Cannes Lions

The OMEN by HP Challenge


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Esports is the fastest growing sport on the planet. Huge audiences gather for massive esports tournaments around the world.

OMEN by HP (HP’s PC gaming brand) is a relative newcomer (>3 years). They want to be the no.1 PC gaming brand in esports by 2020.

‘The OMEN Challenge’ has been a part of HP’s brand experience and activation programme for three years, using the traditional eSports tournament format.

Esport tournament formats are formulaic and expected. 100 players fight-to-the-death until there is a single victor. A points-based system over three days makes final scores predictable.


Create a new tournament experience for OMEN Challenge 2018 to make an impact at Gamescom, in Cologne, Germany.

They wanted to move away from gimmicky stunts used in previous years and increase credibility amongst programmers, influencers and eSports fans.

Key metrics:

Further growth of awareness and consideration of the OMEN brand


We developed a world-first tournament format which reinvented the game, providing new experiences for players and fans.

First, an influencer-driven social media recruitment campaign saw elite gaming athletes partnering with top fans. That's like Serena Williams recruiting a fan to play doubles with her.

Then, we introduced a never-seen-before gaming tournament, live, at one of the biggest gaming events of the year: Gamescom in Cologne.

The new format started player-pairs with a pot of cash to protect. They lost a % every time they were killed... and every-time they killed someone, got their victim’s share.

The new mechanic changed the entire psychology of play. Being too successful made you a target. Players who were getting hammered could turn it all around in just one kill.

'Bounties' provide further drama.

A new voting mechanic allow social audiences to directly impact the action too.


Our target audience was the full gaming community.

Our strategy was to build long-term credibility with gamers by avoid event gimmicks and instead creating something authentic to brand, which would have the depth and truly impact the world of gaming.

We decided to develop a tournament format which would fundamentally change the way gamers played.

Providing a revolutionary tournament format, would create massive buzz at Gamescom, mark OMEN by HP out from competitors and build creditability with the target audiences, providing a world-first experience for players and crowds.

We would leverage HP’s streaming partner, Twitch, and their network of influencers and pro-gamers, to build anticipation for the event and engage fans to play alongside heroes at the event.

We also built an entirely new gaming mechanic so home audiences could impact the action live: another world first for the esports tournament format.


This revolutionary tournament format literally didn’t exist, so first we had to build the entire tournament programme algorithm from scratch.

Twenty leading influencers recruited their play-partners through their social/PUBG channels.

Recruitment videos were posted across OMEN and Twitch channels.

At Gamescom, we hosted the influencers (player-partners offsite at home).

Day 1 - Duos start with $5,000. For each kill on Day 1, teams took 25% of the eliminated team’s pot.

Day 2 – 50%

Day 3 – 75%

$50k was allocated to ‘bounties’ and ‘shots-of-the-day’.

The wealthiest team at the end of Day 3 was crowned ‘OMEN by HP Challenge Winner’ and took the winnings home.

Tournament days were live-streamed on the OMEN by HP Twitch channel and broadcasted on the Twitch home page across EMEA.

Highlights of the day were published on OMEN by HP social channels.

Twitch vote mechanic was created on the stream, directly engaging audiences.


Livestream Results:

3.2 million live views (300% increase on the 2017 OMEN Challenge)

Over 15 million minutes watched (350% increase on 2017)

3 million unique views (260% increase on 2017)

40,000 concurrent views at peak (150% increase on 2017)

Social Results:

3.2 million post engagements (215% increase on 2017)

56 million hashtag impressions

40,000 click throughs to the OMEN by HP website

Influencer Results:

4.2 million impressions from social content

150k social engagements

400k Twitch views

Media Results:

70+ media from 13 markets

Over 170 articles across EMEA

4.6m coverage


“The format is phenomenal, it is so creative, it’s one of the best tournaments I’ve ever done.’ – Cyanide, OMEN Challenge Player and UK Influencer

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