DevTeam.Space Product Development Blog

Explore our in-depth product development tutorials and new technology announcements published by our software development experts

All articles

How to Develop an eSports Tournament Website?

It is incredible to think that a market that was valued at roughly $493 million in 2017 is predicted to reach $1.65 billion by 2020. These phenomenal growth figures aren’t expected to be matched by more than a handful of other industries. And what is this market that is expected to grow so massively? It’s the eSports market, of course, as this Statista report shows.

A recent Lifewire report showed the top 10 eSports company paid out a total of $71 million in prizes just a few years ago. The same report also shows how big brands like the NBA, Coca-Cola, and ESPN are entering this market. These giants are also looking to get in early to this burgeoning market.

Would you like to tap into this impressive growth? In this article, I will outline how to build an eSports website to get a slice of this very lucrative market.

Contents

What are eSports?
Top eSports and popular eSports tournament websites
Features for a website for eSports tournaments
How to create a gaming tournament website without coding
How to develop an eSports tournament website with custom-coding

What are eSports?

eSports are video games. The difference is that participants treat these as professional sports. Players can earn a significant amount of money. There gain massive sponsorship deals thanks to their large fan followings. There are large tournament payouts, and arenas are often sold out.

The best players of these electronic sports compete to win the massive prizes. Winning an eSports tournament is a highly prized experience for the participants, on par with winning the Superbowl in the U.S. Read more about eSports in “What is eSports and why is it a big deal?”.

eSports tournament websites make it easy for eSports enthusiasts to play. Users can also track the games and tournaments that they like. Famous eSports tournament websites feature a wide range of popular games and events. They cover multiple regions and enable players to organize their own events.

Popular eSports tournament websites also offer mobile apps. Fans can check results and track statistics using these websites and corresponding apps. Normally, famous eSports tournament websites offer different levels of competition, starting with beginner level.

Top eSports and popular eSports tournament websites

Following are some of the most famous eSports games:

  • Dota 2;
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive;
  • League of Legends;
  • StarCraft 2;

If you want to see detailed statistics about these games, follow the “eSports Earnings” website.

Let’s now review a few top eSports tournament websites, as follows:

Electronic Sports League (ESL)

It’s a very popular website. Users can find famous eSports tournaments on ESL. They can join the tournaments for free, additionally, there are impressive prize pools on offer. ESL offers different levels of tournaments, for e.g., ESL Open, ESL Major, and ESL Pro.

Battlefy

Another highly popular eSports tournament website Battlefy is very simple to use. The website is organized in an elegant manner. Users can find tournaments for games they love, furthermore, organizing tournaments is possible too. Like other top websites of its’ category, it covers all popular games.

Toornament

A very popular platform, Toornament allows game publishers to form communities. Organizers of eSports tournaments find it an easy website to use. They cover all major eSports games. The website covers all regions, moreover, they have a mobile app. Users can follow the results of their favorite games and track statistics.

Smash.gg

Smash.gg offers a wide range of eSports games and tournaments. Users can find tournaments. Like most top eSports websites, they can also create their own tournaments. The website shows the schedules prominently, additionally, users can track results and statistics for tournaments they care about.

GameBattles

A popular eSports tournaments website, GameBattles cover a comprehensive range of eSports. They offer eSports related news, furthermore, they prominently display tournament schedules. It’s very good for console-based games. The website is simple to use since they provide easy instructions for users. It’s easy to find player ranking, tournament results, and statistics.

Features for a website for eSports tournaments

A website for gaming tournaments should have the following features:

  • Users should be able to view match reports.
  • Tournaments schedules should be easily available to users.
  • eSports enthusiasts should be able to use the website to enlist new enthusiasts and players.
  • Players and tournaments organizers need easy ways to create and run their tournaments.
  • Comparing players and teams is important in the eSports community. Leaderboards are popular for this purpose. Users should easily be able to create leaderboards.
  • The social network is intimately connected with eSports. Its’ growth can be partially attributed to this social networking. The website should allow users to create their own social networks. Chat features are needed. Forums and activity feeds are also important features.
  • A simple yet elegant UI is key.
  • Finally, it goes without saying that in today’s era, a website should be responsive. It should lend itself well to mobile visitors.

Read more about these features in the esportwebs homepage.

How to create a gaming tournament website without coding

What if you are an entrepreneur in a hurry and don’t have a skilled web development team? You still can launch your website for eSports tournaments. I will now explain how to build an eSports website without coding.

No-coding option #1: eSports website builder

As you guess, this option requires using a tournament website builder. Esportwebs offers an eSports website builder. You can incorporate all key features of an eSports website, for e.g., tournament scheduling, social networking, match reports, view existing tournament schedule, leaderboard, etc.

You can have a robust management portal for your website, moreover, the company offers web hosting. They offer a wide array of eSports website template, you can view them here. You need to sign up with them to create your site. Contact them via their homepage for more details.

Zero-coding option #2: WordPress

The popular open-source ‘Content Management System’ (CMS) WordPress is another good option for entrepreneurs without access to skilled developers. You can build an eSports Tournaments website using WordPress themes and plugins. Themes control the look and feel of the website, whereas plugins address functionalities.

PixieFreak is a good WordPress theme for eSports tournament websites. The theme has robust customization options. You can use them to include key features like presenting eSports teams, organizing tournaments, and create a community.

The theme has good integration with WooCommerce, i.e., a popular WordPress eCommerce plugin. This enables you to set up an online shop and sell eSports merchandise. It’s easy to customize the colors. It’s a responsive theme.

