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Esports Series ft. Magnus Leppäniemi

July 14, 2020

Esports Series ft. Magnus Leppäniemi
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Ryan sits down with Magnus Leppäniemi, VP of Marketing and Head of Esports at Esports Entertainment Group.
This is the first episode of several in the Radcast's Esports Series.
Magnus and Ryan discuss the growth of Esports and it's many layers. Magnus breaks the ice in the categories of gambling in esports, sponsorships, and twitch.
Follow along in our series! Instagram: @the.rad.cast and @RyanAlford | Visit our website for more https://www.radical.company/
For more information with Magnus and his work, visit https://esportsentertainmentgroup.com/ and www.vie.bet


Ryan sits down with Magnus Leppäniemi, VP of Marketing and Head of Esports at Esports Entertainment Group.

This is the first episode of several in the Radcast's Esports Series.

Magnus and Ryan discuss the growth of Esports and it's many layers. Magnus breaks the ice in the categories of gambling in esports, sponsorships, and twitch.

Follow along in our series! Instagram: @the.rad.cast and @RyanAlford | Visit our website for more https://www.radical.company/

For more information with Magnus and his work, visit https://esportsentertainmentgroup.com/ and www.vie.bet

Transcript

Ryan Alford [00:00:09] Hey, guys, it's Ryan Alford. Welcome to the latest edition of the Radcast, the Radical Marketing Podcast. We'll call it a 4 to 6 week series on the up and coming segment. That is sports video gaming. As an avid Nintendo player growing up. It excites me and a lot of ways, even though I have children at home that play way too much for tonight, which I'm going to get into a little bit with our guest, but really excited to talk about sports, the growth of it from a marketing perspective, the growth of it from a platform perspective. There are so many layers to sports, one of which I'm excited to get in with our guest today, Magnus  Leppäniemi.

Ryan Alford [00:01:09] He is the VP of Marketing, the head of sports at Esports Entertainment Group. Magnus, really appreciate you coming on the Radcast today. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:01:19] Thank you for inviting me and thanks for having me. 

Ryan Alford [00:01:22] Magnus, I want to get into it as I was setting up a little bit for the episode, want to rack into your knowledge base of sports. But we'll start with your background in business and industry, in the sports arena, and then we'll go down the path of Esports gambling, which is going to be a fascinating topic for a lot of our listeners that don't realize the growth of that area. But, Magnus, if you could just start, let's hear a little bit about your background. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:01:56] My background has been in sales and marketing for a long time. And I actually started working with then selling Nintendo video games already back in 1994 for an indefinite detainment system there. And that's when it started. But that wasn't the easy part at that time. I was working at the Nautilus Vision Company called Permission. That's where my first entry into sports was. And I was meeting actually the people over a dream hack that came to me and said, hey you, “you should do the sports”. It's huge fighting games that you ridgy Esports gaming. What is that? I heard about dream tech. In fact, it is used on the weekend. “Why do I go there? I work Monday to Friday”. But that was my first entry into that space and that's when I started working with those guys. So that's my entry. And then I started at DreamHack in 2013 and came from the foundation over down to dream back. I met Matthew Stafford who hired him. He said you're never going to have a day that looks the same as when you started the iMac. And it has been a crazy ride for me when I started. I mean, when I started DreamHack, we were thirteen people. I was number 14. We did it. I think we did four, maybe six events that year. And then they actually took off. I mean, we get into the US markets in 2016. We did the one event in Austin 2016 three events we added in Germany, France, Spain, as it was, it was a crazy ride and that's my whole thing. And as I said, we work with the partnerships for democracy in that part, mainly focusing on the US side for the already 2015. When I spearheaded the DreamHacks partnership, save for the US events coming in 2016. 

Ryan Alford [00:04:12] You said a keyword there that I'm going to call out because of how many quarters I spent at the arcade on Streetfighter, I think I could have started seven businesses with the amount of quarters I put in the machine. One of the greatest I'm not a platform, but just game enigmas of all time was streetfighter. I just remember like. So you worked on Streetfighter for, 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:04:42] Yeah, I wanted to play it for you when we launched out then in the Nordics to get a Capcom and it's crazy as I said. I mean how big that game was. I mean it feels like we're missing the street fighter I think five years out. But I mean, it's not that big. It was part of that. But as I said, it's a game that really everybody can play. Everybody can be there. Even if you're a Boston basher, the same as I am. I'm just hammering the bottom. And so if you actually calculate the moves, how to do that, then the best people are even calculating the frames happening there. 

