EiG Launchpad: PVP.ME profile
EiG Launchpad: PVP.ME profile
eSports is such a hot topic right now, particularly following the ructions over the summer with regard to skin betting, that it is hardly surprising that EiG Launchpad should feature at least one eSports-betting company.
PVP.ME is a person-to-person (P2P) betting exchange co-founded by Yury Kolesnik, the chief executive and previously chief executive at a Russian internet server company, chief operating officer Phil Kornyshev, chief technology officer Alex Kotov and product manager Sveta Marchenko. All have what Kolesnik tells TotallyGaming.com, is a “passion for eSports” and between them they have thousands of playing hours behind them.
Kolesnik’s own passion certainly shows through when he talks about how the eSports market generally has developed saying he is excited by the growth of the past few years. But he is by no means uncritical of what he says is the danger of eSports moving away from its roots.
“Because of the attempts to go mainstream, gamers have to sacrifice their watching experience,” he says. “Some other people fear that games may become more casual in order to attract this new audience of non-gamers. So in general, I think that it’s important to save the initial spirit of eSports that made it huge and understand the fact, that eSports will never be the same as traditional sports, such as football or basketball.”
The move by publisher Valve to close down the skin-gambling market as it related to CS:GO in particular is part of this move towards more mainstream practices. Kolesnik certainly feels the events of the summer had an effect, in particular with regard to the second and third tier of tournaments where they had viewers purely because of the betting.
“If Valve acted about two years ago that would mean the death of these tournaments, but now when everybody is talking about eSports, it’s growth and potential, the damage will be recovered pretty soon,” says Kolesnik. “And the community in general found the ban positive.”
One advantage that Kolesnik is keen to stress with regard to P2P betting versus the fixed-odds gaming being offered elsewhere is the in-play aspect. Intriguingly, Kolesnik says the company’s own solution to the tricky issue of matching bets as fast as possible, in what is an incredibly fast-moving environment, is to have a system of bots creating virtual liquidity for the small changes, thus increasing the amount of matched bets during the game. In other sectors this might sound like a potentially controversial approach, but Kolesnik says the audience is more than happy with the P2P proposition. “People feel more safe betting versus other players, because service is not directly interested in them losing the bet and it always more exciting to win money from another player then from faceless company,” he says.
The PVP.ME model is to take a 7% commission fee on all winning bets, which is slightly more expensive that traditional sports-betting exchanges, but not wildly different.
Kolesnik believes that there will be more P2P in the eSports filed in time with more games coming to market. “I think gamers audience are more demanding than your average football viewer and want more diverse range of markets to bet on, and you cannot simply offer them the same thing over and over again. This is where P2P betting power lies.”
Totally Gaming says: It’s fascinating to see how Kolesnik views the developments from within the eSports community, and how he sees betting fitting into the landscape. There is the potential for P2P betting to find a natural home within the gaming community as even the early-adopters among the traditional bookies admit that gaining trust in the gaming sphere is a tough business. It will be fascinating to see how the P2P proposition.