The Insomnia Gaming Festival ran from the 19th to the 22nd April at the National Exhibition Center (NEC) in Birmingham, England. Access attended the event with the intention of finding out whether the rise of Google Stadia and cloud gaming services, in general, could have an effect on the burgeoning e-sports events industry.
When they spoke to the manager for marketing and social at Player 1 Events, Phil Crawford, they asked for his opinion on how much of an effect a rise in popularity for cloud gaming services could have. He replied:
“We’ve certainly been headed in the direction [of streaming] in recent years, with couch co-op dwindling. But I think games and events will always be made with local connections in mind. I don’t think Stadia will have a detrimental effect in that regard.”
From a theoretical point of view, the introduction of cloud gaming services such as Google Stadia could benefit the e-sports event industry by making it more inclusive and accessible. At present, to attend an event you would need to go to the tournament in person—but that could all change thanks to the promise of Google Stadia’s crowd play feature. If this could be implemented by event hosts, there could come a time when e-sports competitors could join in with tournaments from the comfort of their own home.