Rahul Sood: eSports fan base as big as NFL in 2017

Rahul Sood Responsible Betting on eSports

In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Rebecca Liggero, Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood talks about the growing eSports industry and how his company is doing its best to promote responsible betting.

eSports is poised to become as big as NFL in terms of popularity, according to Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood.

“Right now, the fan base for eSports is about the size of the NHL and in about 2017, it’s going to be about as big as NFL,” Sood told CalvinAyre.com. “The fan base is there. Now, when you look at the opportunity to monetize, it’s much smaller than what the NFL or what the NHL is currently today, so there is a massive opportunity for monetization in this space.”

Last year, analysts forecast a year-on-year explosive growth in the competitive gaming industry. SuperData Research analysts believe the market will grow to over $1.9 billion by 2018, driven mainly by the United States and Europe, which are expected to rapidly invest in the space as the Asian market approaches stagnation.

The industry, however, is still at a young age and the people that want to bet on eSports belong in the younger generation as well. This creates a problem for online gambling platforms that offer eSports betting.

“eSports is highly unregulated now and there are sites out there that prey on young people and they do it in an unregulated, unmonitored environment. Unikrn exists to change that. We’re here to become the call it the white knights or whatever you want, but we’re working with Tabcorp in order to ensure that we’re promoting responsible betting that has an age verification system. That we’re only dealing with people that are in legal jurisdictions that are allowed to bet. That’s a huge part of our business and that’s absolutely what we’re committed to doing. We’re committed to responsible betting,” Sood explained.

For online gambling operators that are dying to get involved with the eSports industry today, Sood has this piece of advice: be authentic.

“You cannot just get into eSports by popping a bunch of numbers and prop that on the screen, it doesn’t work. You have to have an authentic offering that caters to this market,” Sood said. “My team comes from a history of gaming. This is what we do. I mean, I literally play games every day. I play League of Legends religiously and we have another side, which is the gambling side, where we’ve partnered with Tabcorp in order to bring in not only a rich history of responsible betting but also the regulatory, the responsible betting, the risk management, all of that stuff comes into the Tabcorp side so we’ve combined that. So I think the best advice is to just be authentic.”