Lee Davy sits down with the Chief Marketing Officer of Luckbox, Vadim Soloveychik, to talk about his newest employer Luckbox, an esports betting platform wanting to do things the right way.
As a kid, the term “Luckbox” didn’t exist. We used the scummier sounding “Jammy Bastard.” Only when I found poker did I learn the more eloquent way of describing someone always ended up with the money.
So what’s it doing in the esports world?
Thank a bunch of former PokerStars higher-ups, who gathered grey matter to come up with a new startup ready to shake up the burgeoning esports betting market. All they needed was a name. Jammy Bastard didn’t make the cut. Luckbox would do nicely.
In January, Vadim Soloveychik became the latest former PokerStars clock-in puncher to join the Luckbox revolution. I sat down with him to learn more about this exciting venture.
Explain Luckbox to an alien.
In its heart, Luckbox is esports betting platform where esport fans can bet on their favourite games, watch live streams and engage with each other in a safe and secure environment. Our objective is to combine the responsible gaming, player safety and funds security practices of traditional gambling with an experience tailored to esport fans whose specific needs are largely dismissed by sports betting majors.
What has been the hardest thing about creating Luckbox?
We have just finished our ICO – a crowdfunding campaign supported by cryptocurrency contributors – and want to thank everyone in esports and crypto communities who believed in the idea and contributed in Luckbox amid the huge turbulence of crypto markets. Right now we are focused on delivery of the product. We know what we want to create and the challenge now is to make sure we deliver it on time and on scope. I’d say that this is pretty standard challenge for any new business and new product but this is the challenge nonetheless.
What did that hardest thing teach you about yourself?
There is always a way to do things better and more efficiently. Complacency and comfort of status quo are things that we all need to fight against, in my humble opinion.
What problem is Luckbox trying to fix?
Unlike many traditional sports, esports is largely targeting people who enjoy playing games themselves, although it is not a given that they play games they watch (more than 40% of CS:GO, Dota2 and LoL fans outside Asia don’t play these games at the moment, according to Newzoo). Among other differences, it means much closer interaction, different tone of voice and greater sense of community between esports incumbents and their audience. Sports betting majors who entered the industry do not necessarily understand that or, to be more precise, are not willing to understand that. The segment is simply too small and too different for them to really focus on.
On the other hand, many esports betting companies who understand gamers do not have good experience in providing great gambling product with its safety, security, convenience and variety.
At Luckbox, we love gaming ourselves and also know how to run traditional gambling business. So, our aim is to adapt the best gambling practices and tailor them to esports fans’ needs.
What are the core values that you want to embody within the core of Luckbox and why?
Luckbox’s values are defined by the personal values of people who founded the business and have been part of it from the start. Our founders and leadership team believe in authenticity, integrity and fairness to the community we work for. We also like a challenge and believe gamers are smart and we need to treat them respectfully. Many of us, including the co-founders Lars Lien and Mike Stevens, formerly worked at PokerStars and had a privilege to know and learn from its founders. So, this is credible to say that some of our values are inspired by them.
How have these values served you in the past?
I think that values are not the items you can choose from on Amazon and send back if you don’t like them. You can gain them through reflection of your experience and environment you live in. If they are true values then you serve them as much as they serve you.
In my opinion, businesses that have no real values are living on borrowed time. We are in an age of full transparency and values are hard to fake to others.
If you could only achieve one thing in 2018 what would it be and why?
We need to show our product to this esports community this year. This is our ultimate, number-one goal as the business.
How will your audience find you?
Our objective is to be part of the movement. So, we plan to partner with event organisers, opinion leaders such as Paul “Redeye” Chaloner and streamers, as well as support grassroots communities. We will also produce and curate content about esports to present our point of view, which, we hope, will attract a community to Luckbox. Of course, we will also use standard advertising practices but they will definitely not be the one and the only way we communicate. If the only thing esports fans will know about us is what deposit bonus we offer, then I treat it as a failure.
How will you gain his or her trust, and then loyalty?
By being true to our values that shape not only what we do but also what we don’t do – even if doing so seems “good for business” in the short term.
What change happens in the future because of your work?
By working towards “esports betting right” we hope to contribute into overall esports ecosystem, which should benefit everyone from event organisers to professional players and gamers. Safe, fair and responsible betting should help the esports industry to grow. This will help support even bigger and better tournaments and events, more fans and content they can engage with.