In stadiums meant for physical sports are thousands of fans gathered to see their idols play more virtual kinds of games. Foto: Bago Games

In 2016 reports showed that over one billion people are aware of eSports the industry brought in around one billion dollars the same year. Both analysts and experts see 2017 as a year this growth continues, and that in a fast pace, as this will be the year eSports goes mainstream.

Pol Ruiz is the co-founder and CEO of Playfulbet, one of the biggest social betting platforms in Europe with over seven million users. They were one of the first startups that saw the eSports wave coming:

I have to say that eSports have evolved a lot since we started Playfulbet four years ago. At the time we were the only ones offering betting on eSports (though not with real money). Today all the betting sites lets you bet on eSports and it’s growing rapidly month over month.

Pol Ruiz, CEO and co-founder of Playfulbet.

Talking about sports, the only thing growing faster than eSports itself, is betting on eSports. According to the market analyst SuperData the eSports market will be worth 1.8 billion by the end of 2018. The sum is small compared to the betting market says Pol:

What many analysts doesn’t take account for is the betting industry around eSports which is also growing exponentially, and is anticipated to generate around $20 billion in turnover by 2020.

https://upscri.be/285782-2

Gamers are more loyal than football supporters

Stadiums used for traditional sports, are filling up with energetic audiences hungry for eSports live tournaments. It’s important to note that there are several key differences between the normal sports fan and the eSports enthusiasts.

The things that are special with eSports fans is that they support, interact and are much active than normal sports fans. They identify themselves with the game in a bigger degree than with other sports fans, and this makes the eSports sector both so interesting and valuable.

Pol and his team at Playfulbet are monitoring both sports sectors, and see trends emerging.

The industry is exploding, and especially after many traditional football and basketball teams got associated with the online sports games, and even formed professional eSports teams.

Mainstream means money

Until now eSports has been associated with one particular kind of demography, but that is changing rapidly, according to Pol:

As traditional TV and mass media companies are entering, this is becoming a mainstream thing. In Spain there’s TV channels dedicated to eSports and Mediapro is covering the LVP (the national eSports league in Spain).

He continues:

As most experts predict, the eSports sector will continue to grow fast the next couple of years, particularly with the entry of mainstream brands and additional famous profiles from the traditional sports world.

Also read:

https://blog.itnig.net/how-playfulbet-grew-to-400k-followers-on-facebook-and-300k-on-twitter-c207cb286559

Focused on eSports because no one else did

To strengthen their focus on eSports, Pol and Playfulbet is adding more gaming streams to the platform:

we’re integrating streaming of eSport matches so you can follow the games you’ve been betting on without leaving the platform, and you can also chat with your community watching the same games. But there’s still much more to be done for the eSports community using the platform.

Playfulbet moved over the offering bets on eSports fairly early because of one main reason:

We added eSports mostly because no one else did it, so for us it was a competitive advantage. We’re still not more focused on eSports with respect to other sports, but we’re working on offering even more content and functionality in this niche.


This post was written by media manager itnig Sindre Hopland.

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T.

The new time and attendance law will kill innovation in Spain and Europe

Simple solutions or “one fits all” policies are easy to market by populist governments but they are sometimes at the expense of certain sectors and their people. This time the affected party is innovation and value added services, to a point that puts in jeopardy our (already weak) spot in the global competitiveness landscape.

I’ve always told my teams that I do not hire their time, but rather their talent and potential: their brains, their energy and passion and their willing to make a difference and impact our clients and the world through them. Innovative companies try to get in existing markets and solve things in complete different ways, some go as far as creating new markets from scratch. They all have in common that their mission is extremely hard, sometimes impossible (thus most fail along the way). The key for their success is how they manage to convince their teams that everything they do is not a job, but a religion. They are changing the world and that is something worth spending time and making history.

I can tell if somebody is motivated by their job by looking at their eyes while they talk about their challenges and ideas. Best people don’t work, they play. They make their challenges their hobbies. I’ve had many conversations at 1 am in the office, after some beers and sushi, before even realizing what time it is. Only when a job makes this kind of conditions happen, the wheel of significant value creation really stirs and great things come from it.

It is very hard to create a culture in which people feel so empowered that they are capable of anything. In my experience, it helps granting absolute flexibility. I don’t remember the last time I approved vacations to my team, or I paid attention to their schedules, or the days in which they worked from home or the office. This is not the kind of conversations I want to have with them. My relationship with my team is based on trust, and it is based on one single (often repetitive) conversation: how can we do more and better, how can we grow faster, how can we raise the bar. Little it matters to me whether they contribute to this questions from the beach in Canary Islands or spending many hours in the office.

However, the government today decided that it is a great idea in the 21th century that all companies like ours should make everybody clock in and clock out by law. I’m now obliged to add people’s time and attendance into our conversation. We now have to treat all jobs like production lines in factories (amidst the era of hyper automation and robotization). They go as far as having us registering accurate pauses for lunch. Unfortunately they don’t include how should we manage the time spent in the chill-out area, or when having long coffees in the outside terrace, or spending the afternoon in ping pong championships. Should we clock-in and clock-out every time we do that too?

When I travel I always get asked how is the Spanish ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation developing, I always defend our potential to become a leading actor in science and technology,  besides our current reputation for tapas, toros and siesta. We previously analysed the many initiatives taking place in the city of Barcelona. But my question is: is there anybody in the government actually helping us to make this happen?

The new law will come to place the next 12th of May. At Factorial we developed a free feature, so companies can instantly become compliant with the law. Interestingly enough, almost immediately after launching this feature people started developing tools using our API to automate clocking or connecting it with Slack and other interfaces. It looks like after all there will always be people willing to work on relevant things and not waste their energy in bureaucratic traps.

PD: You can find more information about the law in this article.