Esports has had some year and it won’t be slowing down in 2017. Nor will Betradar, which fresh off the back of a deal with Dojo Madness, are prepped to have a manic year. James Watson is Head of Esports at Betradar so will be leading the charge. You can catch up with him at ICE Totally Gaming (S1-150) next month, and we took a moment to ask about his ICE experiences and routine.
SBC: How I prepare for ICE
James: Preparation for ICE this year has been pretty intense – mainly as we’ve been putting the finishing touches on our esports tournament showcase, the Betradar Esports Invitational. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of organising an esports event before, it’s not as easy as it sounds!
Other than that, we haven’t really stopped preparing since ICE last year. As we sit at the intersection between betting, digital media, integrity and audiovisual content, a lot of our focus has been around positioning esports properly in each of these unique market sectors and engaging properly with our clients to pass the right messages onwards to the community.
SBC: What I’m doing at ICE 2017
James: After the announcement of our DOJO Madness partnership back in November, we’re looking to showcase how live betting should really be working for an esports event. We’ve invited two of the top UK Counter-Strike teams to play a series of matches throughout the show, which we will pair alongside our newly released Live Odds product. Naturally we’re inviting anyone with an interest in esports betting to come and pay us a visit at S1-150 to see what it’s all about.
Our aim is to change the way the industry approaches live betting in what is still a new, and sometimes intimidating space. We share the thoughts of our clients that the current market live offer is not up to the same standards as other more mainstream sports; it’s time to put an end to that.
SBC: What I’m looking forward to at ICE 2017
James: ICE deserves its reputation as the most important date in the trade show calendar and I expect this year will be no different. It’s one of very few opportunities throughout the year to catch up with a lot of business friends in a short space of time, meet a whole host of new personalities and check out what’s new in the sports betting space.
Naturally I’ll be casting a keen eye on anything esports related and am looking forward to the innovation that others are making in this space.
SBC: Where you will usually find me at ICE
James: Typically I’ll be networking with clients and partners at the Betradar stand, S1-150, but you’ll also find me exploring the floor and checking out the new and innovative products on offer at the show.
SBC: Favourite ICE memory
James: Last year’s ICE was a pretty memorable one for me. At the start of 2016, esports was a fresh buzzword on everybody’s lips and there was a lot of excitement around the recently launched Betradar esports product suite when we took it to ICE. Not only did this open up some new friendships and business relationships, but it gave me the opportunity to showcase what esports is all about to Finnish television.
SBC: Typical post-ICE activity
James: After the typical post-ICE networking drinks, most of the coming days will be spent following up on meetings and new contacts made during the show. Honestly speaking, there won’t be much time for resting as our esports products ramp up another gear moving into Q2 2017.