News > i3

Alienware: PC Gaming is in our DNA

The industry of competitive video gaming, better known as esports, is big business, largely driven by fan passion, novel forms of engagement and monetization, and increasingly enormous cash prizes for the winning players. The esports industry is also connecting with millennials and Gen Z audiences in a fresh way that other traditional sports leagues are not. Fans around the world tune in from a variety of devices to watch online tournaments of their favorite games, such as League of Legends (LoL), DOTA 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Overwatch, NBA 2K and many more.

The grand opening of the Alienware Training Facility

Technology is enhancing sports entertainment, with new advancements like watching a game through virtual reality headsets or using digital video stitching to recreate a 360-degree replay of the action on the field. Today, technology also provides pro gamers with innovative new ways to train and compete at their peak, while simultaneously giving their fans an online platform for direct interaction back and forth with the pros and other fans. Initially many questioned investing in an industry built around watching others play video games. But today, droves of gamers sell out huge venues such as Madison Square Garden and Quicken Loans Arena and collectively watch billions of hours of gameplay videos every month, providing lucrative investment opportunities for brands to engage a historically difficult-to-reach audience.

According to CTA’s Tracking Trends in Sports Technology: A Sports Technology Market Outlook report, “Esports is the ultimate flow sport—streaming nonstop for hours, no commercial breaks, and constant fan interaction and engagement. The model for creating esports content and consuming it challenges ad models, communications tools and digital rights. It’s even changing the definition of ‘sport.’”

The esports industry has reached a worldwide audience of 380 million viewers, according to Statista. Even more impressive, global revenue is expected to break the $1 billion mark in 2019.

Alienware, Dell’s premium gaming brand, continues to be a mainstay in the gaming and esports industry as its hardware is relied upon to power developers and leagues around the globe. For the last 20 years, Alienware has been a leader in designing and engineering premium, high-performance desktops, laptops and other PC gaming hardware. Back in 2007, Alienware supported one of the first major global esports tournament circuits, the Championship Gaming Series, and has continued to support and create exciting esports partnerships.

Alienware has partnered with esports organization Team Liquid since 2012, forging a unique partnership that has grown in scale and success for both brands as they enter an exciting new year at the top of their game. But Alienware is not just a hardware developer—they are gamers and esport fans.

The Best in a Year of Innovation

Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware, Gaming and XPS at Dell, continues to lead the company’s efforts to make PCs and other hardware for gamers. Last year at CES, Dell launched its new wallet-friendly gaming systems, the Dell G Series, and showcased the Alienware Command Center, an exclusive software for its peripherals. In addition to hosting a tournament at CES for the VR-based game Sprint Vector, Frank took the stage with Steve Arhancet, co-CEO of Team Liquid, to announce the expansion of the Alienware and Team Liquid partnership, as well as the first Alienware Training Facility.

In March, they opened the doors to this new state-of-the-art training facility in Los Angeles. Inside, Team Liquid players have a dedicated space to practice, compete and even eat properly with an in-house chef preparing meals every day. The 8,000 square foot training facility houses more than 50 Alienware desktops and displays, dedicated scrimmage rooms and review theaters for the core rosters that train offsite. The facility also hosts an on-site studio and production crew called 1UP Studios who follow Team Liquid and create original videos to promote the team and its global players.

By working closely with Team Liquid, Azor says Alienware can learn from their premier players and design peripherals, displays and PCs that meet the needs of the ever-growing number of competitive players. “I get to do what I love, with a great team, every single day. I can tell you there has never been a more exciting time to be a gamer than now,” Azor says, citing the more than 2.2 billion active players today and a global esports audience that will grow from 383 million to more than 500 million in 2019, according to NewZoo.

Team Liquid celebrates its win

The investment has paid off as Team Liquid’s League of Legends team entered their NA League Championship Series (LCS) 2018 Spring Playoffs in March as the fourth seed and went on to dominate their bracket, going 9-1 through the playoffs and winning the organization’s first NA LCS Championship. They led the league with a 12-6 record in the following 2018 Summer Split – earning the #1 seed in the playoffs. Then Team Liquid went 6-1 during the Summer Playoffs, marking the organization’s first time as back-to-back 2018 NA LCS Champions.

“Esports is a highly competitive sport based on talent, skill and practice,” Azor says. “I absolutely think it will be the most popular sport in less than 10 years and become part of the Olympics.”

The momentum and integration between Alienware and its esports partners is strong. Team Liquid has quadrupled in size and now fields a top three roster across major esports titles like League of Legends, CS:GO, DOTA 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Fortnite and more.

But Alienware is just beginning. The company values its partners and looks forward to elevating their work and hardware as esports become more mainstream. Alienware is also developing important esports relationships with the NBA and 2K Games as the second season of the NBA 2K League kicks off.

“Our success has been due to a lot of hard work and our relentless focus on our customers,” Azor says. “Our motto is ‘build it as if it were your own.’ We are gamers that wanted to build PCs for ourselves and our friends, and that is why we started the business. We are very passionate and absolutely love what we do.”

Sponsored by Dell.

CTA Staff