Betway become Official Betting Partner of ESL One Cologne

Betway become Official Betting Partner of ESL One Cologne

Thursday, July 6, 2017 Posted by Sam Cooke
Betway continued its great work in esports as it was announced the Official Betting Partner of ESL One Cologne.

Betway is an operator that has clearly made an early commitment to the burgeoning esports world. Last year the bookmaker announced a large sponsorship of Ninjas in Pyjamas, a team that now competes in both League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The Counter-Strike team were, and remain very well known and as such the separate content portal and social media effort established by Betway has built a good relationship with the esports community.

Earlier this week, Betway was announced as the Official Betting Partner of ESL One Cologne. ESL One Cologne is a $250,000 prize pool tournament where the main event will be played in the Lanxess Arena, Cologne, between 7th and 9th July. Over 12,000 physical tickets have been sold and there’s likely to be well over 100,000 concurrent viewers on the English Twitch stream alone as the tournament reaches millions.

By becoming the Official Betting Partner of the event, Betway pre-match and live odds will be displayed on broadcast thus reaching the thousands upon thousands watching around the world. spoke to Anthony Werkman, Marketing and Operations Director at Betway about the latest move in esports:

Totally Gaming: This is one of the first times we'll see live odds integrated into an esports tournament stream. Do you think it will become a more frequent feature?

Anthony: I believe so. We have responded to what our players and members of the Esports community demand, and that is greater information available in real-time. Our live odds provision will improve the user experience for bettors, but will also be a point of reference for casual watchers who may not bet on Esports at present.

Coverage of Esports is far superior to many other sports which people bet on and our aim is to keep on improving the area. We will do this by funding the sport through sponsorship or with the addition of new tools that increase interactivity such as our integrated live odds.

Esports is setting the template for other traditional sports to follow in the way it engages with its fans and I believe features such as the one we will introduce at ESL One Cologne will pave the way for many more in the future.

This isn’t the first time, but we were the first to do it in our Betway FightNight, so we can say we tested it, people loved it and now we are putting it on the main stage.

Totally Gaming: Esports is consumed in a very different manner to traditional sports. With fans often sitting at their PCs with multiple monitors, does it present a considerable opportunity for bookmakers to take advantage with the integration of live odds?

Anthony: It offers a much different proposition to traditional sports betting customers who are increasingly mobile-orientated and on the move. The skew towards desktop usage on Esports means we can engage players on the same platform, or even the same screen as they are watching broadcasts on.

This makes the user journey far smoother than it would for football, for example, where viewers may be watching on a TV and then migrate to their mobile device to bet. We hope people will realise the ease of switching between high quality coverage where our live odds are integrated and onto our website where we have an extensive betting offering that will improve their enjoyment of the tournament in question.

We will be sourcing feedback from viewers of the first event in Cologne and seeing how to build on this offering, to ensure we create the slickest user experience and continue to engage Esports fans with our quality betting offer.

Totally Gaming: Do you think this is a trend which will become more commonplace? Do you see other operators following suit and vying for betting partnerships in the future?

Anthony: The esports arena has transferred to the mainstream for bookmakers over the past couple of years and it’s very likely that we will see it become a hotly-contested battlefield for partnerships and sponsorship rights soon.

The important thing for operators is to make sure they understand the product first before entering, as opposed to blindly piggy-backing on its success. Esports fans are very switched-on and if they feel like they’re being taken for a ride they will certainly let companies know about it.

We have been developing our product for a long time, with in-house trading and marketing experts within esports, and I believe it is this attention to detail and involvement in the community that will set us apart and lay the framework for other operators to follow in the future.

Totally Gaming says: Big move from Betway and Anthony has hit the nail on the head. Those looking to come into esports really need to understand the product as the fans are fairly different to traditional sports.

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