Throughout 2017, the popularity of eSports as a betting product continued to increase to unprecedented levels, with operators now paying a greater level of focus to the eSports element of their sportsbooks.
Benjamin Cronin, Content & Social Media Manager at Pinnacle spoke to SBC after an extremely successful 2017, that saw it continue its strong presence within the world of eSports betting.
SBC: Could you tell me how much it means for Pinnacle to be awarded the eSports Bookmaker of the Year?
Benjamin Cronin: We are thrilled to be named SBC eSports Bookmaker of the Year for the second year running. We’ve put a lot of energy into improving our eSports product over the past 12 months and with all the hard work that went into launching our feature-packed eSports hub, it’s nice to get some recognition from within the industry.
Our CEO Paris Smith was also inducted into the SBC Hall of Fame so it was a double celebration for the team. We enjoyed the event and I’d just like to say thank you on behalf of everyone at Pinnacle.
SBC: As a leading eSports operator, how much have you witnessed the industry grow over the past year?
BC: The exponential growth of eSports seems to have caught a lot of people by surprise but at Pinnacle, we knew there was something there from the start. It might be happening quicker than expected but revenue figures of $1.5bn in 2017 show just how mainstream it has become.
From a betting perspective, the growth has been pretty much in-line with the industry as a whole – we took our 5,000,000th eSports bet in February this year and are on course to surpass 10,000,000 at the start of 2018.
SBC: Could you reveal how you ensure that you stay ahead in an industry that’s continually evolving?
BC: The edge we have over other people in the industry is that as a company, we are fully immersed in all things eSports. Our Director of Trading is a massive League of Legends fan – this is part of the reason we offered eSports betting in the first place – and that love of gaming runs right through Pinnacle.
In addition to our highly skilled trading team with expert eSports knowledge, the simplicity of our offering makes it easy to adapt to rapidly growing markets. We offer the best odds and highest limits, and we won’t ban or restrict winning bettors – regardless of the sport or event, that will always be the case.
SBC: Can you tell us some of the key features that set aside your Esports’ Sportsbook to its competitors?
BC: Pinnacle is infamous for its gimmick-free approach to bookmaking. We don’t spend our money on big marketing campaigns or sign up offers, we invest it in giving bettors what they want; low margins, the best value odds and the ability to bet more than anywhere else. We are truly unique and that’s what sets us aside from our competitors.
Our focus on education also helps us stand out in a very competitive industry – especially with other bookmakers’ now recognising the opportunity with eSports betting. In addition to our hugely popular Betting Resources portal, we now have eSports-specific content within the eSports hub.
Whether you have no knowledge of eSports and the various games or you’re a seasoned bettor who wants to learn more about advanced strategies, there’s something for everyone in the blog section of our eSports hub.
SBC: Would you be able to reveal some of your plans to help enhance your sportsbook for 2018?
BC: There’s going to be a lot going on for Pinnacle in 2018, for both the company as a whole and our eSports offering specifically. It’s easy to get caught standing still in an industry that can change so quickly but we like to think we’re ahead of the game. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait to see exactly what that entails.
Throughout 2018, we will continue to offer more games and more markets in terms of our eSports product. We’ll also work on developing and refining our eSports hub – we never underestimate the value of customer feedback and whenever there is an opportunity to enhance the user’s experience, we’ll grab it with both hands.