Oskar Fröberg is the CEO of Abios, a data and odds supplier focused on the wide world of esports. Fröberg is joining the Betting on Esports panel focused on data, the challenges that come with it in esports markets but also how to harness it to succeed.
Alongside him on this panel will be Pinnacle Trading Director Marco Blume, Sportradar Head of Esports James Watson, and Pavol Krasnovsky, CEO of RTSmunity. HLTV’s Per Lombaek will moderate.
Esports Insider: Why did you decide to speak at Betting on Esports this year?
Oskar Fröberg: First of all we think that Betting on Esports is a great place to meet the other actors in the industry and also some of our existing customers.
It is also inspiring to see how far the regular sports data industry has come and compare it with esports. While esports data still has a far way to go and we have much to learn from regular sports, there are also substantial differences which are interesting to discuss. Perhaps the most obvious difference is that esports is completely digital which enables far more detailed statistics and data to be gathered and leveraged than in regular sports.
“We think that Betting on Esports is a great place to meet the other actors in the industry and also some of our existing customers”
There are endless possibilities with regards to the esports data and we love to speak about them and discuss them with other parties.
ESI: Abios started out as a B2C tool for fans of different esports providing them with live scores, data and such. Why the shift?
Oskar: First of all, Abios was originally never intended to only be a B2C calendar website for esports. The idea was always to either transition into betting or data sales.
Over the years, after we launched our calendar in 2013, we received many inquiries about granting access to our data and a lot of questions on how we managed to keep it live updated for every single tournament and match of relevance. It was therefore a very natural transition for us to start providing some of the leading brands in esports with data. When we realised that our data was in high demand and of high value we decided to make the 100% shift into B2B sales of data.
ESI: Where do you see the future of regulated esports betting going? Do you ever see the game publishers working with this industry?
Oskar: I expect to see a continued and very strong growth in regulated esports betting.
I do however expect it to increase gradually over time and I do not think esports betting will be able to compare itself with regular sports betting for several more years. Seeing as the viewership numbers are already very high, the willingness to bet in esports has been proven and the audience is coming of age to have a disposable income I still think that the regulated esports betting industry has a tremendous future.
“I expect to see a continued and very strong growth in regulated esports betting”
Just looking at the kind of data we are able to collect and provide at Abios, there will be opportunities and a depth to esports betting never before seen in regular sports. Live betting in esports still has a long way to come due to issues with delays and accessibility of data amongst other issues. I think that some of the game publishers will work with the industry while some will not, at least in the short term.
ESI: How has the past year been for Abios as a business in this space?
Oskar: The past year for Abios has been amazing and a great deal of fun to boot. We have not only developed our API and products immensely but also had the pleasure to work with many industry leading companies. As many other actors probably have experienced, one needs to be patient with regards to generating high revenues in the esports industry.
“I think that some of the game publishers will work with the industry while some will not, at least in the short term”
Seeing as Abios is the world’s first and leading B2B data sales company in esports it seems like we have found a way to monetise our information and data. We do however expect an increased level of competition in the space going forward.
ESI: What can attendees expect to hear from your involvement in the ‘Data, Data, Data’ panel at Betting on Esports in September?
Oskar: People can expect to hear about our experience in both esports and data sales within the space.
“Esports needs to be treated differently from regular sports and, vitally, it needs to be looked at on a game by game basis”
Even though esports contains a lot more data than regular sports, I would regardless claim that it is very complicated to build well functioning data collection and distribution structures due to the exceedingly different natures of the games and tournament formats.
In my opinion, esports needs to be treated differently from regular sports and, vitally, it needs to be looked at on a game by game basis.
Betting on Esports 2017 is taking place at the Olympia in London over September 13-15. It’ll have six esports panels with over 25 speakers and a dedicated esports exhibition zone where Abios will be one of those exhibiting. It’s a part of #boscon2017 which’ll have over 1,000 delegates in attendance.