It has been announced today that Betgenius, an arm of Genius Sports, and Unikrn have signed a partnership.
Sports data and technology company Genius already supply the esports market odds to Betway and Sky Bet, and henceforth Unikrn will now benefit from the same package. This means that the esports only bookmaker will soon offer live markets and enter new European territories for real money betting.
The partnership though is far more than just odds and markets. Genius Sports’ Head of Esports Moritz Maurer told Esports Insider: “We’re delighted to announce our partnership with Unikrn. They’re the most endemic of esports bookmaker in that they’ve built, and are building, an esports community of fans. They’re esports only and this is part of what attracted us to them.
“We’ll be working with them to ensure that they can fully utilise our data and full offering to grow and expand beyond their already strong base. We have some big plans for new features and to build a truly immersive platform. With near immediate effect Unikrn will be benefiting from our comprehensive market offering; we offer over 450 unique live markets for more than 7,000 events annually.”
Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood meanwhile told ESI: “The Genius Sports partnership is one important component to our European expansion. We will be able to talk more about it soon, but for the moment just know we are working on creating a very immersive esports betting platform and Genius are working with us on the execution.“
In recent times Genius Sports has re-positioned itself as a sports data company first and foremost, and whilst betting remains a key part of its offering, it’s only part of the full package. Maurer told ESI how the ‘capabilities of the platform in full are wide ranging and diverse.”
Back in April, Genius established a partnership with FACEIT, whose ECS Finals are this weekend at Wembley. This has been aimed at ‘enhancing the way data and statistics are used in the ECS. In football Genius has similar arrangements in place with the likes of the Premier League and La Liga.
The work they’re doing with ECS is expansive, and you can read more about this in an interview here, but a key part of it is around integrity. Maurer will be delivering an integrity workshop ahead of the ECS this week on the evening of Thursday June 21st.
We asked whether the data driven approach by Genius also has a potential benefit for teams in esports. Maurer detailed that this is something they’re working hard on, and they’re in a number of discussions with organisations and third parties about how best to address this.
Ultimately though this is the area of the work they’re doing that he believes could have the most exciting impact on the esports ecosystem. From utilising their data they can help teams with roster picks, strategy and commercialisation.
Maurer commented: “Through the Genius esports platform we have effectively built a sustainable commercial framework designed to unlock potentials of data assets for rights holders through distribution via our products in media & betting while also delivering a suite of service & technology to stakeholders in the ecosystem”
Genius is clearly aiming to harness data to provide beneficial options for stakeholders across esports. Its work in traditional sports in this regard is testament to the company’s potential to do so, but esports is of course a different kettle of fish.
The company is aiming to align itself with the rightsholders in the space in order to best reach this goal. Maurer noted that they hope to reveal other similar deals to the partnership with FACEIT “in the near future”.
The notion of a rising tide lifts all ships is evident here, and regulated and trustworthy organisations such as Genius Sports, ESIC and Sportradar are working hard on strengthening the backbone of esports as a whole. In regards to the betting space, it is companies like these that are helping to crackdown on the much discussed unlicensed skins betting space too.
Esports Insider says: A huge piece of news for both Unikrn and Genius Sports. The work Genius are doing in regards to harnessing data for esports companies to make use of is undoubtedly interesting, and its potential in not just betting but the wider ecosystem is obvious. We look forward to seeing what comes out of this partnership.