We have already seen how the world of esports is a growing sector, but also how much this growth needs projects and capitals that know how to see beyond the here and now to plan for the long term, while a completely new and attractive audience is slowly starting to widen.
A confirmation comes from one of the most loved and most attentive Italian athletes to the world of technology and innovation, Giorgio Chiellini. After David Beckham, Shaquille O’Neal and many other athletes, the captain of Juventus and the Italian national football team also invests in the world of virtual sports, focusing on the Neapolitan startup 2watch. “For years I have been following the world of virtual sports with attention and curiosity, a reality that has always fascinated me – he says -. This is why I am happy to be able to support 2Watch in this innovative project “. Chiellini will meet his fans through a series of activities that will see him protagonist on the Twitch streaming platform and on the social platforms TikTok and Instagram. The footballer will conduct virtual soccer tournaments in which the winners will be able to connect with him, challenge him and win an iconic heirloom of his career.
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Who I am
2Watch, aims at the ambitious and perhaps somewhat high-sounding title of “The first Italian channel dedicated to exposure”. A decidedly complex qualification to show off and to deserve, considering the many projects already in place. “What we want to do is mix esports and entertainment and try to do it better than everyone else – explains Fabrizio Perrone who, after Buzzoole, decided to embark on this new adventure – when we did it with influencer marketing and Buzzoole we had to win. many skepticisms, today everyone knows what an influencer is. The same thing is happening now, but I believe the experience gained will prove to be very important and we aim to repeat that formula ”.
The investments that 2Watch has collected in this period have certainly been important. A few weeks ago an investment campaign on Crowdfundme ended. The Neapolitan startup managed in a few days to exceed the minimum target of € 100,000 and closed for a total of € 548,000 by 180 investors. To date, this makes it the first company in Italy in the gaming sector to carry out a collection campaign in the form of crowdfunding. Investors include Giancarlo Fisichella and his company, ProRacing, Maria Laura Albini, former Marketing Director of Inter and Quadronica Srl, creators and managers of Fantacalcio.it
“The response to the campaign has been excellent – continues Perrone – we have also had investments of tens of thousands of euros and people who follow me from other initiatives. But in general, the fact that at this moment so many people who have done well elsewhere are starting to take an interest in esports, I believe, is a sign of the trust that the sector enjoys. Of course if you already have a nice CV, it is obvious that you carry it with you “.
What are they doing
At the moment it is clear that the 2Watch project still has to explode and is going through an exploratory phase. Everything revolves around the website, to which a Twitch channel is obviously linked, in which for now there are some live shows of FIFA e Fortnite, the coordinates of the various social networks and an app that allows you to organize and participate in tournaments organized by friends and others that probably represents the true potential of the project, given the possibility of becoming a reference point not only for a very fluid competitive scene but even for those who simply want to boast of being the best in class. There is also a studio that is very ready for talk shows and analysis, but which at the moment seems to be underused. In addition, the competition is certainly not lacking but Perrone appears very confident.
“The real challenge – he explains – is to get out of the niche of hard and pure export of those who already followed him. There are people who have been hearing for ten years that this is the good year for the movement in Italy and maybe they are tired, but usually these people are a niche. There are a lot of people out there who don’t know what esports are, brands don’t know, and the public doesn’t know. The market is very young, there is a lot of margin. To give an example: obviously I started attending various business events dedicated to esports for quite a while and now I know almost everyone, this means that it is really a very small niche “.
2Watch’s recipe is therefore to aim for broader entertainment. “At the moment it is very difficult to stay only on the“ pro ”and competitive side. But there is demand for esports-related content. We need to create communities in all ways and we would like to do it by also looking at virtual and augmented reality. Just as we want to look outside of Italy. Obviously, at the moment the first directive is to create a solid product ”.
Another major challenge when it comes to video games and esports today is looking at a broad audience that goes beyond gender stereotypes and moves away from a toxic audience that doesn’t even help in dialogue with potential investors. “I believe that a path in which the general public must be educated to the idea that in this sector we are not talking about kids who play just so as not to study but professionals who train, just as a footballer is not one who dribbles all day, is fundamental. Furthermore, it is essential to open up to an ever wider audience and it would be very wrong to limit one’s target, even if only for a trivial reason to increase numbers “
Now the next steps of 2Watch are quite evident and concern the development and enlargement of the project, exploiting the starting point and the capital. “Producing more content in the studies, increasing the number of internal streamers, working on the app and further enhancing our tournaments, both with the University League, or the competitive circuit within universities, and the next championship dedicated to high schools: the School League, here are our goals for the next few months. There are also important initiatives related to Sim Racing, given the entry of Fisichella among investors and a series of initiatives that act as a conjunction between the niche and the wider public ”.