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R&D rethink needed for sportsbooks to harness esports’ power

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Esports betting is still grappling with a perception problem amongst operators. Despite the leaps and bounds in product development made by suppliers – particularly in the last two years – esports hasn’t shaken off the image built in the late 2010s.

Our good friend, Oliver Niner, Head of Sales at PandaScore, has been kind to share the below article with us.

There’s scepticism around esports betting’s value, how well it can actually perform and what’s needed to make it appeal to bettors. A big part of that comes down to perception, which shapes the research and development (R&D) choices made by each operator.

Self-fulfilling prophecy?

Operators who have put the research and development (R&D) resources into esports are seeing excellent growth, while others are still treating it like part of a long tail. The lack of a uniform approach to esports often translates into hesitancy to be bullish and invest in esports.

Whereas in the United States, post-PASPA sports betting has exploded and operators are seeking to capture as much territory and market share as possible because in most cases, you switch the lights on and the money comes in. It’s, of course, good business sense to take opportunities like this – you can apply the same templates used elsewhere on an incredibly lucrative market.

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This kind of approach has been attempted for esports and hasn’t found the same success. Granted, the legislation for betting on esports has been somewhat slower than that of sports betting and iGaming.

However, bullish operators have acknowledged the fact that esports hasn’t found the same success in regulated states and asked what can be done differently, while for others, esports has been thrown into the too-hard basket or relegated to the bargain bucket.

For the latter, the fate of the esports vertical becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – especially if an operator already using a budget esports product that throttles its very growth.

It takes two to tango

When esports is discussed in broader betting circles, you’ll often hear different versions of the same talking point: the problem with esports is no one is doing it well, it doesn’t innovate.

This argument is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Esports is a driver of innovation, and it is sportsbook R&D that is holding it back.

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Multiple suppliers on the market are investing significant resources into R&D, and bullish operators are leveraging these product innovations to acquire new customers and create engagements made for the internet age.

There are understandable reasons why sports betting doesn’t innovate. It’s largely because operators focus on acquisition, entering new territories and spending money on data rights. But the actual R&D on sportsbook products is left lacking, with ever-increasing cost-per-acquisition (CPA) numbers a clear symptom of this.

It means that if an operator does decide to use or acquire an esports specialist supplier but does little to cater its product and attempts to just lay the sports betting template over the top, of course performance will be throttled.

It’s like putting a Ferrari engine in a Prius – no offence to Toyota or Prius owners.

The same problem exists on the platform supplier front. Platforms are understandably focused on compliance and getting customers live, not necessarily improving models or their products.

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Even the idea that if you just acquire an innovative company the problem is solved or you have found the solution, doesn’t hold water. In many cases, the company is acquired and plenty of noise is made about it, but there’s little organisational investment in R&D afterwards.

It’s not just in esports

These problems extend to customer acquisition and marketing for most emerging markets, not just esports. There’s a rush to use the same old playbook in newer sectors because it’s easy.

The fantasy vs. house sector in the US is already experiencing an acquisition arms race. As analyst Dustin Gouker points out, deposit match bonuses for new users on fantasy vs house products have jumped from $100 to as high as $500 in some places.

This is the same race that played out in sports betting and despite the costs, there’s little effort from most operators to try something different. There’s less work when you just put the same acquisition template on an emerging sector and call it a day. This seems to be an accepted practice in the industry, for better or for worse.

Esports betting success requires ongoing dialogue

Rather than attempting to wedge esports into hegemonic sportsbook approaches, sportsbooks need to take a completely unique approach.

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The fact is the betting sector has barely scratched the surface – communities of esports fans are still dormant. Canadian operator Rivalry has built a successful, esports-first business by embracing the ever-changing internet culture that esports inhabits. French esports organisation Karmine Corp recently sold out a 30,000-person stadium for an event with no prize money up for grabs.

Innovative products developed on the supplier side like microbetting and betbuilders are only half of the equation.

Maximising esports revenues requires institutional investment, ongoing R&D and collaboration between suppliers and operators to create products and experiences. This includes having staff on the operator side that can drive and push the product further, and crucially, rethinking current sportsbook strategies and practices.

Building experiences for betting’s greatest emerging market – one that caters to your future core audience – takes investment, innovation and a willingness to experiment. If the industry wants to make the most of the Millennial and Gen Z audience that will become its primary customers, investment into R&D and close collaboration between suppliers and operators is needed. Many hands makes light work.

 

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Baltics

BETBY TO POWER ESTONIAN BRAND WINNERZ WITH SPORTSBOOK SOLUTION INCLUDING PROPRIETARY ESPORTS FEED SOLUTION

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Betby, a leading provider of sportsbook solutions, has announced a long-term partnership with the Winnerz brand. The partnership entails the provision of Betby’s cutting-edge sportsbook solution and its proprietary esports feed solution to the Estonian online casino brand.

The inclusion of the Betby Games esports feed solution comes on the heels of Betby Games receiving approval earlier this year from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), which allows the sports betting supplier to provide its esports odds feed comprising of pre-match and live odds, round-the-clock content coverage, statistics hub, and resulting, either as part of the Betby Sportsbook solution or as a separate esports data feed to all operators holding an MGA license and other licensed operators in jurisdictions which accept MGA license.

Players on Winnerz’s casino platform now have access to an enriched sportsbook content portfolio featuring over 210,000 monthly events covering as many as 125 sports. The Betby Games esports feed solution will further boost the content offering with a broader and more engaging esports content, including 11 Betby Games e-simulator titles. This includes Betby Games’ renowned customized leagues, enabling operators to offer customizable esoccer football tournaments which are fully tailored to any brand’s identity.

