Quarterback has launched a platform that brings professional esports players and their fans together, helping the player monetize and engage with their fans better.
Market researcher Newzoo estimates that esports will become a $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion business by 2020. To get there, fans have to start spending as much on their favorite esports teams as they do with traditional sports such as the NBA.
Los Angeles-based Quarterback opens up new monetization channels for players, streamers, and other talent, while enabling fans to show their support and interact with their esports gaming idols by playing their favorite games. The beta version of Quarterback is now available for League of Legends, and it will expand to additional esports titles in the upcoming months.
Quarterback lets esports players host daily challenges for their fans. They can also sponsor clubs, give away prizes, and offer other perks. Quarterback acts as an overlay on top of the game without the need for any integration, enabling gamers to play the way they always have. The platform adapts in real-time to the fan’s gaming abilities and offers customized challenges endorsed by the talent’s club.
“Influencers create esports content that fans consumer, but if they go offline, they lose a lot of income,” said Quarterback CEO Jonathan Weinberg, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We put content on their channel during their downtime, and it becomes an integral part of a fan’s gameplay.”
Market researcher Nielsen reported 94 percent of esports fans are gamers themselves. In fact they spend seven times more time playing games than actually watching them. So esports stars have to capitalize on their fans’ time spent playing games in order to deepen their loyalty — and monetize their fandom. Until now, esports talent have only been able to monetize fans when they’re watching esports, however.
Quarterback empowers esports talent to serve their fans and generate revenue during their “downtime,” when fans are playing their own games. Fans can engage with various skill-based challenges such as customized leader challenges, where Quarterback automatically creates challenges for fans related to the esports stars.
Esports stars can also created “Beat The Pro” challenges, where fans can play against the club leader’s score and win the right to hang out with the pros. They can also create club-versus-club challenges, private challenges, and adaptive challenges. The latter evaluates the fans’ performance in real-time and offers customized goals that consider the fans’ capabilities and helps them improve in each of their sessions.
Quarterback’s proprietary technology also turns every fan into a content creator by automatically creating a gaming media library based on each fan’s gaming activities. This data, provided on an opt-in basis, can be used by the esports talent to interact with their community and offer shout-outs to their fans, giving them personalized recognition.
So far, about 20 percent of the community uses Quarterback five times a week. Quarterback could make money by encouraging fans to subscribe to an esports player’s club.
“Some esports stars are afraid to stop streaming, and sometimes they go for 72 hours straight,” Weinberg said. “But they hit a ceiling because most of their fans will break away and play the games themselves. This way, the star can say fans can play in the club and complete challenges and continue to engage when the esports player is offline..”
Fans can download Quarterback to participate, and the beta test enables them to win prizes sponsored by Logitech, which is giving away RGB G810 Orion Spectrum mechanical keyboards.
Weinberg started the company in February 2017, with a headquarters in Los Angeles and research and development in Tel Aviv. It has seven employees. He was inspired to start it after he saw a beautiful girl asking an esports player for an autograph. Quarterback has raised $500,000 in funding.
“I’ve been a gamer my whole life, and I programmed an online service at 13,” Weinberg said.