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BenQ Tease Future Of Esports At Zowie Monitor Launch

BenQ has laid down the gauntlet for rival gaming brands at a launch event for its new “pro-grade” XL2540 eSports Monitor, released through the company’s Zowie sub-brand.

The launch event, grounded by an exhibition match between local competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams Chiefs eSports Club and Tainted Minds, put the company’s new Zowie-branded XL2540 eSports Monitor and gaming mice range.

The XL2540 is the first gaming monitor to boast a native 240Hz refresh rate, which the company says will make it the weapon of choice for eSports players worldwide.

Refraining from the pixel-quality arms race between LG and Samsung, BenQ are looking to differentiate themselves through more innovative technical additions like their S-Switch, which allows users to save and transfer their exact display settings between compatible BenQ monitors.

The XL2540 promises to offer up 30 levels of colour vibrancy, great visibility of dark imagery and a detachable Zowie Shield that promises to limit distractions – a feature that got a nod from the members of Tainted Minds during the post-match roundtable.

BenQ say that over 70% of professional CS:GO players rely on and use BenQ/Zowie products and that over 50% use the company’s dedicated eSports mice.

ChannelNews spoke to BenQ Australia’s managing director Martin Moelle at the event about the range and he emphasized that “our products are designed to perform, not [just] to look good”.

He emphasizes CS:GO as a ‘natural fit’ for showcasing the strengths of the BenQ brand because ”every month there are at least 8-12 million unique players globally so that makes it quite a competitive game and the way the program is set up with software, it demands the highest performing specs for any product.”

“Having said that we do recognize the popularity of other games like Overwatch and will be bringing out specific products for that [game],” he admits.

According to him, the company is hard at work on expanding their Zowie brand.

“Right now we are developing a new keyboard and we have started seeding some professional players with the new keyboard and in the second half of this year they’ll start retailing in Australia,” he says.

In the meantime, the company’s mice range will be available through dedicated PC outlets Scroptec, PCCaseGear, PLE Computers and JB Hi-Fi’s online store in the coming months.

Moelle highlights the ease of use compared to competitors, saying “none of our products require a driver. Whether it’s a mouse or a keyboard, it’s just plug and play.”

BenQ’s mice range are visually similar but varied by different sizes and shapes.

Though this plethora of choice could prove intimidating to both customers and resellers, Moelle insists that isn’t the case and that they actually have fewer models on offer than other brands.

Moelle says the mice have the same componentry inside and the performance is identical.

“Where they differ is the feel, so what your hand size is determines what kind of mouse you buy. This leads to you being able to perform to the best of your ability and what is best product for you,“ he says.

Moelle says an in-store presence will follow shortly thereafter.

As the eSports industry closes in on the $1 billion mark, it’s become a major driver in increased demand for both gaming notebook and desktop packages.

However, that’s not to say it’s been smooth sailing for the burgeoning industry.

It still struggles to gain cultural momentum and relevance outside of the enthusiast crowd.

Moelle says, despite some hiccups, “it is progressing.”

According to broadband firm Sandvine, the Amazon-owned Twitch eSports streaming service occupied more bandwidth than the Olympics did over the early days of the international event.

“Mainstream TV has to be on the cards for that segment and it’s not quite there yet but it’s coming,” he says.

“The problem is that it’s so fragmented”, he argues before citing a recent inter-association conflict in the US.

According to Moelle, it’s crucial that “the different organisations need to work with each-other rather than against each other.”

After all, “you’d never see that kind of conflict in sports like basketball.”

BenQ’s Zowie XL2540 monitor is available now at an RRP of $699 through limited online resellers and JB Hi-Fi.

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