3 reasons why AB InBev’s promising new venture is focused on esports communities

The next time you hear a cheering crowd inside a bar, it might not be just another football match, but a fierce esports battle. This comes as no surprise when you learn that esports is the world’s fastest-growing sport! In fact, the competitive gaming industry is expected to grow by 50% from 2021-24. Needless to say, these extra eyeballs are a great opportunity to seize esports fan engagement.

With this in mind, StriveCloud and Belgian beer giant AB InBev are partnering up to present their new venture Cooldown.

Pitched as a platform to connect esports fans and local pub/bar owners, Cooldown aims to make it easier than ever for bar owners to host engaging gaming events for esports fans to attend.

In this article, we’ll cover how Cooldown works and how it delivers great customer value.

Behind Cooldown’s mission of esports fan engagement

After the big COVID crash, AB InBev did what it could to support bars throughout 2020 and 2021. From social media campaigns to printing vouchers, the veteran brewery is now focusing on Cooldown, a sort of gaming tournament platform that hopes to make esports more accessible.

To make this happen, AB InBev turned to StriveCloud, as we have a successful track record creating engaging, user-friendly platforms and crafting esports campaigns.

The initial problem was clear. AB InBev saw an asymmetry of information between those who want to host events and those who want to visit or partake in them. Put simply, as an esports fan, how do you know where the League of Legends Championships is being streamed in your local area?

On the other hand, if you want to host a gaming tournament, how do you get people to show up? According to AB InBev, it’s definitely not the lack of demand, but rather distribution. Keep in mind, a truly colossal 100 million people viewed the 2019 League of Legends Final.

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With those numbers in hindsight, AB InBev and StriveCloud teamed up to create Cooldown. A gaming tournament platform to help local bars host esports events and build an online community of fans. Not only does it attract visitors, but it also helps you build a following. Bar owners can set up their own page and connect with like-minded esports fans.

The platform is currently already facilitating events across Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK.

esports fan engagement event

At StriveCloud, we define success as customer engagement. This new and exciting sports scene opens up a lot of possibilities for brands to get a piece of that esports fan engagement.

Cooldown was set up and personalized with the modular builder in the gaming tournament platform. Thanks to a bottom-up design structure, bar owners and gamers can easily share their events and pages.

As a result, both fans and venue owners know when and where events are happening. Bar owners can choose to host events, or fans can even request that a bar host one.

3 trends in esports that shaped AB InBev’s Cooldown strategy

AB InBev wants to create engaging experiences where people can get together and have fun, together with bar owners. For younger people, that engaging experience is esports. The trends conclude with confidence that esports will continue to thrive:

#1 Esports has the young demographic locked in

On average, viewers of popular sports like football are aged 36-49. In contrast with those who watch esports, the average age is 16-24. Another key point to realize is the sheer number of those viewers -nearly 1/3 of under 34 year-olds watch esports tournaments, and the number continues to rise. Clearly, esports has yet to see its best days.

trends esports fan engagement

Innovating through esports could be a key differentiator for bars that want to engage younger demographics. Playing on their interests will be necessary if they want to attract this hard-to-reach audience.

#2 Accessibility continues to improve

Esports are becoming more and more accessible. Gone is the necessity for an expensive gaming PC or console to feel a part of the action, today mobile games, and online streaming platforms are empowering new audiences into esports.

#3 Governments are beginning to recognize the potential in esports

Perhaps the clearest sign that esports is here to stay is that governments have started legislating the sector. From tax adjustments, funding for gaming organizations, or rules on how a gamer should declare sponsorships, the authorities are taking notice. For example, in Germany, game developers can benefit from a new €50 million fund.

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Why Cooldown is not just any gaming tournament platform

With esports going mainstream, now is the time to enter the sector. In connecting venue owners and fans, Cooldown will make esports events more accessible. Over 500 bars have already signed up! For bar owners, it is a simple process between joining the platform and hosting your first event.

Creating a profile page allows bar owners to see what esports events are taking place, empowering them to host streaming parties. Through their public page, fans can find the bar, their schedule, and even request events! Accessibility is the name of the game.

esports campaign gaming tournament platform

Hosting and posting events on Cooldown will boost an already flourishing scene of esports fan engagement – and just in time too! Coming soon in 2021, some truly huge championships will take place. M3 World Championship is happening this December in Singapore, not to mention the CS:GO championship in Copenhagen during October.

With hundreds of bars registered, and fan communities forming, the foundations are built for the exciting events to come. In entering the market, Cooldown has been ticking off its priorities to hit the ground running:

✔️ Fulfill a need and create customer value for both bar owners and esports fans

✔️ Make the platform clear and accessible

✔️ Build active communities with a scalable, bottom-up approach

In conclusion, competitive gaming is a thriving sector, and Cooldown aims to be a champion of esports fan engagement. A more lively and accessible esports scene benefits all parties involved.


Did you know that esports is the world’s fastest-growing sports and entertainment among generation Z?

To meet the fast growth in esports, StriveCloud and Belgian beer giant AB InBev are partnering up to present their new venture: Cooldown.

Cooldown connects esports fans and local venue owners, aiming to make it easier than ever for bar owners to host engaging esports events and for fans to attend them.

AB InBev and StriveCloud make a natural pairing for this project. While AB InBev has unmatched experience in the hospitality sector, we have a successful track record creating engaging, user-friendly platforms and crafting esports campaigns.

We quickly identified there were no open lines of communication between bars looking to host events and esports fans looking to visit a tournament. With Cooldown, we decided to connect the two sides! This strategy is informed by the current trends:

  1. Esports reaches the young audience that traditional sports are losing. The average age of an esports viewer is 16-24, compared to other sports 36-49.
  2. Accessibility continues to improve. The rise of mobile gaming and streaming platforms is making esports widely accessible.
  3. Governments are taking notice. Legislation, such as tax adjustments, is being introduced for the esports and gaming sector.

Given the rise of esports, Cooldown expects great success when the large tournaments start back up in September. For example, DOTA 2 and CS:GO world championships in September and October are expected to draw 2.5 million viewers! Cooldown is ready – over 500 bars have already signed up!

Cooldown aims to be a champion of esports fan engagement and contribute to the sector’s growth. A more lively and accessible esports scene benefits all parties!

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