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Chris Nikolopoulos, Betby’s Chief Commercial Officer said: “I am very pleased to have agreed a broad collaboration with the Winnerz brand, as together we seek to grow the brand’s local marketshare. By continuing to deliver our extremely strong esport vertical to noteworthy brands, we stay true to our growth strategy, and bring incredible betting experiences to the operator’s customers.”

Kevin Liivamägi, Winnerz’s Head of Sportsbook, said: “I’m thrilled to provide our players with a premium sportsbook solution featuring one of the most extensive content portfolios in the industry. Their extensive range of content is truly impressive, and we’re confident that Betby’s comprehensive sportsbook solution and products are in line with our mission to provide our players with a fully immersive and well-rounded betting experience.”

The post BETBY TO POWER ESTONIAN BRAND WINNERZ WITH SPORTSBOOK SOLUTION INCLUDING PROPRIETARY ESPORTS FEED SOLUTION appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Alona Shevtsova

The L&G esports team founded by Alona Shevtsova got four prize-winning places this month

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The L&G esports team founded by Alona Shevtsova got four prize-winning places this month. Team’s sponsor — Sends company — plans to increase investments

CS:GO professionals — L&G team — got prizes in four championships this month. Starting May with 2nd place in the United21 competition, this young team continued the month with 1st place at the Dragon Esport Cup, 3rd at ROG Spring Cup 2024 and 3rd at Comic Con Baltics 2024. Simultaneously, the team continues its participation in ESEA Main S49.

“Following recent team changes, we’ve dedicated significant time to training and building strong relationships. I believe we now have the strongest L&G squad to date. Our current success is a great motivator, and we’re eager to achieve even more this year,” commented Kyryl «marat2k» Samsoniuk, captain of L&G Esports.

L&G esports team, one of the top five Ukrainian teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, has extended its sponsorship contract with Smartflow Payments Limited this spring. Sends is the trade name of Smartflow Payments Limited. The company’s founders always support sports initiatives and young teams with a particular interest in esports.

Alona Shevtsova, owner of the Sends Company

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“I see tremendous potential in esports. This field is evolving rapidly, much like the fintech industry once did. As the world increasingly shifts online, we are opting for digital solutions more than ever before. This is why our company wholeheartedly supports, promotes, and cheers for the L&G team,” commented Alona Shevtsova, owner of the Sends Company.

The L&G team began competing in top tournaments and almost immediately reached the Advanced division of the ESEA League Europe competition. The team also participated in and took prizes in European tournaments such as the SCL League, WhiteBit Crypto Open, Phoenix League, and local competitions. The team players are marat2k, r0ublE, kr1vda, kL1o, OneUn1que, rji (coach).

Smartflow Payments Limited is an innovative private limited company based in England and Wales. It offers financial solutions such as Internet acquiring and multicurrency business accounts, currency exchange and card issuance.

It is worth mentioning that the L&G team created its merch items, which are available for order worldwide. For more information about the team, visit the L&G Instagram page, Twitch, or Telegram Channel.

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eSports

The L&G esports team founded by Alona Shevtsova got four prize-winning places this month

Published

on

the-l&g-esports-team-founded-by-alona-shevtsova-got-four-prize-winning-places-this-month
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The L&G esports team founded by Alona Shevtsova got four prize-winning places this month. Team’s sponsor — Sends company — plans to increase investments

CS:GO professionals — L&G team — got prizes in four championships this month. Starting May with 2nd place in the United21 competition, this young team continued the month with 1st place at the Dragon Esport Cup, 3rd at ROG Spring Cup 2024 and 3rd at Comic Con Baltics 2024. Simultaneously, the team continues its participation in ESEA Main S49.

“Following recent team changes, we’ve dedicated significant time to training and building strong relationships. I believe we now have the strongest L&G squad to date. Our current success is a great motivator, and we’re eager to achieve even more this year,” commented Kyryl «marat2k» Samsoniuk, captain of L&G Esports.

L&G esports team, one of the top five Ukrainian teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, has extended its sponsorship contract with Smartflow Payments Limited this spring. Sends is the trade name of Smartflow Payments Limited. The company’s founders always support sports initiatives and young teams with a particular interest in esports.

Advertisement

Alona Shevtsova, owner of the Sends Company

“I see tremendous potential in esports. This field is evolving rapidly, much like the fintech industry once did. As the world increasingly shifts online, we are opting for digital solutions more than ever before. This is why our company wholeheartedly supports, promotes, and cheers for the L&G team,” commented Alona Shevtsova, owner of the Sends Company.

The L&G team began competing in top tournaments and almost immediately reached the Advanced division of the ESEA League Europe competition. The team also participated in and took prizes in European tournaments such as the SCL League, WhiteBit Crypto Open, Phoenix League, and local competitions. The team players are marat2k, r0ublE, kr1vda, kL1o, OneUn1que, rji (coach).

Smartflow Payments Limited is an innovative private limited company based in England and Wales. It offers financial solutions such as Internet acquiring and multicurrency business accounts, currency exchange and card issuance.

It is worth mentioning that the L&G team created its merch items, which are available for order worldwide. For more information about the team, visit the L&G Instagram page, Twitch, or Telegram Channel.

Advertisement

The post The L&G esports team founded by Alona Shevtsova got four prize-winning places this month appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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