Betway & Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) head up elite speaker lineup at ESI London

Sam Cooke – Esports Insider

Betting on esports continues to garner ever more attention, opinion and action from both industries. With the complications that lie around IP; the fact that game developers own the games in which matches are being bet on and are largely holed up in the anti-betting camp (the likes of Riot Games’ ongoing positioning on the topic, and Valve recently urging teams to forego betting sponsors are two to look to here), it’s messy to say the least.

Add to this, the issues in the sourcing of up to the minute and accurate data, remembering that game updates and patches need to be regularly taken into account, and it becomes trickier still. Despite these rather challenging hurdles, bookmakers continue to pursue the esports market at large, the lure of the much sought after millennial too much to resist. In the past six to twelve months, the chase to emerge as the leading esports bookmaker is hotter than ever. The fact remains though, that few are hitting the nail on the head, with many more missing the nail entirely, and some barely holding the hammer straight.  

The Betting on Esports track at Esports Insider’s esports industry conference ESI London (18-20th September, running alongside SBC’s Betting on Sports 2018) will tackle a number of these issues head on. Panels include the following:-

  • Partnering up: Betway and Ninjas in Pyjamas – A case study
  • Building a betting product for esports fans
  • Blockchain and esports – More than a buzzword?
  • Casinos, it’s time to turn to video games
  • Data, the key to a successful esports betting product
  • Do loot crates constitute gambling?
  • America, land of the free and home of esports opportunity

When it comes to speakers, Esports Insider have cherry-picked the best in the business; with the likes of Betway, Sportradar, Abios, UltraPlay, PandaScore, Luckbox, BlinkPool, Rank Group, DreamHack, NiP, Unikrn, the UKGC, and more involved in some capacity.

ESI London – the biggest esports focused conference of the year – will span three days, starting on the evening of September 18th. The topics will all be both relevant and discussion-worthy, with panels and live debates made up of industry experts over the 19th and 20th. It’s the 20th which will play host to the esports betting track, whilst the 19th will see ample esports industry debate and education.

The relative infancy of esports hasn’t stopped mainstream, non-endemic bookies from entering the industry. Operators such as Betway, bet365, Pinnacle and Sky Betting & Gaming now offer a number of esports options across a variety of markets – including the likes of CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota 2, Call of Duty, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and NBA 2K.

An increasing trend to is the emergence of esports only, or at least esports-focused, bookies. The likes of Thunderpick, Rivalry.gg, ESP, GG.BET and Luckbox are relevant to the scene; with Luckbox, Rivalry and ESP going as far as to sign high profile ambassadorial partnership deals with some exceptionally influential names in the industry at large; in the form of Paul ‘Redeye’ Chaloner, Richard Lewis, and Duncan ‘Thorin’ Shields respectively.

Bookies have gotten increasingly involved in esports in the form of team and event sponsorships too, though these are less common than in the likes of football for a number of reasons, the power and sway of certain game developers being one prime example. This hasn’t stopped Betway however, who have moved to sponsor Ninjas in Pyjamas, Invictus Gaming, MiBR and the upcoming FACEIT CS:GO Major in London, whilst the likes of 1xBet sponsors HellRaisers, ESP is a partner of G2, GG Bet supports North, and so on. They’re supporting teams and gaining recognition through their presence on these organisations’ digital channels and jerseys. Some are going a step further too, with ample content being produced; a nod here to the documentary series co-produced between GG Bet and the FC Copenhagen and Nordisk film created organisation North, whilst Betway and NiP’s partnership has to be seen as industry leading in terms of ‘activation’.

ESI London is a part of the SBC Betting on Sports Week, an event with over 250 industry speakers, 140 exhibitors, over 100 sports clubs and organisations in attendance, and over 40 countries being represented. This week will have tracks on sport in focus, future of betting, betting on racing, innovation & technology, and plenty of other interesting betting-focused subjects.

ESI London will also be the home of ESI’s inaugural Hall of Fame awards, which will be presented at the closing party in the National History Museum. Tickets for the conference are available here, and you can use the code ESIAUG at checkout for a storming 20% discount. The event starts on September 18th, and will wrap up with the aforementioned closing party on the 20th.

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About ESI London

September 18-20th, Olympia London – https://sbcevents.com/esi-london-2018/

ESI London will be a three-day esports business conference focused on building a bridge between expertise and interest, and explaining esports from the inside out.

Over 400 attendees. Over 60 speakers. 14 exhibitors. 3 evenings of parties and socials. 1 event. This is the esports industry conference of the year that you don’t want to miss.

ESI London is taking place just prior to the FACEIT CS:GO Major in the city, which is a UK first, making it a historic esports week in London.  

Anyone with any questions can reach out to [email protected]

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