Paddy Power Betfair have taken esports betting a stage further in Australia with the launch of Respawn, a website operated by its wholly owned subsidiary Sportsbet.
Respawn combines esports live streaming with esports betting and adds a social dimension with online chat and comment. Sportsbet calls Respawn “esports heaven.”
The live stream is promised to be the fastest in Oceania “featuring a host of top-tier tournaments, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dota 2, Heroes of the Storm and more.”
During tournament action, live stats are displayed that update continually.
The user experience is designed for simplicity and sociability
The company is not hesitant in boasting about its new product:
“Simply put, it’s the god-mode of eSports betting.”
A video on YouTube backs up the claims, presenting a straightforward user experience enabling bets to be placed quickly and simply.
The chat facility may be the killer app that brings bettors to Respawn. Esports enthusiasts have become accustomed to watching Twitch streams and their accompanying chats.
For the most popular tournaments, these can become rapidly clogged with verbiage.
The Respawn chat is less likely to be affected, since bettors will be able to comment on the stream with people whose interests are more likely to be aligned with their own.
Sportsbet is licensed and regulated by the Northern Territory
Under the terms of its license, Sportsbet can only offer services to Australian and New Zealand residents, so the “god-mode of eSports betting” won’t yet be available in the rest of the world.
Paddy Power Betfair are staking out their position in esports betting
Sportsbet launched in Australia in 1993, receiving a major investment from Paddy Power in 2009. A year later, Paddy Power bought the whole business.
Paddy Power and Betfair merged earlier this year, creating one of the largest online betting companies in the world. The company has united, but the separate brands, with their distinctive identities, remain. Both offer esports betting to their rest of the world customers, although each retains a different focus.
One of the prime difficulties the established sports betting companies have is knowing how to take advantage of the stunning growth of esports. Respawn is one take on the debate as to whether esports should be integrated into sports betting services as an extra sport, or as a whole new product line.
Respawn offers an interesting vision of how esports betting can be a standalone product, rather than simply an extra tab on the usual sports betting menu. The concept of Respawn may be tested in Australia, but if it achieves success, it will inevitably be rolled out to other regions.