Ryan Alford [00:05:16] So it's great. The fireballs that I would throw with Ken know I would take out bison before, like all these character names are coming back to you. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:05:26] And I guess you had one special move that you always use. 

Ryan Alford [00:05:31] had at least three I would call that spinning kick like right in the perfect time and that no one had a chance except for some of the big players. So what are the big games now like? My kids are playing tonight. I know a lot of the first person, third person arena game shooters get into some of those. But like League of Legends, Counterstrike, I know where most of the activity, I know it's universal quality sports, but are there segments that are growing faster than others? 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:06:10] As I said, sports is like saying sports. So many different games in there. And usually the traditional ones that are the biggest one, legal legends, Dota counter strike. Of course, the three biggest ones that have the most viewerships, the highest the most teams have a huge ecosystem for both tournament organizations or teams to survive in the NBA. And then you have the up and comers like some fortnights coming there or actually college league. Those also coming in and said, I'm sorry, rocket league is a great game, but actually taking building the ecosystem and ramos', of course, as I know, there are games that has been for a long time as the first three National Guard wants are coming there. So I think it's great to see that there are more games coming into the east, so to say more ecosystems and people do the tournament. Tournament organizations can survive, but also teams can be there. So that's great. So but as I say, I would say an up and coming segment that we're going to watch and see more more coming is the mobile games. That's going to be huge. I mean, not everybody can afford a high end PC that they need to compete in any sports games. I mean, everybody has a mobile and it gives you the same capacity to play on. So I think that's news coming. And also in new games as fortnights of Pobjie Mobile or Call of Duty, is there perfect? Those are really going to make sure that I think EA Sports on mobile is going to be the one that actually grows really fast here. 

Ryan Alford [00:07:48] Talk a little bit about your role now as head of sports at the company and the gambling side. Let's transition a little bit into that new role. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:08:01] As I said, Sports Entertainment has two entities right now. We bought our guy who is in the UK Traditional Sports and Casino best thing, and then it's wide. Who is the betting partner? We're not going to have the traditional sports books there. We're not going to have the traditional casino is all going to be sports and gaming. So that's something really building out there. We want to be the best, so be the best or go to the site when you want to. Bethanie sports and gaming. So if you want to bet on the if you are a gamer, you're probably going to look at the because it is a counter strike or legal legends or Dota games. You don't, you don't look at traditional sports. That's one of the categories we don't want to be. And those are actually they think about the games, they are very knowledgeable about the games. They know what they want to bet on. They want to have that thing, game best thing, what's happening, what's going to be the next part was those kinds of things. That's one of the target groups. And that's really interesting. How can we talk to them? Is that through sponsorships? Is that to activations? How do we build that community? And that's one of the things you always want to see, that we are rebuilding the sports community. We are already a part of the sports community there. 

Ryan Alford [00:09:15] What's the profile of the game? I'm sorry to interrupt. What's the profile of the average like gambler of sports? Is it a gamer themselves? 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:09:27] Made two categories. One of the traditional ones is that the people that they count, those are about twenty one twenty four and they want to bet on the games the know when the teams to vote for. Do you have those guys and then you have the second one? The second one. And also talk about and that's happened during the pandemic time. Those that used to bet on horse racing are racing games, NBA games that when that stopped they didn't have anything to bet on then they really was looking for things to bet on. And there was like maybe some division to improve or Division two in Belarus to bet on. But then was eSport and there were still traditional sports running on the button, the virtual where you have the formula and you have the NASCAR, you have the NBA 2k, you have the fief, you have the Madden and people who are moving into that and start betting on those things because they understand the game. Because if you're a FIFA and Madden, you will understand because it's tradition. But if you look at if you never play laid down or count illegal aliens or Dota, you don't understand what's happening. What are you going to bet on? You can bet on who's going to win the game. That team looks nice. That don't look nice, that's all. You don't have that inside. That's what's happening in games. And that part, that's where we see those two things, people that but the same goes for the people who are betting on League of Legends or Dota. They want penetration of sports because that's it for them. They don't care about that stuff so they have those. Those are the two things we see there. 

