Luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Gucci boost esports industry legitimacy – says Abios founder Oskar Fröberg – European Gaming Industry News
Abios Founder & CEO Explains Why Esports Is One Of The Most Promising Sectors For The Future Growth Of The iGaming Market
What does the recently announced relationship with ICE365.com mean for the business and what do you hope to accomplish?
We are naturally very excited about this partnership and contributing to the new ICE365 platform. Abios aims to deliver in-depth content and information to the industry through the platform, while also presenting our team with an excellent communication platform to address important topics and potential issues. Among these are very important but often overlooked topics such as match integrity and regulatory compliance. Building the right foundations for esports is essential for its continued growth.
Active in the industry for 8.5 years, we believe we have a deep understanding of what matters and want to shine a light on it. Our intention is ultimately to protect the future of esports. Our team is also looking to bring value to the iGaming community through timely esports content.
The partnership is clearly focused on education – do you think there is a knowledge gap when it comes to esports and the wider gaming community and how do you hope to address it?
The iGaming community is well aware of esports, as many have already identified the market as one of the most promising areas for future growth. Most sports betting has also started experimenting by offering at least a few markets or tournaments in esports.
Esport, however, can be demanding to navigate as it is both dynamic and fast-paced, with changes being introduced regularly and new game titles always trying to make their mark as part of the core offering. In addition to our data and odds products, we do our best to offer in-depth content on various esports related topics to help the iGaming community identify opportunities in the industry and make informed decisions.
While there may sometimes be a slight knowledge gap, it is more common for traditional businesses to lack properly customized tools to monetize esports. Along with our data business, we are currently investing heavily to enable sports betting to create new, fully personalized experiences using our odds product.
You seem to be firmly committed to protecting the integrity of esports. How important is this and is match-fixing a very real threat?
Match-fixing is a pervasive threat to esports, as it is to any traditional sport. No one wants to watch or bet on a game with suspicious or unfair behavior. It takes away the fun of competition and plays (no pun intended) with all the legitimacy of esport. If esports is seen as an environment with a lot of suspicious activity, its public perception and audience will be affected. This is not just a challenge for Abios, but for the industry as a whole.
Today, game publishers are improving the protections against cheating more and more, which makes it more and more difficult. Tournament organizers work closely with data partners and sports betting to identify suspicious betting behavior. Generally, large tournaments are very safe, game publishers and tournament organizers take these issues very seriously. It is important to constantly raise awareness about these topics.
Is the involvement of big, blue-chip sponsors the final symbolic confirmation that esports is here to stay?
While some top-notch sponsors like Coca Cola have been in the industry for years, the real change is seen when non-endemic luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci join the mix, designing skins for games as well. as clothing lines with teams. . These companies are incredibly high quality and brand conscious. Seeing them engage in esports confers additional legitimacy on the industry. We’ve come a long way since esports first came to be seen as a hobby for young boys sitting in their parents’ basements, but there is still a long way to go before esports reaches its peak. full potential.
How important is it for regulators to understand the nuances of esports?
We generally do not comment on the work of esports regulators, as we respect the immense complexities of the subject. We do believe, however, that it is important that regulators understand esport and its intricacies rather than just copying regular sports regulations and pasting them for esport.
A good example of relatively new regulation is that of the age of players. Several countries have put in place regulations prohibiting the offering of matches where players are minors. This is both to protect players and to combat match-fixing, which is noble. However, this simultaneously imposes complications for sports betting seeking to keep their markets open while remaining compliant in different regions simultaneously.
Abios has always focused on regulatory compliance, which encompasses the need for downstream partners, such as sports betting, to comply with these regulations without any friction. We are therefore an integral and automatic part of the regulatory compliance tools for our products.
During the pandemic, has esport managed to fill a void when the big traditional sports like football have not been able to function properly?
When virtually all mainstream sports were delayed, postponed, or canceled altogether over a year ago, we saw a surge of interest in esports. The sports betting market has proven to be very resistant to the pandemic. The best part is that esports seem to remain popular even though mainstream sports have returned.
The interest is very present among the punters and the public is immense. However, we still believe that there is still a long way to go to create the best possible products for esports. We conduct extensive research to find the most attractive markets and rapid onboarding processes for our odds feed and will bring new and unique opportunities for customer differentiation given the data rich nature of esports.
Has the pandemic created a new esports and demographic audience?
With more people staying at home, more and more people took part in esports tournaments. However, the pandemic has also accelerated the pace of change in the esports industry. New games have grown in popularity, especially sports games which from a competitive esports perspective were very small two years ago. These games have helped bridge the gap between electronic sports for sports fans and regular bettors. Sports games have also proven to be extremely effective as fillers when there are no matches in traditional sports.
Is this the most exciting time to get involved in the esports phenomenon and what does it mean for you personally and for Abios as a company?
At the risk of sounding cliché, it has always been an exciting time to get involved in esports. The industry is growing and far from its peak.
While our odds product is currently on par with other products on the market, we have many more in the pipeline. We’ve built a solid foundation with over eight years of esports data management and base our internal modeling on this unique dataset and platform. This allows us to reduce betting delays and increase uptime through automation while creating completely unique and engaging betting offers.
Clarion Esports Manager William Harding described Abios as “the perfect match” – do you agree?
We want to add value to the high quality content of Clarion Gaming by bringing our expertise and leveraging our 8+ year history in esports to provide the iGaming audience with additional information. Considering the growth of the last few years in the iGaming esports industry, this partnership is certainly a perfect fit.