Finnish operator Elisa said it is organizing the country’s first-ever 5G mobile gaming tournament, in conjunction with Hatch Entertainment, a subsidiary of Finnish video game developer Rovio. Chinese device manufacturer OnePlus is acting as tournament partner and is supplying the necessary devices to participants.
The first round takes place at four Elisa store locations between 19 January and 16 February, ending at the operator’s flagship store in Helsinki, Elisa Kulma. Players in the tournament—including prominent figures in the gaming community—play games via Hatch’s mobile application. The finals will take place from 28 February to 3 March at the Lantrek gaming event in the city of Tampere. Participants will be rewarded with Elisa, OnePlus and Hatch products, as well as free access to Lantrek.
Gaming has emerged as a major revenue opportunity for operators, and lately for mobile operators in particular, as mobile gaming has become dominant. As the games have become more sophisticated and interactive, the amounts of data that they require have skyrocketed, to the point where gaming represents one of the biggest drivers of data consumption. As a result, partnering with game designers and content providers has become an excellent way for MNOs to position themselves to profit from this trend.
For Elisa, partnering with a game developer and a device manufacturer to mount its own massive gaming event represents a very proactive approach to the gaming sector. By doing this, the operator can cement its status among gamers, which will not only lead to increased data revenue from actual gaming, but also to the possibility of lucrative partnerships and exclusive deals with gaming content providers in the future, thus avoiding the “dumb pipe” trap.
Given the data-hungry nature of today’s mobile video games, the coming 5G technology is especially important for them. In that context, the fact that this tournament is not only presenting Elisa as gaming-friendly but also showcasing its 5G network makes it an even more powerful move.