Ryan Alford [00:10:58] What's the highest, what's the number one game that's bet on in the US, 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:11:05] Counter strike is the number one set of targets by far, the U.S. by far the biggest one of those three, I would say counterstrike. What are the two biggest ones? 

Ryan Alford [00:11:16] And then I guess, by how far behind are the traditional sports of NBA 2K or Madden or something like that? Adam, is it like a distant 10th and 12th or is it like are they right there behind them? 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:11:30] Noisey, this one being the center, even if it was there, those games grow during the pandemic. But it's not close to Cisco. That's the biggest by far. People know that and they understand the game also. So I think that's the biggest one. Yeah. So there is I would say there's a lot of a lot of ground for the power to execute, to be at the same level that, 

Ryan Alford [00:11:58] I'm going to ask a question that I wish I knew the answer to, but just assume the answer is yes. Is it 100 percent legal in the US to gamble online on these sports? 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:12:12] If you're going to gamble on a gambling license, you need 52 states, there's 52 licenses to do that. So there's no there's not not every state has a license. It was actually opened up for betting in every county. We are looking to get the New York license. Hopefully we get that soon. So that's coming there. But then it's only for people actually within the Earth that can bet the other things. But if people are logging on the VPN to the service in whatever other country, that's possible to do that. But as I said. But it's not it's not legal in that way, I would say 

Ryan Alford [00:12:51] So right now, it's not legal for anyone in the US to gamble on sports. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:12:59] I I don't think there's not there's not any other countries that are offering these prospects, I would say in the US market, if you're based out of California, based in Denver, I would say you can't that's them to come, as you have with the casinos that offer that thing to do that. That's not right. But you can bet on that. I guess it's not illegal if you go outside and use them for investing service, but there's no American ones that are offering these betting. 

Ryan Alford [00:13:31] That's what I was asking, though. Like, if I go to a site like a rivalry or like, some of these other, I think players that are going up , if I visit them from the US and I place bets there. I guess a lot of these rules are being written as we speak. Aren't they? 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:13:51] I think that all companies can see this is pretty lucrative for them. And I think there needs to be regulations and those regulations and rules in place to make sure that thing works. And it's not there's no shady business, whatever. So I don't think that's one of the things we really working for to make sure that we are on the right side and we don't have any gray market, those things. We want to actually have the license in New York City to be able to offer vexingly for the people of India. And then we're looking, of course, at other states to do that. So we want to be that. And I think that's also where we have that. We might be listed on the Nasdaq. We want to be the most transparent betting company in the US on that. Of course, we need to be that because we have the FCC watching over us what we're doing and checking our books and all that. But also, we didn't have the license. They also have that. They can also check our books 24/7. So we can't do any gray market things they want, but we just want to make sure that we are doing the right thing. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:14:56] I don't think people have completely gotten their heads around the scale of all of these things, I even myself, I have four boys under the age of 10. They all love video games. At some point in this interview, I'm going to ask, can they actually make a career out of this? Hold your answer for later. They actually can make their parents rich doing this? I'm kidding, but so hold your answer. But I don't think from the events to the teams, like you're into circles that you are. But as this has grown, seeing the following that the players have, that these teams have, the whole ecosystem of this is hard to even get. As someone in the business of these things like myself, it's hard to get your head around just how big it is. 

