for the Cyber Risk Services arm of Deloitte, seeking to improve the firm’s cybersecurity services and expand future projects by attracting skilled talent from the competition’s audience for recruitment.

From the article above, Tom Schuurmans, director Cyber Risk Services Deloitte, acknowledged that esports athletes and ethical hackers share a great many qualities and skillsets, thus celebrating this match with the partnership and establishing the cybersecurity industry’s position within esports.

Deloitte Partners with ESL Benelux Dutch Championship
Credit: ESL Benelux

That hasn’t been Deloitte’s only partnership in the esports space, however, Esports Insider teamed up with Deloitte Corporate Finance back in February of 2020 to collaborate on esports market analysis and support.

Deloitte certainly has the track record and reputation to justify their critical look on investments and investors in the industry, drawing on its 140 years of experience as a firm. The industry valuations are of understandable interest to the firm that regularly advises companies looking to raise capital or make exits and help traditional investors gain insight into the burgeoning market.

The firm seems poised to occupy a growing niche in the greater esports market, advising companies that have grown out of their “proof-of-concept” stage and are resembling maturing, scalable businesses above the VC levels of investment.

This perfectly aligns with the firm’s recent endeavour into an esports vertical.  Announced earlier this month Deloitte, joined Nations Ventures in proudly supporting Esports Insider’s The Clutch Digital – the esports focused pitch investment competition taking place during ESI Digital Winter (November 18th – 19th, #ESIDIGITAL).

The Clutch Digital Key Partner Deloitte

Understanding the changes in consumer behaviours through the kinds of research the firm has been historically involved in – Deloitte has been honing in on the captured demographics that esports boasts. Offering these insights to traditional or new-to-esports investors has become an increasingly interesting offering the firm provides, especially in the investor heavy US market.

Based in the US, Christian Christoefl, Investment Banking Vice President of Deloitte, will be reprising his 2019 debut role on the investor panel of judges, this time questioning and critiquing the four new start-ups looking to take home victory as they take the digital stage this Thursday, November 19th.

Considering the measured explorations Deloitte has pursued in the esports market – their annual European esports market reports, esports audience talent acquisition strategies, esports investment focuses and market analysis – very few companies of the firm’s size and reputation have taken such a public interest into the various potential avenues the esports industry has to offer.

Suggest a meeting with Christoefl yourself or any number of the hundreds of attendees who will be attending this week’s digital conference, as a ticket holder for ESI Digital Winter using the Brella networking platform.

Secure your last minute ticket for ESI Digital Winter with a 20% flash sale by using code ‘ESIFLASH’ at checkout and enjoy over 20 hours of live content including special events The Clutch Digital and Esports Insider Hall of Fame 2020 or a bundle pass for ESPORTS ASSEMBLE, in cooperation with Esports Awards.