Bayes Esports Cracks Down on Match Data Scraping and Data Piracy 

Continuing our unique and very Special Relationship with Berlin-based Bayes Esports, iGamingFuture is excited to unveil the latest phase of the company’s ongoing campaign to “clean-up” so-called Data Scraping in iGaming’s booming esports vertical, writes Editor-in-Chief André Dubronski.

Once again, Bayes Managing Director and CCO Amir Mirzaee–a man with more than 18-years experience in technology startups–delivers a compelling broadside against the “Data Pirates”, who he believes are undermining the integrity and progress of multi-billion-dollar esports.

Amir joined Bayes Esports after high-performing stints at Google and Waze, and has helped transform the company, founded in December 2014 as Dojo Madness, into the indubitable world leaders in verified, authentic, Clean Data serving the esports gaming space.

Today, supported by leading-edge AI and Data Science, Bayes Esports is pushing the boundaries of what is possible – and leading the fight for clean, real-time data in esports.

And Amir, as this, his latest, hard-hitting article testifies, takes no prisoners.

Read on!  

Back in 2019, when Bayes Esports were one of the pioneers to bring official live match data to the esports industry, the market for match data was opaque to say the least. Due to the lack of better options and understanding, unlicensed data sources were on the rise, all claiming to use advanced technology to “finally produce a high quality data set”.

Fast forward to 2024, the game has changed, and official data and transparency are king. And as the leader in the space, Bayes Esports is now enacting both legal measures as well as technical measures to limit the unlicensed use of data in the digital esports industry.

In this context, abuse of data displayed in public match scoreboards always played a critical role in generating unlicensed data and subsequent data products like betting odds. Together with our partners, Bayes Esports is now looking to put an end to it.

What is the Official Match Data Hype all About? 

When we refer to official match data, it refers to the data that comes directly from the in-game servers, fully licensed, reliable, accurate, and clean. It unlocks an essential revenue stream for tournament organizers and game publishers which then gets funneled back into growing the community, its professional team, and eventually into developing a better fan experience. A classic virtuous cycle in the economy books, meaning more capital to those who deserve and need it, and to enable producing more of what everyone enjoys.

With the help and support of our customers and partners, Bayes Esports is restricting public access to official match data. When this data is scraped, it is not just about fairness, but rather that it is hurting the sustainability and growth of the entire esports industry.

As a result of enforcing one unified policy to all, we are scaling back the information that may be displayed on public scoreboards and moving key data points behind logins. This strategic initiative aims to block unlicensed market participants from generating gray and black market data products and protect the integrity and value of the licensed match data.

“It’s not easy being the pioneer in laying the framework for many of the ethical practices we see today in esports data. We’re proud to work in partnership with Bayes Esports in setting the standards for sustainable, ethical data usage in our industry,” says Alex Coconcea, Director Esports Data at ESL FACEIT Group (EFG). “Protecting the integrity and value of esports data is a priority for EFG. “Through this partnership, we’re advocating for the licensed use of data, recognizing its vital role in fostering innovation and ensuring the sustainability of the industry as a whole.”

Fighting Data Piracy and Changing the Legal Landscape of Esports Data 

Since the founding of Bayes Esports, we have played a role in shaping the standards and policies surrounding this relatively new industry. Encompassing this is the legal framework governing data access and usage.

Last year, Bayes Esports won its first court case against PandaScore with the court ruling that esports match data cannot be advertised as ‘live’ when it is scraped. This first step combatted the misleading marketing language around esports data and has found great support in the industry. Under way are currently two more court cases Bayes Esports vs PandaScore and Bayes Esports vs Oddin in the upcoming months.

Despite ongoing legal battles to combat data piracy practices that hurt the industry, Bayes Esports continues to educate key market players on the illegality and legal consequences of circumventing data security safeguards. Now finally, we are turning the attention towards the actual scraping practice itself.

