TikTok has quickly become a major part of the social media landscape. From Tweens to Boomers, content creators of all ages have flocked to the platform, and in doing so, have connected with every sub-category of interest out there. As can be expected, gamers are a huge demographic on the app, and considering musical theatre fans were able to organize and create an entire original musical based on the Disney/Pixar film “Ratatouille,” it was only a matter of time before an Esports Tournament would emerge from the TikTok-osphere.
In an article from Yahoo! Finance, it was announced that TikTok has recently signed a year-long agreement with Forest Interactive Gaming Habitat Team, aka FIGHT Esports. According to the FIGHT Esports website, the global esports organization’s mission is “To help bridge the gap between mobile subscribers, operators and content providers by offering telco-driven solutions.” Considering “telco” stands for telecommunications, the collaboration with a popular social media platform like TikTok is sure to “help bridge the gap” when it comes to the content creators who use the app and the gaming and esports community. As Yahoo! Finance puts it, the partnership is meant “to make online gaming more socially accessible than ever.”
The first step towards achieving that goal was to create an esports tournament specifically aimed at TikTok Creators. Hosted by TikTok Philippines, the #TikTokGGPH Creator Cup played out through Valorant and culminated at the end of February, concluding with a $1,000 prize pool. Beyond the tournament itself, throughout the month of February, TikTokkers were encouraged to “upload a video that perfectly captures their gaming style, and shows the community exactly what it’s like to be a gamer. To qualify, creators must use the hashtag #TikTokGGPH when they post their video entries.”
Although FIGHT Esports is billed as a global organization, it is focused in Southeast Asia. Since its establishment in 2019, it has “organized over 80 tournaments in seven countries and regions including Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Taiwan.” As such, its partnership with TikTok is centered on the international social media platform’s Philippines office. As far as TikTok goes, it has offices in “Los Angeles, Mountain View, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul and Tokyo.”
With this first esports tournament from TikTok having freshly concluded, it will be interesting to see what sort of precedent this will set. As a platform, TikTok is able to create virtual communities with interests of all kinds, and the esports and gaming spheres are similarly full of unique niches and tournaments in a variety of different games. Obviously, since the collaboration is a year-long deal between TikTok and FIGHT Esports, TikTokGGPH Creator Cup 1 is sure to have predecessors following suit throughout the rest of 2021. It’s only a matter of time before we see similar “Creator Cups” popping up in other regions.