Ryan Alford [00:15:57] You said it is a several billion dollar industry, I'm not sure how many billion dollars it is, but it's huge. And all that counts is that there's this teams that are trying to make money by participating in leagues and in tournaments, their earnings. And of course, there's the players. They are the superstar making some breaks and making some huge money and doing that. And then, of course, the tournament organizations that try selling their sponsorships and trying to get exposure to that, they also have something where they make money. And then, of course, don't forget the influencers, the guys that also is part of that ecosystem, also providing that some of the people are. Former pro players and some of the pro players also need to be restraining, are trying to be inclusive, so there's a lot of ways to make money than there are. As I said, it's a huge business for everyone to be there. Of course, there are still some things where I think the business needs to grow and I think we can learn a lot from traditional sports. I mean, there are still some gaps there for how do you go from your stance going to them again? How did it go from bad from there being in their bedroom to the big stages? What's what, what's the steps, what are they going to play? And that's not that that route is not really set there. But if you play basketball or you play football, I gave you something minor. All the stuff that's not in sports. That's where we need to really build that within the sport. And people can find a different way to be better and find a way to compete. And that's why we need more leaders. We need not just a lot of these requirements. Should it be pretty big, one of the biggest teams? Well, but what they that's twenty-five teams in to start, but there are so many others. How can we make them successful? How can they grow? How can we get more people playing counterstrike and make a living out of that? If you look at. Traditional sports where you have your hockey, NHL, AFL, all the things differently. And if that doesn't work, you will fly over to Europe and then you have several leagues that never come to the plane. But that's not the build that park. Yes. And I think that's what we need to really do, that's what we need to do. Take some of these the best things out of traditional sport to make sure that we move that into the sport where you have all these different leagues and different levels to play in because you're getting everybody can't go from the bedroom to the big stage of their physical ownership in Shanghai or whatever. That's a huge step, the quarter-million say. How can finding a career improve there? 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:18:36] I think you nailed it because I've wondered that myself, like my kids playing or doing whatever. And I'm like it does just seem like a gift from someone that's not in every single day this leap from average casual user, the average casual player, or you're the superstar at the events. It just doesn't seem like there's a whole lot of middle ground. But it's interesting transitioning a bit to like the marketing side of things and the sponsorship and all of that. I mean, big brands have gotten into this space, obviously, on the US side, especially, I mean, worldwide. But, I think you're seeing more of it from the US. See Nike getting into the space, seeing a lot of those brands. I mean, what's your perspective on the sponsorship partnership side with brands? And as a second part, maybe to that. How I struggle a little bit with knowing and seeing the growth of this and wondering how the small to medium brands get involved, the money's gotten so huge. I see how Nike and Adidas and insert monster energy or whoever that makes sense that has gotten involved in this. But I don't know what the baby step is for small or medium brands. Maybe it's hosting tournaments, I don't know.

Ryan Alford [00:20:09] I'm sure the big brands, it's a way to to talk to, as I say, get involved and talk to the community to be a part of the community. How are you going to reach if you're 18 to 20, 18 to 30? I mean, usually traditionally it was even marketing. I did that a lot of times when I was marketing new games. The new sonic game, which is in the US, is a part of that was Street. Try to go for those people. You bought banner ads, you bought ads in magazines, and you did. And if you want to be really crazy and cool with the campaign, you bought TV ads. But none of that, if you're anything to thirty five, you don't watch TV anymore. And maybe I think when I was a DREAM Act, we had a we're looking at the numbers and people spend like six minutes per day watching traditional TV they spend but they spend seventy four, seventy five minutes on, on watching YouTube or the twitch instead. So where are you going to put your money? That's where you are going to put it in. That's how you get engaged in the sport is one of the things where you can actually get that engagement. And it's also something with these brands. No Nike knows what it is to sponsor a team or a player because they've done that in basketball. They done that in football or wherever they. So that's something they know. And I think that's a big thing for them to get in to meet that new target because they can't use the traditional way because of those ads, there's nobody watching that. And also, if you do banner ads, some people, they have bad advocacy you're missing out on, too. So how do you think that this is a great way to do that? But of course, it comes down to a little bit the intensity of what you are doing, not just coming in and plus your logos everywhere, because that's an area where you actually need to do some asset. You need to do something for the community. How can you be an enabler for something doing that? That's one of the key things for brands to get into smaller, bigger ones. I think that's a thing to do there for them. So, as I said, I think there's a couple of great examples. You mentioned Nike. I always think what you sell to get them in receipt is how they actually, I would say, gave them the hands. Hey, guys, follow us. We will show you a way into your sport, how to work that and get it started. Work in smaller ways, created some activations for them like me. Say there's no put that in providing the players with the right and the seeds. And they have like their favorite Spotify playlist playing when they get in the car, those kind of things. They were they had they made commercials with the teams, those kind of things. I know they also have a machine on stage, classical things that that clip, if the company knows what it is and they put it down the standard, they don't have to go and talk about how the tournament works. How's the bracketing work? What's it worth? I mean, and data and then yourself to get around to develop that part of the same they did with DHL. I think that's another one. They actually are really good at partnerships there and also make them create a lot of involvement or other. But the accelerometers are part of the whole activation events there. So those are two good examples with the team over at the Windows to make up brands that are not traditionally anything into sports. And they usually and also the issue is a game where they actually can feel comfortable, really, because usually it's all putting. Let's go, come. This is the biggest, it's one of the biggest things to understand. But then you have all the violence experts coming in there. How do you, as a Mercedes, go and tell your people that, yeah, I'm going to sponsor a game or somebody gets shot in the head. It's counter terrorist and counterterrorism will go. No, that's not a discussion. We can't take that. We don't know how to answer to the community or to the people asking those questions, even if the players don't see that there's a shooting, somebody has it's a team game. If team tactics and those things is to say, I mean, it's not just running around. They're doing everything with a purpose. They know what they're doing to put things out there. The smoke is going over there because it's going to block down with those things that it is a really, really good game there. It's the same with soccer. The ball needs to go into the goal. But then there's all these different tactics, all these different kind of plays. You need to do it. That's the same in this case for Counterstrike. But it's easy to understand they're so and looking for a medium and smaller I mean, smaller browns, they're still cheap to get into sports compared to what it was cost to sponsor a NBA team or to the buying and whatever. It's still cheaper. Of course, the prices have gone up a couple of years, but I think there's still room for the prices to to really grow there because the value get out of the viewership engagements you get, because if you do it right, be you're going to get from the fans and the community juju on that. They really appreciate the company coming in and doing something for them, making sure that they can actually see the fee that is bought or gave me something serious for them not to affect people that come in and like you guys play games, you don't have anything to do. Just go and go out and do something else. I'm competing at something they want to do. There was something they were looking at a career to do that. So but I think for those guys, I think it's more a step that's a not not necessarily running tournament speaking sponsored tournament. So you can sponsor players, you can look at your local teams. How can we get them out there and give them a baseline to grow and hire the players' trainers to be better, those things. And of course, this traditional sponsorship helps. But also you can do a lot of activities around the sponsors, not just having that logo plus everywhere. How can you work? I mean, work with the tournament organizations to get the best thing. What activations can you do? What things can you provide? I think it's always going to talk to people there and that they want to sponsor activity. What are you looking for? How can we help you? That's a good question to start with and then tell you and then they are going to tell you how you can do that. And then you can say you can't have these sort of goals I want to make. What are the guys I have these sort of things we need? We need it. And that's a good starting point we're talking about. 

