Monday December 9, 2019


Lyubomira Petrova, CMO at UltraPlay answers to 5 Star Media questions on eSports and its grow in terms of betting.

Do eSports and betting work well together?

Esports has grown as an entertainment phenomenon recording around 400 million eSports enthusiasts and occasional viewers around the world. League of Legends World Championship last year had attracted over 74 million viewers, and The International Dota 2 championship made a record-breaking prize pool of over 34 million dollars. Thus, also including the fact that international brands and celebrities jump into eSports by sponsoring teams, or endorsing tournaments make us believe eSports is going mainstream.

UltraPlay recognized this audience and its future potential five years ago and believed that it should provide it with a flawless betting experience. The company’s eSports dedicated trading department cover and analyze eSports events on a daily basis as well as record a growing number of people who enjoy betting on the outcome of the eSports matches. Just as you might enjoy placing a bet on a game of football, tennis or basketball, betting on eSports like CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota2 offers just as much excitement and the potential of some serious profits. Of course, all of this is related to the extensive knowledge from all sides – from the providers, the operators, and the bettors.

Which eSports do you feel lend themselves best to gambling and why?

The three most popular eSports games for betting are Counter-Strike, Dota 2 and League of Legends, referred to as the “Golden Trio”. Even though the top three eSports titles are responsible for more than 60% of betting volume, extensive coverage is vital as it serves as the first impression for a potential bettor. As a leading eSports betting provider, UltraPlay keeps on expanding the pre-match and in-play odds portfolio by constantly adding new game titles as well as opening new markets players can bet on. Besides the three most demanded titles, UltraPlay offers odds on StarCraft II, Overwatch, PUBG, NBA 2K, FIFA, the newly introduced Madden NFL and Magic: The Gathering, as well as many others. That’s one of the reasons why UltraPlay’s overall eSports betting provision has been recognized with 9 awards from various organizations in the global iGaming industry.

How big has the eSports business become now, across the whole industry?

A recent report by Newzoo, the leading global provider of games and eSports analytics, suggests that the eSports industry could be worth 1.7 billion dollars by 2021 and that surely will bring plenty of interest from the betting perspective.

A few years ago eSports was considered niche gambling vertical to be included on the betting websites. Now nearly all of the leading sportsbooks and online casinos have included some eSports betting options. Whilst some of these bookies fail to offer some niche eSports tournaments, at least the three biggest titles in eSports betting are there. Esports betting is definitely going beyond the hype by being a must for the betting brands already.

Most eSports fans are young. Some are not even of the legal gambling age. Does UltraPlay need to adhere to the same rules that traditional sportsbooks do, i.e. running checks on users to verify that they are of the legal gaming age and can, in fact, afford to spend money on an in-game bet?

As a B2B service provider, UltraPlay develops and offers products that are technically compliant and follow the gambling industry’s standards. Thus, the online operators that use our betting solutions follow strict and professional KYC procedures so that no individuals under the age of 18 are involved in gambling. When it comes to eSports, this is a vital requirement to be fulfilled by the B2C operators so that the industry’s integrity and ethics are followed correctly and the entire eSports betting ecosystem is growing on a professional level.


This has been published on the 5 Star Media, November issue, which can be read also here.