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An audience watches in awe as the gamers play on at HeroFest in Bern
Gaming

New gaming formats and more regionality: eSports on course to become a Swiss national sport thanks to Swisscom’s commitment

Swisscom has joined forces with a new partner to extend and tailor its gaming offering to a broader Swiss public. Gaming is thus evolving from a niche sport for younger people to a cross-generational popular sport. Swisscom is responding to this development with new Hero formats.
Annina Merk
Annina Merk, Media spokesperson
30 September 2021

This weekend, the 6th season of the Swisscom Hero League comes to an end with grand finals in the three games Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Clash Royale and League of Legends. The finals will form part of one of Switzerland’s largest gaming events, HeroFest in Bern, which is hosted by Swisscom. Today, these events also have a large online following. In the last 12 months, 835,000 people have followed at least one of Swisscom’s gaming broadcasts either on Twitch or Blue TV. “It is clear from this that the popularity of eSports is growing among the Swiss public,” explains Annette Kohler, eSports & Gaming Account Owner at Swisscom. “In response to this, we are relaunching the Swisscom Hero League in 2022 to better accommodate specific Swiss requirements and particularities.” eSports first took off in Asian countries such as Japan before becoming established as a popular sport in the United States and, a few years ago, starting to break into Europe. This is where the Swiss offerings from Swisscom, designed to specifically accommodate the needs of local gamers, come into play with a stronger presence in the different regions, for example, and multiple languages.

Everyone can play along thanks to new formats from a new partner

The successful Gaming Cups will be developed further and become publicly accessible competitions with a focus on successful games such as Fortnite, where fans can look forward to a continuation of the series from 2019 and 2020, with more titles to be announced on an ongoing basis.
To make gaming content as accessible as possible for the wider Swiss public, the Hero League will stream in English, Swiss German and French. In addition, the future registration procedure, the communities and support will all be offered in the same languages that the gamers speak themselves. Gaming influencers and community managers are also being set up in a targeted manner. Annette Kohler: “Physical sports have always relied on local advocates who give the sport a face. It is precisely this principle that we want to cultivate in gaming, but of course in a more digital way as appropriate for the sport.” This is something that does not yet exist anywhere else in the world. “Following the international growth of eSports, we are now bringing it to Switzerland and localising it accordingly. We are convinced that there is a very healthy future ahead for the sport.”

 

For the implementation, Swisscom will, from 1 January 2022, join forces with MYI Entertainment, one of the leading European eSports and gaming agencies. MYI is based in Bern with additional offices in Zurich and Munich. The partnership with ESL is due to expire at the end of the year. “We would like to thank ESL for the excellent cooperation. Together, we have turned eSports from a niche sport in Switzerland into a mass sport. With MYI, we are now ready to take it to the next level as the new Swiss national sport. We will therefore be making it even more local, more straightforward and more diverse.”

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