When you think about esports tournaments, you probably think arenas, crowds and intense moments. But underlying every major operation is the data that supports it, and data partnerships have become increasingly important in the world of esports. A number of high-profile tournament organisers now rely on data agencies to fine-tune their strategies; Bayes Esports’ partnership with ESL Gaming is case in point.
The two companies have announced the renewal of their partnership that started in 2019, and are set to work together until at least 2023. The partnership will focus on providing data for additional game titles, and optimising coverage. Bayes will also work with ESL on generating data-driven content and marketing solutions for ESL’s new and existing partners. It comes after Bayes renewed another high-profile partnership with publisher Riot Games late in 2021.
Bayes is on the forefront of esports data. The company provides real-time information for game developers and tournament organisers, ranging from strategy analysis, to kill-death ratios and odds for betting. Basically, every piece of data that can be useful from a game can be “crunched” by Bayes, and used by the tournament organisers.
Martin Dachselt, CEO and Managing Director of Bayes Esports gave Esports Insider an inside take on the highlights of the partnership over the last three years, and the steps the two companies are taking to improve it in the future.
“There are two major topics ESL Gaming and Bayes will focus on in 2022”, Dachselt said. The first will be the expansion of the content the two companies offer, and this means that ESL and Bayes will add more game titles, increase the amount of content for the existing games (CS:GO, Dota 2), and optimise scheduling to achieve coverage almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The second, Dachselt added, “is to make Bayes’ deep technology and product portfolio available to partners of ESL and teams participating in their tournaments. We will dig into topics [like] data-driven content and marketing solutions to create additional revenue streams, improve viewership experience and increase awareness for ESL Gaming’s content.”
Benefits of long-term partnerships
Bayes, as a player in a densely populated esports data market, needs to stay competitive and provide clients with high-quality data. The best way to do this is to tailor long-term partnerships, such as the one with ESL, as well as the partnership Bayes has with developer Riot Games. According to Bayes, more than 150 partners have used data products from ESL leagues and tournaments that were provided by Bayes.
Dachselt says that long term partnerships such as these allow Bayes to quickly develop the market and invest more in research and better, more sophisticated products. The partnerships also have an interesting benefit to them, Dachselt explained:
“While Bayes Esports uses an agile development model which ensures a fast product development from Idea over Proof-of-concept to an MVP, it still might take up to a year to have first customers integrated with a new product. Long-term co-operations are crucial to verify the product-market-fit and develop innovative products.”
The benefits for both sides are clear, but it’s interesting to note that Bayes, as a much smaller company than ESL, really does have its work cut out. Dachselt said that one of the potential issues Bayes (and other small companies working with much larger ones) have is the speed of the decision-making process. “We count ourselves very lucky that ESL Gaming is still so fast and agile despite its size”, Dachselt continued and added that Bayes is nevertheless very aware of the scale of the partnership.
Lastly, working together with ESL brings some interesting legal challenges, Dachselt said, “for example regarding press releases and company filings. This can make working together with larger companies quite stressful for much smaller startups, especially when they are unprepared for potential delays caused by additional paperwork. Working together with a large company requires more thorough planning and proper expectation management on both sides to avoid stress and missed deadlines.”
In conclusion, the newly-renewed partnership will see ESL get access to more data, and increase the amount of games that are analysed on a daily basis. Judging by the recent acquisition of ESL Gaming by the Savvy Gaming Group, ESL will certainly invest heavily in new tournaments in 2022, and the data that will power those tournaments will be safely and quickly analysed by the German startup Bayes Esports.