The growth potential that esports offers for operators is unmatched in contemporary iGaming. Within tantalising sight, there’s a huge, untapped, audience and community of gaming enthusiasts just waiting for your input.
But operators, more used to trading traditional sports book offerings, are still experiencing a disconnect. And they are struggling to create genuine, sustainable player engagement.
Many believe operators are struggling because they lack authenticity – and that they are not delivering key content in the most effective way.
iGamingFuture spoke with esports industry guru Evgeniy Bekker, General Manager of BETER Esports, to mine his expertise and predictions on the future of content delivery within the sector. Critically, iGamingFuture asked Evgeniy: How can this be best leveraged to create lasting connections and love within the esports community.
There are so many esports tournaments happening throughout the year, producing more than enough betting markets to offer customers. Why then have you made the effort to create in-house esports tournaments, the ESportsBattle? How does this help increase engagement and improve the player experience?
We launched ESportsBattle in order to bring new high-quality tournaments for bettors to enjoy. Offering fast-paced, engaging 24/7 content means that bettors have an always-on option to place a bet on, no matter the time or day.
By creating the product in-house, we have a greater ability to optimise the experience for bettors, as our primary focus is on providing always-available and enjoyable content.
We have created a Twitch-like experience, featuring live video of matches, interactive widgets and a bespoke UX/UI design. Thus, BETER, we believe, has built an experience that meets the expectations of the target audience.
By organising LAN tournaments, we can provide our clients with events that have minimal latency for live streaming; as low as just 30 seconds. In contrast, Tier-1 tournaments streams often suffer from delays of over five minutes. At ESportsBattle, our sportspeople play using setup as you’d find in Tier-1 competitions. That means we ensure a high-quality experience, and deliver engaging content for our bettors.
ESportsBattle has boosted player engagement for our partners both year-round, as well as during major sports and esports events, providing evergreen content with a proven return on investment in their esports offering.
Titles such as Dota 2, LoL, CS:GO, Valorant are among the largest esports betting markets in the world. How can esports betting operators better leverage gaming content to boost engagement ahead of popular international tournaments such as the upcoming Bali Major 2023?
BETER provides comprehensive coverage of all the major titles, including Dota 2, which has been incredibly popular for operators. Along with providing esports odds feed for every top-tier Dota 2 tournament, by leveraging official data from our partners, such as Bayes Esports and GRID, we’ve invested heavily in product innovation to boost engagement for Dota 2.
Before the Lima Major this February, we were the first provider to create a new type of betting content: In-play player props (duels) for all the matches. By creating a product that boosts engagement in the first 15 minutes of each match, in-play player props generated up to 300 percent of the bets, compared to pre-match player props set before each map.
Following in-play player props’ success, we upgraded our Dota 2 offering once again for the ESL One Berlin Major which finished in early May.
Several of our clients integrated an advanced statistical model developed by our in-house trading team of MOBA specialists to leverage extra markets, such as First Tower and Roshan, as effectively as possible to generate extra revenue. After the tournament we received a very positive response from our clients, which told us that the enhanced offering was hugely popular with players – with a significant upsurge in revenue from these markets.
Easy access to live streams, live data and odds are critical to the esports betting experience. How does BETER Esports ensure high player engagement with that content?
For our in-house ESportsBattle tournaments we own the end-to-end product lifecycle, including 24/7 live streaming, official live data and odds for 25,000+ events monthly across our five key disciplines: Efootball, ebasketball, ehockey, Dota 2 and CS:GO.
Our esports odds feed ensures comprehensive live coverage of over 450 global esports tournaments annually, which includes over 40,000 pre-match and 25,000 live events with an average uptime of over 90 percent – the highest in the industry.
Leveraging official data from our partners means we can provide the highest possible uptime for all major tournaments, with the agility to react to changes in matches as they happen live.
These partnerships also mean that BETER has a guarantee of the richest possible data to build-out our offering and offer reliable, high-quality content to operators. It’s proven that more reliable content that offers deeper player experiences drives higher player engagement. Bettors get more value out of their play, for longer.
The esports sector has had issues with integrity in the past. What type of tournament-related policies does BETER enforce to ensure bettors safety, and maintain a fair game? How can the sector improve on this going forward?
Esports has had its share of integrity challenges just like any other major sports, such as football and basketball. Our in-house Integrity Department, alongside ESportsBattle`s organisers, has years of experience and employs a wide range of tools to ensure that all BETER run tournaments adhere to strict standards of fairness according to the regulations of the national sporting bodies we collaborate with.
In the event that it’s established that a player, or team, has been involved in manipulating the outcome of the game, we immediately terminate cooperation with said player or team on a permanent basis.
In collaboration with our partners, we are dedicated to safeguarding the integrity of esports at every level. And we actively exchange information and data on any suspicious betting activities related to teams and tournaments.
iGamingFuture Editor’s Note:
After speaking with Evgeniy, it’s clear to see that the opportunities to boost engagement are plentiful. But only if you keep player needs as your paramount focus.
New products created by BETER, such as in-play player pros, or ‘duels’, are fantastic innovations, perfect for esports fans that help to triple engagement.
It’s also important to remember that the reliability of your data is key to overall success. Esports is a data heavy product and statistics are the lifeblood of the fans, so without top-tier, accurate information, an operator will always struggle to maximise the customer experience.
Another reason why working with trusted suppliers like BETER is so important is that they are able to offer reliable data through their internal tournaments and important relationships with key industry stakeholders, such as suppliers for esports live data, game data platforms, sportsbooks and regulators, all while ensuring the sustainable growth of your esports portfolio.
What’s not to love?
This interview was originally published in the iGamingFuture magazine.