Top 10 Ways to Increase Esports Player Engagement
Esports player engagement is critical for a LAN center. Gamers have different playing personalities and can switch their purpose on a dime. Depending on the mood of the player, their purpose in a LAN center environment can be to grind, to compete, to socialize, to be recognized, or to win. Players who grind want to meet an aspect of a specific game, perhaps level up, farm, or complete repetitive tasks to meet a quest or goal. Players who compete want to be involved in either a casual competition/ladder or a team event that can result in a prize pool. Players may only want to socialize with their friends or participate as a group or team to have fun. Recognition can be important for those who want to see their name in lights or rank up against their peers. Finally we can all agree that the ability to win can motivate a player like no other. Being able to win something whether you compete or not, can make a player put in more game time and provide incentive for a return to your business.
The great thing about ggLeap and ggCircuit is that all of these player types can be met. Growing your esports player engagement as well as your percentage of retaining your gaming customers. Let’s walk through ten different ideas for player engagement and possibilities you can build through data we track.
1. Prize Redemption
The ggCircuit function applies virtual coins to a player account. A player can earn one coin per minute that they are logged in. They can also earn coins by having their game accounts linked to supported games like League of Legends and Dota. To see how they earn coins through these games check out the “Leaderboards” menu on the ggCircuit website.
Think of these coins that are being collected almost like what you would see at a Dave and Buster’s or a Chuck E. Cheese. As a center you can choose to add prizes into a prize vault that your esports players can redeem. This is done through the point of sale system under the “Prizes” tab in inventory management. You can choose to put whatever you want into this prize vault. While there may not always be money within your business to offer prizes, some ideas would be to give free time offers, day passes, leftover swag from events, chips, drinks, etc. You have complete control over the prizes that you offer as well as ability to adjust the coin cost on all prizes.
A player can see the amount of coins they have earned in the upper left of the ggLeap user interface. A player can see any prizes available to them through the ggLeap client shop and can redeem those prizes without getting up from their seat. Time offers and passes redeemed with coins are automatically applied to their account.
2. Create coin challenges
Coin challenges are an idea that would be a combination of using ggCircuit statistics in addition to a local promotion. You could promote an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly challenge and provide a prize incentive for whomever meets the challenge based on your criteria. This could be a method you utilize to spice up what would usually be a non-busy day like a week day. It could be total coins earned, it could be hourly coins or even skill coins through match stats. The ggCircuit website allows you to obtain a lot of data and you can filter it down to both only your center as well as specific time periods.
Customizing ggCircuit data for your center plus the “API Documentation” link.
Another recommendation would be to utilize the “API Documentation” link at the bottom left of the ggCircuit web page. You must be logged in with your center admin account to access the API information. Many unique data abilities can be pulled with some technical knowledge.
As a side note, any competition that you create we would recommend a 24 hour grace period. There are times that the ggCircuit coin process can have a back log due to a lot of data coming in at once. Coin processing may need to catch up. So if you promote a Friday night challenge we would go back and review the data 24 hours post the close of the event.
3. Review in-game skill statistics regularly
Want to see how many creep kills a player gets in League of Legends? Much like the coin information above you can also view the specific supported game pages on the ggCircuit website and filter down based on your center. For League of Legends games a player must be playing ranked matches, the majority of Dota games are tracked but their Steam account must be connected. In the coming months we have plan to add more supported games and avenues to earn skill coins.
4. Provide participation incentives
This section is really up to the creativity of the center owner. The purpose is really to rally players to do something in store that can benefit you, and the same time give incentives to your customers. In addition, the ggLeap system could be utilized as a way to track whether or not the participation challenge succeeded. Let’s go through a few examples:
Lock In incentive – Let’s say you do a lock-in for your location (lock-in may also be defined as an overnight gaming event if you are not a 24 hour esports center). You could promote extra gaming time, a day pass, or a prize if all PCs get filled at the same time for over a specific amount of time. The ggLeap graphical map as well as activity tracker could be utilized to verify whether or not the participation incentive passed. The benefit would be to get butts in the door and all your stations in use.
Game promotion – This could go many different ways. Perhaps you get an indie game developer interested in testing at your location. You could also use this as a special game night for Overwatch players (or whatever game). There could be an incentive to try out the game or just pack the house for like minded individuals. Utilize the ggLeap statistics to verify launch stats or the activity tracker audit trail to verify how many people are playing. Again, getting people in the door to assist a game publisher or a special game night to create community.
Pre-sales – Pre-sales could be utilized to provide even more incentive to your customers. Let’s say you want to send out a flash sale to your customers. We’ll say a Sunday day pass. You could also say something to the effect that if a minimum of 20 are sold, the customer will receive a $5 Steam card (just an example, you could literally do anything). You could run the promotion on a Wednesday, if you get your minum have the Steam cards (actual cards or digital codes) ready for Sunday. Let’s say Sunday isn’t a usually busy day for you. If your day pass is $20 at minimum you bring in $400 – $100 (for Steam cards) = $300. You get butts in the seats and benefit from any snacks or drinks purchased (if your location does that). Players benefit from earning a prize in combination with their game time. This can all be tracked through the activity tracker and financial reports of ggLeap.
