April 25, 2019

eSports: Where Fandom and Filmmaking Collide

By Charlotte Dixon

At Mofilm, we’re always looking for opportunities to give our vibrant community of creators a voice, and to dig a little deeper into how your brilliant creative minds work. This month, we’re super excited to launch a new series, MoTalks, We’ll interview different creators in our community each month about an interesting theme or trend within the creative industries, and wrap up the ‘best bits’, just for you.

We have some really exciting brand briefs in the pipeline that are centered around the eSport gaming community. So this month, to kick off the series, we’re exploring the topic of fandom in eGaming. Our first interview is with Dario and Dom – www.dariodom.com– a directing duo from London who are long-time Mofilmers and keen gamers. Our New York based (ok, Brooklyn, to be specific) Executive Creative Director, Lee, took some time to hangout with these guys and share a virtual coffee and boast about their high scores. Check out their insights into eGaming, including the community, its future and what their high scores are.

If you’d like to feature in an upcoming interview series, or have an idea for an interesting theme you’d like us to explore, drop us a line at community@mofilm.com.

DOM & DARIO

What are the most memorable moments in gaming?

The most memorable moments in gaming are probably the unexpected, nail-biting climaxes to intense games between the best players on the planet – where you gasp and can’t breathe for a split second! Everything from Faker in LoL sneaking off to counter attack the opposing team in a crazy finale of a semi-final match, to the first teams lighting the ridiculously heavy and huge (but very pretty) winner’s cup. And it’s not just in LoL. Games such as Fortnite and Rocket League, among others, have ever-growing eSports tournaments, with more fans and teams each year – and the competitions get tougher and tougher, resulting in some incredible plays and breath-taking moments of skill (Squishy’s flip reset to a goal in a final competitive match in RL was INSANE). Not to mention, there’s the team camaraderie, the rivalries and the amazing fans.

What are the stories of gaming/eSports that you want to tell?

eSports is incredible for connecting fans closer to their sporting heroes than ever before. From watching your heroes streaming on YouTube, to then interacting with them on their discord channel, and then seeing them live at eSports events – there’s something about the close connection between fans and their heroes that we think is amazing and that stand out even more so than traditional sports (come on, you couldn’t send Cristiano Ronaldo a message on Discord and then watch his streaming channel!). eSports heroes can feel like your best mates, because they are just everyday people who had humble beginnings in their bedrooms with the same keyboards and game controllers we all had. They also look a bit more like us (for those of us who aren’t super fit and muscley, haha). There are also some incredible stories of generosity – from teammates helping each other out and finding new talent, to the yearly humble bundle sale. In just four years, gamers raised $100 million for charity just by doing the thing they love, buying and playing games.

What does the average person not know that should be shared?

We think the average person doesn’t know how huge eSports have become. The size of the stadiums/ entertainment centres and the number of fans that attend is on par with certain standard sports out there today. There is a real sense of legitimacy to what eSports bring to the world of entertainment, and also economically to the countries that host them. If only people could see how huge and important these events were to fans! We also think the amazing direct connection between gamers and fans (as mentioned above) should be talked about – there’s a real sense of community.

What does it mean to have major brands sponsoring the eSport community?

Major brands sponsoring the eSports community is already happening (Renault in RL, for instance). It seems that the logical next step is for even more big brands to play a bigger part by sponsoring more teams. Fans and gamers alike want major brands to sponsor their teams because it adds legitimacy to the whole thing and helps make more of the world aware of the potential and growth of eSports.

What do you want from those brands?

Gamers and eSports fans are savvy. They know the internet and how certain companies aren’t transparent about how they interact with influencers/ gamers – and they will call it out when it happens. What we want from these brands is simplicity and integrity. We know you sell products – that’s fine – but leave those final decisions to us! We would be happy to see our teams and eSports heroes sponsored by big brands who are interested in getting involved as much as we are. Don’t give us all the ads, just knowing your logo is there and seeing you there at an eSports event to cheer on the team is enough (and appreciated!).

We also think that if brands want to have an authentic voice in this space, they need to consult or hire people who understand gaming culture. Essentially, your eSports marketing crew needs to feature real gamers.

What does the future of gaming/esports look like? What would you like it to look like?

Fornite just announced another $100 million in eSports competition prize money… more and more games are turning to eSports and the prize pools are increasing. You can see that this is just an ever-growing industry and entertainment opportunity. However, it is also unchartered territory. There will be mistakes made and lessons learned, but on the whole, it’s an exciting new entertainment and competitive sports industry to be part of. What we want it to look like is focusing on the simple things – every year doesn’t have to be bigger and better than the last at the expense of the eSports events. As long as the rules are simple, not ever-changing (cough, Fortnite, cough) and the experiences are enjoyable, these events will keep growing. As gamers, we just want to see the best of the best battle it out and we don’t need complicated technical fancy gimmicks at stadiums or last-minute changes to rules for excitement. Keep it simple!

Tell us how your filmmaking craft changes or adds to gaming life?

To be honest, being filmmakers adds massively to gaming life. Not only does it help with understanding technical issues with streaming and video playback, but it also helps us to appreciate the amount of detail that goes into setting up beautifully composed visuals in games. Remember, in filmmaking, you’re only seeing a certain degree of vision – everything else behind the camera is crew, kit, etc. In gaming, it’s 360 degrees of constant action and knowing what must go into that is special! It also really helps with setting up our own streams or helping out other gamers.

How closely connected are eSports to filmmaking?

To be honest, we don’t think they are massively connected at the moment – but they could be. There are videos that come out of eSports, but they are mostly compilations that – while are fun to reminisce – perhaps don’t capture the true energy from an eSports moment of gold, or the event itself.

What type of film would you want shoot in this space?

The obvious is a docu-style approach to capturing the “buzz” from an eSports tournament … talking to the fans and the players and capturing that excitement. However, something could be said for trying something a bit more conceptual… almost like an advert, but to eSports itself… the rise of a gamer from humble beginnings – who perhaps could never be the footballer he wanted on the physical pitch, but found glory on the eSports pitch! There are many possibilities.

If you want content that truly celebrates eSports, we think you need to make a story that tracks players’ journeys from the beginning to the end. Following the players who maybe didn’t fit in with the football team at school, but at home, in front of their console, they are the online hero.

Thanks to Dario & Dom for giving us their amazing insights into the eGaming world! And here’s a special shout out for their latest work for film education charity, Into Film. The campaign seeks to educate teenagers about the effects of piracy on the filmmaking industry. It was screened in cinemas nationwide over the November-January period through DCM: https://vimeo.com/290925648

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