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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O.

On sales leadership

These are some values that I learned that define a leader:

– A leader is somebody who reaches their goals and achieves beyond their individual abilities aligned with their own values and the organization’s values. A leader without a team is not a leader. A leader works for the team, not the other way around.

– Humbleness. Leaders must get to know themselves first, acknowledge their limitations. Acknowledge they have no recipe for success (no one does). They will succeed only by being curious and trying things faster, testing, changing things again, failing again, learning as fast as possible. In sales, everybody notices when things work well, success is measured in € vs budget. A leader must embrace results with no buts and take action to reach the goals.

– A leader works harder, a leader cares about the goals more than anybody else, they took full ownership of the goals. A leader does about anything to remove bottlenecks away on his team, they assist, train, support everybody, anything it takes. They are always the best resource for their team.

– A leader will always be available for everybody in their team, for personal and professional issues. They go the extra mile. They make sure everybody knows that. They earn the team’s trust.

– A leader makes everyone aware that teamwork is not negotiable. Without a cooperative team, there’s no leader. Lone wolves kill the growing/changing organization. Growth happens only WITH the team, not at their expense.

– Leaders communicate all the time, they don’t keep things to themselves, they are honest with their team. They share good and bad. They share the why’s. They trust their team. Trust precedes process and it is the only path to grow at a scale.

– Leaders learn fast and learn mostly from their team. The team has the most valuable knowledge a leader can get, it doesn’t come from books, blog posts, degrees or mentors. The team gets the real shit from the front line. A leader listens to their teams’ impressions and ideas, they explore them all and give feedback. Leaders generate a culture of idea generation and idea sharing. Leaders stay away from guru preaching.

– It’s important to understand people’s personal and professional ultimate goals and motivations. Leaders spend time asking them on their one on ones and they think about them. They write them down. Everybody is playing the movie of their lives, a leader must find out which one is it, they make sure each team member keeps being the hero of their movie.

– Leaders always lead by example, not by title. They show real bravery. Leaders go first to battle. They call leads and close customers. They apologize to customers when the company screws up. They take the shit first. They don’t leave anyone behind. They don’t show their rank, their status, their difference, their pedigree. Startups are flat meritocratic organizations. Leaders must understand well the company goals and they put them first, they are prepared to step down, or step aside, or leave the company at any moment if needed. Company goals are what matters most. Leaders show this to everyone. Company/collective oriented leaders always thrive.

– Leaders celebrate every victory. They visibly show the pain of every defeat. They take every opportunity to show they care. They analyze why/what/how and find out always changes to be made. Then they go and make the changes. They change anything or everything, but never keep on doing what doesn’t work. They shake the whole company inside out before/when goals are not met.

– Leaders set goals that are both ambitious and achievable. They work along the team to make sure they meet the goals. They are flexible when the goals are set wrong. They are implacable when goals are not met.

Most people will never be a leader. It takes time and patience, it takes survival skills, it takes real personal strength. But after committing to all these things, things start to work. Leaders are such when and only when they brought teams to make things work, nobody becomes a leader just by trying it. True leaders make sure they don’t leave the boat until things work (as they will work, ultimately!). They don’t leave the job undone.

– Bernat Farrero CEO at Itnig