Ryan Alford [00:26:30] Talk about maybe a few more like your date. What's your day to day looking like? What's your day to day activity? As the head of sports and on the gambling side, what are some of the maybe KPIs for you or where you're trying to take things with the entertainment group? 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:26:52] Yeah, I mean, I've only been here for four weeks, so it's 

Ryan Alford [00:26:57] You have it all figured out. Yeah, come on. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:26:59] I should. But a lot of the things we are of course one of the things we're building out the plan. I mean, Rijad, our platform for getting this new nobody knows that we need to build brand awareness. How can we do that? How can we be sure and get people to know our brand name? And of course, one of the things that I know is working with its sponsorship. So we're looking to sponsor it. We're looking to do some sponsorship, these tournaments. We're looking to do a theme. So that's one of the things, of course, we're looking at. What is the best thing to sponsor of the games? You want to get into that? So that's something we are investigating. We are talking to teams, tournament organizations and looking at what was our best option to get our brand name out there. And the second one is that, of course, conversions everybody. We need people to start betting on the games. We need to do that. And that's also how we can take the build brands and then move this to conversions and people playing our platforms. So those sort of things. And of course, that's a big deal. But also then we look at how we can use sports? Entertainment is not the best thing, it's one vertical that we have. We also look in other verticals within EA Sports because everybody so that's a huge umbrella. There's different parts there. So we are looking at what are the different what are the other verticals we're going to enter into? We do need sports. That's also something we've been looking at. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:28:26] So it's so hard to fight fraud, I mean, some of those regulated now, I mean, the bigger sports are so regulated and some NBA player was tanking it. But I would think in these sports, at least in the early stages, it's not the early stages that it's been around a long time, but it's in the early stages of the gambling portion. That would be a concern. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:28:55] I mean, of course, I wouldn't say any sports people have been cheating. It is a regular if you look in every new game that keeps happening, it is all hacks where different things have happened. Of course, that creates a lot of I mean, providing some games where we don't know there. Do we know there is an end to cheating there so people can cheat on those things? So we need to be sure that those kind of things are in place. And then we have all the people that are betting that are exploiting. Exploiting, if we have any, and missed anything in our offer in terms that we doing that. And of course, that happens to us. So you need to be cautious in what he thinks you're doing and providing to the market then. I mean, we have been running some campaigns of people who have tried to exploit and we have to say, no, we had to block those who say no to this because they are not not using it as in the terms that we wanted it to be there. And then of course, we said no. And then we have to cancel some of the campaigns there. But I think, frankly, this is where we run campaigns and do things, and then you have the expertise also where there can be people. Can you have that in traditional sports where people are going to take a dove or they can forfeit the early or lose a game purpose just because they're betting on something? But I think this has taken a lot of precautions about cheating and those kind of things. And those are the two things. We also all, of course, looking at how we can take care of those things, as I said. But it's also building the sports entertainment brand in different verticals. We want to just not want to, we don't want to just be a betting brand. We want to be more sports and entertainment politics. That's going to be a production tournament. So it can be tournament content platforms where it's a lot of things we look at they're willing to dove in to do. 

