1on1 with Betradar's Alex Inglot about the eSports phenomenon

1on1 with Betradar's Alex Inglot about the eSports phenomenon

Friday, November 18, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
The challenges of providing the 'live' experience to the market

This week has seen Betradar make a huge splash in the world of esports betting by announcing it has entered into an exclusive partnership with esports big data startup, DOJO Madness, to provide the market with live-odds across a whole range of online and offline esports competitions. TotallyGaming.com caught up with Betradar's Alex Inglot to find out a bit more about how the company is working in the area.

Totally Gaming: What has been Betradar’s approach to the esports sector?

Alex Inglot: As you have seen, everyone’s trying to pile into the esports betting market and everyone’s quite keen to be the biggest or the best because there’s a feeling that there’s somewhat of a land grab to sweep up the undecided esports bettors – especially in the wake of what has happened with skin betting.

The philosophy seems to be to get as many of them signed up to your site as humanly possible. There’s a big premium in getting there first. In our feeling at BetRadar there’s been a rush to provide the “fullest” suite of betting services and solutions to esports bettors as possible. Our position, having looked at this, is that there has been pitfalls and there has been dangers to this area.

TG: So what’s the trickiest part of offering esports betting?

AI: Doing stuff pre-match is not too difficult but once you start stepping into esports live – whether it be esports live data, esports live streams or esports live odds you’re starting to enter really precarious territory, because of the actual sparseness of ‘Live’ in what many people think Live actually is.

You have a lot of people thinking they have live data, odds and streams when they actually don’t because the current ecosystem doesn’t actually provide live. Unless you’re actually on site, you probably won’t realise that what you’ve got using streaming services (if you compare it to the rest of the sports market) would be a hugely considerable delay. In traditional sports market, seconds of delay can cause significant problems. Esports isn’t even in that ball park – you’ve got providers providing things minutes late and still thinking they’re live. That’s the kind of stuff that betting fraudsters love or people who are looking for a delay to go to town and clear out an operator or market love.

TG: Is this why you didn’t rush into the arena?

AI: As BetRadar, we had the capabilities to pile in early and claim we had everything under the sun in terms of what an esports bookmaker needs and ticked all the boxes that a traditional sports bookmaker would have on their checklist. The problem is that it would have put our clients and their customers at significant risk at being gamed or taken to the cleaners or having no success.

Our philosophy on this whole space has been: “There is this gold rush, we understand this but from our point of view, our reputational point of view, our client relationship point of view we’re going to wait and make sure that as and when we go into the market with something it’s going to be fit for purpose, it’s going to be fast, it’s going to be reliable and it’s going to add value and reassure our clients.”

We’ve seen a bunch of operators and suppliers walk in and provide live odds, streams and data and to put it mildly – we’re not convinced. Our ESL partnership is to try and help with live data, and we’re going to keep trying to grow it as we continue to secure relationships in the esports space to make sure we can genuinely provide what is “live”.

TG: So you’ve teamed up with DOJO to tackle the live aspect. Why them?

AI: We know betting, we’ve been in this space pretty much longer than anybody but we wanted to make sure that what our clients get is the best, the most insightful and the most accurate odds that are possible. We wanted to marry our expertise with someone who is dyed in the wool esports experts – and that’s really the philosophy behind the partnership with DOJO Madness and the rollout of the live odds that come from this partnership.  

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