Why esports and live betting is a match made in heaven and hell

24 August 2016


As a general rule of thumb esports are ideally suited to the live betting environment. 

Pavol Krasnovsky, RTSmunity
Pavol Krasnovsky, RTSmunity

For an overwhelming amount of fans they’re consumed online via live streams, many esports communities are highly active on Twitter and Reddit, and the potential variety of in-play markets is huge and exciting.

Back in September 2015 Betgenius released one of the most comprehensive esports products, for both pre-match and live betting, and this was quickly taken on by Sky Betting & Gaming. At the time Mark Locke, Betgenius CEO, said: “This is a real first in our industry and I am thrilled that we can now offer such an exclusive product to our customers.

“Over 30% of current esports fans have engaged with some form of betting online – this represents an excellent opportunity for the market. On recognising this, we began building a sophisticated product line that not only offers pre-match odds across all major competitions base but also a full live betting offering, which is generated through our specialist software capability.”

At the esports betting summit earlier this year Sky Betting & Gaming’s Ben Conroy stated that for its esports product, in-play had exceeded already high expectations and accounted for 65% of wagering at that point.

For any esports fan though, this will not be too great a surprise. In League of Legends for instance, markets could be anything from Next Kill, Kill Count, Objectives, and so on. There’s much for bettors to pay attention to such as champion match ups (that is which characters are selected by each team), team records with selected heroes and the map in question, lane match ups and early kills and objectives. All of these decisions make the in-play markets far more complex, and in turn debatable and fun, than pre-match options.

The tricky thing about esports, particularly multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) such as League of Legends and Dota 2, is the stupendous amount of data which needs to be processed. In League of Legends there are over 120 selectable champions. Add this to the extensive micro processes which occur every second throughout the duration of each game, and you’ve a product which is far more complex in terms of data than traditional sports.

RTSmunity has been working on an algorithm with this in mind for Dota 2 and League of Legends for some time. Company founder Pavol Krasnovsky will be on one of three esports focused panels at Betting on Sports in London in September (#bettingonsports). Alongside Sportradar’s Head of Esports James Watson he’ll be discussing data crunching and how esports can thrive in a live betting environment.

It should be of great interest to traders, esports marketeers and bettors alike. Krasnovsky will also be talking about the system RTSmunity has developed in a bid to tackle fraud in esports.

He said of the system’s development: “The biggest challenge is the complexity of esports. On the other hand, as we are getting more and more data, we have more information to analyse and therefore better chance to tackle fraud in the future.”

There’ll also be a Betgenius panel featuring Moritz Maurer who’ll be discussing the commercial opportunity that exists in regulated esports betting with the recent crackdown on skin wagering.

Esports betting continues to grow, and whilst many traditional bookies have got involved in this space there’s still much for them to learn. A focus and re-education on how to offer live betting in regards to not just esports as a whole, but individual esports titles, is imperative if they’re to gain any decent market share.

Pinnacle’s Head of Trading, a bookmaker which has been offering esports since 2010 stated recently that he expects esports as a market to overtake ice hockey by the end of 2016.
Find out more about Betting on Sports and its esports panels by clicking here.

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