SAP’s involvement in competitive esports began back in 2018. Right from the start, it wanted to establish its reputation as a technology partner to this sector. It recently hosted its very first SAP Community Esports tournament in Berlin. The event attracted a massive audience, sparking plans to take it global next year.
The tech giant is the main sponsor of the esports team Team Liquid, and leverages its technological skills to give important insights using data-driven game statistics that reach millions of fans in proprietary formats. Overall, SAP is considered a prime example of successful sponsorship in esports.
However, the initial aim for embracing esports was to strengthen employer branding, which would profit from reaching out to a younger, tech-savvy target audience.
In holding its own competition, SAP showed how it is not just part of the esport ecosystem but that it can help shape it, too. SAP Labs Berlin is constantly looking for ways to raise its profile in the German capital’s esports scene, which is one of the biggest of its kind. Digital gaming has the potential to be a significant economic opportunity for the city.
As a technology company, SAP uses its expertise in data analytics and innovation in esports just like in any other business area to help gamers tell the story behind their data.
The solutions SAP uses are built on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) and include SAP HANA Cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) functionality. Being able to analyze data in real time enables professional gamers to optimize their performance and make faster decisions during the match itself.
Just like in the business world, the players need to be able to spot which information is most relevant to them instantly if they are to gain strategic advantage from it. An esport tournament creates huge amounts of data, so SAP realized it needed to display the data it captured in a clear and visually appealing way.
Match data and statistics can be shared with audiences and commentators in real time, giving them greater insights into each player’s performance and helping them better understand certain decisions. At the SAP event, matches played by the finalists demonstrated how this works.
At the tournament in Berlin, SAP offered spectators a hybrid experience, combining an in-person event with live streaming. Almost 100 gamers took part, half of whom were students and the other half SAP employees. Since they competed as mixed teams, the event was also an opportunity to network. More than 230 guests came to the venue, with 2,500 viewers following the action on the live-streaming portal Twitch. On social media, the event reached more than 420,000 people.