Is technology the key to operators success within Esports?
The growth of Esports within the gambling industry has been a developing market that many in the industry have pursued, whilst others are still contemplating if it might be an area for their business. Gaming Eminence explored this topic with Max Sevostianov COO of Betbazar looking at working with Operators in Esports, future tech impacting Esports, high-velocity betting solutions, cross sell opportunities of sport betting customers to Esports, and back end data management of expanding in esports.
GE) When working with operators on Esports, what are the key drivers you are seeing executives and technical teams focusing on in this space?
MS) The impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic and organic growth in general have both contributed to the global eSports Betting market size being estimated to be worth US$ 10030 million in 2021 and further forecasts suggest it will reach a size of USD 23760 million by 2028 with a CAGR of 13.1%. This considered, it will be no surprise that the key drivers for entering this sector from an executive perspective will be revenue generation and the opportunity to achieve a solid margin.
However, from a technical perspective, the main drivers for entering the space will differ. They will need to be focused on ways to ensure a simple integration process and accessing the best quality data. This translates into the UX, as simple integrations can be leveraged to allow the client to book and choose the events as they like and through the power of good data, they can enjoy the full live experience, getting a better uptime, especially beneficial with the esports market on a global scale.
GE) What emerging technologies do you think will impact Esports in the next 5-10 years that some might not have considered?
MS) The world has seen more technological innovation in the last 50 years than in the 200 years that came previously. It’s clear that things are moving quickly, and we have to embrace this new technology, wholly as an industry, if we want to remain competitive in the entertainment market.
In the next few years, I think we will see major developments in high internet connection speeds and mobile penetration, helping to open up online communities globally, regardless of location. This will allow new regional markets to flourish, while providing increased opportunities for our industry to expand.
In 5 – 10 years I think another disruptive innovation to hit the markets will be in regard to the way we consume content. Currently we watch the game on the mobile, tablet, smart TV as well as the many other available devices. However, in the future I believe this will be replaced with augmented realities, integrating real life and virtual worlds simultaneously. There will be live statistics popping out of the screen and it will be a real immersive experience for the player. This is a premium level of engagement and will be a huge opportunity for our industry in the future, especially in sectors like esports.
GE) What is one of the biggest technical challenges that often gets overlooked when integrating an API-based solution around high-velocity betting solutions that operators should be aware of?
MS) Integrating API’s can be a tricky process at times and there are a number of associated challenges, but I think there is one key issue that is surprisingly quite often overlooked, considering how important they are to integration success.
The key challenge is in regard to accurate pricing. Keeping prices up to date is the key and will help maximise your margins. To do this, you need an API data model that allows for adding new sports and market types at scale.
GE) How important is the UX and its role in enabling cross sell opportunities of sport betting customers to Esports? Should classic Esports be part of the offering with sports betting customers or is it the wrong demographic?
MS) I think that the cross sell opportunity between esports and traditional sports betting depends entirely on which specific esport we’re talking about because even when considering the three main titles; DOTA 2, CS:GO and LOL, their audiences are quite different.
Demographically, traditional sports fans and esports fans are completely disparate. They consume content in different ways and have different spending habits. This, of course, makes it very difficult to effectively merge the audiences. The only esports that have the potential to successfully attract sports bettors are the sports simulator games such as the eleagues for esoccer, ebasketball and ehockey. They have the same mechanics as the traditional sports, making them a good product to allow traditional sports bettors to cross over into a new and exciting market.
GE) For an operator looking to expand into esports, what back-end data management due diligence needs to be implemented prior to updating the front end for an esports offering?
MS) In these due diligence cases the operator will have to put a lot of reliance on their provider for the technical stack that their sportsbook uses. Due to the varying standards and processes of the wide range of providers, providing an absolute answer to this question may prove difficult but on a basic level there are some fundamental actions that must be taken. Such as, your technical stack should be organised properly and be up to date.
It also depends a lot on the provider’s technical stack that the sportsbook operator uses. There isn't a universal answer to this question. However, the brand (company) strategy has a lot to do with it, the UX has to be the same as other entertainment betting content. Your product has to be solid, "united" because esports is not a standalone project. At the same time, all "native features" must be preserved, such as the difference between map and game and so on – but most importantly the audience must appreciate that you understand what you offer and how they can directly benefit from its use.
About our contributor
Max joined Betbazar three years ago as its Chief Commercial Officer before taking on the role of Chief Operating Officer where he has been integral in expanding the unique sports betting business. Betbazar specialises in providing content and data for sportsbook operators. Within the offering is an Esports and sports feed designed for unique competitions. Visit https://betbazar.com/