Ryan Alford [00:30:48] In the US, I know worldwide counter strike legal legends and all that. I actually have one of my good friends that I've worked with for a long time, and we actually did a radio show together back in the day. His name's Scott Cole. He's the voice of NBA 2k. He's onliest. He's on ESPN too regularly now, on Tuesday nights, they do the league games. And so my perspective has been grounded a lot in the sports. I played sports growing up in the sports game, played Madden and all of those games and. But as teams go and as the popularity of things; Is it still slanted towards those Counterstrike League of Legends, even in the US as far as the players and teams and all of that stuff? 

Ryan Alford [00:31:42] I mean, usually the teams, if you look at the so you look at cloud nine or you look at the US team that usually they play in several games. So usually they have if you look at the stats, for example, they have a counter strike team and they have a League of Legends team, they have a rocket league team. So they're trying to be in a lot of games, too, trying to be competitive. And that so that it's not just distracting. They actually have more teams fighting where they're playing. And so that's where they can actually gain more fans than the Rangers because that's just hockey and it's not the New York Rangers basketball team as the Knicks whatever. So that, I think that's where they can gain a lot more fans, a lot more engagement than yourself, because if you don't care about soccer or hockey, you don't care about the Rangers. But if you don't care about the counterstrike back here about illegal aliens, I can still be indignant. Those fans who care about those who buy broccoli, I still care about that. So that's where they actually gain more fans there. That's happening in interesting mechanics, how he can be active in different games and still be relevant, even if people don't like that type of game 

Ryan Alford [00:32:58] That rocket league can get into. Now, I play that with my kids. Yeah, I don't know what it is, it is the weirdest thing. When I saw them playing a couple of years ago, I was like the strangest thing, using cars and everything else to push the balls in the thing and things blowing up. I was like, this is the strangest mismatch of things. But it's fun. 

Ryan Alford [00:33:19] It's simple. It's a simple game. The ball is going to get in and you have a cool you have a car to drive that you can do this and create that car. I mean, I love that game and I think that's a perfect game. Take it can be super competitive but also casher. Yeah. Something to play with your friends on the sofa. I don't want to say drinking beer, but I'm saying that it 

Ryan Alford [00:33:47] Drinks are great. I'm drinking a beer and I'm playing. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:33:51] You can of course the soft drinks around the edges where you can do a monster, you can do a beer or whatever, but it's like hanging around the game and you can do that. I think that's the beauty of that game. Is that simple? It's easier to play on that. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:34:06] As we kind of close out here, I think one one topic that's probably important, the nose fueled a lot of the growth, which is when you and you mentioned it earlier, twitch. Fascinating. Again, back to these layers. You would have thought there. And I guess having watched my kids now, it doesn't surprise me and enjoying watching other people, but that whole voyeurism of who would have known how popular it would be, I guess, to watch other people play video games, but that has really exploded the growth of it. And I'd love to know just your overall perspective on Twitch and that layer 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:34:51] I mean, twitch is a layer. They are open to the competition, providing them and making a shutdown move over to Facebook, Like the Facebook gaming is doing. I mean, Twitch, what legal status is dominant there, like the number one for any sporting event or alive live shows? I would say, because it's not just the sport to actually all the influencers like them going their team to top man or just Lyrica. Those guys, I would suspect they are there. And people who come to watch those guys play are as interesting topic, which has the dominant players in the market, and I think they still are going to continue doing that then. But there will be other platforms and not Facebook is going to do that, but it's growing that part because that's how young kids are consuming content today. It's not them. And you if you put a TV remote inside a six, eight year old kid, they're going to be they're going to start. I can't do that. I can't scroll through that. I can post that. I can it's commercial. How can I get past that? They don't, they don't see, they don't watch TV anymore. It's the way the consumer agency YouTube, which are the two biggest one I think will continue for a while doing that. I mean, there are a lot of companies that haven't survived this. And we'll see what happens. 

