FIBA draws big global audience for first esports tournament
FIBA, the international basketball federation, attracted a large global audience across digital platforms for its inaugural esports competition last month.
The FIBA Esports Open 2020, which featured national teams and was based on the popular NBA 2K game, was shown in 100 different territories and generated 5 million social media views on the FIBA channels and those of the national federations.
Spain, one of 17 nations which competed online in the series of exhibition games, generated 2.1 million impressions, 1.7 million views and 9.8 million viewed hours, while reaching 1.4 million unique viewers just on Twitter.
The first-ever international esports event for national teams took place over three days from 19 to 21 June with countries from FIBA's regions competing in the conferences of Oceania, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and South America.
The entire series was produced from a new esports studio located in Riga, Latvia, with 54 games broadcast to over 100 countries, equalling a total of 40 hours' worth of production.
Each game was also live-streamed on FIBA’s Facebook, Twitch and YouTube channels.
Since the conclusion of the event, FIBA said it now has over 35 national federations interested in the next esports tournament, and has already begun plans for the second edition.
Andreas Zagklis, FIBA secretary general, said: "It has been a huge success and we are excited about the prospects of more FIBA esports competitions in the future. FIBA's central board identified this esports initiative as relevant and consistent with the strategic aim to enlarge the FIBA family and this event has been great for the promotion of basketball."
Meanwhile, Fifa, soccer’s world governing body, generated 23 million views for its FIFA eChallenger Series tournament in Asia last month.
The EA Sports FIFA Online 4 competition, which took place remotely between 25 and 30 June across Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and China, was the first tournament organised by the body specifically for fans in Asia.
Following the success of the tournament, Fifa and Electronic Arts, the developer and publisher of the popular video game, today announced it will extend the FIFA eChallenger Series this weekend to host a day of special inter-nation matches between China and South Korea.
The matches, which will be streamed live on Fifa.gg, the organisation’s esports-dedicated streaming platform, follow on from the first phase of the competition last month.
Simon Thomas, Fifa chief commercial officer, said the 23 million views “indicates an incredibly strong level of interest in Fifa esports.”