TeamYPIt’s been a month since YouPorn revealed its official roster for their newly branded Team YP, consisting of a team previously known as Play2Win. The players made their debut this year at Gamergy, an eSports event hosted during the first weekend of December in Madrid, Spain. Coming in 3rd place, this was the first of hopefully many victories for the newly sponsored team. While the team may have performed admirably, the question on a lot of people’s minds still rang: Why YouPorn?

Gamer Assault had the chance to sit down with Brad Burns, VP of YouPorn, and talk about why they decided to enter the world of competitive gaming.

At the heart of the matter, the decision to enter the competitive gaming sector was a business decision first and foremost, according to Brad Burns. “Mainstream media has been slow to accept our advertising dollars, so we have to come up with unique ways to advertise to our users and potential users. Given gamers’ age, income levels and amount of time they spend on the internet, we identified them as a good market to target. Our sponsorship of an esports team was a unique solution we came up with to attract eyeballs in the space.”

While it seems that the gamer demographic might be the perfect target audience, it isn’t without its drawbacks. Companies like Riot, best known for League of Legends, have strict rules when it comes to sponsorships. Teams participating in the Challenger Leagues are not allowed to affiliate with companies who represent pornographic materials. Despite that, Team YP was unphased. “Sure it limited the pool of teams from which to choose, but I wouldn’t say it was difficult to find a forward thinking company that was cool with an adult entertainment sponsor.”

While the response from the gaming community as a whole has been overwhelmingly positive since first announcing the idea on Twitter, the company was still prepared for some backlash. Being no strangers to criticism, they understood the risks with publicly sponsoring a team and entering the gaming industry. It was a fact that, as Brad Burns put it, “weighed heavily in our final decision.” But regardless of any criticisms, Team YP plans to focus on their growth and popularity. TeamYPstuff

But given those criticisms, gaming and pornography almost seem like a match made in heaven. It wasn’t too long ago that gaming groups were seen as fringe, and they have only just recently started to break their way into the mainstream. It’s a scenario that, to some extent, parallels the issues surrounding adult entertainment. “Both have grown exponentially in the past few years behind the proliferation of technology;” says Burns, “however, the gaming community hasn’t had to deal with the amount of adversity that we have.”

“There is a still a stigma with pornography. But it’s something we’re working to eliminate every day with our advertising and marketing campaigns.”

And like any sponsorship, that’s what it comes down to: marketing to your target audience. The Team YP sponsorship is intended to attract interest in adult entertainment, and like any marketing campaign, it won’t necessarily win everybody over. But that’s something that Burns says they’re more than prepared to deal with.  “Like any advertisement, I’m sure there will people who see it that don’t appreciate it.  But that’s something we are okay with – something we think is necessary to attract users and in our fight to eliminate the stigma of porn.”

But despite any hurdles the company may face, they remain optimistic overall. Breaking into the eSports scene is new grounds for the company, and it’s something that has everyone excited. “This is our first official sponsorship so we are relatively new to the whole culture.” Burns says, “We’ve done our research and have invested a ton of time in trying to ‘learn the ropes.’ Of course we all play video games at home but that doesn’t even compare to the amazing atmosphere at tournaments and competitions. It’s electric and palpable.”

It’s that kind of excitement that reminds us of the people working behind the scenes, all gathered around a common interest. “We’ve been fans of gaming for a long time. A lot of us were raised on playing video games and still do to this day.” The staff at YouPorn enjoys everything from Grand Theft Auto and Assassin’s Creed, to newer titles like Smite. Burns says that while everyone has always had some interest in gaming, the focus on eSports has ramped it up more than ever.

That interest not withstanding, the company is still very new when it comes to managing a professional eSports team. Given the virginal nature of their experience, the staff is content with letting the players of Team YP take the reigns when it comes to the actual competitions. Burns mentions that while they want to provide the team with the resources they need to succeed, at the end of the day, the members of Team YP the experts.

While there’s a chance that YouPorn might seek to increase its presence in the gaming world, for the time being they plan to focus on Team YP and their development. Their hope is that this campaign will not only drive traffic to their site, but also help eliminate the stigma attached to porn.

Until then, the staff at YouPorn will keep doing what they do best.

Team YP

 

About The Author

Enrique C
Editor-in-Chief

There's no problem that can't be fixed with fire. Doesn't matter what game. If that doesn't work, use more.