Esports platform and technology provider eFuse has announced the launch of its Creator League. In this new gaming competition, creators will captain each team but their communities will drive key decisions.
The inaugural season, which begins with open qualifiers on September 8, brings together a diverse set of top creators. MrBeast, who announced the launch of the league, joins eight other top personalities and organizations for its inaugural season:
- Musician and fashion star, Bella Poarch
- Soccer personality, musician and content creator, Darren “iShowSpeed” Watkins Jr.
- Voice actor and podcaster, Connor “CDawgVA” Colquhoun
- TikToker, Vinnie Hacker
- Fortnite Pro player, Cody “Clix” Conrod
- Minecraft creator, Nick “Sapnap” Armstrong
- Creator collective, OTK
- captained by Matthew “Mizkif” Rinaudo
- Esports organization OpTic Gaming
While personal participation in the competitions is optional, these creators will actively manage their team in the Creator League.
Maximizing fan engagement
Each of these creators and teams have strong communities. Collectively, they reach over 226M followers. The Creator League is ultimately designed to maximize engagement with fans.
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“Viewers and fans want to have a more engaging experience than just watching on broadcast. They’re invested in their favorite esports teams and creators so they want to share in the rewards,” said Matthew Benson, founder and CEO of eFuse in an interview with GamesBeat. “The Creator League is giving fans the control and the ability to reap the rewards by enabling them to control what they’re watching on broadcast. Fans will help with everything from setting the league rules and what games we play, down to who gets drafted and receiving rewards for participating.”
Starting today, fans can purchase a Creator League community pass for $19.99. These passes will let fans join a team-specific community and let them vote on key decisions. These passes will also give fans exclusive access to virtual town halls, invite-only tournaments and private Discord channels. There are also plans for weekly giveaways with partners like CashApp, Corsair and MrBeast’s Feastables.
“The model of the Creator League finally gives power and value back to our communities which is where it should be – I’m excited to be part of season 1. I’m winning this whole thing,” Clix said.
The community passes will leverage eFuse’s Mynt platform as the backend technology to mange fan votes voting as well as facilitate other community pass perks.
Structure of Creator League
The first season of the Creator League will run from September through March 2024. The season will be further divided into four splits, with each one running for four to six weeks. Split 1 will focus on Fortnite, but community pass holders will decided the game featured in each of the three remaining splits. Finally, the season will conclude with a playoff bracket for qualifying teams and a cut of the $200,000 prize pool.
The pool of eligible players will pull from talent and creators eFuse has worked with previously. Additionally, the Creator League will kick off on September 8 with a three-day qualifier for fans to compete for a share of $50,000 and a spot on their favorite creator’s team. Following this qualifier, the Creator League will host a live show on September 13 to draft teams. Of course, community pass holders will vote which players their favorite creator’s team will draft.
While creators have flirted with esports for years, they are playing an increasingly important role in the ecosystem due to market incentives.
Esports tends to find the best players, not necessarily those who can engage fans for hours on end. In fact, time pros spend streaming is time they do not spent practicing or maintaining work-life balance. To counteract this, esports organizations tend to sign streamers and content creators to add valuable inventory for their brand partners. Moreover, these signed streamers helped esports organizations build their own fanbases.
In recent years, large content creators have chosen to cut out the middle man and field their own teams. These creators have a built-in fanbase and can create content about their teams or co-stream events on their own channels. Prominent examples include Moist Esports, founded by Charles “MoistCr1TiKaL” White Jr. and co-owned by others including Ludwig Ahgren, and Disguised, founded by Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Wang.
The Creator League is building from a similar principle, albeit with more focus on fan engagement and entertainment than all-out competitive excellence. In line with this, captains will have the option to co-stream their team’s Creator League matches on their own platforms.
Moreover, previous attempts to paywall esports content have not successfully monetized these events at scale. The additional rewards on top of the opportunity to participate increase the value proposition. More traditional leagues are experimenting with new monetization options to support teams, but the Creator League will test drive this deeper fan engagement model for the broader industry.
“We have a lot of respect for the traditional esports leagues, but we do think there’s a gap in the market for capturing this creator fandom and these creator audiences,” said Benson. “[The Creator League] is a way to go deeper and put the power back into community’s hands. They fuel the industry. We believe that our model makes for a more engaging and rewarding experience, which will make the industry more sustainable in the long-run.”
The Creator League kicks off on September 8 on eFuse’s erena channel.
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