In another sign of how the big world of business is becoming more intertwined with eSports, Facebook is holding a day-long summit at their offices today with executives, team owners and developers to talk shop.
The agenda for the "Facebook eSports Summit" was posted on Twitter by long-time eSports reporter Rod Breslau, with the event running from 8:00 AM to 6:15 PM.
Facebook is hosting an esports summit today at their HQ featuring esports developers, team owners, and league execs. pic.twitter.com/BUYvK0UH65
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) December 7, 2015
Items on the agenda included the benefits of personalising the Facebook News Feed for businesses and the value of using Facebook video with Facebook's director of product management. The agenda also advertises how Facebook's features "can help you create a better experience in games on any platform — mobile, desktop, even Steam".
Workshops were held on how brands and teams can grow their Facebook and Instagram presence, while an hour-long session in the middle of the day is dedicated towards "Next Level Community Management". "How do you address everyone without alienating anyone," the program description reads. "How do you manage toxicity and harassment while encouraging competition and creative expression? Join us for a working brainstorm on how to tackle the issues keeping community managers up at night."
One person who attended was Mike Metcalf, the lead web designer for Blizzard's eSports team, along with the developer's manager of social media development.
Facebook Esports Summit has been informative. Excited to see their interest in supporting and growing the industry. pic.twitter.com/7ytCnX9VRs
— Mike Metcalf (@mikemetcalf) December 7, 2015
At the same time as the Facebook and Instagram-growing session was a workshop with Facebook's client solutions managers on "how marketers in and out of eSports are leveraging Facebook and Instagram to reach the audiences they care about," which one imagines might be more handy for the teams and leagues.
The Oculus Rift also featured, with the VR maker's business development representative, T.J. Won, speaking at a survey session designed to advertise "business and/or product updates designed to help seed ideas for adding new dimensions to brand building, engagement, and audience development".
All in all, it was a business heavy day of networking for developers, team heads and league executives to combine to grow their own brands and presence — after all, they all need each other. But what fascinates me about it all is what role Facebook has to play in eSports, the potential for Facebook and Steam to integrate themselves into each other — Facebook games through your Steam client, perhaps — and the thought of VR aligning itself with professional competitions.