The eSports and game streaming industry tends to expand 70% in the next four years, according to the Juniper Research survey. It is estimated that the global electronic sports sector will generate about US $ 3.5 billion in 2025 against US $ 2.1 billion today. Therefore, companies are watching and investing considerably to keep up with this growth. Pinnacle is an example of this.
The iGaming Brazil team exclusively interviewed Pinnacle eSports ‘trading director’, Marco Blume. In an article of his own, Blume defined his work as “managing risk”.
As described on the Pinnacle website, even though risk management in the betting trading sector has been changed to an outsourcing model, he sought to keep it aligned with the basic elements of the sector.
Based on this vision, he maintained businesses with the lowest margins, the highest limits and a policy of welcoming winners. In contact with iGaming Brazil, the director of Pinnacle evaluated the progress of the global eSports market, but also gave his opinion on the national scenario. In addition, Blume revealed details of the partnership with Santos eSports.
Check out the full interview with Pinnacle Sports trading director, Marco Blume
iGaming Brazil: Do you consider sports betting a ‘game of skill’?
Marco Blume: For sure. Both from the bettors’ and the traders’ point of view, it’s a constant battle between the two parties that makes sports betting so enjoyable. Those who take it seriously as a ‘skill game’ are putting long hours and research into their betting positions, and as an operator and supplier we’re more than happy to offer prices to them.
iGaming Brazil: How do you balance this approach for your partner operators, who may have different needs?
Marco Blume: Each partner has its own customer base with their preferred betting behaviours, and our job is to provide each with its own trading solution and risk management service. Each bet coming in for each partner allows us to nudge prices in a certain direction to efficiently manage their own risk, giving the sportsbook a much better chance of driving hold and revenue in the long run. We don’t rely on homogenous average market prices; a trend that is increasingly common. Instead, each operator has its own standout prices, whatever the sport or market, which will adjust according to their own action. This is trading best practice and it works.
We do not depend on homogeneous average market prices; an increasingly common trend. Instead, each operator has its own standout prices, whatever the sport or market, which will be adjusted according to its own action. This is the best trading practice and it works.
iGaming Brazil: How relevant is eSports in terms of revenue compared to more traditional sports?
Marco Blume: For Pinnacle, esports is now our fourth biggest sport, and some of our Pinnacle Solution partners are seeing it rank even higher. We’ve committed to esports betting from the early days, treating it as a fully-fledged tier one product from the start, and this has resonated with the esports community who have taken to betting as a core element of their engagement. The Latam region is seeing arguably a bigger skew in favour of esports betting content. We’ve seen a strong uptick in esports bets taken across various Latam markets in recent months, with much of the action coming on events and teams with local ties.
The Latin American region is seeing a greater trend in favor of sports betting content. We have seen a strong increase in bets on electronic sports made in various Latin American markets in the past few months, with much of the action arriving at events and teams with local ties.
iGaming Brazil: Would you say that this category will surpass all others? If so, how long?
Marco Blume: Within the next five to ten years, maybe we will see esports surpass the established core betting sports. It won’t happen quickly, if it does at all, but the data certainly suggests it will start to climb higher in some regions where esports has a larger footprint than tennis, for example. Infrastructure is improving rapidly in the esports community as it evolves as a professional sport. This will lead to better data provisions across more esports, while the quality of competition down the gaming tiers will also improve, all adding to what is already a first class betting product.
The infrastructure is rapidly improving in the e-sports community as it evolves as a professional sport. This will lead to better data provision in more eSports, while the quality of competition in the game tiers will also improve, all adding to what is already a first-class betting product.
iGaming Brazil: What do you have to say about the electronic sports market in Brazil?
Marco Blume: Brazil should definitely be regarded as one of the biggest markets for esports globally, and that’s the same when it comes to betting. There’s a vast community of esports fans looking for the right betting content, predominantly across League of Legends and CS:GO, and we’re working with local partners to deliver this as best we can by supporting grassroots esports activity and providing betting markets for the content that Brazilians are after.
iGaming Brazil: You recently launched the second version of the Pinnacle Cup. Could you tell us more about the events?
Marco Blume: We’re committed to improving the quality of competition and professionalism within esports, and the Pinnacle Cup has been a key part of this strategy. We’re giving teams a platform to perform against higher-ranked opponents and compete for major prize money, while also working with data and streaming partners to deliver the community with both a quality entertainment and betting product. The first CS:GO event performed beyond expectations. It gave us the chance to showcase our CS:GO betting offering at its market-leading best. Consistently offering top prices and the widest range of markets, the month long event saw us deliver more value to our customers and more drama to the broader esports community. The success has since led to a Dota 2 version – running throughout May – which will allow us to invest in the title’s own unique community, while also delivering a premium betting product to end users and our B2B partners.
The first CS: GO event had a performance beyond expectations. It gave us the opportunity to present our CS: GO betting offer in its best market. Consistently offering the best prices and the widest range of markets, the month-long event showed us more value for our customers and more possibilities for the eSports community in general.
The success since then has led to a Dota 2 version – running throughout May – that will allow us to invest in the title’s unique community, while offering a premium betting product for end users and our B2B partners.
iGaming Brazil: Pinnacle has formed an eSports partnership with Santos FC. How is the performance of this partnership?
Marco Blume: The partnership has been a hugely effective way of building awareness with the Brazilian market. Santos is a name known the world round and being able to tap into this audience from an esports perspective with Santos e-Sports has been a great help in building our footprint in the region and becoming a trusted brand with the esports audience.
iGaming Brazil: Why is your trading solution specifically suited for the Brazilian market?
Marco Blume: We’ve been there and done that as an operator across various challenging global markets, and we’ve turned those learnings and expertise into a trading solution that can suit operators of any nature, in any market. The core Brazilian betting base may have different behaviours to its North American or European counterparts, but Pinnacle Solution and our risk management focus on volume over customer behaviour allows us to extract the full potential out of a sportsbook, whether its customers are high or low stake bettors. With a commitment to investing in the esports community and its integrity on a global and local level too, the Pinnacle brand has become a trusted one that players like to bet with, and our partners can leverage this reputation directly from us.
The main Brazilian betting base may behave differently than North American or European, but Pinnacle Solution and our focus on risk management in volume on customer behavior allows us to extract the full potential of a sports betting service, be it yours high or low risk betting customers.
With a commitment to investing in the eSports community and its integrity also at a global and local level, the Pinnacle brand has become a trusted brand that players like to bet on, and our partners can take advantage of that reputation directly from us.