Allied Esports is seeking to grow its presence in Latin America with a strategic partnership with TV Azteca.
The partnership gives Allied Esports direct access to 95 percent of the Mexican market with TV Azteca’s digital channels and 40 local and regional free-to-air stations. With the partnership, TV Azteca is also launching its newest platform, Azteca Gaming, which will debut Allied Esports’ newest production, “Nation vs. Nation.”
Allied Esports CEO Jud Hannigan says TV Azteca’s position as a broadcast leader in Mexico provides them a great foundation for potential growth in Latin America, a relatively untapped market in the esports industry.
“We’re excited about this first event in a new format as a kickoff,” Hannigan says. “They’re launching Azteca Esports and we’re coming in with this first event, and have plenty of others planned. They’re the top sports broadcaster in the region, so we couldn’t be more excited.”
“Nation vs. Nation” is the company’s first event and broadcast in Latin America, and it features four U.S. players against a Mexican team of 40 players in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. A trophy and cash prizes were on the line yesterday in Mexico City.
“The transformation process of TV Azteca, to bring the best television, has led to set an eye in new markets, towards an audience that consumes esports,” says Benjamín Salinas, CEO, TV Azteca. “Sports are part of our strength, and now with esports, we find a way to connect with a growing market in Mexico.”
Broadly speaking, this expansion for Allied Esports encompasses Latin America, but there’s a strategic importance specifically to Mexico, Hannigan notes. The country will be a primary driver of the region’s esports growth in the coming years.
According to eMarketer, Goldman Sachs projects the esports industry will bring in revenues of $2.96 billion in 2022. Latin America will make up $100 million of that.
The article reported the slow growth curve in Latin America is based on a lack of fixed broadband, but significant growth is expected in both Brazil and Mexico. Esports and video game revenue in Mexico jumped from $1.2 million in 2014 to an estimated $10.4 million in 2019 and is projected to rise to $20.3 million in 2022, according to Statista.
“Latin America represents a massive and transformative opportunity for Allied Esports,” says Frank Ng, co-CEO, Ourgame Holdings International – the current owner of Allied Esports. “By combining our live events experience with TV Azteca’s unequaled reach as the No. 1 sports network in Mexico, this crucial esports ecology partnership will be a major driver in building out the offline-online environment at the core of Allied Esports’ global strategy.”
The Allied Esports partnership with TV Azteca comes on the heels of sister company World Poker Tour reaching an agreement with the Latin American broadcaster to carry the poker tour’s library of content in March and develop poker-related products for the region’s audience.
As the World Poker Tour develops its localized content, Hannigan said the partners explored opportunities and landed on looking to grow esports in the region.
The approach to Latin America through strategic partnerships will mirror how Allied Esports has tackled other regions of the globe, including Asia, Europe and North America. Along with Latin America, Australia is also in this year’s expansion plans.
“From our perspective, as Allied Esports grows, we’re looking at new regions and to affiliate with strong regional partners,” Hannigan says. “They’re really content-driven partnerships.”
Latin America might lag much of the rest of the world in esports popularity, but with the dearth comes opportunity. At least that’s what Allied Esports is banking on.