As in every other year, there was also a flood of opportunities and misfortunes in 2020. However, the scale of these waves, which spread across industries, markets and societies around the world, was unprecedented.

Adaptation was a primary feature among executives, as logistical changes had to be made in the blink of an eye and the reference to the old game book seemed off the table. The first day of a new year 2020 is certainly behind us, but many of its consequences have yet to be revealed. Therefore, the players in esports continue to adapt their structures to future-proof endeavors.

For a comprehensive 2020 roundup, Esports Insider spoke to a wide selection of industry leaders from esports organizations, league operators and service providers to create a two-part ( Part 1 is here ) look at this challenging one Year.

In this final entry, respondents recalled what characteristics their organizations defined in 2020 and what they would improve if they had the power of hindsight and what lessons they will bring with them by 2021.

The defining traits of 2020

While adaptation was certainly seen as the definitive trait by many throughout 2020, with the sport having the ability to rotate around its plans across bans and different regional / global restrictions change, a multitude of structural changes had to be made to strengthen public health and safety. As such, many industry leaders have also attributed grit as a trait strengthened by this year's challenges.

"I would say resilience defined Gen.G in 2020, starting with managing the pandemic over three waves in our offices in China, Korea and then the United States," said Chris Park , CEO of Gen.G.

“We immediately realized that this year was going to change our original plans, and we have come together as a global organization to engage our fans and deliver for our partners. We also created the Gen.G Foundation, a $ 1 million commitment from Gen.G to empower a future generation of diverse leaders in this community. "

COO of DreamHack, ESL Gaming GmbH, Anna Nordlander added: " The customization and flexibility of our organization was critical – from moving to an online environment to responding and supporting ours Community on these changes.

“But we also adapted internally with our amazing, nimble co-workers who modify the way we work and change our new structures largely from home, always accepting these new challenges and thriving to contribute even more. "


In the meantime, Patrick Mahoney, the CEO of the sportswear company We are Nations and Nations Ventures had different views about how the company had to develop. He said, "I'm not sure we had to adjust as much as refocus. No live events meant more ecommerce sales.

" More ecommerce sales gave us the opportunity to rethink our approach to marketing and selling products. I think 2020 has prepared us for the future in many ways. We would probably have drawn the same conclusions regardless, but sometimes pressure brings out the good in everyone. ”[19659017] 2020 in h indsight

  WePlay Ultimate Fighting League
credit: WePlay Esports

Many of the responses cited that, in retrospect, the stakeholders invested earlier in studio production, equipment and remote functions, if the full effects of the pandemic had been exposed sooner. The year's answer to social distancing bans and future security was a version of "Going Di. gital, "with many of the responses indicating that the transition was a defining moment for the esports industry.

Gen. G & # 39; s Park commented: “I think our industry used to have to go all-in with online competitions and content. Our sport is, can and will thrive in this environment, and we should embrace that strength. “

In addition, most of the travel companies felt that while changes could be made after the fact to achieve a faster transition, the organizations learned from these setbacks, which in turn strengthened their structures and developed new approaches.

"Aside from investing in Zoom, we might have done some things differently, especially if we had known the pandemic was going to last that long." Lee Trink, CEO of the FaZe clan considered. "But the fact that it was unexpected has brought us closer to the light of our feet every day and strengthened our ability to swing at every roadblock and see every new opportunity."

“It's so much easier to look back and reevaluate decisions.” DreamHacks Noordlander added, “I'm sure there are things we could have done differently in planning and execution, but we still have never experienced such a global crisis – no one has experienced it. "

" I think our team has done a remarkable job of responding and preparing for this uncertain environment and its impact on our industry and our community. If we Looking ahead to the new year and sharing plans for 2021, it will show that we've grown from that experience and been able to come up with a more solid and robust plan. ”

Photo Credit: DreamHack

Lessons To Take From 2020-2021 [19659032] Although Mike Tyson has not officially entered the esports room yet, his famous feelings still seem to resonate, as suggested by John Fazio, CEO of Nerd St. Gamers [19659012] in response cites his biggest snack of 2020 : “Everyone has a plan until they are slapped in the mouth.

“As we continue to grow in 2021 and hopefully find the 'new' normal in sport, we will take the ups and downs of the past year and strategically work them into our plans. Our organization's ability to be flexible and innovative can lead us into a prosperous New Year. "

" 2020 was the biggest challenge we faced as an organization, but we exceeded our expectations and are proud of what we have achieved, "replied Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of the Misfits Gaming Group.

“We adapted quickly to changes and were able to assert ourselves professionally and get in touch with our community and also give back through charity initiatives. We were forced to get creative and our team rose to the challenge and delivered some of the best (online) events and content we have ever done.

“This year has tested us and proven that we can rise to the challenge, even if it means changing every single plan. "

WePlay CEO Oleh Humeniuk also gave his advice:" The key to success from 2020 onwards is to be prepared for anything. Make plans, put them into action, but be flexible and consider both the unforeseen problems and the unexpected opportunities. A perfect plan doesn't exist, so a reliable team and informed decision-making is king. “

For Arnoud Schonis, Esports Project Manager at The eDivisie, it was a revelation of the partnership:“ Most of the time, the person who signs the contract as an eDivisie partner is with unfamiliar to the world of sports. That means we have to make comparisons with things they know.

“For example: If you choose a television commercial, you will reach 3 million people. When you sign a partnership agreement with eDivisie, you reach 4 million people. We should be doing this a lot more, because that's how these decision makers can compare apples to apples. "

  EDivisie Championship
Photo Credit: EDivisie

" I have to split 2020 in two, "Mahoney of Nations told Esports Insider:" The first part is about being one person, one parent, one husband to be a son, a friend and a colleague. 2020 was a tough, tough year. And many people have had it worse than me – they have lost loved ones, lost their jobs, or they or someone they care about got sick.

“This is a tragedy, no matter how you slice it, and, like any stress, shows us where the weaknesses in our society lie. That said, there are two sides to a coin, and I also think it's okay to celebrate how we've been able to adapt, innovate, adapt and keep going.

“But we have to remember that we remember both sides – the good and the bad. Because just like I said about sport, we all have the chance to start a year older, smarter and stronger in 2021. My sincere wishes for happiness and easier paths for everyone in 2021! “

The esports sector has evolved in 2020 and the industry looks to the new year with confidence, resilience and contingency plans. While the eventual return of physical events is a welcome relief to the sport, betting solely on its comeback is not the only viable plan in the "new normal" strategies of esports companies.

Where there are challenges, there are opportunities for success, and if 2020 has hit the former hard, then 2021 will certainly focus on the latter. The esports industry will continue to break through with its tenacity and unique opportunities for competitive entertainment. It will be on view in 2021.

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