Gaming and esports betting platform Unikrn has been relaunched in Canada and Brazil by betting and entertainment group Entain after a year offline for restructuring.
Esports Insider spoke with Justin Dellario, Entain‘s Managing Director of Esports and Unikrn’s CEO, to understand the strategy around this shutdown and the platform’s relaunch.
Dellario explained that after he joined Entain in August last year — when Unikrn was acquired by the company — the best decision was to take the betting platform down and take time to consider “what strategy would ultimately not only serve our new and growing list of customers, but also Entain”.
He continued: “That allowed us to do background work on identifying the key parts, end pains, and larger tech that was important to integrate with Unikrn. A lot of those things tend to revolve around customer protection, technology, and things that would enable us to be compliant long-term as we look to not only launch in places like Brazil, and Canada, but ultimately more territories around the world.”
The decision to initially focus on Canada and Brazil is related to the perception of esports’ variety and fan engagement in these markets. Unikrn, though, will not partner with any teams or tournaments in a short-term period, leaving this strategy for a second step.
“We don’t just think about what’s our product, but we think about how we are participating in this community. And that means also supporting some of the largest and most popular events in teams,” Dellario stated.
“But that’s really a part of our long-term strategy. You can expect that, over the coming years, you will see us enter meaningful partnerships with a number of different stakeholders in the ecosystem, whether they be game publishers, tournament organisers, or teams.”
Initially, Unikrn will rely on social media activations and partnerships with media outlets to promote its brand in the territories it is inserted in. The reformed platform features a new user interface with features that go from betting on international tournaments to local, private matches.
Brazil has been a market heavily targeted by betting companies around the world. London-based Midnite even received an investment from the Brazilian group Spacecaps, the parent company behind LOUD, one of the country’s most prominent esports organisations. Other global gambling entities like Betway and Rivalry also heavily focus on promoting themselves in the region through esports.
“We think about the larger esports community [in Brazil] as one with some of the highest levels of fandom and engagement around the world. We hope that the Brazilian community in particular will bring that type of engagement to our platform, and help us continue to make our already award-winning products that much better,” added Dellario.