Rakesh Mandal, Senior Director & General Manager, Client Solutions, South Asia & Korea, Dell
By Koh Wanzi Photography Angela Guo
“Gaming revenue is potentially the fastest growing segment in the consumer PC space today.”
How is Dell working to grow the esports industry?
We’ve been supporting the esports industry for longer than most other OEMs. For instance, we supported the Championship Gaming Series, one of the first major esports tournaments almost 11 years back. We’ve supported franchises as well, such as Team Dignitas. At the same time, we’re looking ahead and working to establish new, global partnerships, as seen with the NBA 2K League, Miami Heat, and Misfits Gaming.
In addition, we’ve got the Alienware Training Facility in North America, which we’re working with Team Liquid on. Each and every one of our partnerships works both ways. They’re obviously looking at us because of Alienware, what it stands for, and how it can help them extend their competitive advantage. On the other hand, we’re also really excited to help them take their game to the next level and grow our brand.
How would you describe the gaming industry today?
I think the industry is moving toward greater mainstream adoption and acceptance. It’s no longer reserved for a niche audience, and it’s becoming more progressive and expansive. Given the circumstances, that’s definitely one of the reasons why we’re beefing up our gaming PC portfolio and investing in the Training Facility.
Furthermore, support from professional sports leagues is growing and no longer simply restricted to one-off gaming tournaments. It is significantly different from what it was before and I think our partnerships help ensure that Alienware continues to be the brand of choice. They also cement it as a brand gamers should aspire for.
Gaming is also becoming more intellectual as games become more layered and complex. Not only do you require good hand-eye coordination and quick reflexes, you also need to be able to plan, strategize, and make sense of information. It’s not a stretch to say that this can help you become sharper and more attentive.
What’s the biggest driving force behind the growth of esports?
I think esports itself represents a shift away from old perspectives and consumption habits with regard to gaming. Today, a big part of it comprises shared experiences and interactions between players and the community.
Furthermore, one of the biggest driving forces behind esports is technology. As a result, it is important that we as a technology company continue to push boundaries, deliver new and more advanced devices, and continue to take computing to the next level. For example, we’ve shifted away from the Inspiron Gaming series in favor of the Dell G series, an effort to widen the appeal of gaming devices and gaming itself. The G3, G5, and G7 laptops cater to a broad audience, encompassing both budget-conscious customers and those who want the latest hardware.
However, I think it’s key to balance cutting-edge technology with affordability, which is where the Alienware brand comes in.
Where do you see the industry going in the next five years?
We recently conducted a study with a third-party agency that looked at what defines a gamer today. Ultimately, we realized that it’s hard to pin down as people who identified themselves as a gamer spanned so many different and divergent groups. I mentioned before that gaming is becoming more mainstream, and that’s definitely a big part of why traditional stereotypes of gamers no longer apply. We’re making huge strides in getting rid of the stigma where people used to think that gamers were generally people who didn’t have their lives in order and associated them with anti-social behavior.
Gaming revenue is potentially the fastest growing segment in the consumer PC space today. Asia is home to millions of esports enthusiasts. It is one of the most exciting markets, regardless of whether you’re a gamer, technology company, developer, or publisher. The reach of esports and gaming is increasing, and technology firms that partner with industry organizations can help to confer further legitimacy.