• Linden Labs is partnering with Overwatch League teams Houston Outlaws and the San Francisco Shock to host events around matches.
  • Fans can meet to watch a stream of matches and meet players.
  • Available for both desktop and in VR.
  • Both teams have custom locations in Sansar and are launching at in-person events.
Our analysis

Brands, teams, and platforms are still learning how to capitalize on the excitement surrounding esports. Although physical arenas are spreading like Esports Arena, these host general esports events and are not exclusive to any team or game. The esports fan experience will always be different than any other live event. The team members themselves can even be in different locations completely.

Esports has gained a bigger following within the last two years, but this has yet translated to high attendance and usage of esports arenas. Arenas are largely unbooked with actual matches or tournaments and double as an event venue and internet cafe-bar hybrid. By contrast, digital broadcasting of esports has seen more tangible success, such as with Eleague on TBS, with over 200,000 viewers tuning in for matches and tournaments. The CW, Disney XD, and ESPN2 have also aired tournaments to a successful number of viewers.

Team headquarters in Sansar are the first step to try to bridge this gap between physical and digital fan bases. A virtual world like Sansar can create endless headquarters for a virtual sport with all the perks of attending an event on location. This can be an opportunity for teams to capitalize on selling team merchandise, creating an active fan base, and adding value to sponsor deals.

No VR social platform has found the early popularization of VRChat, and VR itself still has a relatively small install base, but esports and VR share the same power user: the PC gamer. Social VR platforms can grow users through a shared interest in esports that it has been unable to do with VR alone.

Read about the expansion and opportunity of esports in South East Asia.