Dienstag, 25. Dezember 2012

digibet review of 2012

digibet review of 2012

What a year! When I approached my bosses in March 2012 with my e-sports betting idea I would have never imagined where we would be 9 months later. Imagine a pitch where you talk about 35 Million users, “First Blood” and try to explain the concept of an AP Mid. 

The key dialog went like this:

Me: “500.000 users watch the game at the same time via stream.”
Boss: “Why would anyone watch a game?”

(Somehow I came up with the killer argument.)

Me: “Do you play Tennis?”
Boss: “Yes.”
Me: “Do you watch Tennis?”
Boss: “Oh…”

9 months later digibet is the only bookmaker in the world who offers e-sports bets on such an extensive level. I am quite proud of what we’ve archieved so far.

We started in August 2012 – It was IEM Gamescom time! On the 8th of August we posted our very first Facebook update:

Welcome to digibet.com - home of e-sports betting!

We are proud to present and be a part of this exciting new opportunity within the world of e-sports! With the company's general betting expertise and with our knowledge of the game: We can offer you a betting experience unlike anything AND anyone else! […]

Betting lines for IEM Gamescom 2012
On the 19th of August the world knew which teams from Europe would qualify for the Season 2 finale and Season 3. Moscow 5, SK Gaming and CLG.eu made the top 3 in Cologne. The Semi Finale between SK and CLG.eu was so epic. This clip from the Saturday caught all the action:

We started to cover more and more events. MLG, Campus Lan, OGN, IPL, some smaller online tournaments but in the end we were just waiting for the Season 2 Finale from Riot.

The 17th of August marked a very important day for us. We went public with the news that we managed to sign Carlos “ocelote” R. Santiago as our testimonial. Carlos became the first LoL pro player with a 4-digits-a-month personal sponsorship. You can check the sign-up page here: www.digibet.com/ocelote.

On 20th of August: We’ve released our ocelote TV-Spot we shot in Berlin.

The reactions were great. 55.000 views do tell a story! We also partnered up with his team SK Gaming, and Mousesports.
Two days later we published our “Outright winner” odds for the Season 2 Finale. 

Betting lines for the Season 2 Finale - Look at the odds from TPA...
Do you still remember the opening ceremony? We were blasted away by the live orchestra Riot hired. Manly geek-tears were shed.

Who would have thought that TPA would cruise to victory? If you would have bet 10 Euro on TPA you would have made a fortune. The grand finale between Azubu Frost and TPA was so epic. You guys went crazy with your bets. The hype, the excitement, this is what e-sport is all about.

26.10.2012 – Tales of the Lane

A crowd funded tournament held in the Casino de Paris with some of the best teams Europe had to offer at that time.

I think it is safe to say that France had the best crowd so far. The enthusiasm, the passion from the gamers was unreal. We were scared when the whole crowd started dancing Gangnam style but this was one of the most memorable moments for us in 2012.

In the end Curse.eu overcame Eclypsia and the viewers saw a very happy "Flyy".

MLG Fall was another epic tournament. North America witnessed the Asian dominance for the second time. 

Azubu Blaze took the MLG Fall title


That day was really important for us. 100 days of e-sports betting. We made it! For the first time we offered 4 e-sports title to bet on. League of Legends. Dota 2. Starcraft 2 and Counter-Strike: GO. Dreamhack 2012 was awesome. 

Dreamhack 2012 - Jönköping at its best!

29.11.2012 – IPL5 – Sin City Edition

IPL5 - The best tournament of 2012

This was the best tournament in 2012. Almost too many matches to watch. Great cast. Huge production value. And it was on schedule! We’ve enjoyed this tournament so much. A big thanks goes out to Nick Allen who came up with this video:

fnatic had a strong showing. After winning Dreamhack 2012 they went on and placed second. World Elite from China took first place and TPA finished 3rd

13.12.2012 IEM Cologne

Reapered's SK Telecom T1 took the title

The ESL hosted their IEM Cologne event in their studio. Once again an Asian team prevailed in the end. Travis “Tnomad” Gafford had a nice prediction video:

 Where are we going in 2013? 

We have great hopes that the professionalism will drastically increase with Season 3 around the corner. Big tournaments such as the IEM Series, IGN’s IPL or the ongoing OGN league should provide a load of stabile matches to bet on. E-Sports is very volatile at the moment and we are hoping that the leagues, tournaments and the teams become more consistent.

We would like to offer more Starcraft 2 bets in 2013.  We are working on that to realize it. DOTA2 has been a success so far. We didn’t advertise it but there is a lot of betting action going on especially on “The Defense”. We are definitely going to explore DOTA2 a lot more in 2013. 


