With a global following of over 205 million fans, eSports has become a global phenomenon. While many brands have tried to tap into this trending platform, Mountain Dew challenged us to develop a strategy that would feel truly authentic to eSports fans.
There has never been a direct path to becoming a professional gamer. The only true way of being discovered is by competing in countless qualifiers and amateur circuits and hoping that a pro-team takes notice. It takes as much luck as it does skill for amateur gamers to have a legitimate shot at earning their spot.
There is a distinct gap between amateur and professional gamers, and Mountain Dew was determined to become the bridge.
Our goal was to alter the overall landscape of eSports. The lack of a true minor league system within the space made it possible. Our strategy was to position Dew as a supportive force, powering the dreams of aspiring e-Athletes on their journey from amateur to pro gamers.
To be successful, we knew we’d have to build a system from the ground up – one that supplies wannabe pros with EVERYTHING they need. From upgraded equipment to proper training tools, we aimed to prepare players to compete with the best e-Athletes globally.
In order to really bring this idea to life, there needed to be a payoff. By partnering with one of the largest eSports companies in the world, ESL, Dew would be able fulfill one team’s dream – placing them in the coveted ESL Pro League.
Enter Mountain Dew League – the first amateur-only eSports competition designed to promote amateurs into the professional ranks.
Mountain Dew League contests were streamed live on Twitch, giving fans the opportunity to tune-in and watch amateur e-Athletes compete. The streams were watched by over 2.6MM fans, and featured some of the most well-known talent in the industry.
To keep Mountain Dew League fans engaged throughout the course of the season, every week we produced a new piece of branded content highlighting the best teams, players and matches from around the league. Sharing content that ranged from narratives highlighting amateur players to tips from pro-gamers, we told stories of players’ journeys of their pursuit to becoming pro eSports athletes.
After a long regular season and play-off bracket, 8 teams from around the world qualified for the Mountain Dew League Global Finals hosted in Burbank, California. Over the course of 4 days, these teams participated in a double elimination tournament for a cash prize pool of $50,000, along with a spot amongst the platform’s best.