Fnatic's CEO talks a single minded approach in esports betting

Fnatic's CEO talks a single minded approach in esports betting

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 Posted by Sam Cooke
Wouter Sleijffers talks betting partnerships in esports

Fnatic became the first major esports organisation to establish a partnership with a bookmaker when it signed with Dafabet back in 2015. Since then we've seen more emerge, and some big money involved too such as Betway and NiP, the creation of the Vitalbet Pro League, and a number of partnerships from GG.Bet.

Fnatic has since become the latest team to buddy up with GG.Bet. Wouter Sleijffers is CEO of Fnatic, a European brand with its HQ in London, which is one of the industry leaders in terms of professionalising and 'growing the brand'. This year for instance a range of Fnatic Gear has been released, and we've even seen a pop-up store (the Bunkr) emerge in Shoreditch.

Totally Gaming: From Dafabet to GG.Bet, is this some indication that bookmakers with a focused esports platform are preferable?

Wouter: 'Preferable' is probably not the right word, yet having a 'single-minded proposition' on esports by any bookmaker through the product, types of bets being offered, content, fan engagement and promotions is key to attract a sizeable and loyal customer base.

Working with gg.bet gives us more opportunities to be relevant and meaningful for our fans and the esports audience in general that are eligible and enjoy the opportunity to place a bet on their favourite team. Esports has a lot to offer, similar to ball sports and through the abundance of real-time data provides for interesting opportunities for innovation.

TG: Do you expect betting operators to make much greater strides into sponsorship of teams and leagues throughout esports in 2017?

Sleijffers: Yes, betting operators are all exploring the opportunities in esports and its much to the credit of Dafabet who were one of the, if not the first, known regulated and licensed operator to sponsor an esports team.

The esports audience is normalising and will see soon similar age demographics as some other sports. The difference though that esports is truly global, 24/7, and a lot more captivating than some traditional sports. Things like further regulation and the bare economics will only determine 'when', not 'if'. 

TG: In traditional sports, 'team specials' are a favoured tactic for sponsoring bookmakers, is this something you think Fnatic fans might find appealing?

Sleijffers: This is still something to find out. Each Fnatic team has its own following yet in the same time they compete under the same banner. One thing is sure, that'll esports will change the betting landscape as much as it's changing the traditional sports landscape.

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