How eSportStars plans to boost fan engagement and player revenue

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Planned market launch in October 2020, eSports Stars is a Japan-based gaming and esports matching platform that intends to create a new revenue stream for professional esports players.

The company will provide a platform where casual fans, aspiring pros and semi-pros alike can buy “tickets” to compete in multiple matches against their idols and existing pros. Masato Kakamou, Founder and CEO of eSportStarshopes professional gamers will be able to connect with their fans in whole new ways while getting paid to play the game they love.

Ahead of the platform’s launch, we spoke to Masato to learn more about eSportStars’ pre-registration plans and how he hopes the platform will positively impact multiple stakeholders in the esports ecosystem.

How eSportStars plans to boost fan engagement and player revenue - How eSportStars plans to boost fan engagement and player revenue
Photo credit: eSportStars

Masato explained his vision for the platform and how he believes it would benefit numerous esports players: “Most esports pros and those moving up the semi-professional ranks struggle to make ends meet, but they have to still exercising 10 hours a day. Additionally, it can be difficult to schedule time to interact with their fans, so eSportStars wants to give players the opportunity to earn money, practice their game, and connect with fans at the same time. Semi-professional players can compete against players of higher status in the community, and fans can compete against their favorite players.”

“I want this platform to be used to find talent from large organizations.”

Masato went on to describe how, besides providing a platform for fans to connect with their favorite players, he wants additional functionality and built-in features so semi-pro gamers can use eSportStars as a testing ground where they can Compare and contrast yourself with the pros of the platform. Masato remarked, “I want this platform to be used to find talent from large organizations.”

Currently, the only organizations represented on the eSportStars platform are Japanese, but Masato hopes the site will include North American, European, and Chinese organizations ahead of its planned launch in October. Leveraging existing relationships with the platform’s current roster of professional players and organizations, Masato plans to persuade stakeholders from across the Pacific Rim to come on board. According to Masato, eSportStars has already held talks with a leading North American esports organization, but the unproven nature of the platform has made the talks challenging.

Masato recognizes that he needs to increase the number of user signups on the platform to be better able to secure the top esports teams worldwide and their talent rosters and armies of fans. After a short test marketing exercise, eSportStars has already recruited around 1000 users, but Masato and his team are aiming for many more. eSportStars aims to reach a whopping 100,000 registered users per supported language within the first few months of the site’s launch – of which there will initially be three. By the end of the calendar year, Masato is targeting a total user base of 1,000,000 users. Almost in a chicken-and-egg situation, Western users might be reluctant to sign up for a platform without European or North American pro players, but the organizations managing those players might be reluctant to commit without the user base already in place.

Preparing to launch How eSportStars is pivoting to facilitate success - How eSportStars plans to boost fan engagement and player revenue
Photo credit: eSportStars

To break the deadlock, Masato explained that eSportStars will try to market the platform in the coming weeks and months through creator events, competitions usually held online between members of the creator community, similar to Twitch Rivals. The platform has already hosted a PUBG Mobile tournament in Japan to generate interest, but Masato hopes similar events in CS:GO and VALORANT could lead to even more success in the future. eSportStars also intends to increase the number of supported games to try to target the most popular ones in its key target markets.

While Masato acknowledges that getting an initial group of players on board can be difficult, he is confident that eSportStars will achieve the goals set. Masato also guides TIME CARD, another digital platform where users can buy and sell tickets similar to eSportStars. Based on his experience in growing the TIME TICKET platform to more than 250,000 users, Masato believes that the ambitious goals can be achieved.

In recent years, much of the mainstream media has snapped esports through the lens of events like the Fortnite World Cup or The Invitational to suggest that all participants are paid well, but in many ways that’s just not the case. While Overwatch League MVPs and members of the Astralis Group organization receive significant compensation as a specific example, many professional players in smaller organizations or esports make significantly less money. Regardless of how close eSportStars is getting to their ambitious goals, it’s fantastic news to realize that Masato and his team are trying to create a new product to increase fan engagement and expand player revenue streams.

Disclaimer: This is a post sponsored by eSportStars. To learn more, visit the website

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