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Pinnacle Solution: operators need to act as authentic pillars of the esports industry

By - 12 July 2022

Esports fans will see through generic content, lazy bet offerings, and lip service. Rohini Sardana, Business Development Director at Pinnacle Solution, explains why it’s imperative that operators act and invest as authentic pillars of the esports industry.

In what ways do esports fans consume content differently from fans of ‘traditional’ sports?

The esports community is arguably more digitally engaged than the ‘traditional’ sports fan, dedicating more time to their following of esports, across significantly different entertainment channels.

Having not grown up with the same linear TV path that most soccer and tennis fans have, they instead consume on platforms designed for the gaming community, such as Twitch and Discord.

As digital natives, the average esports fan reasonably has higher expectations for the environments they receive content within.

UI and UX standards are more important, speed is key, and multi-device usage has to be built in, and this is something that operators have to factor in when building bespoke esports-first betting offerings.

How does this translate when it comes to betting patterns and behaviour?

In my experience, the esports bettor leans more on data to inform their decision-making, which is why multi-device behaviour is so common, with streams coming from a laptop, bets being placed on a mobile, while data sources could be found on various other online resources.

The step to a quality esports offering is to bring these elements of live action together in one place, to deliver one entertainment and betting hub.

It’s also important that we don’t underestimate the title preferences of individual gamers in different markets. The ’esports fan’ does exist, but generally, they have a favoured title or genre. CS:GO bettors and players may dabble in the odd bet on LoL or Dota 2, but primarily they’ll stick to what they know, and that’s first-person shooter titles.

What’s the optimal way of acquiring esports players?

Esports fans will see through generic content, lazy bet offerings, and lip service. It’s imperative that operators act and invest as authentic pillars of the esports industry.

Trust has been difficult to build with the demanding esports fan, and we have to be experts in our field to deliver the higher-level betting products that can win them over. Offering basic data, core markets, and stingy margins won’t cut it in today’s environment.

The esports product has come so far, and if you look at our EsportsEvolved product, you can see how rich the data can be, and having esports fans in our trading and product teams ensures we know the pain points and demands that the community has with the betting world.

This helps us overcome them and deliver a product that rivals any traditional betting sport.

Whilst other suppliers still struggle to bring the necessary, fragmented elements of esports betting together, Pinnacle Solution has raised the bar, bringing together the best in streaming integrations, betting content, and data, as well as industry-first offerings such as multi-bets and mobile esports.

What, if any, are the technical barriers that need to be overcome for esports betting to reach its potential?

Building a strong foundation of how technology can be used to create efficiency in data flows is a key hurdle that we’re slowly overcoming. Esports titles change overnight with new updates, and this can put models out of kilter immediately.

With millions of data points coming in for each map, if we can find ways of responding faster – via a combination of trading experts and tech – then we can protect bottom lines and drive profitability.

What innovations within the esports betting space have caught your attention?

It’s pleasing to see esports betting products now justifying the market hype, as opposed to just meeting early adopter demand.

It’s taken a pandemic to reach this stage, but with the availability of streaming, data, modelling knowhow, and the obvious demand for esports betting and its regulation, I can only see innovation building exponentially from now.

Our latest solution, EsportsEvolved, ticks these boxes and then some, bringing the best combination of content and betting opportunities to the market.

Does esports merit its own tab on the sportsbook?

Absolutely. Sportsbook’s tend to wedge the various genres of esports into one tab focusing on data alone, which simply isn’t a saleable user experience to this demographic in my opinion.

Firstly, it doesn’t make for a clean product, with upwards of 35 esports in their own right squeezed into one game type, and secondly, it looks like an afterthought.

Too often, operators have invested significant amounts into a viable esports product, only to wonder why the profit and revenue they were promised hasn’t come about.

Does esports need a single regulatory body?

Integrity is key to growing a sustainable betting environment around esports, and we’ve already seen major steps by various publishers, event organisers, and the betting sector, to deliver on it.

Fortunately, esports is able to pick the best practices from traditional sports, and therefore, I don’t think there’s a need to bring the entirety of esports under one body.

We need to be fluid to let it grow, while keeping a close eye on regulatory issues on both the esports and betting sides in order to best protect professional players, fans, and bettors.

It should be said, though, that ESIC is doing some fantastic work to date, ensuring fairness across esports competitions, and it’s an organisation we’re proud to be involved with.

Where are the most lucrative esports markets and which hold the most potential?

The well-known heartlands of East Asia and Eastern Europe reasonably take much of the attention from a betting point of view, and we specifically look to these markets to see the future direction of esports betting behaviour and wider trends in the industry. But the scene is changing rapidly.

Latin America has boomed over the last few years, with Peru, Argentina, and Brazil building strong, passionate esports and esports betting communities.

It’s important we understand each market as a separate entity, raising the standard of our esports product to their player bases by delivering bespoke content for the type of title they prefer.

What is the future for esports in Brazil as licences are handed out?

Huge. Giving a legal framework to esports betting will allow us to invest more in our product and in channeling awareness into the right communities in Brazil.

We’re excited about the first waves of licensing, and we’re ready with the market-leading esports product to tool up operators looking to quickly acquire this still relatively untapped player base across the country.

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