Rahul Sood is the CEO at esports only bookmaker Unikrn. During a busy year to date which has seen Unikrn acquire tournament organiser LEET.gg and release its own cryptocurrency, unikoingold, on Ethereum, Sood caught up with SBC News ahead of his speaker slot at the Betting on Esports Conference in September. Sood will be discussing esports betting on the panel titled ‘Live alone or die together? Are purist esports betting platforms better equipped to thrive and how should they be designed?’.
Joining Sood will be Danske Spil’s Head of Esports Kasper Nemeth, Blinkpool CEO Suraj Gosai and PVP.ME CMO Mike Doyle. Sanjit Atwal, CEO of Dark Site and Co-Founder of Squawka, will moderate.
SBC News: Why did you decide to speak at Betting on Esports 2017?
Rahul Sood: Sam (Sam Cooke, Editor , Esports Insider) asked me to speak, and I said yes. When Sam asks you to speak, you speak! Besides that there are a ton of things happening in the esports betting space right now. In addition to the incredible growth, cryptocurrencies are a new area that betting operators should take a look at. Unikrn is at the cutting edge of both areas and I’d like to share some of my insights in this area.
SBC: Unikrn has been making some interesting moves in the past six months. For instance, the acquisition of tournament host LEET.gg. Does esports offer European casinos the same opportunity as it does those in Vegas and North America?
Rahul: Absolutely. We feel that Las Vegas is a good hub to start building insane casino experiences around esports. Vegas tends to be the standard by which others follow, as such it’s a good sandbox by which to experiment on what works and what doesn’t. LEET has done a great job helping to stand up the first esports friendly casino in Las Vegas, and we have much bigger plans for the future.
SBC: How integral a part of the wider Unikrn business model do you anticipate the UnikoinGold (the firm’s cryptocurrency) becoming?
Rahul: UnikoinGold will be the foundation to the future of our company.
Since Unikrn has nearly two years of data on Unikoins we know exactly how to drive value to them. The great part about our cryptocurrency is our users can exchange them on any major exchange for any other cryptocurrency. We are also creating all new betting experiences around UnikoinGold. I recommend people who are interested visit the website at www.unikoingold.com.
SBC: Where do you see the future of regulated esports betting going? Do you ever see the game publishers working with this industry; how important is this?
Rahul: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, much like traditional sports we should see more publishers get on board in working with the industry, starting with competitive integrity.
I think the ESIC is a great start. In terms of the future of regulated esports, I think regulators need to accelerate their thinking on this as soon as possible. Between Esports, Gambling, and Crypto, we have a collision of three major industries going on, and people need to get smart fast.
SBC: What can attendees expect to hear from your involvement in the ‘Live alone or Die Together’ panel?
Rahul: Stay tuned, I’m sure people will want to hear about the journey from token to cryptocurrency. I’ll share some of the challenges we’ve faced dealing with competitors who choose to operate illegally, and also riding the bleeding edge of esports and crypto.
Betting on Esports 2017 will take place as a part of Betting on Sports (September 13-15). There’ll be six esports panels, an esports betting exhibition zone, tournaments, ample networking opportunities and parties each evening. Click here to find out more.