- Gaming and Esports
- How to Build an Esports App?
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Interested in building an esports app? In this article, we will discuss how you can undertake an esports app development project.
This is a huge market with many opportunities. So, let’s start.
Esports App Development Approach
We recommend a custom development approach to building an esports app. This enables you to add differentiated features.
We will describe a few ’Software development kits’ (SDK) and ’Application programming interfaces’ (APIs) to make the development a bit easier since they address several common functions. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
We also recommend that you use a ’Mobile Backend as a Service‘ (MBaaS) provider. This saves you the mobile backend development and management effort so that you can focus on designing and developing a good mobile front-end. More on MBaaS later.
From the project management perspective, we recommend you use the ’Agile‘ methodology. Read our guide “How to build an Agile development team?” on this subject for more details.
SDKs and APIs to develop an app for esports:
In this section, we will go over a few SDK/API options to develop an esports app.
API option #1: Abios esports API
Abios, a Stockholm, Sweden-based company specializes in gathering, enriching, and distributing esports real-time data and statistics. They offer an esports data API suite. When you create an app for esports using their APIs, you get the following advantages:
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- All relevant esports data will be available in one place, additionally, the data is in one uniform format.
- Event data, esports-related content, statistics, metadata, live streams, and results: Abios APIs provide you with all of these.
- Highly granular data: They offer match-level, series-level, play-by-play, player-level, team-level, and detailed match summaries. You get both detailed and aggregate data.
- Your app can get to most minute events within the esports game and gather comprehensive data around that using these APIs.
- Powerful statistics are available with these APIs.
- They cover all popular games, for e.g., ’League of Legends‘, ’Dota 2‘, ’Counter-Strike: Global Offensive‘, ’StarCraft‘. Your app users will find their favorite games easily.
Abios has comprehensive documentation about their APIs, and you can access them here. You need to contact them for their pricing plans.
API option #2: PandaScore API
PandaScore provides an API suite for esports apps. You can access their APIs and get esports data, subsequently, you can use them in your mobile app.
They cover all popular games like ’League of Legends‘, ’Dota 2‘, ’Overwatch‘, ’Counter-Strike: Global Offensive‘.
Check their coverage page for a detailed list of games.
The company uses ’Artificial Intelligence‘ (AI), additionally, they have their editor APIs. This combination allows them to collect and normalize data. This is then channeled through a single API for apps to use.
PandaScore provides high-quality API documentation, which you can access here.
They have a free plan that allows you to only access fixtures. A paid plan offers historical data only, whereas their ’Live‘ plans allow live data for esports.
You can also configure your pricing plan based on games, i.e., if you want to focus on a few games, you can buy live data for only those.
Visit their pricing page for more details. You can sign-up for their APIs here.
API option #3: Amazon GameOn
Amazon offers its GameOn APIs for developers to easily build game apps. There are esports-friendly features hence, you can make an app for betting on esports with it. The APIs make it easy for you to increase your ROI by increasing the player base, etc. You can set up leagues, leaderboards, and multi-round tournaments.
Players can create their own competitions and invite other participants. You can also offer real-world prizes fulfilled by Amazon.
GameOn provides a console for easier management. You and other players can define the rules of competitions transparently. It‘s possible to create event-specific competitions. As is standard with Amazon, there is extensive documentation for the APIs, and you can access them here.
GameOn is hosted on AWS hence, you don‘t need to get a separate MBaaS provider. Check the pricing for GameOn here. Billing is through AWS. You need to create an Amazon developer account to access GameOn.
As you can see, depending on your esports app features, you might need to use a combination of the above options. For e.g., you might opt for Wowza video for the live streaming aspect, whereas, you could opt for the Abios esports APIs for esports schedule, statistics, etc.
Mobile backend for the esports app
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If you opt for either Wowza or Amazon GameOn options, you need not procure separate cloud hosting. However, for the other API options, you need to develop and manage your mobile backend.
Developing and managing the mobile backend involves plenty of work. You need to procure and manage infrastructure. You need to manage storage, databases, and persistent storage. User management, cross-platform compatibility, security, etc. are the other key aspects that you need to manage entirely.
If you have a sufficiently skilled team then you can certainly do this. However, it will take longer, hence, the launch of your app might be delayed.
MBaaS providers manage all these, hence, you can concentrate on UX/UI design and the mobile app frontend. we recommend you engage an MBaaS provider like Google Firebase or Kinvey.
Check our comparison guide “How to choose the best mobile backend as a service (MBaaS)?” for more details.
Your esports app development team
SDKs/APIs will help you with key functions like live streaming, esports schedules, and esports statistics, furthermore MBaaS providers can handle the backend.
This leaves you to design and develop the front-end. You also need to test. Hence, your team should comprise business analysts, UI/UX designers, both Android and iOS developers, testers, and a project manager.
Your UI/UX designers should have proficiency with mobile front-end design. Our guide “Mobile navigation menu examples” can help.
The testing team should know popular automated testing tools. There are many such tools, for e.g., ’Silk Test‘ is a good option. The team should also be well-versed with popular DevOps tools like ’Jenkins‘.
The PM has a critical part to play in this project hence, he should know PM best practices well. Check our guide “Project management: 10 best practices”.
The PM should also have a high familiarity with modern PM tools. A good example of a PM tool is ’ActiveCollab‘. You might find our guide “The 10 best Agile project management tools” useful in this regard.
Finally, the team should be familiar with the process of publishing apps in app stores. Check the Android app launch checklist for Google Play Store and the Apple App Store review guidelines.
Project management approach
I recommend you use the ’Scrum’ technique since it has been tried and tested on many Agile projects. A ’Product owner’ (PO) will need to provide the requirements, i.e., the features for the app.
The PM will need to act as the ’Scrum master’ and he needs to get an estimate for these features from the team. Based on estimate and priority, a ’Sprint’, i.e., an iteration is planned to develop some features. The team has a ’Daily stand-up meeting’ to discuss the status and resolve issues.
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The project sponsors approve the sprint in a ’Sprint review meeting’ after checking if the features work as expected. The team conducts a ’Sprint retrospective meeting’, i.e., a lessons-learned exercise, after the sprint.
Learn more in our guide “How to build a Scrum development team?”.
The cost to build an esports app
SDK/API providers either publish their pricing information on their website or provide pricing plans upon request. MBaaS providers provide their pricing plans on their websites.
However, development effort depends on the complexity of the app. The local labor market will influence the manpower costs, however. It is for this reason that we really recommend remote workers.
The esports market is an industry with many opportunities. An expert app development team can help your project to succeed.
This is an end-to-end development project requiring a highly skilled team. You may need to get professional help hence, check our guide “How to find the best software development company?”.
If you are looking for an expert esports app development team, let DevTeam.Space know your project requirements via this form. We can connect you with field-expert app developers experienced in the latest esports technologies.
Frequently Asked Questions
esports is computer gaming competitions held by esports organizers and producers like ESL, that pit multiple players against each other in popular video games like Valorant, LOL (League of Legends), Rocket League, Starcraft II, call of duty, etc. Live esports events are usually held in an arena where esports fans can come to watch esports and their favorite players.
The esports industry is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. Prize money for the biggest tournaments can be in the millions, while pro gamers and events are sponsored by leading brands. Due to the popularity of competitive gaming tournaments, many of the best esports apps, such as the ESL event app that shows the latest esports news, ESL events, live results, and everything esports, make a considerable amount of money too.
If you don’t have esports developers then you should onboard some from the DevTeam.Space community. All its developers are vetted for excellence, come with industry experience, and their work is guaranteed by the platform.
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