ESI London 2024 Panel showcase: “Age in esports…”

Ahead of ESI London 2024 on June 13th, we take a look at one of our mainstage panels topics: age regulation in esports.

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‘Youth’ is a buzzword closely associated with esports — and a great part of its success. For years, esports companies’ pitch decks to brands have shouted about the ‘young affluent audience’ at the heart of esports.

As esports becomes more established and recognised and as time goes on, many esports fans are starting to age up. That opens up even more opportunities for brands to advertise products that they may not have been able to before. For example, there’s been a recent uptick in the number of alcohol brands advertising in esports.

ESI Lisbon 2024

Meanwhile, professional players are also young — and in some cases they’re getting younger. The minimum player age for the Rocket League Championship Series was lowered from 15 to 13 for 2024. The move is likely a result of the plethora of talented youngsters currently competitive at the top level in Rocket League (which traditionally has younger fans), but who are unable to compete in the esports’ main circuit. 

Elsewhere, however, the opposite is happening. In the LEC, Europe’s franchised league for League of Legends, Riot Games increased the minimum player age to 18. Riot said this decision was taken, after discussions with teams, in order to “enable teams and the LEC to explore additional revenue opportunities.”

The demographics of esports are changing in different ways across different esports scenes. And while the age of the esports audience is a selling point, with great promise come challenges. How should brands reach the young, while safeguarding the too young? Is the growing gap between pro player age and fan age in titles like Rocket League a concern? 

To discuss a topic at once pressing and promising, we’re convening the panel ‘Age in esports: The promises & pitfalls for brands’ at ESI London 2024 on June 13th to hear various stakeholders’ perspectives. Hear from esports teams, sports marketing firm Wasserman and youth esports company PlayVS on how best to approach age in esports.

Last minute tickets for ESI London 2024 are still on sale here.

Esports Insider