Stepan Shulga, Head of Esports shares his insights
To even be nominated for SBC’s eSports Operator of the Year Award indicates that our company is in tune with modern trends, and is always on the front foot when it comes to new ways to grow the business.
E-sports, for the traditional betting industry, is still a new frontier, and it was only a couple of years ago that the move into eSports betting was seen as a bold experiment for a legacy bookmaker like Parimatch. However, Parimatch’s agility, forward-looking vision and fighting spirit saw the business tackle the challenge head on and deliver some great results.
Seizing the opportunity of the rise of eSports
Once Parimatch’s leadership recognised the commercial opportunities in eSports, we built a new department at Parimatch to focus specifically on developing our eSports marketing and product offer. We decided to pursue a non-traditional strategy and didn’t employ people who had experience in betting marketing and products, but instead turned to experts from the eSports industry itself. This approach meant that over a relatively short period of time, we were able to achieve extraordinary growth.
The team of 20 focus solely on eSports, providing us with a distinct competitive advantage. The function of Parimatch’s own trading department in eSports provides flexibility and the ability to independently include events in a betting line that would be of interest to our customers.
Data-led decision making
We conduct an in-depth analysis of our eSports customers to establish what they need from us and to provide them with the ultimate betting experience. This is particularly helpful as Parimatch’s eSports player's profile differs from the majority of players of other betting companies.
We also identified the most popular computer games in the regions of our presence to give us the highest conversion. For example, the world-famous game League of Legends is not popular among Russian-speaking users, so we focus on other games that are more likely to be of interest to this group of customers.
The most recent stage of our push into eSports was the launch of a brand campaign to help increase awareness of Parimatch. As part of this campaign, Parimatch became the sponsor of the most recognizable DOTA2 team in the world - the Virtus.pro team.
Parimatch partners with many e-sports events, including the Forge of Masters CS: GO tournament from WePlay operator, which has its own Dota2 League from the organizers of Epic Events and Ruhub studio. We also have long-term relations with the leading e-sports holding in Russia – Esforce. These partnerships have boosted loyalty towards the Parimatch brand, and have increased our customer base.
More recently, at this years’ famous The International competition in Shanghai, over 55,000 players chose to place just shy of a million bets with us, clearly demonstrating that Parimatch is a leading betting brand in the burgeoning eSports arena.