“If you’re a fan of mobile esports, there’s a competition for you.”

ESL FACEIT Group (EFG) and Supercell have teamed up for a partnership to make the Snapdragon Pro Series (SPS) the operator of Brawl Stars Championship 2024. Esports.gg sat down with Sam Braithwaite, the vice president of mobile game ecosystems at EFG, for an exclusive interview about this partnership and EFG's mobile esports strategy and vision.

Brawl Stars esports during EFG's SPS Mobile Masters Japan 2023 event (Image via EFG)
Brawl Stars esports during EFG's SPS Mobile Masters Japan 2023 event (Image via EFG)

EFG, Brawl Stars, and mobile esports events

EFG and Supercell's multi-year partnership did not simply happen suddenly. Rather, in 2023, Brawl Stars played a significant role in the SPS Mobile Masters program. According to Braithwaite, working in Brawl Stars esports also helped enhance the SPS broadcast overall.

Brawl Stars World Finals viewership statistics (Image via Esports Charts)
Brawl Stars World Finals viewership statistics (Image via Esports Charts)

"When we launched the SPS, they were a premier partner for us," Braithwaite explained. "And then they were our Mobile Masters title. I really feel like we've leveled up our broadcast, our production, the quality, and the segments that we're able to do."

Zeta Division won the 2023 Brawl Stars World Finals (Image via Supercell)
Zeta Division won the 2023 Brawl Stars World Finals (Image via Supercell)

Braithwaite provided esports.gg with more insights about the Brawl Stars ecosystem itself as well. For example, in addition to the crowdfunding opportunity in the 2024 Brawl Stars World Finals, live events such as the last chance qualifiers (LCQ) for the World Finals highlight immersive experiences for audiences, in-game activities, festival-style booths, and even participation from major partners such as Samsung and Qualcomm.

Brawl Stars esports during SPS Mobile Masters 2023 (Image via EFG)
Brawl Stars esports during SPS Mobile Masters 2023 (Image via EFG)

To ensure that EFG's events are always improving, Braithwaite's team conducts community surveys. For example, active viewers are prompted in both Twitch chat or YouTube to do surveys during live broadcasts. At live events, fans can also provide feedback and receive incentives such as free SPS jerseys.

"We really value the feedback that people provide and we're always looking to level up our program that way," Braithwaite said.

How EFG champions global mobile esports

What's so special about mobile games is that no matter where one is located, they can practice and compete within the mobile esports ecosystem. EFG and Supercell's Brawl Stars circuit, in particular, includes players in Asia-Pacific (APAC), Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), North America (NA), South America, and China.

Brawl Stars Championship 2024 graphic (Image via EFG)
Brawl Stars Championship 2024 graphic (Image via EFG)

According to Braithwaite, EFG's primary goal of the past year has been focused on global expansion — particularly aiming to make popular games more accessible in western markets. This strategy involves building a strong foundation with globally-relevant titles while also introducing regionally-dominant games to different areas.

The 2023 Call of Duty: Mobile World Championship happened live at Dreamhack Atlanta (Image via EFG)
The 2023 Call of Duty: Mobile World Championship happened live at Dreamhack Atlanta (Image via EFG)

"So with Call of Duty: Mobile, it's very much a North America, South America-focused audience," Braithwaite revealed. "And by bringing the World Championship there to Dreamhack Atlanta, what we're trying to do is take that momentum, create a hub of North American esports, and use that as a launching point to generate traffic and excitement around it."

Call of Duty: Mobile gameplay screenshot (Image via EFG)
Call of Duty: Mobile gameplay screenshot (Image via EFG)

He then continued, noting Brawl Stars' popularity in Europe and MLBB as a powerhouse title in Southeast Asia. "By expanding these programs and by bringing them to worldwide audiences, I think what we're hoping to share is that mobile esports isn't just something that is popular in specific regions or countries. This is a phenomenon that is growing all around the world. And if you look at one game in isolation, you might have a skewed perspective of what the landscape looks like overall."

MLBB gameplay screenshot (Image via Moonton)
MLBB gameplay screenshot (Image via Moonton)

"But by bringing together all of these games, and by celebrating mobile gaming as a industry rather than individual IPs, you're able to kind of take a step back and think, 'Oh, wow. There are very competitive, very high viewership titles in every single major region of the world,'" he added.

The business of mobile esports

Braithwaite then shared some insights about the business side of mobile esports. "Running esports is hard and expensive," he told esports.gg. "And finding the right commercial partners and sponsors to be able to support and grow and develop the nurture these games is challenging."

He noted how EFG's work with Qualcomm, for example, establishes a multi-game, multi-genre circuit that lets ESG connect these publishers and developers with the right commercial partners. This approach simplifies the process for sponsors, offering them access to the world's top mobile games through a single partnership while enhancing scalability in mobile esports.

Brawl Stars gameplay (Image via Supercell)
Brawl Stars gameplay (Image via Supercell)

"I think for us, it's finding the biggest games in the world like Brawl Stars and giving them that platform like the Snapdragon Pro Series to have the best and brightest compete," Braithwaite continued. "I think for us, as we look towards the future, we're very excited to see what Supercell has in store for future game titles. But also just for the industry at large, we're always keeping our ear to the pulse of understanding what new games are coming down the pipeline. What are the publishers' ambitions for esports? What are the features that are available in that game that would enable a proper esports ecosystem to be run? [It's about] bringing all those pieces together."

Brawl Stars is a part of the SPS (Image via EFG)
Brawl Stars is a part of the SPS (Image via EFG)

Mobile esports is for everyone

As for Braithwaite's parting words, he encouraged folks to jump into the mobile esports scene. "If you're a fan of mobile esports, there's a competition for you. Within the Snapdragon Pro Series, we have every type of game and genre — whether you're into MOBAs or battle royales or first-person shooters or racing games — if you're involved, if you're interested, there are tournaments for you.

"There's open-level tournaments with small cash prize pools that could lead into something big. The foundation of every popular sport or esport comes from every person just participating and playing and having a good time.

"Esports, at its core, is meant to be fun. It's meant to be something that brings you joy. So whether it's watching or competing, I would encourage you to just get involved and tune in, go to the Snapdragon Pro Series, watch our broadcasts. I think we put on a damn good show and I think that you'll have a good time checking it out."

That's all for now. Special thanks to EFG for this opportunity. Stick around on esports.gg for more news, interviews, and updates!

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