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Breaking Into Esports

This article is a handy guide for anyone who is responsible for onboarding the Esportsbook into a gaming operators product ecosystem. In this guide Dan lists down the kind of resources CPO’s, product directors and product managers will need to assign during the four key phases of a project to launch into esports betting. 

 

Introduction

 

This guide is separated into four key sections:

 

We have done a lot of work at EsportsConstruct to lower the barriers of entry for our Esportsbook product, so this guide will likely only apply to our turn-key product solution and not to other products on the market. 

 

Total Timeline Estimate To Go Live

From 4 to 6 weeks.

 

Phase 1: Pre-Launch - The Evaluation Phase

 

Time Estimate

From 1 to 5 days.

 

Requirements

  • Operators API Documentation: This is typically information you would be sharing with any casino game or virtual sports providers, and relates mostly to the “wallet api methods”.
  • EsportsConstruct’s game launch documentation: Details how to launch the Esportbook product either using traditional iFrames (like a casino game) or using Web Components.

 

Resources

  • 1 x technical business analyst or a developer familiar with your API

 

Action Items

  • Analysis & Planning. Once provided with the operators wallet API documentation, EsportsConstruct will analyze it and make sure everything is as expected/required. Likewise, the operator can investigate how to launch the Esportsbook product and place it in their websites and apps.
  • Technical Q&A Session. If anyone has technical questions, we then need at least one resource to attend a short Q&A session with us on the provided API. This session should take no longer than 1 hour.

 

Outcomes:

  • Green light to proceed (ie: the project is technically feasible)
  • Identify any shortfall areas: Any potential issues or shortfalls should be identified with the integration and scoped out as additional action items.
  • A project timeline should be agreed, together with target dates for going live to customers.

 

Phase 2: Integration

 

Time Estimate

From 2 to 4 weeks.

 

Requirements

  • Setup Environments & Whitelisting. Whitelisting of our Servers to access your API, plus authentication details. Typically for test, staging and production environments.
  • Issue Test Accounts. User accounts to test the front-end. For test, staging and production. These user accounts should be credited with test funds and assigned with appropriate currencies and languages for testing.
  • Setup Communications Channels. We also need to open up communications access with the tech support / devops team at the operators side at this point for any questions that could arise while we do the integration.

 

Resources

  • NOC / Sysadmins: We need resources to setup environments for us to connect to the API and where we can access and test our solution. We also need whitelisting and authentication details for these environments. This takes most operators less than a day to provide.
  • Designer: We need a designer or product manager at the operator side to forward us brand guidelines (color schemes) and any other design requirements for us to theme the product to their liking. Later, these same resources will be asked to test and approve the design before go-live.
  • Project Manager: Ideally you will assign a project manager to manage the resources and project at your side and act as our main point of contact during the integration.
  • Product Manager: Representing your business requirements, your product manager will act as the owner for the project and provide feedback on user testing and requirements.
  • Developers: Familiar with your API, we will need access to speak with developers should any questions or issues arise.
  • QA Testers: To test any releases as they happen.

 

Action Items

  • API Integration. We integrate with the operators API and perform the development. In most cases the operator will not need any development resources other than to answer questions on their API / documentation.
  • Theme Design. Our front-end development & design team will work from your brand guidelines to produce a fully customized theme of the product to fit seamlessly with your own branding.
  • Setup Links & Game Launch. The operator needs to setup the "game launch" which using iFrames for example is very similar to how operators launch Virtual Sports or a casino game and this is typically down to a fine art / business as usual task. Also many operators have a CMS which makes creating the new navigation link to "esports" easy in their primary menu. If using the Web Components method then we need to be provided with the details of the Web Components.
  • Setup Reporting & Back Office. As a new product, operators will want to add esports into their back office so that reports can be viewed. In some cases operators may need to setup data exports for affiliate system usage. These items, and more, should have been scoped out in the evaluation phase of the project.

 

Outcomes:

  • Product should launch from it’s “Esports” link in the primary navigation
  • The product design should be complete as per the provided design specifications
  • Users should be able to place bets using the product on the test and staging environments
  • Transactions should be correctly recorded and visible in bet history and in reports as desired
  • Project should be ready to progress to the UAT phase

 

Phase 3: UAT & Launch

 

Time Estimate

From 1 to 2 weeks.

 

Requirements

  • Deployment To Staging Server. UAT is best done in an environment as identical to production as possible. Test accounts should have already been prepared and issued.
  • Setup UAT Teams. Invite people to join the UAT testing team and inform them how to feedback and report any issues correctly.

 

Resources

  • Product Manager. The Product Manager should usually act as the owner of the delivered product and lead the UAT efforts and provide approval / sign off for any delivered fixes or deliverables.
  • Project Manager. To direct and report on the UAT process and continue to act as a main contact point for the team members. To oversee the logging of issues, their prioritization and assignment.
  • Developers: To provide any support as needed
  • System Admins. Likewise to support any issues that may be related to environments.
  • Designers. To own the checking and approval of any design related aspects to the finished product.
  • QA Testers. To test any releases or re-releases as they happen.
  • Operations Teams. Launch communications to customers should be prepared; T&C’s updated; any marketing promotions should be ready;
  • Operations. App support, NOC and Customer Service should be trained on the new product and support process and be ready to support the product when it goes live.

 

Outcomes:

  • The Product Manager / owner should formally approve the end of the UAT cycle
  • A release date for going live to customers should be agreed and communicated across the business
  • Operations teams should be informed and trained on the new product and it’s support process
  • Any launch activities should be planned and ready to go
  • A “roll back” plan should be in place in case there are any critical issues

 

Phase 4: Live Operations

EsportsConstruct provides the end-to-end solution together with our partners - So we take care of everything related to the Esportsbook product itself (odds, data, trading, front-end & etc) so that the operator can focus purely on customer facing operations. 

 

Live Launch Procedure

  • Check the go-live checklist items have all been completed and signed off
  • Deployment to production upon business approval from product owner
  • Testing on production environments, to make sure everything has deployed correctly, live to users.
  • Issue notice to business users and internal departments
  • Issue notices and promotions to customers
  • Begin SOP for live operations
  •  

Product Support Process

Live support is provided by EsportsConstruct and the operator's NOC/ support team only needs to act as a redirector for support requests and an abstraction layer, so EsportsConstruct doesn't need to directly communicate with or identify any customers.

 

Account Management & KAIZEN Programme

Regular meetings will be scheduled with the Product Manager / Product Owner to review performance (GGR, growth, promotions & etc) and anonymized VOC (voice of customer) feedback regarding the product.

The KAIZEN programme involves operators in the continuous improvement of the Esportsbook product by contributing to and voting on new features, functions and improvements in the core product. Regular product updates are released to deliver on these improvements together with release notes.

 

Next Steps:

 

About the Author

Dan is passionate about the potential of esports in the betting industry and is the CCO at EsportsConstruct – a B2B gaming product supplier that specializes in turn-key esports betting solutions and their flagship product – Esportsbook. Dan has been involved in the iGaming industry for more than a decade and has worked with top names in the industry such as William Hill, Dafabet, Betfred, Betvictor and 188BET. Dan has previously directed and managed the implementation of EsportsConstruct’s Esportsbook product inside operators product ecosystems and achieved great success in East Asia. You can reach Dan with questions, feedback or comments using our contact form.