Player Props are a product that have often been associated with the classic sports betting industry – will Erling Haaland score the next goal? How many shots on target will Kevin de Bruyne have?
Despite its growth, Player Props markets haven’t really made their way into the esports industry. That’s until now.
Alexandr Kozachenko, Chief Product Officer at DATA.BET, sat down with SBC News to discuss the decision to offer Player Props for both Valorant and CS:GO. He explains why this will create a new layer of engagement for esports bettors, before sharing how DATA.BET plans to disrupt the sector in 2024.
SBC: For those that might not know, can you give us a brief introduction to yourself and DATA.BET?
AK: DATA.BET is a cutting-edge research and development facility, deeply immersed in the world of esports betting for approximately seven years now. The company delivers odds feeds, live score feeds, risk management, and iFrame solutions. By incorporating AI models and learning to use the most seemingly insignificant data points for transformative changes, we’ve delved into risk assessment, continually enhancing our product. DATA.BET remains a work in progress.
I joined the company as a CPO about 1 ½ years ago and was fortunate to become a part of a team whose views and values align with mine, enabling us to progress together in the same direction. We have internally adopted the operational concept of an “esports team”, where each member has a defined role and knows how to professionally apply their expertise to contribute to a common goal.
DATA.BET is a company of passionate specialists who are constantly eager to improve their skills. That is the main reason why the potential of the product we deliver is substantial, with innovation in personalised betting as the central concept we anticipate for the future.
SBC: Quite often in esports, markets tend to focus on outrights rather than individual players – however, DATA.BET now offers Player Props for both Valorant, CS:GO and LoL. What was the thought process behind your decision to launch Player Props?
AK: Player Props were created as a departure toward more user-centric gambling. People naturally love the products tailored to their preferences, and the same idea holds for Player Props. We tried to tailor the personalised product in the igaming industry where the bettors can feel the connection with their favourite player or team during the game.
We noticed that such personalised things in our lives create the feeling that the company truly cares about you and your preferences. With Player Props, we managed to form the same sense but in the esports world.
It’s a solution that enables gamblers to forge deeper associations with their favourite players during live events. It allows one to get a deeper connection to the ongoing event, thus creating higher value for the audience. For the operators, these features are beneficial, as personalisation tends to increase the LTV of their users (gamblers).
SBC: How will this help redefine the esports betting experience?
AK: Customised products foster a more profound connection between users and the product, even in esports betting. It’s a hypothesis our research and development team has been recently investigating. While we can’t reveal all the outcomes just yet, we anticipate the esports betting industry, like any other, to see gradual growth, building on the interest and potential it has shown in recent years.
We already see high results from our partners after integrating Player Props to CS:GO, LOL and Valorant; Dota 2 will be the next. Tailored products should help sustain and possibly expedite this growth.
SBC: From an integrity standpoint, what are the biggest challenges when it comes to offering Player Props markets, especially given the number of esports players that are under the age of 18? And how do you best protect against integrity breaches?
AK: As we continue to grow and evolve, so does the esports audience. Nevertheless, ensuring the integrity of our product is of paramount importance.
One of the key elements that helps our company to ensure the integrity of the product is real-time data. This allows us to continuously monitor and sustain the quality of our service. As Player Props are fast-paced markets that tend to change quickly, it is crucial to guarantee that no data points are missed and that the product offering is in line with the live event.
SBC: Can we expect any more games to feature Player Props in the near future?
AK: Absolutely, more games will feature Player Props in the near future. By the end of this year, we plan to offer basic Player Props for all top 4 esports titles.
In CS:GO, Valorant and LoL, the bettors can already enjoy this feature, and by the end of the year, we are planning to add it to Dota 2. Beyond that, we intend to expand into other sports, enriching the depth of Player Props to make them even more tailored to each game and player.
SBC: What can we expect to see from DATA.BET for the remainder of this year / 2024?
AK: In 2024, DATA.BET has set its sights on significant growth and continuously enhancing our product offerings. The most important for us is the expansion of our product portfolio, achieved through strategic collaborations with our partners. This expansion will also contain a broader range of sports, diverse market options, and a focus on elevating live event coverage.
It’s about development, adding more data and partners, and creating a market standard driving product. We believe that the more accurate data we have, the better the product we create. So, together with clients’ feedback and our team, we will make the esports betting experience more engaging and personalised in 2024.