5. ggCircuit Tournaments for player engagement
Whether it’s casual or competitive tournaments the ggCircuit tournament system can provide incentives for your players through the use of coins. Any game can be created into a tournament through the ggCircuit website, not just video games. Players earn 50 coins for tournament participation, 50 coins per match win and 50 coins for an overall tournament win as long as you are reporting match through ggcircuit.com.
The ggCircuit tournament system is integrated with the Challonge API, so you get the same quality bracketing system but with the incentive of coins. A great example of utilizing this would be for something like a Fighting Games Community (FGC). Not only could you create continuous tournaments through the ggCircuit system, but you could also utilize the ggCircuit API to tally up a total of tournament coins by game in a running leader board over time. Again another way to show competition, provide incentive to return and recognition of your customers.
6. Participate in Zehn Masters
Zehn Masters is a series of ten tournament events and only ggLeap gaming centers can participate in them. For the national tournaments centers are organized and the events are ran by the ggCircuit staff. The center can choose to participate in all ten events or pick and choose which events they’d like to participate in. The series is focused on North America but some international centers participate in the events as long as they are ok playing on NA servers.
Zehn Masters works by organizing many (15 – 20) LAN centers and allowing each location to run a local qualifier. These gaming centers then crown their local player(s) and team(s) to participate in the national Zehn Masters event that happens after the local qualifier ends. The Zehn Masters events staff then runs the national qualifier and organizes matches between locations until a Zehn Masters champion is crowned.
The benefit that you would receive through Zehn Masters is getting customers through the door that want more than just local competition. You can charge your players and teams for your local qualifer and give them the potential carrot of national competition if they come out victorious. The biggest benefit is they can participate on both a local and national level by playing at your store. No travel expenses to be part of a larger scale tournament.
7. Special Events & Exclusive Digital Content
We hope by now that you are starting to realize that ggLeap is more than just software company. We utilize our 15+ years of experience in the LAN center industry to try and bring unique opportunities to your customers that they otherwise can not get by playing at home. Another way we do this is through our ties with game publishers, special events and exclusive digital content.
Our goal is to continuously offer events to make players perk up. Over the last few month we have worked with Bluehole (PUBG), and Epic (Fortnite) to create private server events where players can join from all over the ggCircuit network to participate in online matches together. This will continue in the coming months and we have some big ideas planned.
Other items for your consideration are both global prizes that we provide and unique experiences. Much like the prize redemption mentioned above, we provide global prizes such as skins, downloadable content, and game licenses to all ggCircuit centers. Recently we released League Unlocked through some long standing work with Riot Games. This provides access to the majority of champions, skins and gives you 20% XP by only playing at ggLeap centers (currently only US and Canada). A player logs into their normal League account but ONLY gets these benefits at a participating ggLeap center. We are also testing a program for similar perks through select Blizzard games.
8. Rally your community through the ggCircuit Seasons
The ggCircuit Season is another esports event that pits center vs. center in a global automated event. Currently in it’s eight season, ggCircuit gives centers an opportunity to bring gamers in for a chance to be the best center in the world. The ggCircuit season is usually an eight week season based on stats collected from supported games (currently League of Legends and Dota 2).
We take your top 15 players each week and total up their score. This score is summed over the 8 week season to see who are the top centers across the ggCircuit network. This is a great opportunity for player engagement. Even is it’s a casual promotion that you do for your customer you could promote that you were 5th place in the world and you want to attempt to be number one for a week.
Not only do we recognized both players and centers through our season videos, but we also offer prize crates at a low cost to a center to shower peripherals, medals and trophies that provide both recognition and a win for your customers.
9. Player recognition through automated social media
Of the many tools we provide to our esports center customers, one that gets missed through it’s potential power to market to customers is our automated social media tool. This is an small web application that allows you to pull time based statistics from the ggCircuit API and convert the statistics into web images that can be placed on your website and social media channels.
The reason that this simple tool is so powerful is that it allows your customers to be recognized through the platform. Your players see their “name in lights” so to speak. If you are connected to those players on social media it also allows you to tag them in the image. Then you can let social media takeover, create friendly rivalries and competition through connected social profiles and comments. This is another avenue that will allow customers to be interested in your offering and want to be at your center to grab their place on your local social media leaderboard.
10. Branded leader boards
As always, the branded full screen leader boards have been with ggCircuit since the very early days. This tool allows you to display on a monitor or larger television statistics that show the pulse of your store. Whether it’s weekly coin leader or specific in-game statistics, it’s another way for you to recognize your customers and help them feel a part of the community.
In the coming months we plan to update these leader boards to allow for more flexibility and customization, but as it currently stands you can still get a lot out of the information provided through these rotating live data slides.
We hope you’ve been able to see some of the things that ggLeap and ggCircuit can offer you beyond our software tools. While we try to provide unique offerings and automated tools it is still up to the independent LAN center owner to test and utilize these tools to the best of their ability. We are just starting to scratch the surface of what we plan to do and we hope you come along for the ride.