Ryan Alford [00:36:11] There I mentioned it earlier. I've given you roughly 30 to 40 minutes to think about it. So can my kids become the next simple or let's see if I can challenge myself on my big gamer names in the space. But can they get there like and how do they get there? And is it like what are the chances of your child playing and speak to us like the NFL is like point zero one percent like you're going to make it. Is it the odds that are stacked against it that it can become a career or are these like actual avenues? 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:36:54] I mean, they are actually evidence. I can see this. I mean, there's a lot of a new business that's growing. I mean, this is something I mean, as I said, they were playing at night and looked at Google with sixteen point three million dollars. Yeah. Thank you. I mean, I guess they spend a lot of time playing games, so they need I mean, it's all about dedication and commitment. How much can they play? And I think it comes to the parents that, oh, you can say eight hours, you need to go out. The thing is, they have old friends online. They don't when they go out, nobody's out there. So they're going to hang with doing it. But if you never say if the kids go out and hang in the park, that's good. You're out putting. If they play eight hours of video games, it's going to be a lot of noise about that, but I think I see things changing. If you mean they have avenues to do that. And I think there's a lot of things they can do that way. They more with the games to be competitive playing about that. And that's actually something I heard about in the US where people are paying somebody to come home, tend to be a Tudor's to play how to play a fortnight in the best way to do that. So that's something you and I heard they were paying like 400 bucks an hour to to get the people in. OK, I also maybe I am spoiled by maybe I should be playing competitive instead. And so it is. But I think you need to practice all those hours and look at the game and look at that. All the players spend eight to 10 hours per day playing games. And if and if you need to focus, you need to focus on one game. You can't be fortnights and can't pick out the strike and illegal that it has to be one game and you have to like that game. They can, but that's a small chance to be good. And they're coming into the tournament and playing for me. Was it three million at the stadium last year? 

Ryan Alford [00:38:45] So any perspective on Valiant? You've heard of that game? I mean, is it sort of following the four night model? It's such an interesting, someone, that's making a lot of money with the thinking through the economies of these things. Let's start at eighty dollars. No, let's just give them all away and sell dances and content and everything else and make even more money that whole free to play sort of model that is crazy. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:39:18] I mean it is that free to play all of this that has been the most successful because if you, if you pay sixty nine dollars for a game, you're not you're not paying any more because you're fat. You think you're the pay and you don't, you're not supposed to pay any more. But the thing is, you get a game for free and then you're buying, as I said, this game, the balance is the t-shirt and now you're spending a thousand dollars or two thousand dollars for that because it's all those mindsets. And it's only five bucks, five bucks or five bucks is like twenty bucks that per day then for a whole year you're in there. So I think for them it's a smart move and it doesn't cost anything to create this new t-shirt or skin or dance. Going to be a small cost for doing that. But as I said, people love that. And then you create some awareness around it and they make some part of that limited and all that. Then you get the prices up. Look to go in on the skins, what are the weapons where some value at twenty five cent to somebody to twenty five thousand dollars. Yeah. This is the same skin. What's the difference there? But it's like it's somebody, it's only five out there, it's rare and then it's cool and all that. So I think that's where they actually get the money. That's a moneymaker for them looking at the value. And I think that's going to grow. I think I haven't really. And that's where maybe I need to invest a little even more. How are they going to do that? Or they're building the same way as they did with legal legends having to deal with serious building that up or the guy actually going to use third party tournament organizations to run Cisco, maybe they haven't. Maybe they have decided. Maybe they haven't. I haven't seen that. But I think it's interesting. But I wish I was. I would say that the Valiant campaign has been one of the best things done for launching a new game, of course, prior to the biggest one of the biggest players in the industry. And they can have the power to do that. Some people were going crazy about getting those because hanging watching people play that game, that was I mean, look at the numbers they racked up for their first week there to get in there. They were crushing huge numbers. So it was crazy. But I think that was a really good campaign. A smart move must have to spend that much. I mean, of course, they got to spend some money to influence the playing game. That's right, guys. But it's been worth a lot to them. So a great launch campaign for them. Yeah. I'm looking forward to seeing what they're going to do within the sport. And I know there's a lot of teams that have started to pick up building their own teams to be there. So it's going, it's coming. They're going to see if they can compete with Cisco. I mean, because that's I think that's the one the nearest competitor for now. So we'll see. 

