Esports are a ‘massive’ market in the contemporary betting and gaming industry, according to Martin Blume, Trading Director at Pinnacle.
Speaking to Star Sports in the second edition of a two-part interview as part of the Betting People series, Blume was quizzed on esports status as an emerging, highly popular market, as well as how he and his traders deal with ‘novelty’ betting products such as television programmes.
“We know as little as the general public,” he said, commenting on the dynamics of creating markets and prices for TV shows such as Game of Thrones or for political betting markets.
“We do a little bit of research, let’s say on Game of Thrones – everyone has watched it, everyone has an opinion so we pool it in the office and just threw it out there. It’s not a market we are planning to win, it’s just a bit of fun. With the Pope we didn’t even have the winning Pope in our lineup.”
“When you talk about esports there’s a ton of work going into that. I have round 30 people just working on esports.”
Esports is Pinnacle’s fourth biggest sporting market, the Trading Director detailed. He continued: “It’s interesting to see that for some regions and bookmakers it hasn’t taken off at all, and I know several bookmakers where it has taken off completely.
“The further we go along in time the more people are going to grow up in esports. There are people who are going to become 30 who haven’t known a time when esports didn’t exist.”
Additionally, Blume explained the maths-driven process for creating accurate markets and prices across a range of sports and tournaments, saying: “Math by definition will create a model. What we are trying to do is model a sport,a game or league to the best of our ability, but we do not model for the specifics, we model for generality.”
He added: “I believe that the markets are incredibly strong, and if you don’t know the information that’s moving the market then it’s probably not good to fight the market. Financial markets and political markets are incredibly strong. As a trader, you are not the player in the concert, you are more like the guy in front coordinating everything. That’s how they see traders, they facilitate action.”
Blume further detailed how traders are very good at understanding the dynamics of the league and the impacts punters have on it, but are surprisingly not always clued up on the goings on of the sports world – such as league standings or player transfers.