UFC & Esports: Two Different Worlds or Complementary Activities? The MMA Corner Staff May 20, 2019 Events, News, Promotions, UFC If you are a gamer, physical confrontation is probably very low on your list. Blowing up make-believe buildings and ridding your foes’ avatars is probably up to your own speed and you are happy to exercise it every time you join online. Esports are the perfect competitive environment for you to excel at gaming. Whether you are playing a MOBA or exchanging shots in Overwatch, or even speed running a raid in World of Warcraft, there’s tons of non-violent fun you can have. And yet, esports, when played on the highest level, seem to require a lot of grit, determination, and focus. One would almost argue that the same apply to more violent sports, such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Are there really that many similarities between these two seemingly mismatched activities? Esports Is Innovation and so is the UFC Despite what old-timers would say about video games turning children into violent balls of pent-up anger, the simple fact of the matter is that esports players, similar to fans of heavy metal, are not violent at all. In fact, they are quite relaxed when it comes to physical confrontation. This is not to stop the UFC from trying to appeal to the younger generation. This is precisely what is happening in Asia right now with ONE Championship, the martial arts association and media company, trying to host esports tournaments as well as continue within its main line of operation – i.e. professional fights. ONE is particularly intrigued by electronic sports, and this doesn’t just stop with the fact that the industry is growing at a quick pace. ONE wants to explore the entire ecosystem of esports,and this includes esports betting sites, developing a professional team, and even becoming a successful streamer. Esports have a lot to offer to mainstream brands and even though non-endemic companies, such as BMW, KFC, Gillette and many others have entered the esports bonanza, having a fighting organization make its own mark on the industry is quite surprising and will definitely be interesting to watch. Hosting an Esports Event – A Lot Like UFC ONE Championships is right when they want to host esports events. This would give their brand an outreach among vibrant and young audience which may not have been quite possible with martial arts. Of course, trying to actually impose their true identity on esports fans might backfire. Instead, ONE will focus on building authentic esports experience from scratch. Hosting esports events will mean independent, stand-alone festivals that don’t even hint of martial arts. Of course, the organization will eventually rely on conversions between the verticals it operates in. But here’s the thing – if ONE Championship manages to plant itself as a viable esports event host, the company may generate and tap into new revenue streams for years, if not decades, to come. At a time when more executives are leaving “serious” companies to join esports initiatives, teams, and brands, one thing is painfully obvious – esports are brimming with potential.