The esports industry is on a growth trajectory. As more gamers and esports fans turn to platforms like WIN.gg, ensuring user data protection is a must.
When gamers and esports fans browse their favorite gaming news and sports betting sites, their data may not be protected. Even the best antivirus software may need an additional boost. So it is important to take all the necessary precautions to stay safe while gaming online.
To gain a critical understanding of why data protection and security are important for online media services, we spoke with Marta Juras, Head of Content and Operations at WIN.gg – a one-stop media platform for the gaming and esports community.
Tell us more about what you do. What sets you apart from other esports news and analysis websites?
I believe WIN.gg’s content creation goes beyond covering esports news. Though we had a small team at the time, every member was a passionate gamer and an esports fan. We always try to think about topics interesting to our community as a whole. Even if it’s not related to esports.
Instead of relying only on news reporting in the esports space, we try to keep our readers engaged with different types of content. We produce in-house video content, in-game guides, interviews, news from the influencer space, and more.
We also cover the moves of their favorite gaming influencers and more. We want to be a “one-stop media platform” for the gaming community and so-called nerd culture.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the esports industry, and what resources do you rely on?
Networking is essential in every industry, but that’s especially true for esports. So each of us at WIN.gg is a source of our own as we’re deeply integrated into the world of our work in our personal lives. Our audience is our community, friends, clients, and team members.
For example, suppose a writer is covering Valorant topics. In that case, they are also spending their free time playing Valorant. They're watching Valorant esports tournaments and checking in with Riot Games. Or they're checking out other organizations related to Valorant in different ways. This kind of unification of personal interests with work allows us to know what is happening within our community. It shows us what the community is currently interested in.
Of course, we also rely on other online sources in our decision-making. This includes social media, industry-related news, and statistical data. SEO research is a big part of our content creation as well.
How do you think the recent global events affected your field of work? Were there any new challenges?
I don’t think any industry is unaffected by recent global events, including the esports and media space. While there’s no doubt that esports will grow, the industry has had to take a step back and reprioritize. Remember, esports is still somewhat young. Many business models weren’t set up to work long-term.
The recent global crisis has shed more light on that. While there is a slowdown compared to recent years, during which esports grew incredibly fast, it should help it in the long run. It’s like a learning curve for esports that will help establish sustainable business models. So I see it as only growing from here.
What do you think are the most important qualities for someone interested in pursuing a career in esports?
This depends on what kind of Esports career a person is looking for. The skills of someone wanting to become a professional player aren’t exactly the same as those who want to work on the marketing side of the business. That said, a few qualities are sought out across the space.
esports is unique, it’s young, and one cannot simply apply experience from other industries to esports. The community dictates both successful and unsuccessful stories. If you don’t understand the community, they will feel that and be loud about it. So, someone who is pursuing a career in esports should make sure they’re very much in touch with the community.
Because esports is new and growing, the competition for people who want to make it in esports is higher and higher. If one wants to succeed, they need to be willing to put their heart into it and be very proactive. In that sense, it’s not much different than chasing other careers.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges and misconceptions that the esports industry is facing right now? How do you think esports can become more accessible to a wider audience?
The biggest misconception is that esports organizations are earning a lot of money. A lot of money is being moved within the space, but only a few business success stories exist. That’s because a lot of the initial business models were unsustainable. The challenge is to make it sustainable, but I have no doubt that will happen.
Esports needs to mix more with the overall entertainment industry. That way, people who don’t usually mingle on esports platforms like Twitch can learn it’s not just “kids playing games.” It's a very serious business, and it’s already happening. Big collaborations are being done with pop stars and fashion brands. The more that happens, the more viewers esports gets.
The more esports gets in front of the eyes of average entertainment consumers, the more it grows. We must educate people first to get over the wrong and outdated judgments about esports.
How do you prioritize the security of your data, and what measures do you take to keep it safe? What security practices do you recommend for today's gamers?
In the technical aspect, WIN.gg’s platform is set by all the best practices for data protection, consent forms, etc. We also make sure our advertising partners follow the best regulations. On WIN.gg, we don’t dig deep into user data and only record the high-level information we need for content analytics.
The biggest advice for gamers to stay safe is to avoid third-party platforms that break a game’s terms of service, like platforms that offer hacks and cheats. Using a VPN for additional security is also a good idea. Especially if they’re not playing on the main publishers’ servers. Finally, use 2FAs wherever possible. Don’t share your personal information with your in-game peers!
If you’re planning on betting on esports, make sure you’re using a properly licensed, legitimate sportsbook platform.
How do you see the esports industry evolving over the next few years? Are there any emerging trends that you are currently observing?
The esports industry should continue to stay on a growth trajectory. The necessary changes for that have already started happening, and the roots are now established. In a few years, I can see esports featured across all the mainstream media. I also see it taken more seriously by nonendemic industries.
The most recent esports trend we’re keeping our eyes on is the launch of Counter-Strike 2. Counter-Strike has a long history of esports and a loyal fanbase. But, there has been very little innovation within CSGO and CSGO esports in the past few years.
That has caused it to be a bit stale. However, we expect the CS2 release to change that and bring full glory back to Counter-Strike, an iconic esports title.
Would you like to share what’s next for WIN.gg?
We’re dipping our toes into broader entertainment topics. There’s a lot of overlap between gamers and lovers of anime, shows, movies, and even card and tabletop games. We’re testing that overlap and hoping to expand.
Over time, we want to grow in our coverage areas, truly becoming a "one-stop media platform" for all our community interests.