Many sportsbooks have incorporated esports into their offering, seeing the potential of reaching a new, passionate audience. Nevertheless, adding esports markets in itself might not be enough.
To create a successful esports bet offering, we believe products should be tailored for the esports audience and their habits, rather than relying on what has previously worked in traditional sports. Therefore, we’ve come up with a list of the four keys we believe to be needed to unlock a best-in-class esports product.
1. Right processes and infrastructure
With long development roadmaps and extensive power under the hood required to create a compelling offer, building an engaging esports betting product to effectively capitalise on the growing interest in esports is a strategic challenge for any sportsbook.
This structural roadblock often results in sportsbooks providing a similar suite of offers for esports as they do regular sports, with little to entice engaged esports audiences. Therefore, it’s important to work with trusted suppliers with proven infrastructure, clear and simple integration processes, as well as good and active communication.
2. Quality over quantity
The most popular esports games are League of Legends, Dota 2 and CS:GO. They also stand for a significant amount of the betting revenue for esports in total (excluding sports simulators). We believe that the focus should be on perfecting the products that the majority of esports fans are most engaged in and want to bet on. Getting the offer to those fans right will enable more effective long-tail product strategies over
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Many bettors will leave for competitors when matches of a CS:GO or LoL tournament they’re following aren’t covered on their betting site, or when the uptime is too low. Therefore, it’s important to focus on these key features, rather than offering a shallow pool of identical markets on a wider range of games.
While long-tail markets and games can offer opportunities for differentiation, the coverage and uptime for the most popular tier-one tournaments should be the main focus. These drive the majority of revenue.
3. Real-time data for live betting
In regular sports, data is usually gathered through a combination of manual editing and computer vision. Manually edited data from sports is common, and as such in-game betting in sports is relatively reliable with high uptime.
To achieve similar results in esports, access to data from the game servers is paramount. It is the fastest data source available. It unlocks the opportunity for markets to be open throughout the entire lifetime of each match and competition. It also provides the potential to fully capitalise on popular bet offers and products such as bet builders, flash/instant markets and round-by-round betting.
4. The most engaging offering for a given audience
A way to achieve sustainable customer differentiation is to offer the most exciting bet offers for players, and ensure that this process is efficiently driven by the data.
For example, a sportsbook might know that whenever there is a game featuring Natus Vincere in CS:GO, people are likely to bet in their favour and that there is usually a high volume of bets since this is a popular team with a lot of fans and great performance.
The same sportsbook might also have noted, that s1mple is a popular AWP (a variety of weapon) player in Natus Vincere, and that there’s a popular player prop stating he will achieve over 10 kills with an AWP in a game.
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In that case, a pre-combined bet offer can be made of the two, making for an easy way for players to bundle their favourite bets.
Here, the focus switches from offering a big variety of bet offers and games to creating a compelling offer based on what players want to bet on, requiring the strength of technical infrastructure to automatically register these opportunities and be able to combine them.
Download our whitepaper to learn how to incorporate a successful esports offering into your sportsbook: