Analysing massive amounts of data, i.e. big data, is pivotal for the longevity of eSports and its success. The community began professionalising this gaming niche a while ago, which has transpired into a serious and profitable industry. The industry is almost entirely digital, creating an online ecosystem harnessing lots of data. Collecting data within the industry is not an easy feat, but it is proving to be worth it. The bottom line is that big data can mean big profits for eSports. The use of big data has already become relevant through data collection and data analysis, which in turn influences eSports business models.
But How Is Big Data Relevant to eSports?
Performing well as an eSports player means analysing opponents just like real-world sports. Players must observe other players, their strategies and how they play games to develop their tactics. These performers can leverage big data to understand opponents more than ever. AI gaming tools have already been made to collect data on other gamers to provide statistical analysis and influence game plans. Some big data tools will enable players to predict what another gamer may do in a particular situation, giving them a futuristic lens to contemplate all scenarios. When championships are on the line – and huge prize funds – professional eSports gamers are willing to pay for these data services.
The same types of data tools are also helping the betting industry to offer eSports betting markets. These sorts of gaming markets existed on illegal betting sites almost two decades ago, albeit on lesser video games. Still, now you can bet on eSports with authentic bookmakers and even some licensed UK online casinos. With big data, they can provide accurate odds for a range of esports markets which would be considered too risky for bookmakers without all of the necessary data points. After all, many gamers are not well known to bookmakers like professional athletes, and sports teams are.
Protecting Big Data in eSports: A Pending Issue?
Big data services are valued by many different groups within the eSports industry. The importance of big data means it can be sold for significant figures; teams and bookmakers are ready to spend big on big data. But providing data also comes with serious concerns and hurdles.
The first concern is that a data company providing their product to a team of gamers or betting company may worry that the data is now not in their control and could be compromised or passed on. Protection of the information is a complex issue and could be hijacked. The second main issue for these data companies to contend with is the new GDPR regulations across the EU. Although there have been no significant cases or data breaching within the eSports industry to date, the first is likely to occur soon, considering big data is such a commodity within this niche of gaming.
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