Esports brand Immortals have announced that they will be moving into the Wild Rift esports realm. Their newly-created roster is led by YouTuber Gosu Hoon, who boasts a channel with 415k subscribers and 57 million views. He is well-known for playing a different MOBA, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, but made the transition to Wild Rift shortly after it was released and swiftly climbed to Challenger 1.
We recently had a chance to chat with Jordan Sherman, President and Chief Commercial Officer of Immortals and Hoon himself. We discussed Immortals aims in mobile esports, the decision to partner with Hoon and lots more.
Jordan ShermanWhy did Immortals decide to get involved in the Wild Rift esports scene? Do you see this as an opportunity to build an entirely new fan base or do you believe there will be some crossover with existing League of Legends fans?
We believe Wild Rift can be a great entry point for pro players to compete and for fans to connect and become involved in the esports and gaming scene. The barrier to entry is lower given that it’s on a phone, which nearly everyone has, and doesn’t require a PC or a long history of gaming experience. In addition, our strategic decisions and gaming expansions will always be made in connection with our LCS team being the backbone of the organization. Not only do we see Wild Rift as an opportunity to grow new fans for the LCS team, but there’s also a sustainable market for Wild Rift-only fans who want to be part of our community.Why did you decide to invest in Hoon as a player for the Immortals Wild Rift sports team?
We’re incredibly excited to welcome Hoon as the face of the franchise for our inaugural Wild Rift team. We conducted an extensive search and, during our process, uncovered Hoon. We immediately recognized Hoon’s dedication to his community and the hard work and effort he puts into his craft. He has the potential to be one of the best professional players while also creating incredibly engaging content; on YouTube alone, he has over 415 thousand subscribers. This type of combination of skill and talent is rare in the industry and makes us bullish on the potential for the team and the mobile category as a whole.
Our organization has always been about the development of people and talent. We’re scouting for players that want to be part of our Immortals’ system, which includes a dedication to your title and team and a willingness to build community. As we fill out the rest of the roster, we are optimizing for players we believe are highly talented, driven to succeed, and want to help build the popularity of the game, the team, and the org through various activations and initiatives.Given the growing popularity of mobile esports, how big do you expect Wild Rift's competitive scene to become?
Currently, all of our business units are contribution net margin positive. Given that we’re optimistic, we can enter the mobile scene from a position of strength. We are confident that there will be a strong ecosystem around Wild Rift and that we can do the same with this team very early on. To do so, we are hoping for a vibrant, competitive scene that is supported by publishers, teams, platforms, and fans. Early indications are encouraging that this will be the case across the board.Are there any particular challenges involved when building an esports team for a different game generally? And was it easier this time because you have an established relationship with Riot?
Riot has been a great partner to us for LCS and in support of our Wild Rift plans. We’ve kept them clued in on our progress throughout the process, and having their support for this initiative is huge. Their dedication to growing grassroots fans and publishing a competitive circuit will be critical in overcoming the challenges of launching a new team.Do you see Immortals competing in any other mobiles in the future? If yes, any ideas which?
We aim to do so! We’re bullish on the mobile gaming space in NA as a whole so if we can prove Wild Rift achieves our objectives then I think we’ll continue to invest in areas of growth that also help develop our trajectory of organizational change.
SeongHun "Hoon" JangWhen did Immortals approach you about being involved with their Wild Rift esports team and what were your initial thoughts? I.e - Did you ever see yourself as being good enough to be an esports player?
Initially, my feelings were a bit mixed - I was both happy and worried. I would become a real pro player, which I was excited and happy about, but worried I would need to put more responsibility on the team and game. I did not doubt I would make a pro team because we were playing very well. I'm happy that team is Immortals.You are well-known for playing Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. How did you find transitioning to Wild Rift?
Ultimately, they are both mobile AOS games. Before switching to mobile, I played a lot of League of Legends on PC, so it was much easier to adapt to Wild Rift since they are very similar.What do you hope to achieve in your time with Immortals?
I would love to put the Immortals name on the top of the ladder. I also want to help connect my fans in Asia to the Immortals brand as well.
Yes, for sure. My content features mostly MLBB, so I’m excited to work with Immortals to expand my existing content to feature Immortals and Wild Rift. As for MLBB content, I’m not sure.Mobile gaming is a growing industry. What changes have you noticed in mobile gaming during your time as a content creator?
I have noticed more advertisements on social media related to mobile games and great performances of those games. Mobile esports viewership is consistently growing, especially in Asia, and gradually in the Western region. I truly believe that this is only the beginning, and the mobile gaming industry will grow dramatically in the near future.
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