Igor Vasilj

Igor Vasilj: Making sure the price is still right for NSoft

Price management will become challenging for the betting industry as sports return to action, said NSoft Senior Sports Trader Igor Vasilj (pictured), because of the impact the enforced break has had on some of the information used to determine match odds.

Vasilj has now spent more than six years with NSoft – a software solutions provider which provides both pre-match and in-play betting markets in cooperation with Betradar. 

He explained: “Price management has become challenging because the information used to determine odds, such as injuries and current form, has become quite scanty, affecting opening and closing lines.”

Vasilj told SBC News that the role of a sports trader is a ‘dynamic job’, and one which requires constant adaptation to the challenges faced by the gambling industry – in this case COVID-19.

NSoft has been proactive in using the period of reduced live sports to undergo what Vasilj calls ‘extensive polishing’. “The offer was enriched with new markets and, together with Betradar, a thorough analysis of clients’ businesses and VIP punters was performed,” he explained.

Vasilj admitted that the period of intense sports action we are expected to see in the coming months will be an opportunity for punters to increase their bankroll, adding that players and traders will face a lot of novelties which open up great chances for sharp punters to develop their winning strategy.

He also dismissed the idea that the priority of the trading team is to maximise profit, adding: “One of the key postulates of NSoft’s Trading team is the devotion to preserve sports integrity. It is not, as is often and wrongly perceived, to maximise profit and collect vigorish. 

“One important part of this integrity process is the fight against fraud and potential match-fixing. The protection of sports and all athletes is imperative, and consequently the protection of punters from putting their money on potentially rigged matches.”

Vasilj also addressed what’s still to come for sports in 2020, a year that started with the successfully completed Australian Open tennis and Super Bowl – the ‘best possible overture’ to everything that was originally planned, including his ‘two biggest losers of the year’ – the Euros and Olympics.

He bemoaned the fact that many championships had to be stopped “just a step away from the tense season finales”, instead making way for new, and wholly unexpected, main representatives for football in the betting market – Nicaragua, Belarus and Tajikistan.

Vasilj finished by discussing the incredible rise of esports in the betting business. He said: “Classic esports like Counter Strike, League of Legends and Dota have finally found their way to the broader audience.

“However, it has been perhaps more interesting to witness the success of sport-based video games played on various consoles – mostly FIFA, PES and NBA 2K. 

“These three games alone generate an average of more than 800 matches in the daily offer, which is an incredible achievement. Great organization has taken everything to a different level, and social networks and stream platforms have become commonplace. 

“Over the past six weeks, total esports revenue has been recorded as 17%; this percentage will certainly contribute to this type of entertainment remaining in focus in the post-pandemic era.”

If the Euros and Olympics are the biggest losers for 2020, the biggest winner for Vasilj is undoubtedly esports, whose total wagers are projected to reach between $12 and $15 billion by the end of 2020, according to a report released by EveryMatrix.

He concluded: “Although their main tournaments have also been postponed for next year, the industry has shown that it is extremely flexible and ready to do great things in a short period of time.”

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