Kyle Alvarez is the Senior Product Manager for Intel at Tech Data. We recently sat down with him to chat about Intel’s footprint in the gaming and esports industry and what that means for the future of your business.
Thanks for joining us, Kyle! To start things off, tell us about yourself and what you do at Tech Data.
I’m a senior product manager for Intel’s components division. As for what I do in the company, I have been a huge proponent of Tech Data making the jump into gaming and esports technologies with Intel.
In my free time, I enjoy gaming, streaming and watching Netflix – all of which ironically align with the typical use cases in the vertical I work.
Going into your gaming and esports specialization, can you tell us how fast this space is growing? What kind of opportunities can resellers expect?
Recently, gaming and esports technologies have taken off as people are looking for entertainment that can be done without extensive public interaction. But even before social distancing, the gaming market was taking off, both in terms of global audience as well as in hardware sales. It’s projected that as of 2022, the total viewers of esports will span a total of 600 million viewers worldwide. Plus, beyond pure viewership, industry experts are forecasting that spending on PC game hardware will reach $70 billion by 2023.
What types of end users are interested in gaming and esports solutions, and how do they want to use these solutions?
From the casual gamer to the professionals, one of the biggest verticals has been education. In fact, we’re seeing many colleges put together esports teams and offer scholarships to attract talent. According to the National Association of Collegiate Esports, more than 200 higher-education institutions earmarked $16 million to esports scholarships in 2019 alone.
K-12 has also recognized the benefits of integrating gaming into their curriculums. Organizations such as North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), Highschool Esports League (HSEL) and Middle School Esports League (MSEL) have made jumpstarting an esports program significantly less intimidating. Also, these organizations have designed curriculums with direct ties to STEM/STEAM. This gamification of traditional education will only become more and more prevalent in years to come.
As a representative of Intel, you know the many opportunities in this vertical for resellers. Can you tell us about some of Intel’s newest products and innovations in this space?
Intel has long been an unrivaled leader in gaming technologies. Most exciting is that Intel’s 10th gen client desktop processors have recently been released. They also have a new iteration of their popular configurable small form factor desktop platform, Intel NUC. Affectionately named the NUC 9 Extreme, Intel has designed a gaming NUC that is configurable, upgradable and takes discrete graphics cards. The amount of gaming power that is packed into such a small footprint is really exciting!
Intel has partnered with many esports leagues and initiatives as they have grown in esports. Tell us how resellers can use Intel’s partnerships to break into gaming and esports?
With the popularity of gaming, many companies are jumping on the bandwagon now, but it’s exciting to partner with an organization that has had early roots in competitive gaming and esports. For example, Intel has been a part of programs like the Electronic Sports League (ESL) Extreme Masters for over a decade. Extreme Masters have spanned 73 live events with hundreds of thousands of fans in attendance.
To bring esports even more into the mainstream, Intel also announced late last year that they would be hosting the Intel World Open, an esports tournament leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games. Initiatives such as these provide legitimacy to the esports industry and bring it to the forefront and mainstream.
Beyond sponsorship of esports leagues and tournaments, Intel also has dedicated trainings around gaming technology available to reseller partners through its Partner University Program. These trainings will enable reseller partners to get a baseline understanding of the technology that drives gaming and esports and have the tools to sell into this booming industry.
What moves can partners make now to position themselves for the future in the gaming and esports space? Also, are there any Tech Data resources that can help them along the way?
Although the glitz and glamor of esports teams duking it out onstage in a tournament is fun, knowledge on streaming has become just as important in the space. With hundreds of millions of people tuning in to watch people game, it also creates another career path in the sphere that doesn’t even involve competitive gameplay. Platforms such as Twitch, YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming are the primary means of distributing content and play a major role in the growth of the gaming field.
At Tech Data, we recognize how daunting this industry may be for the uninitiated. Fortunately, we have a team of experts to assist with navigating opportunities, designing solutions, and provide you specialists of all stripes – from bid support to grant writing. Plus, our team has whitepapers, marketing materials and other resources for partners to use as well.
Also, feel free to contact me and the rest of the Intel team at email@example.com.
About the Author:
Kelly Armstrong is a copywriter for Tech Data Agency. Starting her professional technology journey in 2017 in the sales department at Tech Data, she learned about all the great things the company has to offer to help support the future of tech. Now, she uses that knowledge to help others and enthusiastically describe the latest and greatest technologies available to today’s workforce.