The esports betting industry has risen to prominence amid the COVID-19 outbreak. However, Parimatch CEO Sergey Portnov has said that for the sector’s long-term potential growth it should look to complement traditional sports, not compete against it.
Speaking at SBC’s Digital Summit, Portnov stated: “I don’t think esports can carry success on its own. Esports is strong, I agree, and maybe the time will come where it can be a fully independent custom but from what I see it blends so nicely with traditional sports.”
“Overall, I believe that esports should be a part of a portfolio. You can have a shop just selling grass and plants, it will have its niche for sure, people will come.
“But, can you make real money from it? I doubt it. It has to be like a supermarket. If you are talking about serious commercial businesses with high revenue it has to be blended into one single gaming ecosystem.”
Portnov was part of the event’s ‘Esports – let’s get Digital’ panel featuring RTSmunity’s CEO Pavol Krasnovsky and Pinnacle CEO Paris Smith. Both Krasnovsky and Smith believe that as long as certain criteria are met, sustaining the esports betting market is achievable even after real live sports resume.
Smith explained: “The volume has gone up, the number of partners have gone up, the number of players has gone up and the amounts of bets has gone up.
“I think we are going to keep the players, I do believe that there is the potential for volumes to go down a bit only based on the number of bets that people are able to do right now. But, we have taken the opportunity to increase the quality of the product and tighten up on the integrity which we have always tried to be at the forefront of.”
Krasnovsky added: “If we bring better transparency to esports partners this means that we automatically provide better products and better experiences to hardcore traditional partners.
“In our perspective esports partners are the right triggers for sports betting companies to make the process of bet placement transparent. This can only positively influence traditional partners.”
The panel concluded with an emphasis on esports’ target market, millennials, and how sportsbooks can tap into this generation.
Portnov said: “Think about millennials and do a product for them, put esports maybe at the centre, but don’t limit it to esports.”
Smith concluded: “Millennials love influencers so to go forward and have that leads us (the betting industry) in the right direction.”
The esports panel, sponsored by Oddin, was moderated by Neosurf CCO Andrea McGeachin, who directed the topics and discussion.
SBC’s Digital Summit has attracted an estimated 10,000 delegates from around the world to discuss some of the industry’s biggest topics, such as how the esports betting sector has reacted to COVID-19. If you wish to join the event then register here.
The event will run from 27 April to 1 May 2020 featuring a variety of industry expert panels, virtual networking lounges and a virtual exhibition. Whilst also offering an on-demand feature if you miss or want to rewatch the panel sessions.