EA KILLING KONAMI IN SOCCER ESPORTS
TNL Take: The game to own the global soccer eSports market is currently being won by EA's FIFA.
Or to put it another way, Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer is not even on the pitch.
Yesterday, Konami announced that German team Borussia Dortmund would be an official team in Pro Evo 2017.
EA and Konami have longed battled each other with EA having maintained the Official FIFA license for a while now.
It looks like now both companies are fighting for individual team sponsorship with potential future eSports implications.
Here's how it's currently looking:
/01 Official Teams and League Sponsors
PES 17: FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and Liverpool (which I would have loved to see EA get as they're Competitive Gaming Chief Peter Moore's beloved hometown team).
FIFA 17: Juventus, Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Bayern Munich and English Premier League Sponsor
/02 eSports Athlete Sponsorship
EA's FIFA is clearly winning European Sports teams eSports involvement:
FIFA 17: VFL Wolfsburg, Saski Baskonia, Sampdoria, West Ham United, Schalke 04, Valencia CF, Manchester City, Sporting Lisbon, PSV Eindhoven
PES 17: 0
Now look at Official Team Sponsorship coupled with PSV Eindhoven and Schalke 04 both scouting for talent via FIFA 17 tournaments, the importance of eSports going forward becomes more clear.
/03 eSports Strategy
While EA may have been behind Activision-Blizzard in eSports for a while, they've done a good job playing catch up very quickly.
While there's no competition for Football or NHL eSports with EA controlling both licenses, Konami could have at least competed on the Soccer side. But it doesn't seem like Konami is ready to make an eSports move just yet.
The largest prize pool that I could find on Pro Evolution Soccer was for $40,000.
EA's recently announced FIFA 17 $1.3M prize pool, which is greater than the $1M they announced for Madden, dwarfs this.
Time for Konami to make a move.