FIBA made a big splash in the fast-moving world of esports by staging the FIBA Esports Open 2020 in June. The first-ever international esports event for national teams took place over three days with countries from FIBA’s regions competing in geographic conferences from Oceania, Southeast Asia, the Middle-East, Europe and South America.
The success of this first-ever event was found in the viewing and social media numbers with the event broadcast across 100 different locations globally and over 5 million social media views just on the FIBA social media channels and National Federations. Spain alone generated 2.1 million impressions, 1.7 million views and 9.8 million viewed hours while reaching 1.4 million unique viewers just on their Twitter account.
Since the conclusion of the inaugural event, FIBA now has over 35 National Federations interested in the next FIBA esports tournament, and plans for this are underway.
“It’s been a huge success and a lot of fun and we are excited about the prospects of more FIBA esports competitions in the future,” said FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis. “FIBA’s Central Board identified this esports initiative as relevant and consistent with the strategic aim to enlarge the FIBA family and this event has been great for the promotion of basketball.”
The entire FIBA Esports Open 2020 series was produced from a brand-new Esports Studio located in Riga, Latvia, with a daily show featuring the hottest games from that day. 54 games were broadcast to over 100 different destinations globally, equalling a total of 40 hours’ worth of production. Each game was live streamed on FIBA’s digital channels, while each of the 18 games included in the live show had live commentary in English. FIBA had an extensive team of people working on the production with 10 National Federations using Spalk to add their own commentaries in their preferred language.
Australia, Argentina, Italy, Philippines and Saudi Arabia topped their respective conferences and emerged victorious among the 17 participating nations from around the world.