The subject of data in esports and the potential of properly ‘harnessing’ is one which comes up again and again. From usage by teams, to media, to betting companies and beyond the sourcing of accurate, reliable and live data is in increasingly high demand. One company offering this service is Stockholm based Abios.
Oskar Fröberg is the CEO of Abios, formerly the consumer facing Abios Gaming, and is one of the speakers at our upcoming ESI Super Forum on March 22nd. Abios will be hosting an esports data focused roundtable for attendees on the day. We checked in with him ahead of time to see what we should expect from it.
ESI: Abios has grown considerably in the past twelve months. Which roles have you been hiring in, and how has the transition been moving out of the ‘start-up phase’?
Oskar: Our journey and growth the past twelve months is beyond what we could have imagined a couple of years ago. As you mentioned our team has needed to expand quickly in order to handle the interest in our products and to ensure our continued enhancement and development of our future offerings.
Abios is basically made up of three departments: editors, sales and development. In the past 12 months we have been expanding all three departments but mainly expanding development and sales. Going forward we will continue to recruit more to the sales and developer team with an emphasis on finding the right people who fit into our team and culture rather than just recruiting for the sake of expanding.
“Clients of Abios range from global giants such as Samsung based in South Korea to the streaming platform Smashcast, local news and community sites like Fragbite, teams like Cloud9 and betting industry companies such as BetConstruct”
I am not sure if I would consider Abios as having left the start-up phase yet as the entrepreneurial spirit still characterises us and our work climate. We are a very close team who are all working towards the goal of being the best and largest in esports data.
The last 24 months have really proven that there is a high demand for our products which has been an amazing journey and an exciting transition. The perhaps most substantial difference between us and a typical company in the start-up phase is that we are financially stable and we are very excited to see what we can achieve this year!
ESI: What can attendees of the ESI Super Forum expect from your data focused round table?
Oskar: First of all I would like to say that we are very excited for the round table discussion focused on esports data. We look forward to speaking and it is always great to get the chance to share knowledge about something in a space where many still have a lot to learn.
“Attendees can expect to learn more about exploring the esports landscape and the match data supporting the industry”
Attendees can expect to learn more about exploring the esports landscape and the match data supporting the industry. We will discuss some of the possibilities and challenges there are with esports data (and ultimately esports odds) as of right now and we will of course open up for discussion and are happy to answer any questions.
Some of the points that will be discussed include:
– Data availability differs tremendously from game to game.
– The challenges of sourcing accurate esports data from tournament providers.
– The esports ecosystem.
– The live data “problem”.
ESI: You package up data differently dependent on the client’s needs, and you work with teams such as Cloud9. In what way do you work with the teams themselves, we assume they’re a lot more demanding and want more intricate detail than most…
Oskar: The API is sold in different packages containing very different level of detail in order to cater to all needs and clients of all sizes. The clients of Abios range from global giants such as Samsung based in South Korea to the streaming platform Smashcast, local news and community sites like Fragbite, teams like Cloud9 and betting industry companies such as BetConstruct.
The way we work with teams differs from team to team. Some teams simply want to have a match ticker with upcoming matches, live streams and tournament information on their team website. Others want to analyse their own and their opponents gameplay by diving deep into our Play-by-Play data.
ESI: Are you seeing an increase in media focused clientele, do you expect (or hope for) more data driven content on a wider scale going forward?
Oskar: The main clientele as of right now is betting related companies as I think they are both able to make money and have a clear understanding of how they intend to generate revenues.
We do however certainly hope for a larger increase from the media side and I believe that it will come when the industry has matured further. I know that the media side is huge in football so why should it not be the same for esports in a couple of years?
ESI: Stories such as Betway partnering across a multitude of ESL events, and Redeye becoming an ambassador for Luckbox – we can assume these are music to Abios ears. How key is esports betting to your business, and what are the major challenges for it in 2018?
Oskar: Esports betting is absolutely key for us as of right now as it is the betting related companies which are our primary source of revenue. Different partnerships across the scene along with large companies entering is absolutely great because it creates a stronger legitimacy around esports. As the landscape grows and becomes more stable we expect that all the companies who have been able to create a strong foundation will prosper. Abios has been around for five years now and I still think that we have only seen the beginning of what esports holds for us.
“Esports betting has come a far way since we started and still has a long way to go”
If you are interested in some of the many challenges in esports such as providing relevant and live odds then we invite you to come by our round table discussion on the 22nd of March at the ESI Super Forum in connection with Betting on Football.
ESI: You launched in 2015, and later shifted away from a consumer focus to a primarily B2B model. With bookmakers one target area, what are your views on the progress of esports betting offerings in the past year?
Oskar: We actually officially incorporated and thus founded the company in 2013 on the 15th of March.
A couple of months later (August 2013) we released the first version of our B2C website which was a calendar and TV-guide for esports. Around two and a half years ago we pivoted to becoming a world leading B2B provider of esports data and live scores.
Esports betting has come a far way since we started and still has a long way to go. The challenges of esports compared to regular sports are many seeing as the games are first of all digital but they also change over time with new updates and patches being deployed. The relevance of old data in esports is far below that of football for example.
Challenges like these are among what we at Abios are hard at work with.