The UK bookmaker, Betway, has become the official betting partner of the ESL One Cologne Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament, and the children’s TV channel Nickelodeon invest in Super League Gaming.
The esports betting industry received a boost this week after the ESL One Cologne event team announced the UK bookmaker Betway as their official betting partner. The partnership allows the event to broadcast live odds for the first time.
ESL One Cologne is marketed as the biggest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament in the world. 16 of the world’s greatest teams converge at the LANXEES Arena, the home of the Cologne Sharks ice hockey team, to try and win their share of the $250,000 prize pool. The event has already sold 12,000 tickets showing the staggering popularity of the event.
Betway is amongst a host of bookmakers with an esports Sheriff’s Deputy badge pinned to their chest, hoping to one day exchange it for one bearing the word Sheriff. In 2015, they launched a dedicated esports betting spin-off, and CS:GO action is amongst their most popular esports offerings.
ESL isn’t the only partner that Betway has within esports. In Sep 2016, Betway agreed a six-figure sponsorship deal with the CS:GO team Ninjas in Pyjamas, who will compete at ESL One. A month after the ink had dried on that deal, Betway agreed a £10m sponsorship deal with the Premiership team West Ham. Consider, that’s how much sponsors may have to pay esports teams in the next decade.
The group stages of ESL One Cologne are underway, with betting odds available at Betway. The finals take place July 7-9 with the Playoffs consisting of a single elimination bracket. The quarter and semi finals will be a best of Three series, and the grand final will be best of five.
Last year, Brazil’s SK Gaming beat the USA’s Team Liquid to secure the $500,000 first prize. Betway currently has the defending champions pegged in as the 3.80 favourites, with FaZe Clan 4.00, and G2 6.50 also in the frame.
Nickelodeon Invest in Super League
If you ever wondered how our children become wannabe esports starts then consider that the children’s television network Nickelodeon has just partnered with a variety of companies to invest $15m into Super League Gaming.
Super League Gaming is a platform for amateur esports and video game enthusiasts to cut their teeth in events held in theatres across the USA. They formed in 2014, with their first focus on the game that gave children something other to do than burning used cars on council estates: Minecraft.
In 2015, LA kid, Julien Wiltshire, aged-10, won the inaugural Minecraft Championships, netting a $5,000 scholarship in the process. Last year, a group of schoolkids from Maryland earned a $15,000 scholarship for taking down the top prize.
Joining Nickelodean in the Series C Funding were the media entertainment company responsible for Iron Man 3, DMG Entertainment, and the National Hockey League (NHL) Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik. Super League Gaming has raised more than $28m in funding since 2014.
Super League Gaming added amateur League of Legends (LOL) games into the fold, last year.