[toc]Live streaming has played and continues to play a vital role in the explosion of eSports. Even like TV is starting to offer more esports media, the home of esports remains on live streaming platforms like Tic, Azubu, and Hitbox.
In parallel, Paris eSports, or forms of esports betting that mimic traditional sports betting, is still in its infancy.
Currently, this form of betting still does not resonate with key segments of competitive video game enthusiasts, for example, they don’t understand it and / or see no immediate reason to care. During this time, play with “skins” is more popular than ever.
In order to effectively reach and build a customer base within a competitive gaming demographics, online betting operators looking to expand into eSports must develop a presence of creative content to major live streaming platforms.
Content is king
As the betting industry actively explores the opportunity for eSports, it is already clear that the triggers for betting on sports and eSports are quite different.
One thing is clear: attracting esports enthusiasts to a betting site is not the same as attracting a sports fan there. A nuanced view of engagement in eSports helps explain why:
- As traditional sports have grown into a full-fledged business platform with built-in elements of fandom, competitive video game segments are structured in communities, marked by the undeniable passion and enthusiasm of its members.
- This dynamic creates high demand for a variety of related content. In turn, live streaming platforms like Twitch.tv have grown in importance by becoming a streaming platform for a wide range of video game content.
In the last six months of 2015, 475.5 million hours of eSports content were consumed, which 21.3% of total content watched on Twitch (see figure 1).
Figure 1 – Courtesy of Newzoo’s Twitch Tracker
A clearer picture
To clarify, those hours were not just shows competitive events (eSports). Instead, the sum includes consumer generated content related to the game, for example, users streaming their game of the game for others to watch.
Distribution varies between different game titles and talks about a number of factors, comprising:
- Game Title Player Base Size
- Overall popularity of the professional scene, and
- The genre of video games
For example, nearly ¾ of content consumed for League of Legends (LoL), the world’s # 1 esports company with over 67 million users playing per month, was user-generated.
However, LoL was still the overall leader in total hours of esports watched, due to its popularity:
Figure 2 – Courtesy of Newzoo’s Twitch Tracker
Generate a reputation key for bets
These numbers verify that the content broadcast live generates a lot of attention esports and video game fans; segments that represent an untapped number of potential betting customers.
So while betting is highly dependent on tournament and match availability, raising awareness within these gaming communities involves take advantage of the full range of content demand. The live streaming of creative content related to eSportsbook betting creates exposure and product awareness, in a format suited to key customer demographics.
Aligns with a shift towards variety
Platforms like Twitch already include more general content like art, music, and poker. Creative content related to esports betting can easily find a home there and a potentially captive audience.
And since the millennial esports crowds prove it much less than friendly Towards traditional forms of advertising than previous generations, content creation can deliver better return on investment potential (ROI).
Creative and authentic marketing
Essentially, traditional betting operators need to learn how to speak the language eSports audiences.
What eSportsbook betting needs most are genuine points of contact with the actual competitive community, which the live broadcast provides in spades. Livestreaming is an effective channel for integrating betting into the world of eSports. Just as streaming content remains a great marketing tool for video game publishers, it can offer similar value to traditional betting operators.
In turn, game titles will benefit from a new engagement channel. For example, it is widely accepted that the popularity of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is driven in part by the CS: GO game contingent skins.
Extend the experience
Fortunately, there are features built into the eSports experience that can / should be leveraged by creative content.
The established community of user-generated content means that barriers to entry into live broadcasting are low, but the competition for attention is fierce. This emphasizes attracting and retaining audiences with the right mix of tactics.
Since eSportsbook betting is still relatively uncharted territory, there is little or no content broadcast on the subject. As a result, the content will need to overlap with themes already familiar to the esports audience.
Examples include: actual video game title content, Meta (game strategy), news / events. The interweaving of bets in these topics provides a springboard to grab attention and create a better context for viewers.
Games and betting: partners for success
For esports betting to evolve, it must evolve into an attractive feature of the overall competitive gaming experience. Unlike traditional sports betting, which largely exists independently of the sports fandom, esports betting needs to bring together segments of enthusiasts to thrive. Therefore, live betting content should be aligned with the esports culture to avoid being widely ignored and / or taunted by the wider community.
Partnerships between betting operators and streaming outlets, aimed at aligning the two worlds, will resolve the following issues:
- Age and legal issues – Betting is illegal for under 18s in most places around the world; sports betting is illegal in most of the United States and several other jurisdictions.
- Categorization – How is betting content best ranked on live streaming platforms?
- Technical integration – Opportunities to innovate around live data streams within streams.
Ed. note: Alex is the author of eSports IQ, an outstanding newsletter on the esports industry. Register for eSports IQ here.
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