Bayes Esports and ESL Gaming: Professionalising esports beyond global data distribution

Extending their existing partnership until 2023, data provider Bayes Esports and production firm ESL Gaming have embarked on a joint mission to professionalise the esports data ecosystem beyond global data distribution.

The two companies initially started working together back in 2019 to create what they describe as a far-reaching network within the esports data industry.

Since then, more than 150 partners have used data products from ESL leagues and tournaments provided to them by Bayes Esports for use cases such as analytics, media, distribution and integrity.

But while interest levels in esports leagues and tournaments has continued to grow – a trend which has been somewhat evident throughout the pandemic – Bayes and ESL took the view that something was lacking. That missing piece in the puzzle, they believe, is the infrastructure and professionalism that can help lesser-known esports titles become more mainstream.

“Esports is a lot more complex than traditional sports,” said Bayes Esports COO & Managing Director Amir Mirzaee (pictured below, left). “With it being digitally native and any sort of standard often not existing across leagues and game titles, traditional market participants often struggle with handling and fully understanding esports.

“Offering official game data means bringing structure to any content offering in esports and allows for standards to be established. We are excited to continue to work on new services and products that will lead to better fan experiences and the continuous growth of esports as a whole.”

Bernhard Mogk, SVP Global Business Development at ESL Gaming (pictured, right), added: “We are very happy to extend our partnership with Bayes, the most experienced, but also the most committed data company to set uniform industry standards.

“Especially in regards to the diverse and ever-increasing interest in official match data, we will continue to be on the forefront to preserve and promote integrity across all our competitions.”

This year, the two companies will continue to expand their content by adding additional game titles. This will be in addition to the optimisation of coverage “by achieving nearly 24/7 content availability”.

To professionalise the less-explored areas of the esports industry, ESL and Bayes will draw on their experiences in building, broadcasting and commercialising esports ecosystems as well as their leading positions in the industry.

Mirzaee continued: “Bayes Esports is the exclusive, world wide game data commercialization partner of ESL Gaming. At the core, Bayes supports game publishers and league operators in extracting game data live, such as scores, kill, so called economics (gold, cash, etc.) and other data in that content.

“We run the data through our industry leading live data infrastructure, productize it for various use cases and then distribute it to over 150 clients worldwide, close to real time.

“Beyond this, as our partnership grows in tenure, we engage in improving the underlying technical and operational infrastructure, we add complementary services around historic data, add new game titles, etc. You could say Bayes is the extension of ESL in that context.”

Bayes Esports will focus on covering ESL’s content for both DOTA2 and CS:GO throughout 2022, with more events and leagues in the pipeline.

The company’s Managing Director highlighted that in addition to top-tier events such as Intel Extreme Masters, the Dota Pro Circuit and CS:GO Majors, Bayes Esports will also be taking a revamped series of mid-tier events to market. Mirzaee stated that this will include Challenger leagues, as well as the entry level Cash Cups which now also include women-only events.

Looking forward to the next 12 months, Mirzaee is confident that 2022 will “obviously be a huge year” for ESL Gaming following its recent M&A announcement.

“Looking at the recent M&A announcement of ESL Gaming, 2022 is obviously a huge year for them. Bayes is not quite the unicorn (yet), but we too have a series of exciting announcements in the pipeline over the next two months.

“Jointly, we’re looking to supercharge the partnership, not just in terms of expanding on content but to dive deep on the underlying infrastructure as well.

Four years into their partnership, Mirzaee emphasised that Bayes Esports and ESL have already mastered the technical and operational challenges that allow for offering a consistent live game data product.

By continuing with their exclusive agreement, the duo plan to scale up their offering and build an infrastructure for “aggressive growth”.

Mirzaee concluded: “Offering esports live data is exponentially harder than traditional sports data, which is why our tech stack is actually a lot more flexible and performant than that of traditional sports data providers.

“So for this year, we’re diving deeper on scaling up the offering and building an infrastructure for aggressive growth. The ESLGaming merger with FACEIT certainly adds lots of exciting strategic options in terms of jointly establishing a global event and data platform. Long term, the goal has to be to become the operating system of esports so to say, standardised across titles, regions and formats.”

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