Sapphire Technology’s Adrian Thompson

Sapphire Technology’s Adrian Thompson on esports, gaming and the company’s roadmap

Sapphire Technology has recently penetrated new markets with a series of GPU Compute server systems targeting the blockchain and commercial cryptocurrency mining businesses. PCR catches up with the company’s VP of Marketing, Adrian Thompson to find out more.

Please could you tell me a bit more about Sapphire Technology?

Sapphire Technology manufacturers and supplies graphics and mainboard products worldwide, in paricular AMD Radeon based products for the PC markets. The company addresses a range of vertical markets, including gaming, eSports and performance graphics enthusiasts. We also deliver an array of professional graphics products and embedded system solutions.

The company will be reaching a big milestone this year as we will be turning 20 years old, which highlights our position within this industry as AMD’s Premium Graphic card partner.

Please could you tell me a bit more about your role within the company?

As Sapphire’s Vice President of Marketing, I am responsible for the business’ top to bottom marketing goals within our company. Ensuring Sapphire’s go-to Market Strategy evolves with the ever-changing market. My team is spread globally ensuring we have local input which helps keep our marketing strategy relevant Worldwide.

Please could you provide some insight into Sapphire Technology and its roadmap/key focuses for 2021?

With our core business focus being consumer graphics, this year is going to be heavily directed towards gamers ensuring we are at the heart of the PC’s performance. We want to deliver cutting edge products that are high performing, whilst offering the best value for money. We constantly engage with our customer base and aim to focus on producing products that are going to resonate with them.

With our global reach, we are able to tap into lots of different markets and are able to get feedback from our wide demographic of customers, which helps us produce the best products that fulfil their needs. Our goal is to bring out Cutting edge technology to meet all the demands in a constantly developing market.

How has the business navigated the current climate and adjusted to lockdown?

It has been really interesting for us this past year as there is a lot more demand for computer-based products and technology. With everyone spending more time at home, people have more time on their hands and are spending that time on computers. As a result, we have seen an uptake in people wanting quality products. Over the last year, I think people are looking more closely at what their hardware can do and what it can provide for them.

More people want to engage with games and escape from the real world. The line between working and leisure time has become blurred and the industry has been lucky enough to have a lot of opportunities sprung their way.

What are Sapphire Technology’s latest products and the benefits they offer?

We have recently launched the new Radeon 6800/6900 series products based on AMD’s RDNA2 technology. The new cutting-edge technology brings unrivalled price-performance giving our customers the right tools to play and work. The new generation of products means spending similar money on what you would have for a Graphics card maybe a year ago while getting around double the performance in many scenarios. The need to drive ever-increasing and demanding applications while future-proofing your system is critical for adapting to these new demands on your PC ecosystem. The Graphics card being one of the keys elements in achieving this. Sapphire wants to ensure our customers understand the value of having good quality products that meet these demands.

Please could you tell me a bit more about the company’s consumer and commercial side and the differences?

The DNA of Sapphire Technology is understanding what Gamers want from a product and satisfying those requirements. Solid performance, stability, overclocking ability are just some of the areas that our engineers look at as we bring products to market. New developments in cooling technologies and the different components are critical to keeping a pipeline of cutting-edge products coming to the market. In parallel, we take elements from this constantly developing product pipeline and produce commercial variants. These products normally require different attributes and product life cycles tend to be much longer. Our Commercial customers understand what they require and look to source products that fit a defined set of parameters. We also produce custom design motherboards and graphics cards for this business that go into verticals such as Digital Signage, Industrial PC’s, Casino Gaming and Media players. Our G-Pro series is at the heart of our GPU Servers that support rendering and blockchain applications.

In your opinion what is the current state of the esports market?

The esports market has exploded. It is a truly global sport viewed worldwide. With traditional sports there are a few that have a Global reach but esports are fundamentally borderless. Sponsors and advertisers see the value in being able to support tournaments and they understand the ability to address their target audience inside esports. This in turn has meant prize pools and tournaments being able to grow in scale.

How have esports evolved?

What began as traditional Lan Parties has evolved into events of multiple time zones and countries. There are now many full time professional esports players and teams. There is now the ability to have huge virtual arenas and esports has a truly global reach. Esports is evolving rapidly and inside this, we are seeing Sports stars as you see in traditional sports that are and will become household names.

What trends or developments are you currently experiencing in regards to esports?

We see a huge demand for higher-end graphics as DIY players increase the performance of their rigs with more focus on tweaking and tuning to wring every bit of performance from their systems that is possible. Esports offers a technology company like Sapphire Technology a platform to showcase our best products to an ever-increasing global audience who are hungry for information about gaming technology and performance. This is a successful way to engage with avid gamers and for sponsors like Sapphire these opportunities will continue to grow.

Where do you see the future of esports going?

It is already bigger than many traditional spectator sports and we will see it overtake even the big global sports in the next few years in terms of time spent watching and playing. There is a high level of professionalism in hosting. Younger audiences and over 35’s are engaging more so the viewer demographics is expanding. The Esports infrastructure is helping expand focused careers paths in the industry.

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