Incent’s partnership with Gfinity Esports Australia has been a thrilling journey to follow and as the finals of the Elite Series Australia approaches this weekend, excitement is at an all-time high.
Sitting down with Dominic Remond, we had the opportunity to chat with him about his journey as CEO of Gfinity Esports Australia and get some personal insight on esport and the future of Gfinity.
Dominic’s resume speaks for itself with him working across the entertainment and sports industries. Most notably he has been both marketing and sales director at Sony Pictures and in his most recent position, general manager of the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash league.
The difference between working with physical sport to digitalised sport is something that Dominic is intimately familiar with. By his own confession, he has “never been a big e-gaming person and I had certainly never been involved in esports” and so understanding the community and data was a “very steep learning curve”.
However, it’s his unique combination of skills from his previous roles that makes him an asset to Gfinity AU and will help him “grow the business as CEO”.
Dominic has already helped make changes in esports, looking at what we can learn from traditional sports and applying it to the digital world.
“What we can learn is that people like to back a local team, they’ll generally rally behind that,” he tells me. “I think we’ve really created interest in these inter city rivalries, we’ve attracted people that were not already following teams and brought them into the league.”
Esports in Australia is also starting to get an increasing amount of non traditional commercial backing, with Dominic citing their partnership with Dare Iced Coffee as an example. An area of pride for the Gfinity Australia CEO is the positive results commercial partners are getting through their work with the start up.
“There’s been some fantastic brand recall from commercial partners being involved with the Elite series and importantly, there is some really positive purchase intent,” he tells me.
Other successes of the most recent season of the Elite series include an increased Australian viewership and what Dominic believes to be an increased quality of play.
Gfinity AU and Hoyts, with whom they are partnered with on this venture, established the first dedicated esports venue in Australia earlier this year, to accommodate the growing number of professional esports events occurring in Australia. This is yet another thing Gfinity can be proud of and continue to develop.
“It was just this natural thing that, oh, we are in a cinema, we can’t make noise,” Dominic explains to me, when talking about building atmosphere within the arena. “I think the combination of that traditional sporting fandom is important… so we introduced clap banners and a warm up person. Ultimately, we want to create that environment that people are really going to want to come along to and be a part of.”
When talking to Dominic about his other personal goals for Gfinity, it was very clear that he truly believes in creating opportunity for players, and equal opportunity at that.
“I find it really bizarre that there aren’t more women playing competitively against men and I think unfortunately it’s because of a fairly misogynistic environment,” he explains. “Through Gfinity we are trying to create opportunities for women to take center stage.”
Getting to cryptocurrency, Dominic is upfront in saying that prior to the partnership with Incent he knew very little about it. However, his interest in the partnership lies with Incent and Gfinity being the “first movers in the space”.
“The partnership with Incent has been interesting because for me, esports and crypto are the two most hyped areas of 2018,” he shares. “We were particularly interested in seeing if we could encourage people to view or spend more time viewing our content.”
“I think it’s an area that the millennial audience are interested in, so in targeting millennials interested in this crypto environment, we are actually meeting one of their interests,” says Dominic on crypto. In other words, Gfinity are asking viewers or millenials in general to get involved in something that’s already of interest, and it’s complimentary to their esports and gaming.
Keen to talk more on the future Dominic sees for esports, I ask him what he sees going forward and what he thinks needs to happen to get to that point.
“There’s a big, vast esports community out there, but in the mainstream it’s probably not legitimised as a sport yet,” Dominic says. “I think increasing the participation base and assisting the grass roots in developing is important in making it a viable pastime, one that parents can accept their kids doing.”
Esports is certainly a “viable pastime”, and we only need to look at the example that Dominic gives me: Anathan Phan won over three million dollars this year playing Dota internationally, pushing him into the bracket of highest earning Australian sports players this year.
For those thinking of making esports a career, Dominic is more than happy to share his advice and recipe to success: get involved!
“I think back yourself, get involved and play as much as you can,” he says. “Get involved in those grass roots opportunities where you can pit yourself against the best in the country and then hopefully get the opportunity to play with one of the professional clubs.”
If you think you are the next challenger, sign up for Gfinity Australia’s challenger series which will be coming in the new year! Otherwise, head over to https://gfinity.incentloyalty.com/ to watch the finals of their Elite series this weekend.