Gary Corcoran – DoubleRQuits – Pitch ICE Perfect

Gary Corcoran is the Founder of DoubleRQuits. DoubleRQuits is a platform which allows players to compete against one another on consoles ‘for money or rewards’. It believes in ‘esports for the masses’. 

Gary Corcoran, DoubleRQuits

It’s one of four esports companies that made it into the shortlist for this year’s GamCrowd Pitch ICE competition for start-ups. Ahead of the event at ICE Totally Gaming (London, February 7-9) we caught up with Gary for a chat in the second of our four Pitch ICE Perfect mini series. 

Esports Insider: What made you decide to enter into the Pitch ICE GamCrowd start-up competition?

Gary: I’ve seen the doors it opens for start-ups. I met with Chris North at the SIGMA conference a few weeks back and straight after chatting with him I submitted my application for Pitch Ice. 

“It validates what everyone already knows from 2016, esports is here to stay and it’s going to be the sport of the next generation”

Pitch Ice brings together key stakeholders of the gambling industry and it’s just a great opportunity to get your start-up in front of the people who can make a difference. You can see from the list of finalists, there are some great candidates on show, bringing gaming and gambling innovation to the forefront.

Esports Insider: What do you think of the competition? Four esports companies in contention…

Gary: It’s great to see esports companies at competitions like this! It validates what everyone already knows from 2016, esports is here to stay and it’s going to be the sport of the next generation.

“We feel console esports will have its say over the next 12 to 24 months. We feel we’re entering the market at the right time.”

The three other esports finalists offer services based on PC esports, we’ve decided to pursue console esports instead. PC has no doubt been the leader in esports over the last few years, notably because of its success and popularity in Asia. But we feel console esports will have its say over the next 12 to 24 months. We’ve seen big moves being made for Call of Duty by Activision, and with FIFA and Madden by EA. So, we feel we’re entering the market at the right time.

To go back and answer your question more directly, I like PVP’s betting exchange concept and it’s something we have considered ourselves. It may experience slow growth over the next 12 months but I think there is room for an esports exchange to become very successful. And obviously, I like Yamzu as it is very similar to us, but as stated, it’s focused on PC titles.

Esports Insider: How was 2016 for DoubleRQuits?

Gary: 2016 was a good year for us, we laid the foundations for the future.

From June to November we did extensive closed beta testing with our early users. This helped us refine our product and make changes to suit the needs of our players. It involved many long days and nights, but finally by December we resolved most issues with the product. We launched into open beta in the middle of December and we’ve seen good user activity since then. We continue to build on the number of active users and we finished the year on a high. It took quite a while to get payments sorted given the perceived high risk of a start-up in the gambling space.

But now that we have everything sorted, we’re hoping to hit the ground running in 2017.

Esports Insider: Thoughts on crowdfunding for start-ups in the space?

Gary: To be honest I haven’t done much in the crowdfunding space to date. I’ve only recently started talking with Seedrs and the possibilities there, but nothing material to comment.

“For esports gamers, operators need to take a more hands on approach”

Esports Insider: How can igaming operators better appeal to gamers?

Gary: Gamers can cover a broad spectrum, so for the sake of answering this question with a concise enough answer, I’m only going to answer in relation to esports gamers. For esports gamers, operators need to take a more hands on approach.

“I think operators need to create separate brands targeted purely at gamers. They need to be more visible on the platforms gamers spend their time on; Twitch, YouTube, Reddit, Instagram and Snapchat.”

I think operators need to create separate brands targeted purely at gamers. I think operators will find it too hard to target gamers from a marketing perspective, if it’s done alongside other traditional sports content and vice versa, traditional punters won’t want to see esports content. Betway have done this better than most, but I think operators need to create a separate brand and not a sub brand within their overall brand. In doing this, operators show in its most basic form, that they realise that gamers don’t necessarily have the same interests as more traditional sports punters have and therefore don’t want to be targeted in the same ways.

Operators need to be more visible on the platforms gamers spend their time on; Twitch, YouTube, Reddit, Instagram and Snapchat. Like operators have done with football, they need to sponsor esports teams like Betway has done with NiP. But also, look at sponsoring events or even hosting events and being visible at ad breaks during broadcasts, like they are for football games.

I also think operators should either develop their own or partner with peer-to-peer platforms like ourselves, using us as a cheap customer acquisition tool. If you have people playing and betting amongst their peers and then providing them the option to back or lay their favourite esports teams and players, then operators would see much higher acquisition and retention rates in my opinion.

4 esports start-ups will pitch at the GamCrowd competition at ICE in London next month

Speaking from experience I am quite an average gamer, but I love playing against people for money, it gives you that added competitive edge. It also gets people interested in gambling for fun and having a small value wager on events. This is the key aim of all bookmakers, to add entertainment to the experience of watching a game. Unikrn have a mix of both and I’m sure the peer-to-peer aspect is one of their key acquisition tools for new esports punters, as well as their undoubted knowledge and understanding of esports.

I think most operators have been cautious in their approach, but I think we will see most operators taking strides to capture market share in 2017. This is still a relatively new, undeveloped and untapped market that needs operators’ investment if it is to achieve its potential.