Ryan Alford [00:41:58] Where's it all going? I mean in some ways it's like I said, I've known about it for a long time. I have friends in the business, but in some ways it still feels so nascent. As an industry what's the crystal ball say? 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:42:24] Isn't that a good thing for this industry? It goes so fast and you don't know where it's going, even if you go. When I started in 2013, 2014, 2013 DREAM Act, I mean Pobjie fortnights. That wasn't even a genre there. Nobody heard about the real gang a couple of years later. I could get fortnights. Biggest game. I would say one of the biggest games it runs contrary to. It's sort of more social, it's more a game and a social platform. Yeah, I think that's a cool thing to be in. This is you don't know where it's going. The only thing it's going to be is growing. It's going to be bigger and it's going to become new new ideas, new new things to test. And that's what I like being this, because the difference between 2013 and 2020 is huge. I mean, so many things happening and looking at that and entering into sports and I think prior to their first event and then find the DREAM Act summer, I don't know if they were twenty or nine, twenty, twenty nine or something like that. It was like a hundred square meter booth. And like a year ago they did, they sold out the whole Beijing Olympic Stadium Bird's Nest there. I mean, that's huge. That's funny. I don't know. Forty or fifty thousand people coming around compared to the DREAM Act that have maybe 40, 50 people. And it's only I guess maybe there's ten years between point A and B there saying. So that's where I think it's hard to say where we are in a crystal ball. I think we would see more games. We've seen more formats. It's not just a PC console. We actually see mobile. I think that's going to be something that really grows and coming big here. 

Ryan Alford [00:44:05] I will leave you with a secret code zero zero seven three seven three five nine six three. I think that's right. That's coming straight off memory. This wasn't planned. That is the code to go straight to Mike Tyson and Mike Tyson's punch out on Nintendo. I remember it since my childhood. Kind of like up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right. B a staffer. What game contra is it? They want to go straight to Mike Tyson's punch out on Mike Tyson. Anyone listening, go to that code. You probably could Google it and find any way, but that's straight from memory from when I was a ten year old and got my first Nintendo and literally beat Mike Tyson the first night because I played twelve hours straight and that was me. Between that Legend of Zelda, it was dangerous. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:44:57] Isn't crazy all the memories you have of playing great games and what it gives to you and all the fun and joy you had. Because I was also mentioning when I was a company called Permeation when Xbox 360 came out, we started playing Rainbow Rainbow six siege. We spent so many hours, the people just went home, had been with a family and eight o'clock to midnight, everybody's family. Good bye. See you sitting there with your first online playing that game and people shouting and telling you can't or you can throw a flash bang in my face. I'm coming back to that. Had so much fun that we played a crease and then Modern Warfare came out with even more on that one. But it's great that it creates memories and it creates friends. You can hang with them. And now you're having friends all over the world going to games or using these services or playing games with grace, as I said. And the next generation is looking at fortnight. Look at that. Trevor Scott, you're going to get in the game, as I said, and then you have the number go there. And it's not that many years between those things. I mean, maybe maybe twenty. 

Ryan Alford [00:46:11] Well, Magnus, man, really appreciate you coming on the Radcast. And let's do it again, maybe in another 6 to 12 months. Love to get you back on. Talk more about where things are going with the gambling side and just really appreciate your perspective. 

Magnus Leppäniemi [00:46:27] Let's do that. I think if you a 6 to 12 months, I think we're going to be with the group. We're going to be a lot of progress, a lot of things happening. I mean, we have a lot of things in the pipeline. So really looking forward to coming back within six months to talk to you again. And thanks for having me. It was an awesome time. 

Ryan Alford [00:46:44] Thanks so much. Magnus.

Magnus Leppäniemi

VP of Marketing / Head of Esports at Esports Entertainment Group.