Future of Esports Engagement – Is Your Content King?
Despite the rapid growth in the popularity of esports betting, operators still struggle to achieve true audience affinity with the various communities that exist within the space.
Operators who are more familiar with marketing traditional sports will need to take an alternative approach to the way they manage and deliver game-related content.
We spoke with Bonny Leyser, Head Of Sales for leading content provider Shadow Esports, to hear her thoughts on the power of content in the esports betting sector — and how operators can better leverage this resource to improve engagement going forward.
Although vast amounts of operators have realised the great potential of esports, many still struggle to maintain high levels of engagement with the community. How can content be better leveraged to help improve this going forward?
“Traditional sports, such as football, are generally more accessible than esports. Esports games, such as LoL and Dota 2, are very complex and demanding, with action happening all around the map that can be difficult to follow for someone who does not normally play the game. This can make it difficult for operators to maintain high levels of engagement, because they themselves often do not fully understand the games.
“With our esports Live Data visualisations, we give the fans who do understand the ins-and-outs of the games much more insight regarding the tactical and strategic aspects of the game, allowing them to make their own analyses. For operators that means new target groups are developed more quickly and the fans are entertained all around.”
Top tier esports events have some of the highest viewership numbers in the industry. How do content tools such as Shadow’s help to convert spectators into real money bettors?
“We empower viewers with Rich Data and proprietary expertise to help them ascertain a deeper understanding of the entire play around a specific bet — giving them the confidence to take action on a match and engage as a potential bettor.”
There are many content tools on the market that leverage unofficial ‘scraped’ data. What potential risks do tools or content like this pose for operators if they choose this option? What are the practical benefits of utilising official data feeds?
“The answer is quite simple: Scraped data from video sources of any kind are to be considered illegal. Furthermore, scraped data is not only less accurate, but is also simply far too slow. At Shadow, we rely on official Live Data from Bayes Esports only to provide the most granular and accurate data products possible. This way, we can achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction through fast, accurate, reliable, and, most importantly, legal esports data tools and services.”
Esports is renowned for having a heavy focus on match/player statistics. When attempting to make a bet, this level of information can be overwhelming for punters, especially when money is involved. How can products such as Shadow help bettors make more informed, confident decisions?
“I absolutely agree with that. Esports is inherently complex. We support our clients by breaking down key parameters within each match and their influence on the game with unbiased statistics that can arm individuals with the knowledge that they need to bet, without overwhelming them with exhausting amounts of data and visual activity. That’s where Shadow shines.”
Most of the matches or tournaments with official data feeds are from top-tier, internationally known, platforms. What does this mean for the future of lower league, regional games and the communities that support them? Are we, as an industry, missing out on key engagement opportunities?
“We don’t need to miss out at all. Just because the main focus might be on the top-tier tournaments, we do not have to exclude the others.
“Our data partner Bayes Esports offers data from a very wide range of tournaments; from top-tier tournaments to lower-tier tournaments, such as ESEA Advance. Shadow uses all the data offered by Bayes and since our products are developed “game data agnostically”, we are extremely flexible when it comes to visualisations and the range of tools and expertise we can provide our clients. What is important to us in everything we do is that we ensure the integrity of both the sporting competitions and the betting processes — across all tiers of esports.”
After speaking with Bonny it’s clear that, in comparison to traditional sports, esports games–such as LoL and Dota 2–are very complex and demanding, with action happening all around the map; making it difficult to follow for someone that’s not very familiar with the game.
Through the use of innovative content solutions such as AI-powered Live Data Visualisations, operators now have the opportunity to engage both novices and veterans simultaneously. We’re looking forward to seeing how these new content solutions can help push the esports market to its full potential.