UPDATE: Allied Esports Entertainment Sees Increased Fan Engagement as More Activity Shifts Online

World Poker Tour events may have shifted from in-person to online during this shelter-at-home period, but that hasn’t slowed down its parent company, Allied Esports Entertainment.

In fact, it’s been a boon.

The global esports entertainment company has seen some silver linings as a result of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders: an increase in engagement, registration, participation and viewership within its two business units — World Poker Tour and Allied Esports International.

The parent company, with HQ in Irvine, is an award-winning, innovative esports company with a global network of dedicated properties and content production facilities, including the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, HyperX Esports Trucks and the Allied Esports Property Network.

The HyperX Esports Truck is an 80-foot, 35-ton, semi-tractor-trailer that opens hydraulically into a full competition stage and broadcast truck. The state-of-the-art mobile arena is equipped with a live streaming production booth and VIP lounge.

Already Growing Its Interactive Division

Prior to the pandemic, Allied Esports was working to grow its interactive division, including ClubWPT, a subscription-based, online platform.

The company said, in a press release, that the effort has positioned World Poker Tour as a market leader for online poker entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, more partnerships with key providers expanded the parent company’s user base for future interaction between online and offline events when things return to business as usual. 

Here are highlights outlining the recent success of the parent company:

New Wave of Subscriptions: Players registering at ClubWPT for the first time between March 1 and April 10 increased 148% compared to 2019. ClubWPT revenue is up 33% over the same time period.

OTT (over-the-top) is on the Rise: OTT viewership numbers – in general –  increased 125% in Q1 from last year on platforms including PlutoTV, SamsungTV and Xumo. WPT’s OTT viewership benefited from this trend, hitting 8.2 million in Q1.

(An over-the-top media service is a streaming media service offered directly to viewers via the Internet. OTT bypasses cable, broadcast and satellite television platforms, which traditionally act as a controller or distributor of content.)

Linear Stays Strong: WPT continues to be one of the highest-rated shows on FOX Sports, reaching more than 1 million viewers per week across first airings and syndication in the U.S. On a global level, the show reaches an audience of more than 200 million.

New FOX Deal: WPT Studios recently secured a new deal with FOX Sports 1 and 2 to air WPT’s content library nationally to more than 82 million households.

Wider Reach: Syndication of WPT programming has grown by 25% through new agreements with AT&T, Sinclair Networks, Cox Sports, Right Now TV, Action Channel and Altitude Sports.

First Events on a Real-Money Gaming Platform: WPT announced the debut of the WPT Online Series, which will take place on partypoker in May. It includes $30 million in guarantees among WPT-branded events. The May event is WPT’s first on a real-money gaming platform, which means real money is wagered on the outcome of the game.

New Productions: Allied Esports expanded its partner services to include online tournament production and agreed to produce a series of 10 FIFA matches and broadcasts for The Los Angeles Football Club to help the team’s foundation raise funds for COVID-19 causes. The first two streams generated 650,000 total live views, with a high of 18,143 concurrent viewers on April 5.

Social Surge: With a focus on content and online tournament participation, social media interaction increased dramatically across Allied Esports’ Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. 

More Chances to Play: The company’s first online tournaments in the U.S. registered a 30% increase in participation, compared to in-person events at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas. Online tournaments also saw participation expand beyond Las Vegas, with 50% of total players residing outside of Nevada.

Esports Entertainment: Allied Esports and Club 42 produced “The Clubhouse,” a charity Fortnite event and stream. It featured professional gamers and baseball players. It registered more than  91,500 total views on Twitch across the streaming channels of everyone involved.

(Fortnite is an online video game developed by Epic Games and released in 2017. It’s available in three game mode versions that share the same general gameplay and game engine.

What’s Next?

Based on the success of the online production services and tournaments, Allied Esports intends to continue with both products, when HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas reopens. The company will also continue to work with local and state officials, as well as partners, on a reopening plan for its flagship arena and mobile esports truck.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

You don't have permission to register