Join us as Adam Day, Head of Sales at Bayes Esports discusses the impact of the use of official data on the future of the industry.
For sportsbooks to provide the best esports products in the market, they need access to the highest quality data.
Esports matches, and their wagering options, move quickly, with decisive in-game moments happening in rapid succession. Rounds in Counter-Strike and team fights in League of Legends and Dota 2 can end in seconds, and this has a significant impact on the markets sportsbooks are offering. To continue providing the best, most exciting esports betting products, sportsbooks need live odds that are just as dynamic.
The solution that the market leaders in esports betting turn to, is to partner with official live data providers – those who in turn partner with the tournament organizers and game developers to distribute the live data directly from the game servers themselves. Not only is this live data provided ahead of the public stream, it is rich and granular, enabling trading teams to calculate and produce odds as accurately as possible.
However, not all sportsbooks that are active in esports betting, play in the official live data space. Some continue to build products based on unofficial, or scraped data, that bypasses the rights holders of that data – those tournament organizers and game developers – damaging the experience of bettors as well as the growth of the overall esports industry.
Unofficial data is often reliant on the public stream of an esports event, which is typically delayed by an average of 40 seconds to ensure the integrity of the match and avoid unfair advantages and match-fixing concerns. For sportsbooks, this kind of delay means they cannot adjust their markets quickly enough, are forced to close markets more frequently, and have to refrain from offering engaging micro-markets such as live round winners.
Furthermore, not everything that happens in an esports match can be shown on the public broadcast, as there is too much action happening at the same time. What is not shown on screen cannot be collected by data scrapers, resulting in crucial data points being missed. This results in less accurate betting odds and betting options that negatively impact bettor experience and engagement with the sportsbook.
It’s simple. While it might be the cheaper option, scraped data means sportsbooks offer low-quality esports betting options that cannot keep up with the pace and dynamic nature of esports.
This should be a significant concern for sportsbooks looking to establish themselves as a reputable player in esports, let alone as a market leader looking to elevate esports as a strategic pillar of growth for the future.
The inherent delays of scraped data not only threaten the integrity of esports betting but also of the esports competitions themselves. The lack of connection and partnership between tournament organizers, data providers, and betting operators, means fewer opportunities to monitor player and bettor behavior. Match fixing thrives in environments where information and data move slowly and opaquely. These integrity risks can cause significant reputational damage to sportsbooks and to the entire esports industry.
Again, it is these inherent risks and issues that can be avoided with official data partnerships. Investing in official live data enables sportsbooks to offer more engaging, reliable esports betting products that do not suffer from delays, and that can adapt and move as quickly as esports matches themselves. They allow the data to be verified and give no inch to insider trading by enabling match fixers to be identified more easily.
Crucially, though, official live data partnerships also enable sportsbooks to give back to the industry they are benefitting from. Official data represents a significant revenue stream for tournament organizers and rights holders. This revenue in turn is reinvested back into esports products, creating more engaging, memorable, and unique experiences for fans.
With a thriving esports industry and community comes even more demand for engaging esports betting opportunities, which can then be powered by official data. The result is a win-win-win situation for everyone involved. Rights holders can grow their esports market and attract more viewers and fans. Sportsbooks can benefit from the increased attention esports garners by moving those fans to also place bets. And fans benefit both from higher-quality esports productions, as well as from fun and engaging esports betting options.
Official live data is the key to the development of the esports betting industry. At Bayes Esports, the leading provider of official esports live data and services, we will continue to educate the industry and lead the way toward a sustainable esports future powered by official live data.
About the Author:
Adam Day has extensive experience in the global technology industry, through a 15-year career spanning Sydney, London, New York, San Francisco, and Berlin. Prior to Bayes Esports, Adam held various senior leadership roles at Uber and Telstra, focused on sales, business development, partnerships, and strategy. He is passionate about workplace culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and is a regular event and media spokesperson. Originally from Australia, Adam is based in Berlin where he is Senior Director leading global sales and commercials for Bayes Esports.