SBC News Bayes Esports: why the sector can’t survive without a data strategy

Bayes Esports: why the sector can’t survive without a data strategy

Amir Mirzaee, Chief Commercial Officer and Managing Director of Bayes Esports, assesses the numerous advantages that are born from utilising the correct data, as well as what plus points these can bring to both operators and players.

Esports has become ubiquitous in the context of the next generation of sports and gaming enthusiasts alike. But, what role exactly does esports fulfil from a strategic and commercial perspective. In today’s world where marketing and event budgets are cut, Bayes Esports is making the case for why esports data needs to have its place. We’re taking a critical look at how a great match data strategy can play a central role in the success of esports. 

Esports contributes to the longevity of game titles and fan engagement. Its disconnect lies within creating a profit centre that may be disconnected from the actual commercial value that it creates. With endless new game titles flooding the market every year, major esports game titles, like Counter-Strike, relentlessly continue to gain momentum after twenty years, which is due to the engaging experiences that continue to draw fans in.

And, for an audience to engage with esports, a data infrastructure is needed to provide access to player information, fixtures, and most importantly match data in its many shapes and forms. 

When you watch sports on TV, a lot of what makes it interesting is the stats, data, and visualisation tools behind the games and players. We see it in Formula 1 with the race data, driver stats, and even unique camera angles that take you from a spectator to behind the wheel.

Without the all time fastest lap ranking and the shoulder camera, the F1 is ‘merely cars driving in a circle’ from a spectator point of view. US sports are leading in the field. Fans love following an endless amount of stats, especially when records are broken like we recently saw in the latest NFL season. Further, data can also play an integral role in the development of professional teams (remember, just like the movie Moneyball). Teams and coaches need their data and video recordings to constantly improve their game. 

While all these examples are within traditional sports, esports draws parallels and offers even more data to work with. The challenge comes with the collection of the data, and without that, there is no structured offering.

Esports demands technical capabilities which aren’t necessary within traditional sports as the next action can simply be called by the referee. If the data is properly collected and managed, each esports match can unlock unique opportunities to keep fans engaged. With the right strategy, you can use esports data to its fullest potential and build a profitable future. 

Outsourcing esports development to a data company 

So how does a data company like Bayes Esports fit into the realm of the esports ecosystem? Over the past five years, esports viewership soared, creating a gold rush for many companies. By 2025 the global esports viewership is expected to surpass 640 million. Game publishers, and IP owners became very bullish about their league and tournaments, scrambling to keep everything in house even though it had little to do with their core business. 

So while game publishers and tournament organisers may have the capability to develop their own data models, it ultimately pulls away resources, time, and focus from developing great games and tournaments – the things that made them successful in the first place.

Instead, they eventually became willing to give away more responsibility to a company where the focus was acquiring high quality live data, managing it, and distributing it in an efficient way. This is where Bayes Esports comes in. 

Esports is built on data with hundreds of data points, which cannot all be watched at once or sometimes even seen. In Counter-Strike, for example, each second multiple actions are occurring at every corner of the map, and a viewer may not be able to see all the information, making the data that much more important.

To collect all the data points accurately, there must be an automated system. This is why access to Bayes Esports’ data models, data platform, and distribution network is so valuable. Any game title or IP owner that joins our ecosystem can immediately distribute to the largest data distribution network in the digital esports ecosystem, while also having the backing power of a company driven by esports experts and data scientists. 

Telling the story of greatness…with data 

Who has fired the most bullets ever in a CS2 tournament? Not sure? Chances are that nobody knows… Data is the underlining aspect of every angle of the esports ecosystem, crucial for influencing storytelling, viewership, and engagement. Yet, the match data market is highly fragmented and access to the data, if available, is split across various providers, even for the same game title. 

In order to match or surpass the experiences offered by traditional sports, there must be an offering of esports-specific solutions. Currently, platforms like YouTube and Twitch are the go-to sources for consuming esports content. However, both remain to be low-tech and missing a companion or statistics specific to esports.

This isn’t in line with the high-tech experience esports fans desire or expect. Bayes Esports is building these types of esports specific solutions that will drive better viewership, engagement, and user retention. 

We have done this in two ways: Firstly by collecting, managing, and distributing live data. With almost 70 per cent of all esports bets made focused on live, in-play bets, it is so important to offer an undelayed stream only available with access to the official match data.

Through our partnerships with EFG, BLAST Premier, and other tournament organisers, Bayes Esports is the leading official live match data supplier for CS2 and Dota 2. Our vast network of distribution partners are therefore able to offer reliable live match betting and maximise their esports betting turnover. 

The other way is building excitement around the tournaments with historical data and video files. What’s football without the top 10 goals from Messi? Esports needs the highlights to tell a story without having to sift through thousands of hours of video files.

Bayes Esports stores and manages the historical data with advanced machine learning models, whether its statistics or video content, making it accessible and searchable. Tournament organisers can share clips of the most outrageous headshots to keep engagement up all year round. 

Data is the backbone to building innovative solutions, but also a way to build and retain a fanbase. In order to reach the level of success we have already seen in traditional sports, esports must first overcome some hurdles. While the nature of esports data is more granular and complex than traditional sports, the opportunities are vast if used correctly.

Increased engagement opens up doors for the entire esports community so it is down to the game publishers, IP owners, and esports data platforms to forge partnerships in order to deliver data in the most efficient way possible. Those that recognise and understand what game fans want in terms of engagement will be those that ultimately win. 

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