When it comes to hosting an esports event, building hype is one of the biggest challenges for hosts. For one, you need to have a format or structure that stands out. Then you need a list of pros that draw a crowd to your event. Plus, you also need an excellent venue that will allow for such an event to take place. All these things are paramount for success in this field. However, we would argue that without a good host pulling the strings and advertising the event, all those aspects listed above could all be for nothing.
The last 2 years we have hosted multiple gaming tournaments online and offline. To manage those events we have been trying out multiple event hosting platforms. With that in mind, we have taken the time to research four of the top esports event host options around. In this article we look at EventBrite, Facebook Events, GYO.gg and Challonge.
The Host with the Most
For this comparative review, we have broken esports event hosting down into three key areas. These are Customer Service, Unique features, and Understanding the market. To be a front runner in this field, a host needs to provide all these things. So, without further delay, let’s dive in.
We begin with how these companies treat their customers and whether they go the extra mile. Beginning with Challonge, their business is smaller than the rest and this actually works to their advantage. Their customer support team is very responsive and respond to all claims and queries within 24hrs. Plus, this company has a live chat service with helpful operators that make the process simple and clear for users.
The same can be said of GYO.gg. They have a responsive customer service team, a live chat service and their reviews all seem to be positive. Facebook and Eventbrite however, do not have the same reputation. Eventbrite in particular has a very poor reputation with customers, with many leaving negative reviews on trusted platforms like Trustpilot. EventBrite are known to be unresponsive, do not make customers aware of important changes and despite this company being the 56th most popular ticketing service globally, many people legitimately believe that it is a scam.
Then finally with Facebook, it is more of a self-service platform. Facebook offer a place to host your event and the rest is up to you. You get what you put into Facebook Events but ultimately, this means that customer service is basically non-existent.
Now we move on to the unique selling propositions for these companies. Beginning with EventBrite, we really struggled to find any. The best we could find was that you can integrate your Eventbrite events with Facebook Events. However, this essentially takes the burden of entering details into EventBrite. Facebook Events has slightly more to offer than Eventbrite. While it is more of a platform than a comprehensive service, it does have some useful tools beyond the norm.
Using Facebook ads to promote is seamless and can get more eyes on your event. Plus, thanks to the social media infrastructure, promotion from within the event page is a great way to generate hype. However, aside from this, it is a rather generic service which does not cater for the esports community.
GYO.GG and Challonge once again dominate proceedings and offer unique aspects worth investing in. However, they cater to different types of events. GYO.GG is primarily used by esports teams for training and recruitment. GYO isn’t a specialist in terms of event management. However, for a league setup, GYO Dashboard offers a great way to keep track of the stats, the wins and losses and ultimately, offers one of the most comprehensive league formats which you have full control over.
Challonge can’t compete on this front. However, Challonge does much better, is manage tournament-based events. This event hosting platform allows you to create the event and control the tournament bracket with ease. Offering a variety of event types with brackets that suit each style of tournament. Thanks to the seamless UI and planning, the tournament takes care of itself so you can focus on promotion, production value and other important areas of the event.
Of the four, we would say that Challonge just edges it for us. Their system is geared for esports and while GYO does have some cool features that lend themselves to long term Esports leagues and qualifying group stages. We think that Challonge offers a much more focused and comprehensive hosting experience. Facebook Events once again, gives back what you put in and is perhaps the best option if you want to generate interest but offers little in the way of management options and logistics. Then Eventbrite offers next to nothing and isn’t worth thinking about in truth.
Understanding the Market
Then lastly, you have to ask whether these companies have your best interest at heart. Are they Esports oriented? Well, that is what we aim to find out here. Firstly, lets rule out Eventbrite straight away, as it is a generic ticketing service and not a good one at that. They have no special interest in esports and as a result, there is nothing of value for hosts here.
Facebook has some understanding of the esports market. Facebook Gaming is a good tool which events can use to their advantage. They can stream the event through the service and this can generate more interest and revenue as a result. Plus, thanks to the global reach of Facebook Events, the ability to draw a multitude of gamers from various fan groups and esports groups with targeted ads is always an excellent option. However, the service itself doesn’t cater in any specific way to the Esports community.
GYO.GG on the other hand is fully immersed in the Esports scene. This company cares about the gaming community and through it’s variety of resources and services, you can see that they are trying to be a pillar of the esports community. So if you invest and trust GYO.GG to plan and host your event, you can rest assured that these individuals have the experience and knowledge to do so.
Challonge mirror the above. They are a company that base their business firmly in the esports sector. They understand the market, the format of the biggest tournaments around and allow hosts to replicate them or customise as they see fit. They offer versatility where other companies simply offer a set menu. In short, they know what gamers want and they accommodate as needed. So with that in mind, Challonge is our champion in this area but again, GYO.GG is a close second.
Up to the Challonge
After weighing up what all these companies have to offer, here is our ranking of each company:
- #4 – Eventbrite
- #3 – Facebook Events
- #2 – GYO.GG
- #1 – Challonge
Challonge is our clear winner thanks to the comprehensive and versatile service it provides. Not to mention the excellent customer service, the market experience and the administrative options that the service provides. GYO.GG also has it’s perks and is more suited for long term events which use a league format. However, the service is more geared to players and teams rather than hosts of events which limits its scope slightly.
The gap between the top two and the next two companies is rather large in truth. Facebook events is the clear choice in terms of advertising and promotion. However, as a full package, it requires a lot of input from the user and doesn’t cater to the Esports community like those above. We would suggest that Facebook events could be used to tandem with another service like GYO.GG or Challonge but as a sole event host, it is lacking in a lot of vital areas.
The future host platform for 321 Gaming?
Yep, if you have been following us since day one, you know we have tried all these platforms. And, we are going to continue using them! Why? They help us get the word out to those that haven't found us yet. But, often we can not keep up with all of these platforms. With that in mind, you can always be up to date by checking out our site's Calendar and Tournament pages.
Thanks for reading, please share with your favorite gamers.