One of the investments by the Brazilian communications company Globo in the esports scene is Player 1, a match-making platform that enables the access of amateurs to the competitive gaming world. One of the esports featured on the platform is the official opening of the Pro Evolution Soccer 2021 (PES 21) circuit in Brazil, licensed by Konami and enabling the creation of eGol, a league managed by LnK Gaming, a joint company formed by the union of Globo and the group DC Set, that will now provide players for the esports teams of some of the main Brazilian soccer clubs.
Leandro Valentim, Globo’s head of games and esports, spoke to The Esports Observer regarding the eGol platform acting in the Brazilian esports scene:
“A prevalent logic in esports is ‘path to pro’, which is the way to becoming a professional. Our aim is to create and grow this amateur base for the competitive scene since we still have many amateur players not present in competitions. With the ‘eGol Open’ we create opportunities for the entire Brazilian community that has eFootball PES 21 and wants to compete.”
The tournaments are free and set up a national ranking, bringing to light talents who will be hired by esports teams from some of the main Brazilian soccer clubs. On Feb. 12, Flamengo, Corinthians, Vasco, Santos, São Paulo, Internacional, and Atlético Mineiro will draft players from the platform for their teams, in an event to be streamed on Twitch and YouTube, and also broadcast on Globo’s pay-TV channel SporTV.
Valentim also spoke about the strategic preference for a PES league instead of one focused on EA Sports FIFA: “Brazilians are passionate about soccer and games. Since the beginning of the Globo eSports ecosystem in 2017, we knew that at some point we would talk about electronic football, because of Globo’s great history with Brazilian soccer. But it would be important to have direct involvement with the teams, the images, the names of the Brazilian players, and the stadiums. In this sense, with regard to the two franchises, Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA, the one that sees Brazil as the most strategic market is Konami’s, which has been investing more and more in the country and has acquired almost all of these rights. For this reason, we understand that there was a strategic alignment in promoting Brazilian football together with Konami, and from there we developed the eGol platform.”
The “Player 1” Platform
Valentim also revealed more details regarding the Player 1 platform, which was mentioned in an interview with TEO in August 2020:
“Player 1 is a ‘team making’ platform, where we bring people together in teams, and also ‘matchmaking,’ where we level and cross these teams to compete for championships. This happens through an artificial intelligence platform, developed by the esports branch of Grupo Mediapro, from Spain.”
More than 20 games are available on the platform, all counting with publishers’ licenses, including League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Free Fire, PES, FIFA, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Rocket League.
Valentim says that “Player 1 is the hub of the entire Globo ecosystem of electronic sports, everything starts and ends on the platform. Our objective is to provide the base of amateur players in the country with an esports experience with the logic of ‘play like a Pro’, of playing championships, even if they are for amateurs.”
The platform is also involved in school and college tournaments, such as the Electronic School Games (JEEs) and the University eSports Tournament (TUeS). On the professional level, besides the Open Pro tournament in eGol for PES, Player 1 also supports the access division of the Brazilian Free Fire League (LBFF).
Finally, Valentim disclosed the strategic role of the platform to Globo’s approach to the esports audience: “Another function of Player 1 is to connect with influencers, with specific content to activate the championships. We see Player 1 as a strategic way for brands to enter the world of games, through ‘branded tournaments,’ sponsoring the tournament while we promote, broadcast, in-person finals when possible. For Globo, Player 1 is the layer of a direct relationship with the consumer, a way to learn their tastes and, with all this learning, improve the experience, evolving the relationship.”
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