Esports is continuing to develop a strong connection with the betting industry, with countless companies now initiating strategies to maximise the sector’s potential.
BetConstruct is one such firm finding a niche opportunity in this growing market. The iGaming solutions provider has its own in-house esports division, allowing bookmakers to offer esports to its customers throughout the day.
The company’s head of esports, Eduard Avagyan, told SBC News about how this idea came about, the process of selecting esport athletes, and how integrity is maintained throughout.
He stated: “The interest in video games took off back in the 90s. Since then there has been an ever increasing interest. Esports is a unique product in so many ways. Its player base is huge and means that any person with a passion for games and who has the appropriate set of equipment can become a pro-gamer.
“It attracts significant investments and sponsorships from popular brands, as the bulk of the audience is made up of young adults who happen to be the top consumers today.
“Millions of viewers log in to live streaming portals to follow esports events, showing how much potential the product has. BetConstruct noticed the opportunity long ago, and now offers in-house esports; live streaming broadcasted from our studios situated in Yerevan, Armenia. The games played by our e-athletes include eFootball, eBasketball, eTennis and Mortal Kombat.”
Unlike traditional sports betting, there is no need for an official tournament organiser to liaise with. In this case, the games are run by BetConstruct with the players selected by the firm.
However, it is integral that integrity is kept throughout the process, especially when selecting players for teams. BetConstruct’s solution to solve this issue is to initiate qualifiers to ensure that the player’s skill is of a high enough level to warrant people betting on them.
Avagyan explained: “The main criteria we have for our e-athletes is motivation and passion for the game. Their skills and motivation are decided by qualifiers which also help in identifying team’s strength and eligibility for tournaments.
“The esports division is kept separate from the core betting business in order to maintain integrity, whilst the Risk Management department monitors all betting activity.
“Live data for esports can also be provided only through the API connected to the platform where the tournament is taking place, which means that there is no need for scouts.”
For an initiative like in-house esports to be a success, the demand has to be apparent not only to the consumers but to bookmakers as well, as ultimately those companies are the ones which will invest in these solutions. BetConstruct firmly believes that this fledgling sector has the potential to provide additional business for bookmakers, specifically in the Gen Z market, which is why it offers such an extensive amount of content.
“It’s a multi-hundred-million business so there definitely is a demand for esports,” added Avagyan. “One must keep pace with the updates in the games. Take the popular Fortnite for example; the game has updates at least twice a month. While the operators may be unaware of them, it is our responsibility, as their dedicated provider, to ensure high player engagement and coverage of all possible tournaments and events.
In addition to this in-house offer, BetConstruct provides live betting on 24,000+ esport matches from around the world from 12 different game types.
Given that esports was thrown into prominence by the growth of technology, it has bypassed certain sporting traditions, particularly when it comes to streaming certain genres of games.
Most esports are viewed on various open platforms such as Twitch, Youtube Gaming and Mixer, meaning that there are few protocols with regards to what games betting companies can stream. In turn, this means an enhanced betting experience with more widespread coverage and a greater demand for in-play odds.
Avagyan added: “The suitability is mostly decided by the demand and popularity of the event. The tournaments are divided into categories – Premier Events, Major Events and Minor Events. The audience depends directly on the quality of the event.“
Given the sporting world’s recent cancellations due to the coronavirus outbreak, more companies will be looking to esports in order to provide betting content for its players.
BetConstruct’s foresight to begin working on its esports solutions portfolio before the majority of other firms will undoubtedly help it to grow, whilst also providing the industry with much needed content for the future.