Moving data behind a login may seem like a trivial change technically, but it changes everything from a legal stance. While the safeguards we put into place don’t remove the ability to scrape the data altogether, it turns scraping of that data in particular, into a violation of competition law opposed to no legal measures that could be taken when the data was publicly available without any other technical protection measures. Any attempt at circumventing these technical protection measures, like a login, may be considered an anti-competitive, targeted obstruction which qualifies a website operator to create a legal basis for protection.

Nonetheless, it sends a clear signal to the market that the respective data should not be used for collection or unlicensed commercial purposes.

Fair practices in legal data collection aren’t only confined to the esports industry. What Bayes Esports is doing is pendant to the legal action Genius took against Sportradar a couple years ago. While Genius had the exclusive rights to collect, license, and distribute live data from the UK’s leading football competitions, including the Premier League, Sportradar was collecting the data in-stadium without authorization. This resulted in Sportradar having to pay for the official data and stop the unofficial scouting. Bayes Esports’ safeguarding initiative sets a similar precedent.

Bayes Launches Market Monitoring, Tracks Abuse of Data 

These big moves have been made possible thanks to Bayes Esports’ new market monitoring service. Our Data Operations team monitors over a hundred betting operators globally, and our market leading esports data distribution infrastructure has the ability to make granular changes to the rights holders data, making it possible for the first time in history to spot fraudulent cases of unlicensed offerings. With the support from the tournament organizers, as well as a close collaboration from our customers, we are able to restrict illicit data practices together.

As the industry matures, we invite other key industry players to join Bayes Esports in protecting the rights holders and safeguarding fair revenue streams. But, unfortunately scraped data doesn’t come with a big neon sign telling it is so. It is down to the data consumers, particularly betting operators, to ask the right questions when shopping around with data providers.

Look out for clear characteristics of licensed data that in sum should elevate the user experience far beyond the average in the market:

  • Match data will be more granular with up to 100 individual data points tracked per second or faster, meaning updates at a high frequency.
  • Data accuracy will be unmatched with near perfect delivery (>99%) and have an uptime of about 80%, compared to 40-60% which is delivered on scraped data. The probabilities and markets offered on licensed data will have exponentially more depth, e. g. over 100 betting outcomes in the case of Bayes Esports’ partners DATA.BET and BETER.
  • Data should be accompanied by low delay audiovisual feeds and data visualization to build in-game reference to a live match.
  • It may be made available with officially branded marketing resources that may be used by the licensee to upgrade the user experience and to advertise the offering.

Building data integrity with the right partners 

The esports industry calls for strategic partnerships and here at Bayes Esports, we cannot emphasize enough the value of collaborating with partners who prioritize legal compliance and uphold the integrity of licensed data. Choosing the right partner extends beyond excellent product innovation — it secures the legal standing and shields from potential liabilities, especially in jurisdictions where the use of scraped data is forbidden.

In moving forward, Bayes Esports’ focus remains on identifying and addressing illicit data practices within the market. Eliminating data piracy from public scoreboards stands as the first point of action but it takes a village or in this case the esports industry. By continuing to strengthen our partnerships, enhance our monitoring capabilities, and advocate for legal compliance, Bayes Esports is helping build a transparent and sustainable esports data ecosystem.

“Bayes Esports is part of the driving force behind integrity and sustainability in the esports industry. This enables their licensed product to significantly elevate our betting products’ quality and reliability. Beyond that, the commitment to protecting the value of licensed data allows us to ultimately rely on their services and promote the use of official content over the gray market,” says Alex Kozachenko, CPO of DATA.BET. “It is great to see central players in the esports ecosystem uphold the industry standards for all.”

About the Author: Amir Mirzaee is the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) & Managing Director of Bayes Esports. Amir has more than 18 years of experience in technology startups, many of those years he spent at Google and Waze. Bayes Esports established themselves as the market leader in esports data science back when they were known as DOJO Madness, developing leading data-based companion apps for major game titles. That expertise and drive to explore data in esports has led to a joint venture with Sportradar and the subsequent founding of Bayes Esports. Bayes Esports is pushing the boundaries of what is possible with AI and data science in esports, supporting rights holders in their fight against the usage of AI for illegitimate purposes along the way.

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