Pavol Krasnovsky is the Founder and CEO of RTSmunity, market maker for esports on Betfair and Matchbook exchanges and odds supplier. Krasnovsky is joining the Betting on Esports conference (September 12-15th) panel focused on data, the challenges that come with it in esports markets but also how to harness it to succeed.
Alongside him on this panel will be Pinnacle Trading Director Marco Blume, Sportradar Head of Esports James Watson, and Oskar Froberg, Founder of Abios Gaming. HLTV’s Per Lombaek will moderate.
Esports Insider: Why did you decide to speak at Betting on Esports this year?
Pavol Krasnovsky: As the market maker for esports on Betfair and Matchbook exchanges, we have experienced a long journey when creating the truly automated low-latency infrastructure providing real-time experience for esport betting. We would like to share with the community what we have learned on the way about the most complex sport there is.
Also, we can see across the industry that many betting companies perceive the offering of esport odds as a huge challenge.
ESI: Where do you see the future of regulated esports betting going? Do you ever see the game publishers working with this industry?
Pavol: Esports betting will grow both horizontally and vertically.
With live betting, it is just a matter of time till the models will improve sufficiently so the new markets can flourish. There will be more esports titles with larger reach amongst the population capturing even the audience which is not yet interested in existing esports games. A separate chapter for esport betting will be written by mobile games with games such as King of Glory or Clash Royale already making their mark. The integration of odds with streaming services can further provide faster conversion from viewer to punter.
Many of the current publishers are from US, where betting is largely prohibited, which may be the cause of their dilemma. Notably, this is even when their counterparties in legacy sports organisations like the NBA or NHL do cooperate. Since there are strong publishers coming from the east, like Tencent or Bluehole, they might use betting to increase the engagement for their titles in Western markets, or globally for that matter. This potential precedent will be interesting to watch, especially if that happens, to see how US tycoons react.
ESI: How has the past year been for RTSmunity? How has the landscape changed?
Pavol: RTSmunity recorded a fantastic year in many different areas. We have finished the development of low-latency infrastructure to be able to react to development in the game the fastest in the industry and with minimal manual input. We have become the market maker on Betfair and Matchbook. To support all the growth, our team has more than tripled. And there are more things to come in the next couple of months.
For us, the key change in landscape has been that more and more companies are open to discussion to better understand the complexity and intriguing nature of esports. The more they understand the comprehensiveness, the better they understand that there are not that many partners meeting all their needs, mainly in the area of esports live odds and risk management.
ESI: What can attendees expect to hear from your involvement in the ‘Data, Data, Data’ panel at Betting on Esports in September?
Pavol: I would like to share with the community challenges we face and solutions we have developed.
Ultimately, the odds given for a live esports market is just one figure. But it keeps changing every couple of seconds. To recalculate it, you need the entire complex process in place: to obtain the data without a delay, to have the dedicated low-latency infrastructure in place, to develop and update the right algorithm. And to push it to clients in no time, since there are punters expecting a real-time online experience. This is the true complexity of online sport with 100+ variables in a nutshell. So, it is not that simple after all.
And do not forget esports games have been changing every patch and will continue to do so, whereas the rules in football, for example, have stayed largely the same for years.
ESI: Do you see the major potential in regulated esports betting as being P2P?
Pavol: P2P betting is feasible as a concept, nevertheless the platform needs to prove itself to be commercially viable.
There are still a lot of questions that need to be addressed: trust within the chain, brand recognition, user experience within mixture of odds, balancing of demand vs. offer with probability of counterparty non-existing, settlement risk, etc. In addition, the current discussion splits into two: bets on professional games vs. bets on matches bettors are involved in. For the first group, the key question remains the demand vs. offer ratio. For the latter, it is very likely that some part of the bettors might be minors. In combination with fact that companies involved are looking at the US market, this can be an uphill battle.
You can meet Pavol Krasnovsky at next week’s Betting on Sports Conference (#boscon2017) at which he’ll be speaking on the Data, data, data panel as a part of the Betting on Esports event. RTSmunity will also have a stand (A5) in the esports exhibition area. You can reach out prior to the event at [email protected]