Of course not every reaction was positive towards e-sports betting. Collusion came up quite often as an argument. I would like to talk a little bit about that. Collusion is our worst nightmare too! In the end it’s us who are going to lose a lot of money. This is why we are so careful when we select the matches.

We only offer betting lines if:

  • The incentive (prize pool / prestige) is high enough.

  • Professional teams are playing in a professional tournament.

  • There is a live coverage of the game.

To further discourage collusion in any way we also don’t accept high-roller bets! If you want to bet 100 Euro or more on a single game please place that bet on something else like football or tennis or go to a different sportsbook. We don’t accept such high bets on e-sports! The majority places between 2 and 5 Euro on a match and that is fine! We have a responsibility towards you so please understand that we are restricting e-sports betting to a certain amount.

David Ting from IGN/IPL had this to say:
David Ting, GM, eSports and VP of R&D at IGN

I have always believed that professionally-run wagering operations are complementary to any sport. For example, Fantasy Football has added so much to the NFL -- and I think bracket challenges and lines make watching NCAA March Madness a ton of fun. With money on the line, it can really amplify the viewing experience. I find digibet’s vision and passion to invest in this uncharted territory matches well with IPL’s vision.

[Regarding collusion]

We have tremendous team, player and community support, so we have not run into these issues ourselves. We take a hard line and would deal with any signs of impropriety quickly and severely, but we and the entire IPL eSports community also keep a watchful eye to make sure we won’t ever have to deal with this in the first place.
Nick Allen also pointed out that digibet adds a lot of legitimacy to League of Legends as an e-sports. Betting has been following sports since the dawn of time. It’s a natural step to add more excitement, passion to a sport.

Personal shoutouts

  • I want to thank Robin, Björn, Max, Matze & Ingo for doing such a great job. 
  • My boss for believing in e-sports!
  • Carlos! We wish you all the best for Season 3. 
  • Sk Gaming and Mousesports for representing us. 
  • A special Thank-you goes out to David Ting and his team!
  • Thank you Travis for providing awesome content and Alex Penn from leaguepedia.com which is our number one research source at the moment. You guys make our lifes so much easier. In the end it's guys like him, Sjokz, Rachel or the guys from ggchronicle.com who come up with the content we devour each day.
  • Panky & Qu1ckshot for being so enthusiastic about LoL.
  • A big shoutout to Micha and his team. Your insights helped us a lot. 
  • Thank you Tomis for becoming a good friend. Say "Hi" to all the "Y U TALK?"-guys.
The biggest "cheers" goes out to all the e-sports users who use our service. I know it sounds corny but without your positive feedback there would be no "digibet.com - home of e-sports betting!".

Let's have a great 2013!

Follow us on www.facebook.com/digibet.esports and on twitter: @digibetcom

 Tom "sb2" Lemke

Samstag, 22. September 2012

The thought process behind the ocelote digibet.com spot

How should a modern e-sports TV spot look like?

I've asked myself the same question. What do I need to do in order to sell my product, respect the athlete and at the same time help e-sports push into the right direction which is to appeal to a broader audience.

Take e-sports serious!
It really boils down to to this:

1. Make him look good! Display the e-sports athlete in such a way that you could switch him out and put an famous footballer in the spot instead. If that substitution works you have the foundation. Give the spot a mature look!

2. Take e-sports serious! We don't need another commercial that makes fun of e-sports! Show what e-sports is really all about: passion, emotions, glorious victories. Oh and please let him be authentic! Don't put him into a scenario he is clearly uncomfortable with.

3. Be subtle! Don't plaster your product all over the spot. Let the athlete speak for himself and gently connect him to the brand. I got sick of spots where the athlete had to say "I love using the xyz-mouse. It helps me to react faster!" - C'mon who's going to believe that? 

Make him look good!
Judging by the feedback we've recieved so far the TV spot for digibet.com/esports was a huge success.

I think a lot of companies from outside the industry really lack the inside knowledge. E-sports is a whole different market. If you try to come up with conventional marketing strategies you are bound to fail. Maybe it scares them off.

In order for e-sports to grow bigger we need to create stars and faces. Come up with new content every day and create stories around those you follow on stream. Only then we have the chance to evolve e-sports to the next level. We don't need a revolution: lots of professional structures have already been established. But lets try to work on the little things e.g. connotations:

Don't write "gamer" - write "athlete" instead.
Avoid the word "playing" - use "practise/training".

What we need are stars who shine so bright that the light can be seen outside the inner circle of our industry.