M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment head of digital, Haran Ramachandranhas, will head up the newly created eSports division.

M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, the PR and Marketing agency, has signed a partnership with the inaugural eGames, which will take place in Rio between 14 – 16 August. The agency say that they will provide strategic counsel and sponsorship advice for the event.

Launched as part of the London Games Festival, on April 6th 2016, the eGames is an international gaming tournament where national pride is the prize. Supported by the UK Government, this not for profit initiative has been set up with the aim of positively shaping the future of competitive eSports gaming.

M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment’s foray into the eSports market comes as the sector is showing huge growth. According to Newzoo, who provide leading market intelligence for the gaming industry, the eSports economy is expected to generate $463m (£321m) during 2016, representing a year-on-year increase of 43 per cent.

This year, audience figures are tipped to comprise of 131 million enthusiasts and a 125 million casual viewers who will tune in for big international events. It is estimated that, by 2019, eSports is predicted to generate in excess of $1 billion in worldwide revenue.

While the sector shows plenty of potential, Ramachandran noted that brands in Europe have so far been relunctant to get involved. “We want to change that by working with brands to create compelling eSports campaigns in the same way we do for traditional sports,” he said.