READY PLAYER ONE, TWO, THREE…
A raft of new esports-focused platforms are lining up to compete with the traditional bookies on esports gambling markets. Esports affiliate William Westerlund runs the rule over the new breed of real-money and skin betting operators and explains how they are differentiating themselves from the established order.
The gambling industry is going through many exciting changes, with a new breed of betting sites rapidly increasing in number, not to mention a whole new set of customers with whom to engage. Happily, the new platforms understand the new users – and the whole community of esports in general.
NEW VS TRADITIONAL
It’s clear that the new breed of esports-focused platforms are comfortable working with the esports community, something that hasn’t always been true with ‘traditional’ gambling platforms. Conscious of meeting the community’s needs and expectations, they will happily take part in chat forums and reinvest back into the esports scene by sponsoring teams and tournaments. By making sure they’re engaged and relevant, these new sites are increasingly seen as being “one of us’’ by the gaming community and therefore gain a great deal of trust from the players.
Through working with the community and being part of the esports world, the new platforms are aware that gamers are used to high-end graphics and applications. Typically, this understanding manifests itself in a more ‘edgy’ look to a site’s UI compared to the traditional gambling sites we know of today. When it comes to exposure, the esports-focused sites are the ones gamers recognise from esports events and tournaments, or from sponsoring their favourite teams or gaming forums. We at topgamersguide.com believe this is one of the reasons why Betway has been so successful at gaining a large share of the esports gambling scene.
We are now seeing new entrants to the market utilising exposure in the same way that Betway has. A great example of this is the newcomer GG.bet, which has become a favourite among the esports community.
Sites like GG.bet have quickly become household names in the esports world and are now expanding their offer to cover traditional sports such as tennis and football. We expect to see some of these newer esports-focused betting sites take more market share over the next few years as the industry continues to grow.
From working as affiliates with both traditional and ‘newer’ bookmakers, we can say for certain that we have more influence regarding the affiliate programme. The esports-focused sites include us in their programme development and are always keen to hear our suggestions on how they can improve things. Conversely, we have a hard time even getting client support from the traditional betting sites.
All of which brings us to commission. The esports-focused betting sites have better commission rates and are often more willing to discuss figures substantially higher than the base rate.
SKIN VS REAL-MONEY BETTING
Skin betting might not mean anything to most people – and might even sound outrageous if you’ve got no experience playing games. Players spend a lot of money on skins to look a certain way in the game, in much the same way we spend money on clothes in real life.
Skin betting was the start of it all, leading to real-money betting sites picking up the trend, and here we are today: a multi-billion dollar market still in its infancy. As an affiliate this is very exciting. We now have the chance to join a growing market within betting from the start. However, there are options for affiliates to consider: skin betting or ‘regular’ betting?
We’ve worked with both on our website topgamersguide.com and there are two areas that really split them apart: support and commission.
Starting with support, partnering as an affiliate with a skin betting website might not be the easiest thing to do. From our experience, it can take days to get a response from their support section. In many cases, you use the same support as the players on their platform – there is no separate team to look after the interests of affiliates.
It’s a different story when it comes to support on the regular betting sites where you risk real money. Here, they are on top of it. They want as close a relationship as possible and usually ask for your Skype ID so that you can contact them easily with any questions you might have.
When it comes to commission, there’s a similar gap between the two as there is in support. While skin betting usually offer you 1-30% (yep, some sites goes as low as 1%) in rev share, regular betting sites offer 20-60%, which is quite a big gap.
To sum up, from our standpoint as affiliates, we feel that ‘regular’ betting sites engage and invest more in you, as an affiliate, to become successful. With the skin betting platforms, you’re generally treated as one of their customers and not a partner.