Recently, a group known as Good Gaming has been making waves in esports by providing a place for amateur gamers to compete in and earn money from tournaments in games such as Overwatch, Hearthstone, and more. We caught up with GG’s Vik Grover to talk about the platform and what role they hope to play in an emerging western market.
MMORPG: What is Good Gaming? What do you hope to achieve with the company?
Vik Grover: Good Gaming is owner/operator of the world’s most automated, scalable tournament platform for eSports. The company is also deploying a social network for amateur gamers that includes numerous modules including chat, blogging, video, news, coaching, streaming of our own events and others, an online marketplace for exchange of virtual goods/services (i.e., gaming labor for players to draft others into teams or put marks out on other players), hosted online games such as ARK and Minecraft, and e-commerce. We hope to become the world’s premiere destination site for gamers seeking to compete, learn, communicate, and enhance their skills as amateur gamers that in some cases wish to turn pro. IN other words, we want to become the High School and College equivalent of eSports which no other entity is addressing as we do.
MMORPG: Why start Good Gaming now? It seems the eSports world is really fragmented and hard to track. How will GG fit in?
VG: GG was launched in 2013 with the goal of becoming the world’s premiere destination site for 200MM+ amateur gamers worldwide. The market is fragmented with tournament platforms that either tailor to one publisher or title, or that cannot scale beyond 256 concurrent competitors, or both. We want GG to become the place gamers check when they wake up and review when they logout and sleep. We intend to become the “Ferrari” of the industry versus other me too providers than cannot offer scale tournaments and/or do not have a destination site for their customers to populate. We believe our scope/scale that we will achieve will knock these smaller players out of the market, in due time. No one else is both cross publisher and cross platform (i.e., PC and console). We think that, along with our marketplace for exchange of goods/services, will give us long-term sustainable advantage.
MMORPG: While eSports is picking up steam a lot in the western world, it's already an established past time in the east. Why do you think it's been so successful in Asian territories, and only starting to take off now?
VG: In Asia, Gaming as a whole is much more widely accepted and exposed through advertising and marketing versus here. In fact, one can sit at a bar and often see soccer and cricket in display, and eSports being shown on another screen. In North America, eSports still receives a bit of scrutiny, where people often still consider it "nerdy" or outside the social normal to game for extended periods of time, or even just a waste of time in general. Instead of gaming, in the U.S., people often put most of their attention on physical sports competitions, but this is changing. Now more and more of the younger generation are fluent with technology. Because of the Internet, it’s easier to access a video game than it was back before the eSports boom. Gaming is a lifestyle. In some Asian markets they go as far as treating eSports stars like rock stars. Now in the U.S., celebrities and even pro athletes are backing gaming, purchasing eSports teams and investing in companies involved in the gaming world. As the times move forward, the U.S. will catch up with Asia and the eSports paradigm will boom.
MMORPG: How will your platform bring the rest together, or make it so that the rest are left behind and GG becomes the one most people use?
VG: The market is highly fragmented with 1-1 and team platforms but none of them are a destination site. We intend to become the dominant cross publisher cross platform (PC XBOX PlayStation) tournament platform married to a social network with scope and scale in the millions of customers. But there will always be niche sites that gamers may populate and compete on, no different than the fact that today there are tens of thousands of Minecraft servers in the world allowing people to compete with different populations of gamers. But we intend to be the company that can run massively scalable tournaments with world record breaking amateur prize pools married to a social network that gives the gaming community a place to congregate, interact, compete, and exchange goods/services – a social destination that no other company has today.
MMORPG: What games will GG be leveraging most?
VG: Today, based on an initial alliance with Blizzard Entertainment, we have been running tournaments primarily for their titles – Hearthstone and Overwatch. We are not exclusive to any publisher and intend to add other titles from other vendors to the mix.
MMORPG: Have you spoken with developers, any partnerships you can speak to?
VG: We are talking to other publishers with millions of players of their multiple titles, and also to small up-and-coming publishers with 100,000 players or less for 1-2 titles. Nothing to discuss yet. We can run tournaments for any publisher without a license, but if we want their support on social media and other, we typically will need a license for each tournament.
On sponsorships, we recently signed an arm’s length partnership with KONTROLFREEK, a provider of high end controllers including joysticks and thumbsticks. We are in discussions with other partners and hope to be able to announce more in the near future.