A new esports data platform, GRID, launches today, September 5th, with the purpose of unlocking “new commercial opportunities for esports”, as well as enhancing “the viewing experience of esports fans.”
GRID has been created by Moritz Maurer, the former Head of Esports at Genius Sports, a London-based company that deals in the management and distribution of sports data.
GRID will act as the official data and technology partner of the FACEIT London Major, which starts today and runs until September 23rd. Fans will get a first look at the newly-launched platform when the first game of the Challengers Stage kicks off at 10am BST.
Moritz Maurer, CEO of GRID discussed the new venture in a statement: “Despite the digital nature of esports, the data landscape is underdeveloped. As a growing industry we need to go beyond our core audiences and need to make games more accessible and engaging – data is a key driver here. GRID grants rights holders the control of their data through proprietary extraction technology and unlocks the potential of the data assets in fan-facing applications and content solutions.”
GRID will contextualize things that happen in-game, using historical data in real-time to relate what’s happening to what’s occurred in the past. This is called insights, and aims to “enhance the fan experience and drive engagement”.
“Something I can mention is that we’re looking a lot into console and mobile, besides the key PC titles which still make up an abundant share of the match volume”
Speaking to Esports Insider, Maurer discussed how they will be focusing their initial efforts. He said: “Our first case study will be CS:GO with the FACEIT Major, but GRID has a broad approach to esports and is looking to reflect the entire portfolio across all platforms and genres.
“Something I can mention is that we’re looking a lot into console and mobile, besides the key PC titles which still make up an abundant share of the match volume. We are a technology company and so we’re not afraid of games where the data landscape is not underdeveloped, but non-existent really.”
On the topic of whether GRID will be primarily looking to partner with tournament operators or the game developers themselves, he added: “It’s a good question but you have to look at this with a game by game approach, with game developers involved to varying extents across the esports segment of their respective franchises. We ultimately work with the rights holders of the competitions and aim to leverage their business model for our commercial solutions and in doing so improve their fan experiences, and help them to innovate in the space and make the most of the data. This applies to third parties as well as the publishers themselves.”
“We are not interested in business models that work without any commercial consideration for the rights holder”
He continued: “A key distinctive factor of GRID is that we position ourselves close to the rights holders. This is important in a space where there are a lot of stakeholders in the industry who leverage proprietary data assets for their own commercial benefits. We are not interested in business models that work without any commercial consideration for the rights holder. So the technology as a service aspect, as mentioned in the definition, is really embraced in that regard.”
Michele Attisani, CBO & Co-Founder of FACEIT had this to say: “GRID offers something new for esports audiences. We’re excited to integrate the platform as our official data partner for the FACEIT London Major and to see how our fans react during the Challengers Stage. We’re always looking for way to offer our community more, to keep them entertained and to also offer them more of an insight into the teams and players they love.”
Esports Insider says: The premise of GRID is definitely interesting – especially since so much that can be done with data is currently not a part of esports – but as ever the proof will be in the pudding. That said, with Maurer’s background in the industry to date, leading the Genius product for instance, we’ve high hopes. Hopefully some intriguing and insightful things come out of the further unveiling at ESI London and the FACEIT London Major.
GRID is a Gold sponsor of ESI London, our three-day business conference at Olympia London – taking place over September 18-20th. Furthermore, Moritz will be taking part in the “New Age Raconteur – Data driven storytelling” keynote session on the 19th.
This keynote session will take a look at how and why data is such a crucial part of traditional sports when it comes to content and coverage – and why it’s currently not being best utilised in the esports industry.