It’s almost hard to believe that esports was once considered a niche interest; many believed that esports would never really take off. Today, the popularity of esports is on par with — and sometimes surpasses — the popularity of traditional sports. Millions of fans enjoy watching esports professionals compete for multimillion-dollar prizes.
Like traditional sports media, esports coverage focuses on a small number of extremely talented and popular professional players. Gaming companies cater to these individuals, and their fanbases continue to grow (like any sports superstar). It’s a great spotlight to be in.
However, this spotlight also means that gamers who aren’t interested in professional or competitive-level play are left in the dark. Gaming is an amazing social activity, but there’s no real place online where recreational and casual gamers can go to hang out and play esports. Pro players tend to get all of the attention and resources.
This is where Mission Control steps in.
Making Space for Recreational Esports
There are already a number of places where gamers can meet, talk, and play with each other. But we don’t think those platforms give recreational and casual gamers the communities or experiences they seek.
Discord focuses on helping people share content and connect via chat or audio, but it operates independently of video games. And Twitch — though a fun place to hang out and chat — is designed to help elite and entertaining individuals livestream their gameplay and promote their personal brands. Even Reddit (which has communities for just about every topic imaginable) falls short because it doesn’t provide any structure for gameplay and cannot accommodate chat during games.
Mission Control’s purpose is to fill this gap for the gaming community. Our platform isn’t meant for people who prefer professional or competitive play — it’s made for the vast majority of gamers who just want to hang out with their friends and enjoy structured matches. It’s a platform that lets local organizations set up esports leagues the same way local parks and recreation departments set up recreational soccer or football leagues.
Fostering an Inclusive, Accessible Community
What really makes Mission Control different from all the other available platforms? Our mission is to create the best gaming communities for recreational and casual gamers. To do this, we answer three big questions: Why do these gamers need a space? Who will run their leagues? How will we support them?
1. The Why
Esports without recreational gameplay is like traditional sports without rec leagues. Not everyone who likes to play basketball gets to play professionally, which is why there are a variety of opportunities for people to play recreationally.
We’re creating a gaming community that follows a similar structure. We want to foster an environment and community where all kinds of gamers can relax and enjoy playing video games with friends.
We want to foster an environment and community where all kinds of gamers can relax and enjoy playing video games with friends.
2. The Who
We work with many of the same institutions that host recreational leagues for traditional sports. This includes parks and recreation departments, community centers, and colleges and universities. Since Mission Control isn’t designed for national competitions, we can focus on supporting local organizations and their audiences.
Hosting a recreational esports league is a great way for these organizations to grow their programming without inflating their budgets. Hosting an esports league is significantly more affordable than putting together a recreational baseball team. On average, a traditional sports league costs about $692 per person. A recreational esports league? Only $12 per person.
On average, a traditional sports league costs about $692 per person. A recreational esports league? Only $12 per person.
3. The How
To foster the best gaming communities for casual gamers, we set community standards and actively moderate matches and interactions. We also ensure a fun, inclusive atmosphere for every league by talking to a local diversity and inclusion consultant and reviewing and revising our standards when necessary.
Mission Control doesn’t burden organizations with the task of moderating and managing each league. Our platform can track player scores, schedule new matches, send announcements, and more. This lets organizations focus on what they do best: Engaging their audiences.
Our platform can track player scores, schedule new matches, send announcements, and more. This lets organizations focus on what they do best: Engaging their audiences.
About 64% of people in the U.S. play video games, so there are quite a few more recreational and casual gamers than there are esports professionals. Yet, everyday gamers are often pushed out of the spotlight. It’s past time for these gamers to have a space of their own, and Mission Control is here to help organizations provide that.