Interviews

Zotac Rides High on Regional Success

Arabian Reseller speaks to Maciej Wieczorek, the Senior Marketing Manager for EMEAI at ZOTAC, who says while ZOTAC is at the pole position currently in the gaming components market in the region, there are further more opportunities to tap

Tell us about your engagement with eSports and the gaming community in the region?
ZOTAC as a PC gaming brand has always engaged and participated in major gaming event such as Gamescom and so on. We also saw that we had lots of new opportunities and thus created our very own eSports tournament with Blizzard, called the ZOTAC Cup. ZOTAC Cup is a major event and though we sponsor our very own eSports team in various tournaments around the world, ZOTAC Cup is open to all sorts of eSports teams.

What was the regional representation for ZOTAC Cup?
In terms of eSports teams, we had a couple of teams register from the region for our qualifier rounds. Since this market is not very big in terms of gaming tournaments, the teams originating from this region had to qualify under the Middle East and Africa region. All the amateur teams had fun. However, they couldn’t go to the second round. eSports is a growing area and we have a huge focus there. With our current range of products and our upcoming products, we are sure we will be able to give eSports a big push in this region.

Tell us about your product roadmap for the upcoming months?
In order to push eSports everywhere, we have created a new sub brand called ZOTAC Gaming. So from now on, all new graphics cards will be launched under that brand name. We will increase the portfolio of our PCs that are created for gamers such as the MEK series.

Our mini PCs will continue to be part of our product roadmap. In our portfolio of mini PCs, what is missing are those cool-looking blinged-up mini PCs with LED lights and so on, which gamers like. And that’s why we created the MEK series and we will soon be launching the MEK Ultra.

It will be the best of best, with an Intel Core i9 processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, 32GB of RAM and so on. So the PC will include the maximum spec you would like to have in a full blown PC. We will also be launching the smallest gaming mini PC with RTX 2070 graphics, in a compact form factor, with lots of bling, called the MEK Mini. It will be similar to our Magnus series, but it will cater to the gamers.     

Do you have plans to offer graphics platforms from AMD?
We are loyal to our partners and NVIDIA on the graphics front. We started as an NVIDIA brand and will continue to carry products based on their platform. On the CPU side, we also have AMD chipsets such as the Ryzen APUs. But for graphics, we will continue to be with NVIDIA.

How has your MEK series performed in the region?
In Europe the MEK series has got on to some good start. In the Middle East, we have  just started to give the MEK more push, especially with the new MEK Ultra coming out very soon. This will be a kind of new start and we hope for the MEK 1, MEK Ultra and the MEK Mini to do really well in this region.

Tell us about your VR ambitions?
We launched our VR Backpack a couple of years ago. We are now readying ourselves to launch the second generation of the VR Backpack series. When we launched the first generation two years ago, there was a big hype surrounding VR.

However, over these years, in terms of end consumer uptake, it has been very slow to start off. On the commercial side, we have seen major uptake in terms of VR solutions in places such as arcade gaming centers and so on. The reason there’s been a slower uptake on the end consumer side, is because of the lack of triple A gaming titles with VR content.

The VR Backpack is a niche product and we continue to push it into the professional and commercial areas. So, going forward, we will have the second generation VR Backpack very soon. It will be lighter, smaller, and more powerful.

How has ZOTAC performed overall in the region?
This year was one of our most successful years in the Middle East. We reached an all-time high in terms of revenue. We are number one based on the numbers from NVIDIA in the GCC market, in the components area, and we grew our market share in the region.

When you see the whole Middle East market, we are a solid number two. Of course, there is space to grow and we will do the best what we can do. In the last two years, we have launched many products under various price points and performance capabilities and that has helped us to target each and every buyer profile in the region. There are  lots of opportunities in gaming in the Middle East and we are here for the long haul.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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