NVIDIA and CPL
CPL Sheffield – NVIDIA and Pro Gaming
Adam Foat – Product Public Relations Manager, Northern Europe
Up at Sheffield for the UK leg of the CPL World Tour, HEXUS.gaming caught up with NVIDIA’s ‘man on the ground’, Adam Foat, to have a gossip about CPL, pro-gaming and where NVIDIA fit in with all this…
HEXUS.gaming: So what’s NVIDIA’s involvement in pro-gaming and CPL?
Adam: Though NVIDIA do sponsor some clans, as a company it was felt that whilst it’s good to sponsor teams, it just wasn’t promoting e-games as a whole to the general public. E-sports has the potential to have massive widespread appeal and through sponsoring events such as CPL, we hope to help bring these and ESWC, which we’re also a main sponsor for, to the attention of the general public
HEXUS.gaming: But how do you think you’ll achieve that? After all, isn’t CPL and ESWC already well known amongst the gaming community? How will you reach a larger audience?
Adam: At the minute, we sponsor these events so that they can take place at all. All the main sponsors are working hard to try and get the mainstream media interested and covering the event. We find that there’s a large attitude of almost apathy from the media concerning these events, which prevents them from getting the coverage they should. Getting sites such as HEXUS, with it’s wider audience, not just the Counter Strike fans reading the site, is a step in the right direction. The BBC are here today and hopefully the coverage they’ll give the event should be being shown on BBC 2, which is a great step forward for getting events such as this out in the mainstream.
HEXUS.gaming: So considering that sponsors such as NVIDIA have helped turn e-sports into a truly global event with some serious cash and prizes to be won, why do you think it’s not being snapped up and covered by mainstream media?
Adam: I think it’s partly to do with a lack of understanding, and a pre-conceived perception of what goes on at these events. That’s why we’ve got TSN here doing a shoutcast of the games. The way we’ve got it set up should make it easy for complete novices to get an idea of what’s going on… and those TSN guys can really get excited about the games, making it as good as any football commentary you’ll hear…
HEXUS.gaming: So how do you see the whole e-sports ‘thing’ developing in the future? A demonstration sport at the 2012 Olympics perhaps?
Adam: Well, with a few exceptions, e-sports right now consist mainly of the 18-24 age groups of players. It’s great to see more female gamers now as I think e-sports can be played equally by anyone, regardless of sex or physical ability… That’s the beauty of e-sports, it’s easily accessible by pretty much everyone without going for grisly early morning runs or spending months pumping iron. But as today’s gamers get older, they’ll have kids and rather than those kids discover e-sports for themselves, they’ll grow up with it so it won’t be alien or new to them and the pool of players will just grow and grow. I don’t know about the Olympics though, I think we might have a way to go for that, but you never know!
HEXUS.gaming: Ok, so is NVIDIA committed to sponsoring e-sports, or are you guys just tagging along on the popular bandwagon right now?
Adam: Well, I don’t think that compared with other sports, you could say e-sports are popular, which is one thing that NVIDIA is keen to turn around. Look at how many football teams there are, and their huge fan bases. NVIDIA itself want to be seen as the ultimate gaming company. Our latest graphics cards drive performance that the gamer needs, giving them the power to play their games at high frame rates whilst letting them have all the graphical options on too. We have the same attitude within the company itself too, our people are committed to listening to feedback, acting on it and providing the gamer with what they tell us they want.