Esports betting is experiencing a boom in popularity, thanks to growing public awareness and canceled sporting events amid the pandemic. In fact, Consumer research agency 2CV and market researcher ProdegeMR expects esports gambling revenue to double, from $7 billion in 2019 worldwide to over $14 billion in 2020.
Parimatch is one such betting company reaping the benefits, having just entered into a two-year partnership with Fnatic.
Why Parimatch Gambles on Esports
Founded in 1996, Parimatch is an international betting company with offices in Russia, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia. This veteran bookmaker has paid particular attention to esports as it grew over the years and devotes a “significant portion” of R&D to developing esports features for users, according to Stepan Shulga, Parimatch Head of Esports.
While sports betting is nothing new, Parimatch offers a certain level of experience and name recognition that can be beneficial to esports brands looking to break into the space. Parimatch currently hosts betting for 20 sports, 60 countries, 200 leagues and 600 sporting events.
Fnatic: A Sure Bet?
Parimatch has made several strategic partnerships in the esports industry to promote its own services and integrate betting into the scene as a whole. Such partnerships include the OMEGA League in Dota 2, the Esports Integrity Commission and most recently, Fnatic.
The deal between Fnatic and Parimatch is described as a “two-year global partnership.” The bookmaker will be featured on Fnatic’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) team jerseys and serve as the team’s official betting partner.
To strengthen its reputation among sports fans, Parimatch enlists the help of sports ambassadors such as Connor McGregor and Mike Tyson. The company recently recruited its first esports ambassador—Counter-Strike 1.6 and CS: GO pro Daniil ‘Zeus’ Teslenko.
Partnering with Fnatic is a strong choice because of its solid reputation as a winning organization. After all, bookmakers want to make users feel as though they are among other winners. Associating itself with Fnatic’s CS: GO team also makes sense because Parimatch has already expressed interest in the popular title through its first esports ambassador.
Fnatic, in turn, will see this gambling partnership as a way of enhancing the visibility of esports. The two brands expressed plans for content creation that would reach “over 15 million esports fans across the world.”
The Role of Betting in Esports
When fans participate in esports betting responsibility, it can enhance the overall fan experience. Esports tournaments contain all the exciting hallmarks of your traditional sporting events—rivalries, star players, underdog stories and unexpected upsets. Gambling based on who will win these high-stakes competitions adds another reason to aggressively back your favorite teams.
Esports betting, therefore, can positively impact viewership, especially when it comes to hours watched. For example, if you have placed a bet on a team that makes it through much of the bracket, you’re more likely to keep watching until they win or lose instead of tuning in every once in a while at key moments.
Sponsorship and investment opportunities are often based on viewership metrics, making esports betting a potential driver of higher valuations. The more money that fans win by betting on a team, the more they will continue to bet and tune into the organization’s games. This new level of engagement could potentially inspire new brand partnerships that seek to reach the gambling audience.
As we have seen, the esports industry is creating its own niche for data analysis, such as Esports Charts, which collects, researches, and analyzes data and statistics of live tournaments, real-time in-game events, player/team performance, and even spectators reactions and emotional context. This new frontier of esports data analysis has and continues to create new jobs across the world.
Written by HB Duran