GGLeagues is an American amateur tournament organizer and platform. The company supports the esports ecosystem at large by promoting recreational esports players and communities.
Who is GGLeagues?
Esports leagues are typically reserved for the top players. However, there are over 222.9 million esports enthusiasts worldwide, according to Newzoo. GGLeagues was founded in 2018 to make esports accessible to anything who wants to play.
The company runs state-wide recreational esports leagues and national competitive leagues. Recreation agencies, park districts, cities, schools, and corporations can join GGLeagues’ partner program to engage their communities through esports.
- Players are welcome regardless of skill level.
- Users can join an existing league or start one of their own.
- Games supported include League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., Overwatch, Rocket League, Fortnite, NBA2K, FIFA, and Madden
- Fees range from $10-$30
GGLeagues’ CEO Erich Bao likens its recreational esports infrastructure to youth sports and adult recreational sports. Partners like the YMCA and local parks allow players to find leagues in their home towns. College students can also sign up for regional leagues. Players of all skill levels can meet other fans in their areas and support one another through a mutual love of video games.
Community is an important element of GGLeagues’ value proposition. The company says it is committed to maintaining a safe and positive environment for everyone involved: “We are here to empower you because we are all good gamers, but we are even better people.”
Impacting Communities Through Esports
GGLeagues specializes in local communities but will soon expand its reach. In October, GGLeagues announced that it would launch remote leagues for Rocket League, FIFA, Madden, and Fortnite beginning in January 2021.
The new remote leagues will consist of four seasons, with a competition every Saturday for six weeks. The first season begins on January 16.
These leagues will split the competition into youth and adult divisions, each with beginner and open brackets. This will allow players of various skill levels to participate. Remote leagues will enable more people to participate across the U.S., regardless of any local COVID-19 restrictions that may exist in 2021. It will also help spread awareness for GGLeagues and encourage new players to pursue their dreams of professional recruitment or simply finding new friends online.
The esports industry has been affected by the global pandemic in both positive and negative ways. Newzoo predicts that esports revenue will continue to grow year-over-year (YoY), but forecasts are not as high as originally predicted. This is due to a lack of in-person gatherings.
The new GGLeagues national league will allow for partners such as recreation agencies, cities, park districts, schools, and corporations to be able to better engage with their communities. With fewer physical activities allowed, an esports league will be valuable for engagement.
Why Grassroots Esports is Important
GGLeagues is not alone in its efforts to engage communities. Other organizations that share this goal include Super League, PlayVS, Nerd Street Gamers, Generation Esports (GenE), and more. Thousands of high schools and hundreds of colleges now offer esports programs, as well.
Traditional sports offer an example of how grassroots programs and community engagement support the industry as a whole. For example, parents can enroll their children in school or local teams to promote exercise, self-esteem, and teamwork. Local football fans can host a friendly game in the park, host a watch party, or tailgate to support their favorite teams.
This is also true of esports and illustrates the potential of community involvement. Activision-Blizzard’s Overwatch League and Call of Duty League are perfect examples of how local teams can tap into our human need for tribalism to generate camaraderie (and competition) among fans. Not everyone is skilled enough to play in these leagues, which is why grassroots efforts are so important.
Professional esports players represent the best of the best, just as football players do in the NFL. However, these players have the opportunity to hone their skills from the time they are small children. The esports industry is starting to realize that in order to maintain a sustainable ecosystem, it must also foster the next generation of fans and star athletes.
written by HB Duran