I also recommend the “MSP – MultiSport & eSport” WordPress plugin. Managing eSports content is easy with it. You can incorporate powerful eSports statistics with the help of this plugin. The plugin also comes bundled with the popular Visual Composer WordPress page builder. You can access their comprehensive documentation, therefore, integrating this in your eSports website is easy.

In this approach, you need to buy web hosting. While there are many reputed hosting providers, I recommend InMotion. The company enjoys a very good review from experts. It’s a highly optimized managed WordPress hosting platform.

Your cost to make an eSports platform in this approach includes hosting, theme, and plugin. However, you don’t need to hire developers.

How to develop an eSports tournament website with custom-coding

To offer differentiated features, you will need to develop a website for eSports tournaments using the custom development approach. I explain it in the following sections.

The custom-development approach to creating an eSports platform

You need to do the following:

  1. Design a compelling ‘User Interface’ (UI).
  2. Engage a ‘Platform as a Service’ (PaaS) provider so that you can remain focused on your development.
  3. Develop the website with custom coding.
  4. Use ‘Application Programming Interfaces’ (APIs) for common functions.

A website is a ‘System of Engagement’ (SoE), i.e., a customer-facing system. Such applications undergo frequent enhancement, therefore, iterative development is imperative. “Agile” methodology fits well here. You need to organize your team into an Agile team. Use our guide “How to build an Agile development team” for help.

A development team create a website for eSports tournaments

You need to assemble a team with the following skills:

  • Business analysts;
  • UI/UX designers: HTML and CSS skills are important;
  • Web developers with good expertise in popular web development languages like Java, NodeJS, PHP, or JavaScript;
  • Testers;
  • A project manager (PM).

The PM should know modern PM methodologies and PM best practices well. Our respective guides “Top 7 project management methodologies in 2018”, and “Project management: 10 best practices” can be of help.

Choose a PaaS provider

Start-ups often can’t invest in infrastructure and software licensing. The ‘Platform as a Service’ (PaaS) model of cloud computing comes as handy to them. A PaaS provider manages the cloud infrastructure, networking, security, middleware, operating system (OS), database, scaling, and runtime environments.

This leaves our entrepreneur to focus on application development and application data only. The result is a quick ‘Time to Market’ with little up-front investment. I recommend you engage a PaaS provider.

There are several reputed PaaS providers to choose from. I recommend you use Salesforce Heroku PaaS. You can sign up for them for a fee. You can choose your preferred runtime environment, e.g., Java. You can also select a database.

You can consume 3rd party APIs they provide, alternatively, you can separately buy APIs from another provider and integrate them to your website built on Heroku. You can also use a DevOps tool suite to automate your testing, build management, and deployment.

Consume APIs for common functions

To expedite your development further, I recommend you use APIs for common functions. Consider the following APIs:

Toornament APIs

Toornament, the eSports tournament website also provides APIs. Developers can use them to build in several functionalities on their website. With the Toornament APIs, you can incorporate the following features:

  • Collect and publish tournament information;
  • Get information for a user;
  • List matches;
  • List scheduled of tournaments;
  • Create and manage tournaments;
  • Register a user to a tournament and manage their participation in it.

Access Toornament API tutorials here. They also have a ‘How-to’ guide for their APIs, and you can find it here. Start here for step-by-step instructions.

Abios eSports API

Abios provides APIs for developers to use on their websites. With their APIs, you can incorporate live scores and statistics on your website. The company provides very granular data. They cover all popular games and collect data from reputable sources.

The data can be by every hit in a game, alternatively, it can be on a game-by-game basis. There are also aggregate data available. Their APIs provide all key eSports statistics that you may want on your website. Access their API documentation here. Contact them via their homepage for their pricing details.

PandaScore APIs

PandaScore provides APIs for eSports data. You can use them to create an eSports platform. You can include real-time eSports data in your website with their APIs. They cover many popular eSports.

Their APIs can provide players, teams, matches, and tournaments. Streaming live eSports data is easy with their APIs. You can access their API documentation here. Their API pricing is available here.

Managing the eSports tournament website development

I recommend you use the proven ‘Scrum’ methodology, which is a part of the larger Agile methodology. In this technique, you organize your team as follows:

  • ‘Scrum master’, i.e., the PM;
  • ‘Product owner’ (PO), i.e., the stakeholder who provides requirements in a document called the ‘Product backlog’;
  • The cross-functional scrum team with developers and testers working together.

Check our guide “How to build a Scrum development team” for more details. The scrum team works as follows:

  1. The team estimates the requirements. A ‘Sprint planning meeting’ is held to plan a ‘Sprint’, i.e., an iteration.
  2. During the execution of a sprint, the team conducts a ‘Daily stand-up meeting’ to discuss the project status. The scrum master uses this meeting to find out about issues and resolve them.
  3. When the requirements are developed and tested fully, the features should be in a demonstrable state. The team conducts a ‘Sprint review meeting’, where the project stakeholders approve the sprint.
  4. After the sprint, the team conducts a ‘Sprint retrospective meeting’, which is a lessons-learned exercise.

You need to use an appropriate project management tool. Zoho is a good option, however, you can find more examples in our guide “The 10 best Agile project management tools in 2018”.

You may want to convert your website into a mobile app in the future. We have a guide that can help you with this. Read “How to convert your website into a mobile app” for this.

How much does it cost to build an eSports website?

PaaS providers publish their pricing details on their website. Some API providers do so too, whereas you need to contact the providers that don’t. Your development manpower cost depends on your features and the local labor market. You might need to get professional help for this end-to-end development project. Use our guide “How to find the best software development company?” for more information.