Gaming servers represent 70% of all discord communities. This blog looks at the top 15 esports teams’ communities, including G2 Esport, Faze Clan, Team Liquid, OpTic Gaming, and more. We explore how these top-performing esports teams organize and manage their communities.
How to identify the best communities? — The KPI:
In our study, the average esport discord size is 28.4k members with 656k messages over the past two years. We rank all the communities based on their percentages of super users, a proprietary KPI that we’ve developed to predict who is most likely to buy a product given our data working with web3 projects. We classify the top 5 projects as “top-performing” teams and the rest as “the compared group.”
There are 3 reasons why we select the percentage of super users as our main KPI. First, we have used the number of super buyers as guidance to help our clients determine their sales and pricing strategies live. Second, this is the most commercial KPI that can directly impact revenue and sales. More super users mean more merch sold, more hours of games played, more twitch subscriptions, and more app downloads. Third, in our previous study, we’ve seen how a mismanaged team can destroy the number of super users. This also means that the team has great control over this KPI.
In our study, the top 5 most successful communities convert 29% of their active users into super users vs. 12% for the control group.
The bigger, the better.
Top-performing servers deliver these high conversion rates while having a bigger audience. They have almost three times more active users. While being bigger communities, they’re also tighter. This is in contrast with our web3 clients because there is usually a deterioration in conversion rate as they grow their communities. For most esport communities, scaling is not an issue.
Growing while maintaining high quality
While the top-performing servers are generally more active and bigger, they also provide a higher quality of user engagement. Quality score is a proprietary indicator to measure how well users engage with each other. We track what members talk about on the server, how they talk (emojis and gifs), and whether they are making meaningful connections with each other. The top esport communities’ average engagement quality score is around 79 (vs. web3 blue-chip projects quality score of 68), vs. the control group at 43. In addition, top-performing communities can provide higher quality engagement far more consistently, ensuring that the user experience does not change depending on the days they come in.
Users come back again and again
While it is clear that users in top-performing communities are more chatty, they also come back 2.5 days per week vs. less than two days in the controlled group. This means the community manager can arrange many more activities and streaming events without worrying about finding the optimal time to maximize engagement.
How to get there?
All communities have the same potential.
One of the KPIs indicating whether a server has “community market fit” is words per message (WPM). WPM is a quick way to see how engaged your members are in your topics. As people are more interested in what the community offers, they tend to converse more meaningfully. The chart below shows that the top-performing and the controlled group members have almost identical WPM. Members from both groups are naturally interested in gaming topics and have the same potential.
However, the top-performing teams work harder to tap these potentials.
One KPI that separates these two groups of communities is the involvement of the mod and community management team. We look at the number of messages sent by users over the messages sent by the team members. In the top-performing communities, team members’ messages represent about 2.8% of total messages, while the ratio is around 1% for the compared groups. Since members in the top-performing teams are more active, the teams have many more workloads.
And hard-working teams have better new user engagements.
Because team members in these top-performing servers aim to talk to everyone, they are naturally engaging with many more recurring and new members. When a new member is greeted by the community, he tends to be more engaged and willing to spend more time learning. For top-performing communities, 78% of users send more than 1 message vs. 61% of users in the controlled group. Top-performing communities can get new users to stay, spend a bit more time interacting with the rest of the fans, and give them an opportunity to make friends and feel at home.
Our controlled-group esports discord communities have bigger sizes, higher user engagement rates, and better retention stats than the communities of some of the best blue-chip NFT projects. Some teams focus much more on other social media platforms and use Discord as a casual avenue to let superfans hang out. There is always huge potential within these communities, and a little structure and time spent by the team can triple the amount of engagement and loyalty. It is always nice to have an army of fans to support the team for whatever it needs, either pushing a tweet, viewing a new Youtube video or generating hype-train on Twitch.
If you would love to see how your communities stack up against our sample, check out more here.