If you’ve watched any television, Hulu, or YouTube recently, you’ve likely seen a commercial or two for fantasy sports sites that enable you to bet on NFL games. Now, several esports companies are trying to establish and grow similar sorts of businesses for pro gaming.
Unikrn, a website where fans can legally wager on gaming competitions, announced today that it’s trying to expand its reach in this space by buying esports-analysis company DotaProHub. This acquisition should enrich Unikrn’s site with copious amounts of data and visuals that will help people make more informed bets on matches. Unikrn is likely expecting that will encourage more people to make bigger bets. Gambling on sports is a billion-dollar business — one report estimates that Americans will gamble (legally and illegally) more than $95 billion on pro and college football this season. Esports is nowhere near this yet, but it is definitely getting larger every year.
In addition to providing data for people making wagers, Unikrn will use DotaProHub to help improve its automated cloud computing-backed oddsmaking technology for esports. The company says this should make its odds more accurate than ever before.
Several websites are already getting people to regularly put money on pro-gaming matches. Companies like Vulcun and AlphaDraft have popped up to provide daily-fantasy gambling for games like team shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and multiplayer online battle arenas League of Legends and Dota 2 (three of the top esports games in the world). Unikrn will try to use DotaProHub’s information to set itself apart from that competition.
DotaProHub already provides tons of statistics on every pro Dota 2 match. This data mixes together historical information and real-time results to help people understand what is happening and who has the best chance to win the current game. And DotaProHub has put a lot of effort into ensuring that its research is easily digestible. This means presenting facts with charts and other kinds of dynamic visuals.